The new Transformers: War For Cybertron is heating up to be one of the biggest video game releases of the summer as it will deal with the back story of the Autobot/Decepticon war in the days before the factions came to Earth.  Hype is so high for this game that Hasbro, the company behind the toy line, will even be making a few of the Cybertron versions of familiar characters into toys.  In short, it's going to be a big deal for the Transformers fans.

wfcshockwaveAs is becoming more common with big game releases, retailers are partnering up with the game publishers for exclusive content.  As I've stated before, I'm not a huge fan of this practice because it makes you feel like you are somehow not getting the complete game.  Obviously time and development went into making these "bonuses", but if you don't 1) preorder the game, you don't get any of them and 2) you would have to buy multiple copies of the game to get everything.

In the case of this title, two preorder bonuses were announced a couple weeks ago: Amazon customers would get a lesser known Autobot named Demolisher, and GameStop customers would get fan favorite Decepticon Shockwave.  Pretty much a no-brainer about where to order the game from if you are a die-hard fan of the original cartoon.  The real problem popped up a couple days later when Best Buy out of the blue announced it was also getting a bonus character in the form of Jazz, an A-List Autobot.

Alright, fine, Activision is playing the preorder bonus game, but by not announcing them all at the same time, how many people locked themselves into Demolisher or Shockwave not knowing Jazz was coming along?  I had been about to place my order with GameStop when the news of the Best Buy exclusive came along, and now I'm torn.  I prefer Jazz as a character, but it's almost certain Shockwave will be more powerful.  Having not played the game though, will Shockwave's increased power will be that big of a factor?

The other new twist is, how do we know there won't be another character announced sometime before release?  Do we order now just to find out some other preorder character is about to be unleashed?

This is a perfect example of what I complained about previously.  We, as consumers, are being asked to make decisions about how we will play a game without even having tried it yet.  For all we know, Demolisher could be the best option, but most customers are going to be split between Shockwave and Jazz out of character loyalty.

It's enough to drive a consumer nuts!

So, just to recap:

Amazon has Demolisher (YouTube Demo)
Best Buy has Jazz (YouTube Demo)
GameStop has Shockwave (video at the top of this post) Activision has our wallets

What say you?  Is this fair to make consumers to make these decisions sight unseen?