EPICTOBER is about more than just cool exclusives. It's also about deep, penetrating investigation, and X-Play has dug up some dirt on Cliff Bleszinski that will shake the very foundations of your butt. To fans, Bleszinski's been the living, breathing design director for Epic Games all these years. But Epic's Mark Rein, Rod Fergusson, and Lee Perry decided it was time to come clean: Cliff Bleszinski has been a Cyborg for over a decade.

X-Play Investigates: The Cliff Bleszinski Project »


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It's EPICTOBER here at G4, and we've got an epically exclusive video for you below. X-Play has an exclusive look at Gears of War 3's Horde Command DLC Pack! This is the only place on earth where you can see this video, so click away!

The Gears of War 3 Horde Command DLC pack will feature new maps, new upgrades and fortifications, and three new playable characters. Adam Sessler gets the exclusive world premiere scoop from Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski and Rod Fergusson.

Gears of War 3 DLC Horde Command Pack X-Play Exclusive »

The Horde Command DLC will be released on November 1.


Comic Book Games: Five Comic Book Game Adaptations That You Need To Play

Why be content with simply reading comic books when you can play them? Unfortunately, technology hasn't advanced that far just yet. It's not like you can just toss the week's pull list into some fancy box and hop into the world of the Justice League or something crazy like that. But there have been some brilliant gems in the world of video games either inspired by the colorful world of comics or directly by some of our favorite heroes and villains themselves.

Those dynamic panels and polygons go together like Harley Quinn and the Joker, and they just keep getting better. So whether these picks only took a page out of their favorite trades for inspiration or were built from the ground up with their favorite tales in mind, they've all been influenced by comic books in some way, and you'd be hard-pressed to find more exemplary specimens. Here are five comic book gaming greats.

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Enter Our Batman: Arkham City Epic Giveaway

It's Monday and that means another Epictober Giveaway. We've got three new friends for with the Batman: Arkham City Series 1 figurines from DC Direct. Meet Bruce Wayne as Batman, his sidekick Robin and the delectable Harley Quinn!

Enter now at the Epictober page and check out the cool details after the jump.

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Your Guide To The Weapons of Payday: The Heist

Hi, this is the OVERKILL crew - and we're gonna talk a little bit about the arsenal available in our upcoming PS3/PC game. In Payday, you gain cash by completing objectives and challenges. Cash is much like Experience Points in that you unlock certain weapons, equipment, upgrades, and perks as you reach certain amounts of cash - you "level up".

Payday has an extensive upgrade tree with 144 upgrades available - and it's divided into three branches: "Assault", "Support" and "Sharpshooter". Each branch awards you with its own unique set of weapons and upgrades that suit the play style that the branch is named after. At any point in the game, you can switch between the branches and the next time you level up you get whatever is next in line on that upgrade branch. It's rather clever: As you choose what you want as a reward at the level up *ahead* of leveling up, there's no interruption in the game-play where you need to go into a menu or anything to "buy" rewards for the XP you've collected.

What's nice is that in Payday you can carry three weapons at a time: One primary weapon, either of the two SMGs or the smaller shotgun as a secondary, and on top of that - either of the three handguns as a sidearm. Anyway, why are we wasting time talking about all this!? Let's have a look at that arsenal!

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Meet Cliff Bleszinski: An Epic Profile

Want to know who the real Cliff Bleszinski is? He gave a keynote lecture at GDC this year wherein he gave young developers advice on how to develop into a “power creative.” One of his notes for the audience was to make their games personal, citing the loss of his father as a motivation for Marcus Fenix’s story in the Gears of War series, for example. I covered that keynote back in March for G4, and it was in the middle of this section on making games personal that Bleszinski said what I found most interesting of all:

“So, press, feel free to ask once in a while. I mean, some of the best interviews I’ve ever had are ones where we’re not going ‘What are the new weapons that are in your game? How many levels? What’s the new features in the Unreal engine?’ ‘cause you’re just going to get us spouting the same thing we said to the 15 other guys. Come in and talk about, you know, ‘What it was like to grow up in New England and how that influenced you,’ or, you know, ‘What do you value in family?’ or ‘What’s your favorite music?’ or ‘What book have you read lately?’ and that sometimes yields an interesting insight into how the power creative mind actually works.”

We sat down with Bleszinski to take him up on this offer of getting a little more personal, and we were glad for the opportunity. Read on for the full interview, and watch the video where he peels away some of the layers of perception to let us know about the guy behind the public image.

Tonight: More Epictober Fun From  AOTS & X-Play

Tonight, X-Play and Attack of the Show return with even more Epictober goodies to kick off the week. You know, like the world premiere of the Gears of War 3 DLC with a first look at the footage, new map and character! There's also an exclusive hands-on Sideway: New York and the NBA2K12 review.

Over on Attack of the Show, we've got the return of Bustice and Power Girl, who partner up to fight the injustices of the world! We also go behind the scenes on the set of The Walking Dead to learn all about fighting zombies.

Tune in to X-Play tonight @ 6:30PM ET

Tune in to Attack of the Show tonight @ 7PM ET

Batman: Arkham City Villain Wish List

Batman: Arkham City is bulging at the seams with villains aplenty: Mr. Freeze, The Mad Hatter, Two-Face, The Penguin, and even Calendar Man are all hitting the scene to make Batman's life a living hell. And we can't count out Harley Quinn and Mistah Jay, or any of the baddies we happily felled in Arkham Asylum. No doubt about it, this is going to be a huge sequel. A villain for every taste and a nefarious plan for every crime lord -- that's Arkham City.

But Rocksteady Studios won't be able to please everyone. There's just not enough room to fit every single worthy baddie into the constrictive confines of one game. There's always hope for a sequel though, right? That means plenty of space for more of the ridiculously large cornucopia of Batman villains. In fact, I've picked some personal favorites to join any theoretical sequel’s cast. Sorry though, no Batzarro – was he ever truly a bad guy, anyway? Check out our list of other baddies that could be thrown up against Batsy in future games. Or possibly still in Arkham City?

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Enter Our Dead Rising 2 Epictober Giveaway!

Today's Epic Giveaway for Epictober is a shout-out to all the zombie hunters out there! We bring you the Dead Rising 2 Epictober prize that featues a Dead Rising 2 Chuck leather jacket so you can look just like everyone's favorite zombie killer. This prize also includes the Dead Rising 2 Zombrex Edition, a limited edition figurine and a poker set!

Enter now at our Epictober site and good luck!

There have been so many video game sports teams, that choosing the best can be a very difficult process. But. we've managed to do it. From Super Tecmo Bowl, to NHL 94, to FIFA 12, to Hardball!, we've selected the very best sports teams, and here they are for you to enjoy.

Best Video Game Sports Teams

Los Angeles Raiders – Tecmo Super Bowl

The original sports game rig still remains the greatest. Back when LA had two NFL teams instead of zero, Bo Jackson, or as he came to be known, “Tecmo Bo” reigned supreme. His video game counterpart in 1991’s Tecmo Super Bowl was so unbelievably talented that it’s possible with minimum effort to rack up 500 yards rushing or run an entire quarter off the clock in one play. Playing as the Raiders meant you could simply use Bo Jackson to trounce opponents with laughable ease. It wasn’t just a good team; it was a joke.

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Enter Our Gears of War 3 Vault Epic Giveaway!

Sharpen those retro lancers because today's Epic Giveaway is for fans of Gears of War 3! You could be the proud owner of the Gears of War 3 Vault with Xbox 360 that can turn your gaming experience into something...well...EPIC.

Enter on our Epictober page and learn more about the details after the jump!

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Max Payne 3

Max Payne is back, baby, in all his gritty, violent, bullet-spewing glory! G4's own Miguel Concepion was fortunate enough to get a first look at Max Payne 3, and bring back word on how it's shaping up. The initial reaction: It's great. The third game in the series keeps what has always worked about Payne, while incorporating recent gameplay innovations. Check out a sample of our Max Payne 3 first look:

"It was when I saw Max in the hallway that all the memories started to flood in. We all spent many, many hours in the hallways of the previous games and the superb graphical detail in Max Payne 3 made me think that a remake of the original game wouldn’t be a bad idea. Things become even more familiar when Max makes his first slow-motion leap toward a couple of mob goons, unloading rounds in classic Payne fashion. It turns into a thrilling charge down subsequent hallways as Max wields standard issue firearms like the dual pistols and a shotgun."

Read the rest of our Max Payne 3 preview.

What Happens When A Video Game Is Too Big To Fail?

When does a video game become too big to fail? There’s always a strange pall of judgment associated with AAA titles. A miasma of fanboyism mixed with often-vocal condemnation from those who view hit games like Halo and Call of Duty as “childish” or simply not good games. But not only are these games wildly successful; they thrive. They dominate the social conscious so much so that when Fox News needs stock footage for yet another anti-video game story, you can be damn sure it’s a title that’s shipped more than a million units.

It’s generally understood that when studios pump millions of marketing and production dollars into a game that that game will be successful. In many ways it’s a “too big to fail” mentality, one that is beginning to manifest itself in large publishers trying to force poorly made games down our throats. If we don’t call bullshit at some point, the gaming industry runs the risk of eventually turning into Hollywood – producing only a handful of good titles a year amidst a steaming pile of rotting garbage.

If you know anything about anything you can probably sit there and tick the dozen or so too big to fail titles off on your fingers. Beyond those, there are always countless more that have had millions sunk into them only to drift slowly into oblivion following launch day. These games fall into a number of categories, none of them particularly flattering.

Read More »

AOTS Pays Tribute To Steve Jobs Tonight 7PM

Today's AOTS is epic for lots of reasons. Join us tonight at 7PM as we pay tribute to the late Steve Jobs and the legacy he left behind with Apple. Also, legendary director Ron Howard is here to talk with us about the Project Imagination photo contest and the latest on the return of Arrested Development.

But that's not all! MMA legend Chuck Liddell is here to talk about the upcoming UFC 136, which includes bouts between Jose Aldo and Kenny Florian, and Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard.

How's that for Epictober goodies? We thought you'd like it.

Tune in to Attack of the Show tonight @ 7PM ET!

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Radical Entertainment recently held an event in Vancouver where fans were given the opportunity to scan their faces into the actual game data for the upcoming Prototype 2. If you've ever wanted to actually be IN a video game, now you can see the process it would take to put your lovely face in a game like Prototype.

Check this EPICTOBER 2011 exclusive video to see what we mean.

Prototype 2 "Get in the Game" Contest X-Play Exclusive »

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