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BioShock Infinite Cover Art Revealed

The reception that BioShock Infinite's cover art received from members of the fan community... wasn't very welcoming. The box art, which features protagonist Booker DeWitt in a fairly familiar "burdened hero" sort of pose, was deemed too generic for a game franchise that challenges the notions of what sorts of stories interactive narratives can impart.

Irrational's Ken Levine reassured fans about the cover, explaining that the official art is aimed at selling Infinite to a wider audience. In a move meant to appease fans, a number of alternate cover designs are being offered up now on Irrational's website. They'll be voted on by you, the fans, and the winner will be printed on the game's reversible inner jacket. I went with #6, but #4 seems to be the leading choice right now. They're both gorgeous though. Take a look and cast your vote.

Hitman

We first heard about a possible Hitman HD Collection from Square Enix when a PlayStation 3 Trophies list was revealed back in October 2012, and now a similar Xbox 360 reveal seems to confirm that the collection is headed to Microsoft's console as well. Bear in mind that Square Enix hasn't actually confirmed any of this.

A newly updated Xbox360Achievements.org lists the full rundown of cheevos for Hitman HD Collection, with 1000 GS seemingly tied to just Hitman: Contracts and Hitman: Silent Assassin. The rumor is that the set would also include Hitman: Blood Money, which was previously released on current-gen consoles; the cheevo listing suggests that Blood Money Achievements from the previous game will carry over to the new collection.

We've reached out to Square Enix for comment and will update this post accordingly when we've got more official word.

Karaoke For Xbox Live - Sing, Sing A Song, Sing Out Loud!

Karaoke, an exclusive Xbox 360 game from Microsoft and Stingray Digital Group, is available today for download from the Xbox Live Marketplace. Last week I had an opportunity to take Karaoke out for a test sing and had a pretty good time. Karaoke is a polished, easily accessible singing experience that’s perfect for friends/ parties/ vocal warm-ups for your The Voice audition (oh I hope Adam picks me!!). The game (which installs as an app in your dashboard) functions just like a home karaoke machine and gives you access to an 8,000+ song library. How you access those songs might surprise you but more on that in just a moment.

Fire up the game, pick your song (or songs), get on the mic, and start singing. It’s that easy. Songs stream instantly to your Xbox so you don’t have to wait for your favorite jam to download and the game makes a minimal footprint on your Xbox 360. You can even use the game’s built in SmartGlass integration to queue up songs on your phone or tablet if someone’s hogging the mic (protip: there’s an achievement for doing that).

Just like your local karaoke bar, a fairly decent instrumental rendition of your song choice plays while the accompanying lyrics light up on the screen. Unlike your local karaoke bar, your Xbox avatar rocks out to your song on a virtual stage, gathering virtual fans when you properly match the lyrics. The more fans you get, the more “moola” you earn. You use moola to buy in-game props and wardrobe which, in turn, bring more fans. There’s also Kinect integration (at certain moments the game asks you to match your avatar’s pose to attract additional fans) and achievements. Ultimately you don’t have to participate in any of videogame elements of Karaoke but their inclusion round out the game’s fairly successful attempt to please the gamer crowd and the karaoke crowd.

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XCOM Enemy Unknown

Countless friends and family have fallen in humanity's ongoing war against alien invaders in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and now Firaxis Games has a way for you to honor their sacrifices. An XCOM Memorial Wall has been established on Facebook, with a slick interface that allows you to quickly scroll through the names and details of the deceased. Clicking any name offers more detail, including a brief, player-written breakdown of what led to the death.

We've lost some very recognizable names in the ongoing war, includes former James Bond actor George Lazenby, the "Great Emancipator" Abraham Lincoln, and even Firaxis' own Sid Meier, who was "torn apart quite viciously." We thank you all for your noble sacrifices. Share your own war stories now on Facebook's XCOM Memorial Wall.

Starting today, all Xbox 360 users can access multimedia stored in SkyDrive's cloud using a newly released console app (via Major Nelson). It, along with apps for CNET, Karaoke, and Maxim are all available now via the Xbox Marketplace in the United States.

Today's app launch covers other territories as well, and the plan is to release more than 40 new Xbox 360 apps between now and spring 2013. Major Nelson posted the full list, complete with territory restrictions, but U.S.-based Xbox 360 users can look forward to apps for Machinima, MTV, PBS, Vimeo, Flixster, and a number of others.

For now, take a peek at SkyDrive, especially if you're a Windows 8 early adopter. Microsoft offers more details on the Xbox 360 app on its Windows Blog.

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Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials Gameplay Trailer »


 

Arkane Studios delivered one of the freshest video game experiences of 2012 in Dishonored, and now the game's first DLC pack is here. Dunwall City Trials adds 10 challenge maps to the game, with each one designed to test players' abilities to sneak, move, and kill.

The Trials pack is the first of three announced DLC releases for Dishonored, with a pair of story-driven content packs due to arrive in 2013. Few details have been revealed about the future content drops, though we do know that there's more to be revealed about the mysterious Daud character.

You can download Dunwall City Trials now from your content provider of choice for $4.99 / 400 MS Points.


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Minecraft's Ender Dragon Coming To Xbox 360

4J Studios continues to build Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition into a worthy port of its PC predecessor, with the next two planned updates aimed at adding a multitude of missing features. Title Update 7 is next (via PlayXBLA), with features pulled from v1.0.1 of the PC game.

Look forward to the addition of animal breeding, potion brewing, experience points and enchantments, mushroom biomes, Nether fortresses, villagers, and an assortment of associated mobs in TU7. The End and the Ender Dragon final boss will follow in TU8. 4J further revealed on Twitter (via Joystiq) that some features, such as Spawn Eggs, iron golems, and jungle biomes, will be saved for a future update.

The only thing missing is a release plan. There's no word yet on when either of these updates will be coming. Stay tuned for more when we hear it.


Gears of War Judgment Campaign Premier Trailer »


Be sure to keep your finger poised over the pause button as the above trailer for Gears of War: Judgment plays. The quick flash of images reveals new facts about the upcoming spin-off from Bullestorm dev People Can Fly, including the new villain and his... uh... steed? Giant spider-thing that wants to eat your face (along with the rest of you)? Yeah, it's really more that second one.

You'll also get a peek at a few of the new and returning characters that will be featured in the game, including what appears to be a bandanna-less Marcus Fenix. Gears of War: Judgment hits stores on March 19, 2013, which really isn't all that far off anymore as we move to the midpoint of December 2012.




South Park: The Stick of Truth Story Trailer »


There's still no release date confirmed for South Park: The Stick of Truth, though the latest trailer suggests that it'll be "coming soon." You might've missed that because you were too busy cackling at the ridiculousness of Obsidian Entertainment's upcoming RPG, which pretty much looks like a typical South Park episode rendered on a grand scale.

There's a poo tornado, a Moses summon, a machine gun-wielding Jesus, Mr. Slave doing unspeakable things, and a random, unasked-for Star Trek reference. Also, lots of NSFW language. Seriously: turn the volume down on this one if there are kiddies present. Let's try to keep the number of profane fourth-graders in this world locked to Trey Parker and Matt Stone's fictional take on South Park, Colorado.

Dark Souls 2 Announcement Trailer »


Brace yourselves, gluttons for punishment: From Software is partnered with Namco Bandai Games for the North American release of Dark Souls 2, first revealed over the weekend in a CG trailer. There's no release date/window specified, but a press release confirms that the game is coming to PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC platforms.

The game announcement also reveals a few basic facts about the sequel, which features a new hero tugging at the threads of a new storyline in an "unfamiliar" world. Fans can also expected a "revamped server-based multiplayer experience that will put a distinct Dark Souls 2 twist on the concept of playing and sharing with others." Whatever that means.

Stay tuned for more news soon on the game's official website and Facebook page.





Ubisoft has some fairly ambitious plans for Assassin's Creed 3 in the three-part The Tyranny of King Washington DLC, which you can take a peek at in the newly released trailer above. The campaign content runs through an alternate alternate history in which America's first president succumbs to the allure of absolute power and must be stopped by Connor Kenway.

The trailer doesn't show off any of the DLC's gameplay, focusing instead on setting the scene for the multi-part story. Unfortunately, there's no indication of when part one of the download series will be released, with the tail end of the trailer simply touting the Season Pass, which includes access to all three King Washington releases along with an handful of other DLC.

Interestingly, there's no mention in the trailer of the upcoming content supporting the Wii U version of the game, nor is there a logo for Nintendo's console listed alongside the other platforms at the end..

 

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Bioshock Infinite Preview - Hands-On With One Of Next Year's Big Hits

Well, we have good news and bad news regarding BioShock Infinite. The bad news is that it’s been delayed again. According to Irrational Games’ Ken Levine, when they brought Rod Fergusson from Epic Games over to serve as executive vice-president of development, and to help finish this title, one of the first things he told them was that the game needed another month for polish and refinements. We’re okay with that... as long as it doesn’t signal a series of small delays.

So, that’s the bad news. What’s the good news? It’s worth the wait, and then some. While we don’t want to see this title pushed back any further, all of the hype behind it since the announcement and subsequent peeks at development have all been spot on. We were worried, as we are with most games, that the product wouldn’t live up to the expectations put out there from early looks and studio-controlled videos. But BioShock Infinite is on course to become the must-have video game for 2013.

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BioShock Infinite Release Date Delayed Again - Is This Gonna Be A Stand-up Fight Or Another Bughunt?

BioShock Infinite’s release date has been delayed until March 26, 2013. News of the delay came directly from Irrational Games creative director and co-founder Ken Levine.

According to a report on Eurogamer, Levine said: “When Rod Fergusson (former Gears of War franchise director at Epic Games) came on board we looked at the game. He was there for about a month and he said, 'look, I've been looking at the schedule and looking at the game and frankly you could really benefit from another three or four more weeks for polish and bug fixing.'"

"We talked about it. I knew I'd probably get beat up in the press a little bit about it. But at the end of the day, if it's going to make a better game we're going to do it. So the new date is March 26 (2013). That's my bad news."

In case you forgot (which I doubt you have), this is the second time BioShock Infinite has been pushed back. Originally the game was supposed to be released in October of this year. Then, shortly after the original delay was announced, two key BioShock Infinite developers left Irrational Games.

So what do you think? At one point in 2012 BioShock Infinite seemed like everyone’s most anticipated game. Do you still think the game will wow you in 2013? Plenty of games have taken similar stumbles on their way to release and come out unscathed (GTA IV, Alan Wake, even the original BioShock come to mind).

On March 26th, 2013 I guess we'll all find out.

PS - how about the image we used on this post? I mean, if that isn't a "delayed again? child please!" face then I don't know what one is.

Disney Epic Mickey 2

Okay Disney fans, grab your Oswald caps because you'll want to be a part of this sweepstakes. Wait, you don't have one of those cool collector hats? Allow us to help you out because in celebration of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, we're giving away copies of the game for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U, as well as your very own Oswald hat! Head over to the Disney Epic Mickey 2 sweepstakes to enter today!

And if you haven't already, check out our Disney Epic Mickey 2 review to see why you need to give this co-op adventure a whirl!

Looking to download some new games? Attack of the Show has some ideas for you, like the 2D shooter Sine Mora, When Vikings Attack for fans of old school arcade games and Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage DLC for Borderlands 2.

Indie Games: Sine Mora, When Vikings Attack & More Review »


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