Last night my friend got the game through Amazon so we popped it in. First off, that was quite the install lol, took a while but was worth it ;] Gameplay & story mode were good and the gameplay was continuous, not too many cut scenes from what we played up to. Online was a bit hectic, i'm sure cause it's new but it seemed a bit over the edge with people all over which made it interesting. at least it seems hard to camp..you just have to remember to look up, down, left and right for anything and everything lol. now, Escalation..probably the most surprising feature especially for those who liked games like Zombies on World at War. The pooling points to gain better guns and access different areas seems like a good idea..if kids actually did that. This is definitely a mode that if you want to play serious you will play with just friends. Last night we played the mode for a good 5+ hours and every time it seemed kids would just use their points for health and ammo..it was very rare that we saw anyone buy into better guns or rooms. We tried to upgrade to expensive 400-600 guns but we noticed this. When you buy something the good part is if your teammate is slacking and needs some help you can help him purchase guns off the wall by filling the tubes and it appears floating in the center. BAD THING! if people are standing directly behind you or around you on the circle as you fill the tube..more and likely they are trying to steal what you are buying! it happened after my friend put 400 points (all of his points at the time) into the tube for what looked like a good weapon for the round. Then later in other modes with different people it seemed to be a rising problem. Otherwise though it was a very fun and enjoyable game with plenty to do. Question The pre-order characters, did the codes from certain places come with the product or through an e-mail? I ask because when i pre-ordered Red Dead Redemption the code for the War Horse through Best Buy was in the game case. This leads me to believe you don't necessarily have to pre-order but just buy one of the earlier games stocked during that week..or only a certain amount of them are stocked in each store with the rest being normal releases..either way i was just wonder if it's possible that i didn't pre-order that possibly at either Best Buy or Gamestop if i could be lucky to snag a character code in the game cases or was it strictly e-mail?