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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.

Angry Birds Movie Slings Forward

Baxter

Posted December 12, 2012 - By Joseph Baxter

Angry Birds Movie Slings Forward

It appears that the Angry Birds phenomena will take its war against the hideous army of stationary green pigs to a theater near you. The game's creators, Rovio Entertainment have hired producers for what will be a 3D computer-generated full-length film.

After an explosion of merchandise and even a union with the monolithic Star Wars brand, Rovio's app-attacking avians will have the summer of 2016 targeted for their inevitable collision with the big screen. The Finland-based company has reportedly brought Despicable Me producer, John Cohen on board and executive producer, David Maisel, who has worked on Marvel's Avengers solo films like Iron Man 1 & 2, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, and Captain America: The First Avenger.

While your touchscreen finger will thankfully get a rest, what could Angry Birds bring to the box-office? (Without smashing it.)

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Mario Warfare is a new web series from the makers of Modern War Gear Solid. Mario Warfare is a live action reimagining of the Mario universe through the gritty lens of Call Of Duty. In the first episode, Toad escorts the Princess out of the Mushroom Kingdom after it’s come under siege by Bowser and his army of Shy Guys. Blood, bullets, and drama abound! There’s also a close quarters handgun fight between Toad and Bullet Bill that will have fans of the movie Equilibrium stand up and cheer.

Check it out!

What'd you think? We think it's pretty cool. If you agree (and want to see more) the people behind the web series, Beat Down Boogie, have a Kickstarter page where you can pledge to help them make more episodes (currently there are only 2 eps).

Tags: G4, Videogames, Videos

Leisure Suit Larry HD Announced

Replay Games' upcoming remake of Sierra's adventure game classic, Leisure Suit Larry, will be strengthened by the music of Austin Wintory. The GRAMMY-NOMINATED Journey composer was contacted personally by Larry creator Al Lowe some time ago, Wintory said in an interview with Polygon.

Wintory, who professes to have grown up playing games like Larry, admitted that he's excited about working on the project. Lowe and the his team at Replay vetted the composer first to make sure he was okay with delivering the sort of "seedy, back alley kind of stuff" that Larry demands. He passed muster, landed the gig, and we'll all benefit from it when Replay's Leisure Suit Larry remake arrives in 2013.

Tags: Videogames

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Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, the quirky Nintendo 3DS rhythm game based on the music of the Final Fantasy series, is heading to iOS, a news release confirms. It should be available starting today, and the iTunes product page is already live, so check the App Store if you're interested.

The initial game download is free, with an expected heavy focus on in-app purchases of various music tracks. Theatryhthm on iOS adds the new Quest Medley mode, which presents players with a random quest built out of music that you've downloaded. The app also features built-in Twitter support that you can use to brag about your high scores.

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The Secret World

Funcom's solid MMORPG The Secret World is officially subscription-free, starting today. It's not quite free-to-play, since you'll still have to buy the actual game if you want to play it, but your ability to play no longer hinges on paying a monthly fee as well.

Those who purchase the game by December 31, 2012 will have full access to the game as it originally shipped over the summer as well as four major post-release update plus a fifth, that will be released "shortly." Those who buy the game in 2012 will also receive the "Initiate pack," offering stronger starter weapons, a Blood Raven pet, and extra social clothing.

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 Tonight on X-Play 6:30/5:30c

Tune in tonight 6:30/5:30c on X-Play as we check out Gears of War Judgment's slew of new multiplayer modes and then welcome former Epic Games Design Director Cliff Bleszinski into the studio for an update on life after gaming. Get show details below:

  • Gears of War Judgment Multiplayer Preview
    Early next year gamers will get a prequel to the Gears trilogy in the form of Gears of War Judgment and with it a ton of new multiplayer modes. Find out what's in store with a multiplayer preview.
  • Face Time: Former Epic Games Design Director Cliff Bleszinski
    Not too long ago, gaming industry legend Cliff Bleszinski stunned everyone by announcing he'd be leaving it all behind. He'll stop by for an update on what he's up to and what being out of the public eye has done to his perspective on games.
  • Cliff Bleszinski Takes The X-Play Challenge
    After a lengthy interview on life after games, Cliff Bleszinksi straps in for The X-Play Super Mario Bros. Speed Challenge.
  • X-Play Classics: SoulCalibur Blind Date
    In this X-Play comedy classic, Morgan goes on a blind date with SoulCalibur's resident pirate Cervantes, and things go... well they go pretty much as badly as you'd expect they would.

Watch X-Play weeknights 6:30/5:30c

 

Tags: G4, TV, Videogames

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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It used to be that you'd hide your pollution-producing power plant off in a filthy corner of your sprawling SimCity urban paradise, but the series' 2013 revival offers an alternative in multi-city play. In the above trailer's example, lead designer Stone Librande establishes a neighboring city to feed power to his glitzy, casino-laden tourist trap. No vacationer wants to see a smoke-belching coal plant next door to their holiday getaway.

The multi-city feature seems like a cool evolution of the SimCity framework. It's ultimately not so different from hiding a power plant away in a distant corner, but establishing another city means you're working with an entirely separate budget. Social gamers can even parcel out city management among friends. Every new peek at Maxis' return to SimCity looks better and better. The wait won't be much longer now either, with SimCity set to arrive on March 5, 2013.




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.

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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.




 

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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 Tonight on X-Play 6:30/5:30c

Tune in tonight 6:30/5:30c on X-Play as we get an exclusive look at Insomniac's upcoming game, FUSE, and count down the top 5 most inappropriate segments we've ever aired. Full show details below:

  • FUSE X-Play Exclusive
    Early next year, Insomniac releases FUSE, a new game that borrows elements from both Ratchet & Clank and Resistance. It will also come with an action-packed multiplayer, and we'll get details in an exclusive preview.
  • X-Play Bids Farewell To The MMO Report
    Casey Schreiner takes a victory lap, delivering the final MMO Report in all his bearded glory.
  • X-Play Classics: Kratos Cops
    When Kratos isn't battling the gods, he runs afoul of domestic law just like everyone else from time to time, as we'll see in a revisit of an X-Play Classic.
  • X-Play's Top 5 Most Inappropriate Moments
    Flying under the corporate radar has its benefits, something we managed to pull off here for years. One of those benefits is getting insane content on the air before anybody even notices. It's the top 5 most inappropriate segments we've ever run.
  • X-Play Classics: Kung Fu Master Chief
    What happens when grindhouse meets Master Chief? Find out.
  • X-Play Classics: A Skyrim NPC Visits the X-Play Office
    We've seen some strange things roll through here, but an Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim NPC has to be one of the weirdest.

Watch X-Play weeknights 6:30/5:30c

Tags: G4, TV, Videogames

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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.

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