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Bioshock Infinite's box art isn't for gaming enthusiasts explains Ken Levine

Phil Savage at

Proving that people can get worked up about anything, the reveal of Bioshock Infinite's box art sparked apoplectic rage among fans. Speaking to Wired, Bioshock Infinite's creative director Ken Levine admitted he knew the cover would prove unpopular with gaming enthusiasts. "I understand that some of the fans are disappointed. We expected it. I know that may be hard to hear, but let me explain the thinking."


New BioShock Infinite footage shows off Handyman, crow-flinging, quantum mechanics

Tom Sykes at

You already know what we loved and didn't love about BioShock Infinite from our recent hands-on, but thanks to the wonders of moving images you can now see some of that with your own eyes. New footage was revealed at last night's VGA awards, showing a whole heap of stuff including (but not limited to) your first meeting with Elizabeth, and lots and lots of crow-flinging action. Check it out after the break.


BioShock Infinite ending "is absolutely different to anything you've seen in a videogame"

Marsh Davies at

It will also be the most ambitious thing Irrational has ever done, according to Ken Levine, BioShock Infinite's creative director.

We sent two intrepid reporters to get the lowdown on Irrational's follow-up to BioShock, this time set aboard Columbia, a floating city inspired by ideas of American exceptionalism circa 1900. Both Tom F and Evan got to sit down and play the game for several hours, and then caught up with Levine for a lengthy chat afterwards - more of which you will be able to read in the January edition of the magazine. But we couldn't resist teasing you with Levine's comments to Tom about how the team reacted to criticism of BioShock's ending - specifically, how that game failed to evolve following its twist.


What I loved about BioShock Infinite

Evan Lahti at

I spent about two and a half hours with BioShock: Infinite yesterday during a press event in Los Angeles. Infinite already feels like something really special, mostly on the merits of its presentation and creativity. Inside, I’ve expounded on five things I really liked.

Go read Tom’s spoiler-free preview for more thoughts on the same demo, and tune in tomorrow for a list of things I didn’t love.


BioShock Infinite graphics options revealed

Evan Lahti at

I’ll get this bit of reassurance out of the way: Infinite runs perfectly. Our demo PCs were admittedly above average: an AMD FX-8120 (an octo-core CPU) and a single card in the AMD Radeon 7900 series (I didn't have time to verify which one), alongside 16GB RAM on Windows 7. With that considered, I didn't experience any hiccups, frame rate dips, no texture pop-in, or crashes.

Digging into the settings menu, here’s what was adjustable...


BioShock Infinite: first impressions from our massive hands-on (spoiler free)

Tom Francis at

I've just played the first five hours of BioShock Infinite, and I've come away with the same dazed feeling I got after I first played Half-Life 2. It's a sensory overload: a relentless series of staggering sights, astonishing events, and more story and detail and mysteries than I could possibly absorb.

I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but not this.


XCOM: Enemy Unknown Ironman video guide: saving the Earth when every decision matters

Chris Thursten at

I have failed to save the Earth many, many times. More elite soldiers under my command have been summarily shot in the face by 3ft tall aliens than I can remember. Since we received early access to XCOM: Enemy Unknown I've played almost thirty hours of the game in Ironman mode, where every choice, mission and death is permanent. I've not saved the world, but I've learned a few things.


Win a copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a Razer Lycosa keyboard and a Razer Imperator mouse!

Marsh Davies at

To celebrate the launch of Firaxis' brilliant Earth defence strategy game, 2K Games have teamed up with Razer to give away an awesome gaming bundle to five lucky, talented and probably rather dashing PC Gamer readers.

Each winner will receive a copy of XCOM: Enemy Unknown in an actual box, a Razer Lycosa keyboard and a Razer Imperator mouse, both of which, rather more obviously, also come in boxes. The keyboard is described on Razer's site as a "nexus of dominion", which sounds like the kind of thing that might come in handy when facing down a terrible extraterrestrial threat.


XCOM: Enemy Unknown dev's three top tips for taking down ET

Marsh Davies at

By now, you’ve probably got stuck into the XCOM: Enemy Unknown demo and are jonesing for the full release of Firaxis' spectacular remake of the turnbased strategy classic. The known unknowns are no longer unknown - but what about the unknown unknowns? We'll be bringing you a huge guide to light every corner of XCOM's world at the game's launch, but for now, we’ve asked lead dev Jake Solomon for a few of his tips regarding the game’s early enemies. “Every alien has multiple counters,” he says...


XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Sid Meier not the only heroic game developer cameo

Marsh Davies at

Legendary Civilization game developer, Sid Meier himself, made a cameo appearance in an E3 trailer for XCOM: Enemy Unknown - now the lead developer Jake Solomon confirms he will not be the only game industry stalwart to turn up as a playable character.


Borderlands 2 skill trees detailed in funky web-app

Marsh Davies at

The Borderlands 2 website has launched this handy little skill picker, allowing you to explore the skill trees of the game’s four complex classes: Commando, Assassin, Siren or Gunzerker.


Watch 2K play XCOM: Enemy Unknown live

Omri Petitte at

Members of XCOM: Enemy Unknown's development team, specifically lead designer Jake Solomon and producer Garth DeAngelis, along with community manager Greg Laabs properly kicks off the week leading into PAX with a livestream of the upcoming strategy/action/alien-sniping title's competitive multiplayer. Take a look at 2K's official stream channel, and for more info on XCOM: Enemy Unknown, check out our multiplayer preview.


Fragging Bambi's Mum: Photo-realism and the misguided quest for more emotional games

Richard Cobbett at

In an interview over on GamesIndustry.biz (currently not published in its entirety, so just to be fair, there may be additional information that adds context to this), 2K boss Christoph Hartmann talks about the need for games to become photo-realistic. Not simply for its own sake though, as a visual marker of technology. No, because without such technology, we apparently won't be able to get new genres, or any real emotion from the ones we already have. Here's the relevant snippet from the site.

"It will be very hard to create very deep emotions like sadness or love, things that drive the movies," he said. "Until games are photorealistic, it'll be very hard to open up to new genres. We can really only focus on action and shooter titles; those are suitable for consoles now."

He's certainly not the first person to say this over the years, and he won't be the last - and this isn't intended to be a hatchet piece about someone saying something silly in a much longer interview. It is however an example of a commonly held position that's not simply wrong, but that actively hurts the drive for realism and in-game humanity by missing the point of what makes us laugh and cry.


Civ V: Gods and Kings expansion announced. Now with extra religion and spies

Owen Hill at

2K have just announced that a new expansion is incoming for Civ V. We got to chat with the game's producer, Dennis Shirk about the expansion a few days ago: "We wanted to take the experience to a deeper level," he said. "We’re giving you new challenges to face."

There'll be a new focus on religious mechanics, along with nine new civilisations and a heap of fresh units. You'll also get to sample one of nine new leaders, including Prince of Orange and Boudicca.

Gods and Kings will also bring spies to the world of Civ. They'll break in to your opponents cities and have a rummage around for exclusive info. Get a super sneaky one involved and they might even steal you some advanced technology and help to rig elections in your favour. Dirty buggers. We'll also get to interact with two new city-state types: Mercantile and Religious. As Dennis mentioned: "Earning a diplomatic victory is now more about being a good Global Partner to all the states, and less about amassing a lot of gold and spending it on them."

The expansion is due in Spring this year. We're not sure of the price, yet. Click through for an image of the updated interface.


Ken Levine exposes the conflict in Columbia from BioShock Infinite

Lucas Sullivan at

After last week's E3 bonanza, top scientists have verified that it is officially impossible to not be excited about BioShock Infinite. That's why we jumped with joy when we saw that Irrational Games is releasing several short vignettes on Infinite that delve deeper into the game's background and lore. Join us in our giddy, schoolgirl-like excitement as we listen to the always-articulate Ken Levine discussing the opposing factions that are tearing Columbia apart: the Founders and the Vox Populi.


Duke Nukem Forever release date disparity demystified

Dan Stapleton at

The new Duke Nukem Forever release date raised a question around the PC Gamer US office: why is this game, which stars the quintessential American badass, is made by an American developer, and is published by an American company being released four days later in North America than internationally?

What gives? Don't 2K and Gearbox know that Americans have grown accustomed to preferential treatment? Who are the conspirators behind this? We want names!

We asked 2K PR Manager Charlie Sinhaseni, and the answer is so simple that it'll surprise you.


Duke Nukem Forever delayed, again

Owen Hill at

Duke. Offensive or not so offensive, you're one tardy man.

Yes, Duke Nukem Forever isn't getting released until June 14 in the US and June 10 for the rest of the world. Last thing we heard, Duke was getting released in early May.

Randy Pitchford confirmed the delay on 2K's YouTube channel. Click more for the video.


Duke Nukem Forever has a release date. Honestly.

Matt Purslow at

The game everyone thought would never see the light of day actually has an official release date. Duke Nukem Forever will be out May 3 this year. Get the details and the new trailer after the jump.


Spec Ops: The Line trailer released

Tom Senior at

A trailer's been released for Spec Ops: The Line, and it looks to be the source of all those screenshots they released yesterday.