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BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea – Episode One Review: Beyond the Sea

bioshock-infinite-burial-at-sea-episode-one-bannerAs someone who has BioShock on their personal top ten games of all-time list and top three of 2013, I had to go back to play the DLC that marries the two worlds of Rapture and Columbia together. But is Burial at Sea capable of properly combining two memorable stories and two memorable settings into one cohesive whole or does Burial at Sea come off as nothing but BioShock fan service for the sake of nostalgia?

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Irrational Games’ Job Fair Hosts 57 Studios for 75 Employees

irrational-games-logoIt’s never good to hear about games developers closing up shop and people losing their jobs but it’s nice when a company goes above and beyond to ensure that everyone lands on their feet. While most companies are content to just cut jobs and say “S.O.L.,” Irrational Games just held its job fair to help out the 75 employees who are losing a job of the company’s closure and saw 57 studios show up to meet the outgoing developers.

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Irrational Games is Shutting Down, Cutting Most Staff

irrational-games-logoThe developer of such legendary games as System Shock 2, BioShock and BioShock Infinite will be all but shutting its doors after the release of the upcoming BioShock Infinite DLC, Burial At Sea: Part 2.

Irrational Games boss Ken Levine announced that the developer would be letting go all but about 15 staff members as it transitions from a big triple-A studio to smaller endeavor for Take-Two Interactive.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: BioShock Infinite: Burial At Sea DLC – Episode One

burial-at-sea-episode-one-poster-artIt looks like 2K Games is all aboard the DLC train this week. Yesterday, we looked at the Enemy Within expansion for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Today, it’s the first part of the two-part Burial at Sea DLC for BioShock Infinite. If you haven’t played through to the end of Infinite, chances are that there are some spoilers in the reviews, this post and the DLC itself so consider yourself forewarned.

Opinion on the first real narrative driven BioShock Infinite DLC seems to really be split on whether you’re partial to using the term “ludonarrative dissonance.” If you thought it was a big issue with Infinite proper, you’ll find the same here. The narrative apparently doesn’t have quite the same moral undertones of the game proper’s so that might also be a detracting point for some. Though everyone agrees that the game looks gorgeous. Since BioShock doesn’t work on Windows 7, this might be one of the few opportunities for PC gamers to visit Rapture in all its glory.

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Building (Critical) Consensus: XCOM: Enemy Within

xcom-enemy-within-korean-box-artHow often do games get proper full-on expansion packs nowadays. Sure, DLC is practically a dime a dozen, though publishers sure don’t price them like that. Lengthy expansion packs that eat up hours upon hours of your time rather than hour (singular) of your time seem few and far between, especially outside of the strategy genre. So when one of last year’s best games based on an old-school cult favourite gets an old-school expansion pack, it’s hard not to take notice.

Whether you will like XCOM: Enemy Within and think that it’s worth the $30 asking price will be largely dependent on how much you liked last year’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown. If you loved it, there’ll be more here for you to love. If you weren’t a fan of EU, well, it doesn’t sound like there’s much here to change your mind.

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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Review: Please Reclassify

the-bureau-xcom-declassified-cover-artI recall hearing a games critic say that playing bad games is much more fun than playing good games because there’s so much more to write or talk about when you play a bad game. I have to disagree. There’s nothing fun about playing a bad game. Playing through a bad game is a painful and frustrating experience. Once you move beyond the frustration, it gets funny but you have to get to that point. At least writing the review can be somewhat cathartic.

And that brings us to The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. This game started life back in 2006 as just XCOM, a first-person survival horror about an alien invasion. The idea of an XCOM shooter terrified fans of the classic 1990s PC strategy game and the shooter was seemingly put to the side to make way for the rebooting of X-COM as a strategy game franchise with 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

However, the XCOM shooter didn’t go away. The game from the seventh circle of XCOM fan hell was pulled from the seventh circle of development hell by 2K Games and 2K Marin. It was almost completely reimagined during a seven-year development cycle from being a first-person horror to a third-person squad-based tactical shooter. Unfortunately, it should have remained in development hell, never to see the light of day.
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Building (Critical) Consensus: The Bureau: XCOM Declassified

the-bureau-xcom-declassified-box-artXCOM has had a rather interesting path from when it was first conceived in 2006 to its release yesterday. It started as a first-person survival horror shooter before being redesigned as a third-person tactical squad-based shooter. XCOM was originally an Irrational Games project before getting moved to 2K Marin. And it was delayed from its original release date of 2011 to the same day on 2013 that Saints Row IV and Splinter Cell: Blacklist were released. Not exactly what one would call a promising history.

Well, Jim Sterling’s leaked review on Destructoid wasn’t exactly a harbinger of reviews to come for The Bureau. It might be the lowest review but nobody’s given this game higher than 80% either which is kind of low by today’s gaming critic standards. The critics all seem to agree that the game’s tactical squad-based combat is in need of some polish but it’s executed well enough to be different from the other myriad of third-person shooters. We’re supposed to be getting our own review copy from 2K so I’ll let you know what I think soon.

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First The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Review Leaks and It’s Not Pretty

Why does it seem that every game that I have even the slightest of hopes for gets mixed to poor reviews from the critics. For the last few months, I’ve been keeping tabs on the rechristened XCOM shooter now called The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.

Well, the review embargo is reportedly 9:00 PM tonight but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t had a review leak as is befitting of a game whose premise involves classified US government documents.

Destructoid’s Jim Sterling’s review of the game was the first to leak and it’s not looking good for XCOM fans.

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Check Out This Epic Fan-Made BioShock Infinite Trailer

Okay, BioShock Infinite has been out for five months now but sometimes you just have to take note of spectacular work.

Luke Ritson may not make a lot of videos but when he does, you absolutely have to take notice. His alternate trailers for games like Mass Effect 3 and The Walking Dead were nothing short of spectacular. So when he gets his hands on a GOTY contender like BioShock Infinite, you know that you’re in for something special.


XCOM: Enemy Within Rated by Korean Ratings Board

xcom-enemy-within-korean-ratingWell, we knew that the classic style of XCOM games would continue after the success of last year’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown but we didn’t know that a sequel was so far along in development.

Yesterday, the Korean Games Ratings Board posted a rating for a PC, PS3 and 360 game called XCOM: Enemy Within.

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