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BioShock Infinite Ultimate Songbird Edition Trailer »


A few weeks back, Irrational Games unveiled the Columbia-fied collector's edition for BioShock Infinite, much to the delight of dystopian fiction lovers everywhere. The stunning collection includes a number of wonderfully detailed pieces, including the real eye/wallet catcher of the collection, the statue of what's quickly become Infinite's most recognizable characters, the Songbird.

We recently spoke with Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine and concept artist Robb Waters via email to find out more about how this collection came together and the Songbird's creation.

Of all the characters that have been revealed so far, the Songbird has consistently been a fan favorite. Did you have a sense when you were creating and designing him that, not unlike the Big Daddy, there was something inherently fascinating about him and that he had the potential to be such a popular character?

Robb Waters: I got a glimpse of the potential for Songbird when I sketched out a rough picture showing Elizabeth touching the monster’s bowing head. It was the unique express ability of the character that was apparent to me at that moment. Seeing beyond the gruesome exterior of the monster and getting a sense of the monster’s soul can make for a more interesting character. The abstracted, mysterious form of the character also allows the viewer to remain engaged, as it keeps them guessing as to what they are actually seeing.

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For as much as we’ve seen of IO Interactive and Square Enix’s long awaited Hitman: Absolution over the past year or so, it always seems to surprise us whenever we get a new look at it. We’ve played through the first five chapters of the game (included as part of the final pre-release preview code) at least 3,459 times, and delightfully unexpected stuff just keeps cropping up. So to get you primed for the game’s launch in a couple weeks, we thought we’d give you a little taste of some of the highlights--some humorous, some horrendously violent, some just because they pleased our senses--from our time with Hitman: Absolution's opening levels.

 Hitman: Absolution -- Highlights from the First 5 Chapters

Chapter 1 -- Chicago

The first level in the game is your standard tutorial setup. No real challenges to overcome, just a series of encounters designed to familiarize yourself with Agent 47’s sneaky-death-dealing-in-disguise ways that culminates with you taking out your former employer, Diana Burnwood. The level takes place in a sprawling compound inhabited by security guards, yard workers, and even personal chefs. The highlight for us though came during the ledge-walking training sequence where you have to sneak to and enter through a window that looks out onto a cliff.

But before you can climb through, you are treated to an inspiring phone conversation between a guard and his doctor who informs him that he doesn’t have prostate cancer. In his elated state, he blurts out, “Whew! No one can piss on this day!” which is unfortunate because this also happens to be the scenario that teaches you how to pull people out of windows. We were super happy for the guy for about half a second, and then we remembered why we were on that ledge in the first place and did what had to be done.

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Irrational Games delighted BioShock fans everywhere this week by releasing a stunning, action-packed new trailer for its eagerly awaited BioShock Infinite. The new "Beasts of America" video revealed entirely new footage, introducing us to new locations, enemies, gameplay elements, and the extremely violent side of Columbia. As is customary with such a detail-filled trailer like this one, we have broken out a few of the trailer's juicier reveals and compiled the following easily digestible list of some of the key things we learned (after piecing our brains back together that is). Enjoy!

7 Things We Learned From the BioShock Infinite

1. Welcome to Columbia

It’s hard to say if the opening shot of Booker in a dingy riding through a rain storm on his (and whoever is in the boat with him, maybe Elizabeth?) way to a foreboding lighthouse is the opening sequence of the game, but it’s obviously a direct reference to the opening of the first BioShock wherein we see Jack on a plane looking at a package and a picture of his “family” just before the plane crashes. Whether it’s the beginning or the end, either way it’s the perfect way to get BioShock fanatics like myself jazzed and chomping at the bit to see more.

And taking a closer look at Booker’s box-o-plot-teasing-items we can see pictures of Elizabeth, a postcard for Monument Island, a piece of paper that appears to be a ticket of some kind from New York City, a couple gold balls (which also look a little like cufflinks), a super quick peak at what could be Booker’s Pinkerton badge, a slick Luger, and a key with an image of a cage (Songbird reference perhaps?) on it. Talk about a “boat load” of stories, huh?

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Microsoft's Xbox Music Tour Video »


Today Microsoft launches Xbox Music on Xbox 360, the company's brand new all-in-one music service that will also be releasing for Windows 8 devices and PC on October 26.

Xbox Music brings together features that have defined other popular music services such as iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify, and houses them under one cross-platform service that lets users control and access their music wherever they are.

If this sounds like Microsoft is setting its crosshairs firmly on these various industry-leading services, that's because, as Xbox Music general manager Jerry Johnson explained to us during a preview session last week, this is precisely the company's intention.

"This is competitive with iTunes. This is competitive with Spotify. This is competitive with Pandora. And yes we see it as a better consumer experience."

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Tags: Music, Tech, Xbox 360



When it comes to unlocking achievements in Dishonored, there is really no right or wrong way to go about it. Experimentation and creative thinking define the Dishonored gameplay experience, and the same goes for snagging those precious cheevos. Outside of the achievements that you’ll unlock simply by progressing through the story, and pulling off standard actions like “Assassinate 10 unaware enemies,” there are some that require certain powers and even certain environments to pull off.

So without further ado, here are some tips to help you pick up these rewarding accolades as you journey across Dunwall on the hunt for your revenge.

Dishonored Achievement Tips -- Corvo, Cheevos, and You...vo

1. King of the World (Reach the top of Kaldwin's Bridge): This is a location based achievement that you get for climbing to the top of drawbridge portion of Kaldwin’s Bridge. There’s no real trick to this one (other than just realizing it’s possible), and there’s only one way up, so just keep looking up and blinking between beams, climbing a chain or two as you find them, and eventually you’ll pop out on top of the bridge, and be able to cross it without any interference from any pesky guards patrolling below.

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G4 Is Tokyo Game Show 2012 Bound!

JGaskill

Posted September 14, 2012 - By Jake Gaskill












  • Videos
    (7)
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

G4 Goes to Tokyo Game Show 2012!

In just one short week (and one inconceivably long flight), G4 will be bringing you all of wonderful, weird, wild, wacky, and “Well, that’s certainly something I didn’t expect to ever have a visual reference for” that Tokyo Game Show 2012, and Japan proper, have to offer.

We’ll have trailers and previews of the biggest upcoming titles from Konami, Capcom, Namco Bandai, Team Ninja, Sony, and more, including Metal Gear Rising: Reveneance, Resident Evil 6, Lost Planet 3, DMC: Devil May Cry, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch just to name a few, as well as cosplay and show floor pics galore, and plenty of gadgets, tech, and toys coverage of course.

Our intrepid G4 crew will also be taking in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Tokyo in pretty much every legal way we can. It will be our first TGS in a couple years, and for many of us, our first times in Japan, so we’re heading in expecting the unexpected and anxious to bring you along with us on our travels. The food, the nightlife, the fashions, the arcades, the things we’ll never be able to unknow, we’ll be seeking it all out and bringing it straight to your knowledge zone with gusto, verve, and a tempered amount of gumption.

TGS 2012 kicks off September 20 and lasts through the weekend, so be sure to stay tuned to G4tv.com for all of the latest and greatest from the show and beyond. And if you know of something particularly amazing/bizarre that you think we’d be fools not to go see, drop the info in the comments section below.

See you on Tokyo time (aka the future)!

Portal 2 Alternate Storyline Revealed During Valve Panel at PAX 2012

Remember at the end of Portal 2 when the companion cube get spat out at Chell’s feet in the middle of that generic cornfield? Well, until relatively late into development, that cube was going to be a turret…as in, married…to Chell. “What?!” you no doubt just said out loud to yourself, preferably around a bunch of strangers who are now looking at you with curious yet slightly terrified eyes. I know, crazy right?

During their PAX Prime 2012 panel, Valve writers Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw revealed that the team had developed an entire subplot where Chell did in fact get married to a turret. Remnants of this subplot can still be seen in the game, specifically in the name of the disproportionally larger turret you might have spotted in the game, which is “the Turret Wife.”

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God of War: Ascension "Maegara" Character Preview »


 

Sony Santa Monica revealed the next major enemies that legendary angry dude Kratos will be facing off in God of War: Ascension during its PAX Prime 2012 panel: the Three Furies.

These three terrifying ladies are responsible for holding the bond for Kratos’ life, so you can imagine them being none too pleased with his decision to reject the slavery he agreed to and do his own hacky-slashy thing. As a result, these ferocious foes are on the warpath, and their primary target is Kratos.

We saw one of the three Furies in action in a super short teaser trailer shown during the panel, and her name is Megaera. This arachnid-esque beast sports an extra set of long, spidery legs attached to her back that let her move with deadly speed while also giving her a significant height advantage. She’s also quite adept at picking dudes up with one leg and tearing them apart with another, all while having enough free hands for some killer juggling or face pummeling; which suits her, since she is very much interested in introducing her many fists to Kratos' ever-smug mug. Sony Santa Monica is keeping the other two Furies close to its chest for the time being.

Whether these enemies will appear as singular bosses or throughout the campaign as simply an enemy class remains to be seen, but at least we have our first clear sense of who/what Kratos will be directing his unrelenting and ever brooding fury towards when Ascension releases in 2013.








Tekken Tag Tournament 2’s World Tekken Federation online service will be available for free to all players when the game launches on September 11, Namco Bandai announced today.

The service provides players with detailed stat tracking on every aspect of their performance, not unlike what Call of Duty Elite members receive, albeit free of charge. In addition to personal stat analysis, the WTF lets players create teams (i.e. clans), set goals, and participate in online tournaments and challenges. Did I mention it's free? 

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 "World Tekken Federation" Trailer »


We recently had a chance to see the service in action, but you'll have to wait until next week to hear more. Trust me, if you're a fighting game fan, you won't want to miss it.




Spec Ops: The Line

Tomorrow, Spec Ops: The Line owners will be able to enjoy the dusty, deadly, and unnerving world of a Dubai gone wrong in a whole new way: co-op (Spec Co-Ops?). The four new missions are based on locations/scenarios from the single-player campaign, and it's all yours for the low, low price of...free!

Each of the missions requires you and your buddy to complete specific goals in order to succeed. In one, you’re fighting to disable a series of communication towers scattered across the ship graveyard area seen later in story campaign. In another, you simply have to battle your way through scores of enemies to reach a rescue helicopter.

Even on the easiest of the four difficulty settings, these missions require quick trigger fingers and even quicker feet. If you think you can just sit back and hope to pick off every enemy before progressing, you are in for a painful lesson. Shoot and move. It’s a combination that could save your life someday (someday = when you play co-op).

Spec Ops: The Line fans can download the free add-on tomorrow, but for those who think tomorrow is such a long time, you can see the four new challenges in action below.

Spec Ops: The Line "Graveyard Sabotage" Co-op Gameplay »


 
More co-op action after the break.

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Assassin's Creed 3 "Frontier" Combat Video »


 

As anyone who has spent any amount of time with the Assassin’s Creed series knows, brutal and “Oh sh*t!”-inducing combat is one of its most joyous cornerstones. And if you’ve been keeping up with any of our Assassin’s Creed 3 coverage, like our video feature on the evolution of the franchise's combat system, then you know full well that this tradition not only continues with Ubisoft Montreal’s latest installment but has been taken to remarkable new levels. At this year's E3 and Comic-Con, Ubisoft showed off hefty new portions of gameplay and gave us a look at some of hero Connor’s impressive skill set in the area of messin’ fools up.

Now, as in previous games, because the animations are so quick and slick (i.e. so expertly crafted), it can be easy to miss all the nuances that go into to bringing these insane moves to life. So to help give you a better sense of what Connor is capable of on the battlefield--and what he’s actually doing from an animation perspective--we decided to put together this little takedown breakdown of some of these new moves that should educate as well as inspire a healthy amount of “Dear lord!” shouting.

Assassin's Creed 3 Takedown Breakdown

1. The human shield maneuver should prove to be a valuable one, especially when facing down a squad of musket-packing Red Coats. With so many guns on the battlefield this time around, I would expect this to be a very popular move throughout the campaign, and not just because it's so badass.

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Sleeping Dogs

As fans of wild and crazy open-world action-fests are well aware, United Front Games and Square Enix are primed to launch the long-awaited Sleeping Dogs on August 14. And seeing as we are all (at least for now) bound by the laws of space and time, that means you won’t be able to get your hands on the game until then.

However, seeing as we are all about defying the laws of nature, we’ve gone ahead and devised a way for you to experience Sleeping Dogs a full week early via a nifty little pre-release guided tour happening tomorrow right here on G4tv.com!

Said guided tour will be hosted by yours truly, and I’ll be joined by United Front senior producer Jeff O’Connell who will be giving you a sneak peak at what awaits you when you descend into Hong Kong’s brutal and gnarly criminal underworld, aka your playground in Sleeping Dogs. Fingers crossed Jeff lets me run around in nothing but my underwear so I can prove to my new gang buddies that I ain’t some wired up snitch…oh, and that I’m a lunatic.

As an added bonus, we'll be taking your questions, comments, and concerns, so be sure to post anything you might want answered in the comments section below (and not just because we might be giving away Steam codes for a game that rhymes with Weeping Cogstm for especially stand out questions).

And be sure to check back tomorrow afternoon to see our full Sleeping Dogs guided tour in all its car hopping and cleaver-wielding glory!





The Evolution of Assassin's Creed - Combat »


If you’ve seen any of the numerous (and rather substantial) Assassin’s Creed 3 gameplay videos that have been released over the past few months, then you are well aware of just how ambitious Ubisoft Montreal’s latest acrobatic sci-fi adventure is. Nowhere does the laundry list of improvements, additions, and tweaks shine through more than in the game’s retooled combat system.

Dual wielding, contextual takedowns, a dedicated counter button, and momentum-based combos are just a few of the big changes poised to make AC3’s combat the most visceral and cinematic of the series. Hardly a bold claim, but rather than simply wondering aloud about how AC’s combat has evolved over the past seven years, we decided to put together a little video detailing this very thing. Fancy that!

And be sure to tune in tomorrow for a closer, frame-by-frame look at Connor’s new abilities and the animation wizardry that brings it all to life in our Assassin’s Creed 3 Takedown Breakdown.

Have a tip, suggestion, or personal philosophy you'd like to share? Then feel free to E-Mail me, or follow me on Twitter.






Jojo's Bizarre Adventure HD Ver. Coming to XBLA, PSN in August

Capcom has announced JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD will release on PlayStation Network August 21 and Xbox Live Arcade August 22.

The HD update of the manga-inspired brawler from the PlayStation and Dreamcast era will feature the option to play in either the classic arcade style as well as in “Arcade SD Mode,” which will be pixel art-y like the original games.

The game will revive/support online play that will include the ability to filter opponents by location and connection speed, similar to the systems seen in Super Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

Fans of lobby fights will be pleased to hear that the game will introduce a new eight-player multiplayer mode where players can compete (while waiting to compete) for a chance to compete in the final showdown. Losing isn’t just shameful; it also means you have to watch the person that beat you play their next match. Brutal.

For those players who love showing off their skills to the world, you’ll be able to do just that thanks to the game’s new video sharing feature, which lets you save a replay of your fight and post it online.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure HD will set you back $9.99 on PSN and 1600 on XBLA.

Academy Award winners Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx were on hand at Comic-Con 2012 to talk about Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Civil War-era revenge flick Django Unchained, and we were on hand to find out what it’s been like bringing Tarantino’s uncharacteristically stylized, violent, and dark humored tale to the big screen. Like any sensible Tarantino fan, you better believe I'm counting the minutes until his latest bloody epic hits the theaters in December.

Django Unchained Floor Report Comic-Con 2012 Live »


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