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X-Play has announced the winners of their Best of 2012 awards! Once again the internal fights have been had, the votes have been tallied, the event has been held, and now they've handed out hardware honoring the year's best in gaming across a huge range of categories. Relive all the action and find out if your favorite games won right here!

Game of the Year

Borderlands 2

Best of 2012: Game of the Year »


Check after the break for the full list of winners in all categories, including Best RPG, Best Multiplayer, Best Shooter, Best Writing, Most Original Game and more! All nominees are listed, and the winners are in bold.

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Skyrim: Dragonborn Launch Guide - Welcome to Solstheim!

Skyrim may be the largest game out there, but it got even bigger this week with the release of Dragonborn, the third DLC pack from Bethesda. While this summer's Dawnguard added a few new features and locations, Dragonborn really kicks it up a notch. Your journey will take you out of the land of Skyrim entirely, to the island of Solstheim off the coast of Morrowind. Long term Elder Scrolls fans who played Morrowind might recognize a few land marks and items, as well as some lore elements in Dragonborn.

The main storyline of Dragonborn involves your character being approached by followers of Miraak - the First Dragonborn. Once you've been approached by them, and found out where they came from, you'll book passage to Solstheim and begin your journey. Once there, you'll quickly discover something is a little off about Miraak, and that's really where the main quest line kicks off. Of course, in traditional Skyrim fashion, you can totally ignore that quest and explore the island first. In fact I recommend doing just that, at least for a few hours. You'll find a number of the new features added in with the Expansion right near Raven Rock.

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Far Cry 3 is here, putting you into a hostile, open-world tropical setting where in order to survive you'll have to combine action kills, stealth kills, hunting and crafting and a whole lot more.

Does it all add up to a buy? Find out in our Far Cry 3 review:

Far Cry 3 Video Review »





Darksiders 2's Demon Lord Belial DLC Revealed, Launches

The third DLC drop for THQ and Vigil's Darksiders 2, called The Demon Lord Belial, is both revealed and released as of this week. It seems that there's still some life left on Earth -- or the  Third Kingdom, in the parlance of Darksiders 2 -- and it's up to Death to find out.

The DLC's return visit to Earth pits the surprisingly heroic rider of the apocalypse against... well... I'll give you one guess. HINT: It's the title of the DLC pack. The Demon Lord Belial is available starting today, December 4, 2012, for all platforms that aren't called Wii U (ie PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC) in North America, for $9.99 / 800 MS Points.




BioShock Infinite Cosplayer Becomes BioShock Infinite Spokesmodel

Don't scoff at cosplay. Create a convincing enough costume and you could end up getting yourself a job. Fan Anne Moleva discovered this firsthand after she impressed Irrational Games with her cosplay of BioShock Infinite's leading lady, Elizabeth.

A post on Irrational's website reveals that Moleva landed the gig of live-action spokesmodel for Elizabeth after her cosplay left a big impression on the dev team. She's now "the official face of Elizabeth," which means that she'll be making special appearances at select events as well as appearing in promotional art and TV ads.

The announcement post from Irrational also includes a Q&A with Moleva, so head over to the source link and take a peek.

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The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim "Dragonborn" Official DLC Trailer »


 

Skyrim's Dragonborn DLC arrives tomorrow, December 4, 2012, but you won't have to wait that long for information about the expansion's return trip to the island of Solstheim, last seen as an expansion for Morrowind. An alleged Dragonborn beta tester revealed the major facts about the content pack over at TheOuthousers (via CVG).

Be warned before you follow the source link: there are lots of spoilers to be found (assuming the info is true). You might simply prefer to wait for the DLC's launch tomorrow and find out for yourself. I will say one thing though: there's (again, supposedly) an Achievement for taming and riding five dragons. FIVE.




BioShock Infinite Cover Art Revealed

When you wander into your local game shop on February 26, 2012 to pick up your freshly delivered copy of BioShock Infinite, the above image is the one that will greet you on the game's cover. Irrational Games and 2K Games gave fans their first look at the cover art over the weekend, and the reception (on Reddit, at least) hasn't been the most welcoming so far.

In fairness, the image chosen to grace the cover of BioShock Infinite is a surprising one, giving protagonist Booker DeWitt front and center (and solo) placement. It certainly sends a strong message about Irrational's BioShock follow-up. The original game kept its protagonist shrouded in mystery (for story-specific reasons, obviously), but DeWiit has been a definite focus in preview coverage for Infinite

Are you digging the cover art? If not, what's your beef?


Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack Confirmed For December 10

The Crimson Map Pack for Halo 4 will be coming to an Xbox 360 console near you on December 10, 2012, Microsoft confirms. The first of three planned DLC expansions adds three new War Games (read: adversarial multiplayer) maps to the game as well as the new Extraction multiplayer mode.

Extraction pits a pair of five-player teams against one another as they compete to place and protect beacons in extraction locations to earn points. The three new maps are called Wreckage, Harvest, and Shatter. You'll be able to snag the content pack for yourself for 800 MS Points, though anyone who purchased Halo 4's Limited Edition already has a War Games Map Pass that includes all three planned DLC releases. The Map Pass can also be purchased separately for 2,000 MS Points.

 

If you like exotic locations, komodo dragons and lots of gunplay, and thought Skyfall was overrated, you're going to want to give Far Cry 3 a whirl when it releases on December 4th. The open world action game has been on our most anticipated list for far too long. For now, set your eyes on this launch trailer, all 10 mins worth for a deep dive into Rook Island:

Far Cry 3 Launch Trailer »


Far Cry 3 is one of our most anticipated games this year. Are we crazy to think so? Let us know in the comments below.




Metro: Last Light's brand new live-action trailer "The Model" introduces us to a former fashion model trying to survive in Moscow's underground metro system. I'm a betting man so I'll wager this week's paycheck that she's universally respected and things work out great for her. I mean, after the apocalypse who do people always turn to for leadership? Models! DUH. Let's check out this Metro: Last Light trailer and see if I'm right:

Metro: Last Light "The Model" Live Action Trailer »


Yikes! Rough stuff, huh? That said, bullets are currency in Metro: Last Light and that dude made it rain! The Model will be ballin for weeks!

What'd you think?

Assassin's Creed 3

Yes, here's another one of those "let's jump to fun conclusions based on a third-party-hosted online survey" news posts! GMI Survey has an Assassin's Creed 3 post-mortem survey online (via Joystiq) that asks a lengthy series of questions about your gamer experience, your time with AC3, and, most importantly, the future of the Assassin's Creed series and what you'd like to see from it.

Don't read too deeply into these questions, though it's worth running through the survey if you want to let the powers-that-be know what you'd like to see more/less of in an Assassin's Creed game. Possibilities such as co-op story missions, underwater action, second screen functionality, and a new present-day hero are all mentioned (among others).

Ubisoft hasn't mentioned anything about its future Assassin's plans beyond the upcoming Tyranny of King George DLC; this survey's results will presumably help inform pre-production decisions on whatever comes after it.

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Bungie's Destiny Story Points, Concept Art Leaks

Little is known about Bungie's Destiny, but today brings new details thanks to some leaked materials that the Halo creator confirms are the real deal (via IGN). In addition to some peeks at concept art, the leak also lays out some basic facts about the game's story.

The short version: seven centuries from now, humanity is on its last legs. One city remains on Earth and an alien ship with an unknown purpose orbits the planet and keeps it safe (somehow). Until monsters appear at the edge of the solar system, that is. Humanity's "knights" are tasked with fending them off.

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Far Cry 3 "Map Editor" Gameplay Trailer »


Ubisoft brings a built-in map editor back for Far Cry 3 from its predecessor, and a newly released trailer offers a look at how the feature works. It seems that those who have past experience with Far Cry 2's robust map editor will have a leg up here, though the new version (unsurprisingly) seems to offer a wider range of content that is more suited to the game's Rook Islands setting. Caves and waterfalls!

In a neat twist, your map creations in Far Cry 3's editor can be used in both multiplayer match-ups and in solo play. Lone wolf players can fill out their custom environments with AI-controlled characters, enemies and allies alike. Sounds like good times. Far Cry 3 arrives in stores on December 4, 2012 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows platforms.

ASCII Media Works Poll Shows That Xbox 360 Is #1 In Customer Satisfaction...In Japan

Microsoft pushed out a new system update for Xbox 360 consoles this morning, Major Nelson confirms. Don't get too excited though. The update is entirely of the bug-fixing variety, meant to address a handful of issues relating to the video game platform's multimedia capabilities.

For those who had issues with playlist names displaying correctly when launched from Xbox SmartGlass, that's been fixed. Also fixed is an issue with Xbox Video close-captioning and an unspecified error that was popping up in Xbox Music. Not the sexiest update, I know, but now you know why your Xbox 360 is making you wait to play more Sneak King.

Everyone on Xbox Live is still playing a ton of Sneak King, right?


Halo 4

Microsoft has three map packs heading to Halo 4 in the coming months, and now it looks like we have exact release dates to work with thanks to an allegedly leaked dashboard ad (via The Halo Council, Destructoid). Assuming the info is correct, the Crimson Map pack is up first, on December 10, 2012, the Majestic Map Pack follows on February 25, 2013, and the Castle Map Pack arrives a few months later on April 1.

All of this content will be sold separately, though you can also drop 2,000 MS Points on the War Games Map Pass to get all three, presumably at a 400 MS Points discount (figuring on 800 MS Points apiece for a la carte purchases). The War Games Map Pass was also included as a bonus in the Halo 4 Limited Edition release, so make sure you don't have it before you spend any points on it.

Just keep in mind that these dates aren't concrete. Microsoft previously confirmed titles and release windows, but this banner ad has yet to be confirmed as legit.

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