2K Games

Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea episode one review

Phil Savage at

I'm being attacked by splicers again. I've got little health, no EVE, and only a few bullets for each of my four guns. I'm about to die, which is annoying, because I'd prefer to spend that money refilling all the things I'm low on.

Elizabeth calls out: she's found some EVE. I can use this. I catch a splicer with the Possession plasmid and, in the confusion, use my last shotgun shell to blast another. I then call for Elizabeth to materialise a freight hook, so that by the time I've Sky-Hooked (sorry, Air Grabbed) to reposition, my shield has recharged. I dismount, slamming into another splicer, and finish by using my buffed melee range to execute the last enemy, just as his possession wears off.


XCOM: Enemy Within hands-on - encountering new enemies in Operation Devil's Giant

Tom Senior at

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT - this reveals a new type of alien for turn-based tactical add-on, XCOM: Enemy Within. If you've already decided that you're getting the expansion and would rather encounter and adapt to it yourself, give this preview a miss. This hands-on focuses on one particular encounter, for additional in-depth overview of Enemy Within's new features, you can also check out our other hands-on account.

All rise to salute the fallen. Sergeant Balls, start the bagpipes. AHEM. Lt. April "Congo" Palmer, slain by a Floater's light plasma rifle in Operation Devil's Giant. Eleven kills to her name. Squaddie Eric Stevens, mauled to death trying to taser a Chryssalid at melee range during Operation Flying Skull. My, my, what a mess that was. Lt. Shaojie Zhang, slain by a Thin Man at range in Operation Dark Vanguard. Rookie Dieter Kohler, strangled to death by a flying metal octopus During Operation Devil's Giant.

Wait, flying metal octopus? Balls, stop the bagpipes. Colonel Jenkins, stop crying. Nobody told me anything about a flying goddamn octopus.

XCOM: Enemy Within dev blog reveals new info on mission types and Exalt faction

Patrick Carlson at

You better watch your back. Since we first heard about XCOM: Enemy Within's disruptive new faction Exalt, the quest to save Earth has been looking a bit more complicated. As we learn in a new dev blog from the DLC's lead designer Ananda Gupta, the "insular and self-serving" Exalt has its own agenda entirely.


Borderlands 2 Halloween-themed DLC invites you to fight a giant pumpkin-thing next week

Tom Sykes at

Borderlands 2's Game of the Year Edition only came out a few weeks ago, but Gearbox and 2K have already revealed another round of downloadable content. I'm beginning to suspect they may have a problem, but before we organise an intervention - I'll do the bunting - it would only be polite to hear them out. The Headhunter add-on series comprises a bunch of small new missions tasking you with taking down an area boss and claiming their head. The first, TK Baha's Bloody Harvest, is appropriately Halloweeny and lands next Tuesday.

XCOM: Enemy Within trailer introduces the Exalt, hints at base defence missions

Phil Savage at

Here's a trailer that focuses on the Exalt: those covert enemy operatives that Tyler revealed in his XCOM: Enemy Within preview. They're an enemy within, you see. Within the expansion, within your species, and, as your trailer shows, within your own base. While the trailer consists entirely of cutscene, it does suggest that base defence missions could be making a return.


Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea trailer picks out Rapture's fact from myth

Phil Savage at

Bioshock Infinite's first story-based DLC campaign is on a bathysphere ride to release. That means a return to the base game's quirky "Fact From Myth" trailer series, sending up '70s educational video making. Rather than tracking down the magical flying city of Columbia, this time the fictional documentary makers are in search of clues relating to the magical underwater city of Rapture - the setting for the two-part DLC.


Bioshock 2 moves to Steamworks, Minerva's Den DLC on Steam and free for existing owners

Phil Savage at

It used to be that Games for Windows Live was a heavy weight, dragging down whatever game it latched onto. Now, with the service's shutdown thought to occur next July, that weight has putrefied, like a rotting carcass, steaming from the heat of some great games. As you may have guessed, I'm not sorry to see it go. I'm definitely not sorry if it means existing GfW Live games issue updates that swap it out for a more palatable service. That's what Bioshock 2 has just done: ditching Microsoft's problematic client for Steamworks. As an added bonus, the previously GfW Marketplace exclusive Minerva's Den DLC is now also available on Steam, and has been given to existing Bioshock 2 owners for free.


XCOM: Enemy Within footage shows mechanical punching and super-legs

Phil Savage at

Genetically altering humans has been proven (through speculative fiction) a universally bad idea. Sure, super-powered leg muscles sound like fun, but sooner or later the owner of those muscles is going to go mad with power. Before you know it, they're leaping through space as part of a plan to punch the moon out of orbit. Still, in the world of XCOM: Enemy Within, aliens are attacking the planet. In light of that, the powers and abilities shown off in this game footage are probably for the best.


XCOM: Enemy Within 'War Machines' trailer features bio-augs, mechs, alien-punching

Tom Sykes at

Just over a week ago, news broke of XCOM: Enemy Within - a very orangey expansion to Enemy Unknown. The accompanying video, in true XCOM tradition, showed a shadowy guy saying things in his Serious Voice, with nary a hint of gameplay footage to back it up. As with the moon landings and the inner workings of Pat Sharp's Fun House, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was protected by some vast government conspiracy - y'know, if it wasn't for this brand new trailer chock-full of the stuff. It's entitled War Machines, and true to the name it shows off the expansion's new bio-engineering and robo-mech-suit features. There is also a lot of alien-punching. If Will Smith happens to be watching: that one's all on you.


The Bureau: XCOM Declassified review

Ian Birnbaum at

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified underwent a tumultuous, prolonged development, so it’s understandable that some of its pieces are polished but so few of them fit together. The resulting puzzle-piece jumble is best forgotten in favor of last year’s far-superior XCOM: Enemy Unknown or other recent third-person action games like Mass Effect 3 or Saints Row IV.

Borderlands 2 Game of the Year edition announced, contains lots to shoot

Phil Savage at

In a dance as old as time itself (or at least, as old as the mid-2000s), Gearbox have announced the inevitable Game of the Year super-bundle for Borderlands 2. As is tradition, the package will shepherd all the current DLC bits alongside the main game into a single release. In Borderlands 2's case, that means an absolutely absurd number of things to shoot with increasingly bizarre weapons.


XCOM: Enemy Within screenshots show aliens, mech-suits and lots of orange

Phil Savage at

Earlier today, Firaxis announced XCOM: Enemy Within, a full expansion to their ace tactical strategy XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It will add more of everything: aliens, soldiers, technology, missions, maps, abilities, weapons, and upgrades, including cybernetic enhancements and genetic modification. And, if these screenshots are anything to go by, it will drown the world in a deadly orange glow - replacing the base game's dark blues, with a fiery new palette.


XCOM: Enemy Within announced - a huge expansion to Enemy Unknown

Phil Savage at

The rumours were true. While manually cranking the website in preparation for the coming day's news, a mysterious and silhouetted figure appeared on the screen. "Commander..." he began, before I pointed out he probably had the wrong computer. "Well, I'm here now," he shrugged, clearly invested in the moment, "so I may as well tell you that XCOM: Enemy Within has been announced." A strange way to start the morning, but it's hard to complain when the result is a giant expansion to the excellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It will add new units, enemies, maps, weapons, equipment, and features. And a robotic exoskeleton.


The Bureau: XCOM Declassified trailer psyches up for launch

Phil Savage at

There's none of the potentially interesting strategic squad management in this brief look at The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. We're in launch trailer territory, where traditional values hold the day: values like tone, and story, and dapper men giving speeches about serious threats. Because, while a world in which the Cold War cooled early sounds pleasant, when the alternative is weird cube aliens invading '60s surburbia, it's probably not worth the trade.


BioShock Infinite sweepstakes offers chance to include your name in DLC

Perry Vandell at

The folks at Irrational Games are once again offering fame and fortune to a lucky few in a new contest, the winners of which will find their names somewhere in episode two of BioShock Infinite’s upcoming DLC, Burial at Sea.


2K Games currently has "no plans" to release Civilization Online in North America

Tyler Wilde at

Yesterday saw the reveal of Civilization Online, an intriguing MMO in development by South Korean studio XL Games in partnership with 2K. The idea pits four cultures against each other in a sandbox world where the greatest leaders, crafters, and PvP warriors can lead their civilizations to military or technological victory—just so long as their real world civilization is Korea, for now.


Civilization Online revealed, probably isn't the PvP MMO you expected

Tyler Wilde at

Its all-caps studio name is constantly yelling, but XLGAMES has been quiet about one thing until now: Civilization Online, which it's developing under the command of veteran MMO designer Jake Song. Civ Online isn't a grand strategy board game MMO—according to the reveal at Massively, it's more similar to A Tale in the Desert. Players will control a single citizen in a procedurally-generated world and help one of four cultures achieve a Civilization-style victory over the course of a "session."


The Bureau: XCOM Declassified puts permadeath on display in new video

Patrick Carlson at

A new video from The Bureau: XCOM Declassified puts a goofy spin on self-sacrifice and permadeath in the upcoming third-person shooter. It's obvious that when you're repelling an alien invasion—and with Cold-War era technology, no less—you may have to make some tough decisions. Bu no matter how unhinged you are as a squad leader, the new trailer gently reminds us, "you only live once."


The Bureau XCOM Declassified: see nine minutes of footage from the opening mission

Tom Sykes at

The Bureau is a game about an alien invasion, and not a sort of chest of drawers, so it makes sense that this fresh load of gameplay footage would focus on killing aliens and ordering teammates about, rather than storing stuff in a convenient yet pricey piece of furniture. There are nine-and-a-bit minutes of killy, sprinty, 60sy action below, taken (courtesy of VG247) from the opening mission of the game.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified covers up radial wheel, exposes permadeath

Phil Savage at

The radial wheel is one of those strange oddities of PC porting. There's nothing particularly wrong with having one - a benefit of the mouse as an input device is that we can click anywhere on the screen, including on a slightly too big wheel of abilities that has no real correlation to our control setup. But it is one of those telling markers of the care - or potential lack of - put into a conversion. So it's nice to see that XCOM spin-off The Bureau will ditch the circular eyesore in favour of a flat row of bars to click/hotkey through.