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Preorder Stories – Sanity: Aiken’s Artifact May 23, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Preorder Stories, Site Videos.
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Welcome back to the latest Preorder Stories, where we talk about some of the most interesting preorder content from across gaming’s history. Since the release of the Xbox 360 it’s almost expected that you will receive some kind of exclusive content for preordering a console or PC game (usually delivered through a unique download code). Would you believe me if I told you a PC game attempted this exact same thing half a decade earlier?

Back in the year 2000 developer Monolith (who would later go on to create Aliens Vs Predator 2, No One Lives Forever, F.E.A.R and Condemned: Criminal Origins) was ready to release a PC-exclusive game called Sanity: Aiken’s Artifact. The game put you in the shoes of a psyonic-powered Ice-T as he attempted to bring various superpowered villains to justice. However, the most unique component of the game (of its time) was that you could alter your character’s psyonic abilities (called “Talents”). These Talents, which looked heavily inspired by Magic: The Gathering, could be swapped out with new ones either purchased online, or distributed through various promotional campaigns.

The ability to upgrade your character with unique official abilities other players didn’t have access to set the game apart from other PC titles of the time and after playing its demo, I became very interested in picking up the game for myself. Anyone who preordered it through Electronic Boutique’s official website would revive a CD-ROM bonus disc with even more talents you would not be able to obtain elsewhere.

While the game received decent reviews (averaging 85%) it almost completely dropped off the radar after it was released when Monolith’s next game, No One Lives Forever, geared up to be released later that year. Whatever plans Monolith had to release future Talents simply never came to pass. As for what happened to this game’s glorious plans for future talent releases? I can only speculate. Sit back and relax while I tell the story of the first game to take a chance on offering post-release DLC.

Sanity: Aiken’s Artifact is a PC-exclusive game.