Polygon's games of Winter 2013

The games you should look for between January and March.
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Ah, 2013. Santa's back in the North Pole earning some well-deserved rest after delivering millions of last year's biggest games to kids of all ages. Now it's a new year, full of new games blipping our radar like so many snowflakes. We can't vouch for these games just yet, but we've seen and played many of them, and we thought we could help out by highlighting what's in store for the post-holiday gaming season.

Our selections below are in order of release date, so you can tickle your calendars with those you're looking forward to. We'll be back to help with spring games, too, where we'll get to talk about Grand Theft Auto 5, South Park: The Stick of Truth and Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

For now, we're going to tell the stories behind games scheduled for release between Jan. 1 and March 31. And even this may be a few games short, as titles like the The Wonderful 101 and Arma 3 are contenders for Q1 but we haven't been able to nail down their dates for sure just yet.

Let's get our winter games on.

Games of January

Anarchy Reigns

Anarchy Reigns

Jan. 8

Platinum Games' Anarchy Reigns is an online beat 'em up featuring characters from MadWorld (and Bayonetta if you pre-ordered), alongside a cast making its debut here.

The game's focus is on multiplayer combat, and it offers over 10 different match types, including Death Ball, where players need to throw the titular sphere into the enemy's goal. Other modes include free-for-all Battle Royale fights as well as co-op Survival matches against AI opponents. European and GameStop pre-orders for the game included two bonus multiplayer modes and Bayonetta as an unlockable character.

While the game was originally slated for release last fall, publisher Sega delayed the finished game's Western release because of an internal restructuring that led to a refocus on four key franchises and online business for the company.


Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable

Jan. 8

Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable, the PlayStation Vita remaster of the 2007 Xbox 360 third-person shooter, brought alien bug shooting action stateside on Jan. 8.

The PlayStation Network downloadable title expands on the original game with seven new levels, four-player online co-op and over 230 weapons primed to eliminate the sometimes arachnid invasion. The game also includes Pale Wing, the flying female EDF soldier from Earth Defense Force 2 and the impending Earth Defense Force 4.

Earth Defense Force 2017


DMC

DMC

DmC: Devil May Cry

Jan. 15 (console); Jan. 25 (PC)

Ninja Theory's reboot of Capcom's Devil May Cry series, DmC: Devil May Cry, is set for immediate release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It will launch at the same price for PC through Steam on Jan. 25.

The retooled brawler includes a "style rank" mechanic that rewards players for chaining together hits and building up combos, as reimagined protagonist Dante fights his way through hordes of enemies in realms like Limbo. Future fighters can download a mobile app for iOS and Android consisting of an augmented reality game that unlocks in-game content. A limited Son of Sparda Edition is available at GameStop, EB Games and Micromania stores and includes (among other things) the Samurai Pack DLC that gives a samurai spin to Dante's weapons.

The game's first DLC, Vergil's Downfall, is expected to be released shortly after the game. It will star Dante's twin brother, Vergil, who fights through new environments and difficulty modes. Vergil's Downfall will cost 720 Microsoft Points on Xbox 360 and $8.99 on PlayStation 3 and PC; it is free for players who pre-ordered DmC.


Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Jan. 22

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, developer Level-5's "traditional JRPG wrapped in a Miyazaki film," follows a boy named Oliver into a parallel universe to save his mother.

Right off the bat, Ni No Kuni's visuals make it unique. The JRPG is a collaboration between Professor Layton developer Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio co-founded by Hayao Miyazaki and famous for Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, among many other feature-length animated films.

Leading up to the game's release, publisher Namco Bandai has released a behind the scenes video, screenshots and more. We've seen the game a few times. At a demo we played during E3, we saw "something with great potential to close the gap between video games and art." When we saw it in September, we lauded it for "some of the best art design the RPG genre has ever seen." Be sure to check out our extensive preview of the game's first few hours and our accompanying video here.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is headed to PlayStation 3 Jan. 22, with both English and Japanese voice acting. Level-5 hopes it won't be the last collaboration between the two studios.


The Cave

The Cave

The Cave

Jan. 22 (PSN, Wii U eShop), Jan. 23 (XBLA, Windows, Mac, Linux)

It was only a matter of time after Tim Schafer's Double Fine Productions announced that it had hired Ron Gilbert, like Schafer a golden age employee of LucasArts, that the developer would release a game like The Cave, a throwback to the irreverent adventure games that LucasArts pioneered.

Gilbert's impending downloadable title stars a talking cave, seven selectable protagonists who were introduced in two trailers and the trademark Gilbert humor. Each character has a special ability and a unique backstory waiting to be discovered in the cave's depths.

We first saw the game at E3 2012 not long after its official announcement, where we watched Gilbert take the hillbilly, the knight and the scientist into the crags. By PAX Prime, we went spelunking ourselves with the hillbilly, knight and the time traveler, switching between the characters and solving puzzles with a bit of help from an employee of the game's publisher, Sega.

The Cave is set for release Jan. 22 on PlayStation Network and the Wii U eShop, and Jan. 23 on Windows, Mac and Linux via Steam and Xbox Live Arcade.


Games of February


Fire Emblem: Awakening

Fire Emblem: Awakening

Feb. 4

Fire Emblem: Awakening is set to bring Intelligent Systems' hybrid turn-based strategy role-playing game to handhelds with an anime flair. This is the first original entry in the fantasy-themed series to launch on Nintendo 3DS.

The portable RPG brings new series features, like characters that can marry and have children whose attributes are based on a combinations of their parents' skills. It also supports downloadable content that incorporates characters from previous Fire Emblem installments, more difficult maps and a new storyline.

Fire Emblem: Awakening is set for release Feb. 4 in North America and in April in Europe. You can check out a video below that Nintendo released in December that focuses on the story of the protagonist, Chrom, and the game's mechanics.


Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3

Feb. 5

Dead Space 3, the upcoming entry in Visceral Games' Necromorph-battling franchise, follows space engineer Isaac Clarke on a mission to an icy world that may hold the key to understanding the alien zombie plague that's plagued him for so long.

New to the franchise is the game's co-op campaign, in which John Carver joins Clarke to battle the Necromorphs. The developers gave us a look at the co-op campaign in December and explained they've tried retain the solitary nature of previous Dead Space campaigns by having Carver pop in and out as an NPC when playing solo. Also, the game's Kinect controls understand swear words.

Dead Space 3 follows Isaac Clarke on a mission to an icy world that may hold the key to understanding the alien zombie plague that's plagued him for so long.

Dead Space 3 is loaded for a Feb. 5 launch on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC, and several retailers are offering pre-orders that come with special weapons. The game's Limited Edition also comes with special armor. A demo is expected on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 Jan. 22. Check out the video below for a refresher course on how the Unitologists got the universe into this mess.


Sly Cooper

Sly Cooper

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Feb. 5

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time takes the series' titular thieving raccoon and the usual suspects throughout history where Sly, Murray and Bentley visit locations like feudal Japan and the raccoon protagonist acquires ninja-like abilities.

Thieves in Time was initially announced for a PlayStation 3 release, but we heard last May that Sly and friends would also appear on PlayStation Vita. By November, Sanzaru president Glen Egan walked viewers through a demo that showcased a mode where players could tether their Vita to their PlayStation 3 to hunt for treasure using the portable screen as a portal.

We also learned that the game includes a set piece in ancient Arabia via a level we first saw during a demo at Gamescom. And while we were in Germany, we talked to Frank Simon, senior managing producer at Sony Computer Entertainment of America, about the game's hub and spoke level design, which makes time travel possible.

Originally scheduled for release in 2012, the game was later delayed until 2013. Then Thieves in Time was the subject of a stream of galleries and trailers highlighting Sly's outfits and the finer points of a heist. When Sony announced Cross Buy last August, Thieves in Time was among the first games to receive the "buy on one platform, get the game on another for free" treatment.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is set for a Feb. 5 release on PlayStation 3 and Vita.


Brain Age: Concentration Training

Brain Age: Concentration Training

Feb. 10

The latest installment in Nintendo's series of minigames and brain teasers, Brain Age: Concentration Training, focuses the spotlight on, well, focus.

The idea behind the game is is to strengthen your working memory through minigames and puzzles that flex your cerebral muscles. In the new Devilish Training mode, an avatar of brain researcher Dr. Ryuta Kawashima turns more than a little demonic to offer real-time challenges based on player results. The game will also include StreetPass support for some healthy competition and summaries like graphs to chart your performance.

Originally slated for a December release in North America, the game is now set to launch Feb. 10 on Nintendo 3DS. It will be released in Europe March 8.


Aliens: Colonial Marines

Feb. 12

Billed as a canonical sequel to James Cameron's 1986 sci-fi action movie Aliens, Gearbox Software's Aliens: Colonial Marines pits a team of space marines against the series' omnipresent Xenomorph menace.

We took a trip to planet LV-426 in December to command a squad of soldiers through an abandoned — by humans, at least — operations base, so be sure to check out our preview. The game will include a multiplayer component called Escape mode, which offers a deathmatch-style multiplayer arena reminiscent of Left 4 Dead's Versus mode; a horde mode; male and female marines as playable characters; and locations familiar to fans of the films.

Aliens: Colonial Marines is set for release Feb. 12 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC, with a Wii U version due out later. You can check out a gallery of screenshots for the Wii U version, and get a glimpse of LV-426's dark depths in motion in the trailer below.

Dishonored-1_480x800


Skylanders-giants-2_800x300

Crysis 3

Feb. 19

The final entry in Crytek's trilogy, Crysis 3, is set to bring an end to series protagonist Prophet's story, alongside those who started the series with him, Psycho and Jester.

The upcoming conclusion continues in the tradition of pushing the boundaries of graphics hardware on PC, this time set in what the developers call an "urban jungle" environment — an overgrown dystopian version of New York City that you can check out in screenshot form here. The ramp-up to the series conclusion began last month when Crytek announced a series of videos created in CryEngine and written and directed by the director of Menace 2 Society and From Hell.

Crysis 3 is aiming for a Feb. 19 release date in North America and a Feb. 21 launch in Europe on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. Check out the trailer below to see some gameplay within the urban jungle.


Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Feb. 19

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an action-focused offshoot of Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear Solid franchise that swaps the cyborg ninja Raiden for Solid Snake as the game's star. And it almost never was.

The game is a collaboration between Kojima Productions and Platinum Games, the latter of which picked up the pieces that remained after development at Kojima Productions went awry. Set four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the game features more action than its stealth predecessors, less codec chatter and an in-game loot system that allows you to collect and sell severed limbs of the game's cyborg enemies for upgrades.

Revengeance is poised to be released Feb. 19 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and a GameStop pre-order will ship with a skin that transforms Raiden into Metal Gear Solid's classic cyborg ninja, Gray Fox. A demo is available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3; it allows players to get a feel for the game by slicing up cyborgs, a Gekko and watermelons.

In the meantime, you can check out our hands-on impressions of the game's first three chapters here, the time we spent with an early build at E3 here and our impressions from the Tokyo Game Show here. And check out some tactical slicing action in the trailer below.


Ninja Gaiden: Sigma 2 Plus

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus

Feb. 26

When Ryu Hayabusa storms onto PlayStation Vita this year in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus, he'll have a few new tricks crammed into his skintight uniform with touchscreen controls, a Hero mode that makes the series' legendary difficulty more palatable to newcomers and a handful of other new game modes.

Developer Team Ninja announced the game at the Tokyo Game Show in 2012. The PlayStation Vita ninja simulator is a port of 2009's Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 for PlayStation 3, which itself was a port of the 2008 Xbox 360 game Ninja Gaiden 2.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 Plus is set for release Feb. 26 in North America and March 1 in Europe.


Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends

Feb. 26

Word of Rayman Legends, the upcoming Wii U entry in Ubisoft's 2D platformer series, first leaked with a trailer last April, showing off some features that Ubisoft would later announce at E3 (and some that would get cut from the game).

We played the game at E3 on Wii U, but it wasn't until Gamescom that Ubisoft confirmed its exclusivity to Nintendo's new console. The game's liberal use of the GamePad, which Ubisoft touted in a mid-September trailer, explains the one-console strategy. Rayman Legends will include multiple playable characters like Barbara the Viking, whose winged helmet we took for a ride at Gamescom. Players equipped with the GamePad during multiplayer adventures will also use the touchscreen to control Murphy, a lightning bug who can help the other players by creating and moving platforms and other parts of the environment.

Rayman Legends is set for release Feb. 26 in North America, Feb. 28 in Europe and March 1 in the U.K. If all this Rayman talk has you excited, you can grab a demo from the Wii U eShop today.


Games of March


Company of Heroes 2

Company of Heroes 2

March TBD

We got our first official correspondence about Relic Entertainment's real-time strategy game from the front page of The New York Times June 22, 1941, sort of. Just a few days later, publisher THQ filled in the details about a game that spends much of its time on the deadly and brutal Eastern Front of World War II.

We got our first look at the brutality at an event in late May where the developers explained their focus on historical accuracy, valuing tactics over brute force and a mechanic that replicates the often literal fog of war on the battlefield. We saw it again at E3, where the developers showed off a battle based on the Rzhev Meat Grinder, where over 1 million Russians died in 1942. Later in the year, we spoke with game director Quinn Duffy, marketing manager James McDermott and communications manager Simon Watts about the changes the game will make to the franchise, the specs and more.

Now-bankrupt publisher THQ delayed the game from its original January release date to a March release window. For the time being, you can check out a gallery of screenshots, a trailer focusing on multiplayer and the official trailer below.

Company of Heroes 2


Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon

March TBD (in Europe; U.S. TBD)

Nintendo announced the sequel to GameCube launch title Luigi's Mansion at E3, discussing new mansions, 3D environments and motion controls for the lesser known Mario brother.

We then took Luigi and his Poltergust 5000 ghost-capturing machine for a spin, so be sure to read our impressions of the game's opening level from a press event in June.

Originally planned for a holiday 2012 release, the game has since moved back, as Nintendo announced a delay in August. We're expecting Luigi and the ghosts to invade European Nintendo 3DS units in March and North American handhelds this spring. You can get a sense of Luigi's non-corporeal adversaries in a recent gallery of screenshots and the trailer below.


Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light

Metro: Last Light

March TBD

4A Games' sequel to its little Eastern European first-person shooter that could, 2010's Metro 2033, brings players back to the wastelands of future Moscow, offering resource scarcity and constant choices about whether to approach combat scenarios with firepower or stealth.

We first saw the crumbling Russian infrastructure in Metro 2033 at an event right before E3 2012, where a THQ representative played through an alpha build and wished us nightmares. In December, we spent hours with THQ community manager Jeremy Greiner, who played and explained the game down to details like the sounds that each bullet casing makes as it hits the ground.

Last Light is one of three games that embattled publisher THQ delayed during an abbreviated earnings call last November to give the games "time to reach their full potential," president Jason Rubin said at the time. While it was initially slated for a Wii U release, 4A Games chief technical officer Oles Shishkovtsov revealed that it won't be ported because Nintendo's new console "has a horrible, slow CPU" and could force unacceptable compromises. A THQ spokesman subsequently distanced the company from the comments, characterizing it as one man's opinion about 4A's game engine.

Marketing for the game has taken the form of several live-action trailers starring a fashion model, a commander, a baby and a preacher (which is the premise for all good post-apocalyptic jokes).

Last Light is expected to launch in March on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC without its once-planned multiplayer component, which 4A jettisoned after E3. Pre-order bonuses include weapons, extra in-game cash and a game mode that carries over from Metro 2033. You can check out the crumbling remains of post-apocalyptic Russia in a recent screenshot gallery and the history of mankind's rise and fall in a recent trailer called "Genesis" below.


MLB 13 The Show

MLB 13 The Show

March 5

MLB 13 The Show on PS3 is Sony San Diego's eighth annual digital translation of America's pastime, competing this year with MLB 2K13 (which comes out the same day).

We got a chance to play a few innings of MLB 13 The Show with community manager Ramone Russell, who walked us through some of the game's new features last month. SCE San Diego designed many of this year's additions to make the hardcore baseball simulator more accessible, starting with Beginner Mode, which is designed to make the game easier for casual players at bat and on the mound. Other features include a Playoff Mode, which intends to capture the "the excitement and tension of October baseball," and expansions to the Franchise and Road to the Show Modes.

MLB 13 The Show is in the on-deck circle, awaiting a March 5 launch on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita. You can take a look at the first gallery of screenshots and watch the first trailer below.

MLB 13 The Show


Castlevania

CastlevaniaCastlevania

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate

March 5

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate is a Nintendo 3DS hybrid sequel/prequel from developer MercurySteam that bridges the gap between its console big brothers Lords of Shadow and Lords of Shadow 2.

The now-defunct Nintendo Power magazine confirmed the first Nintendo 3DS Castlevania game in late May. We first saw a demo of the game, which brings Konami's franchise back to its 2D side-scrolling roots, at E3 2012, where we felt a mixture of apprehension and hope. Spanning multiple generations of the Belmont family of vampire hunters, the game also provides backstory for Trevor and Simon Belmont.

For more on Dracula's impending 3DS appearance, you can check out galleries of screenshots from Gamescom 2012 and PAX Prime 2012, as well as a trailer released on Halloween and a more recent story trailer below.


SimCity

SimCity

March 5

Ten years after shipping the "last true Maxis SimCity," according to Lucy Bradshaw, senior vice president at Maxis, the developer announced the fifth version of the world builder at GDC 2012.

Maxis had more to show at E3 2012, and in an interview with Polygon, Ocean Quigley, a creative director at Maxis, highlighted the game's new GlassBox engine. The in-house graphical engine powers each of the game's moving parts, from characters to vehicles to buildings, as well a random series of unnatural disasters like meteor showers and alien invasions. SimCity will ship with a new multiplayer mode that allows players to build their cities next to other players' cities so they can play off of each other, as well as online leaderboards. Players can also control multiple neighboring towns, as a trailer released in December showed.

We took another look at SimCity last October, when we started a city and experienced the trials and tribulations of building a budding metropolis. Quigley later told us that one of the biggest design challenges was creating the game's roads, which involved a year and a half of development and a scrapped first try.

SimCity is set for a March 5 release on Windows PC and Mac. Take a look at the trailer below for a demo of the multi-city gameplay and multiplayer.


Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

March 5

Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics' reboot of the long-running franchise staring heroine Lara Croft, turns back the clock and follows Croft on her first adventure.

We first saw a demo of the genre-blending game at E3 2012. The next month, we played that E3 demo at San Diego Comic-Con. In the meantime, the game's developers had become embroiled in controversy due to comments about the purpose of a scene in which many believed Croft is threatened with rape. Studio head Darrell Gallagher later apologized and clarified the initial statement, saying he was "sorry this has not been better explained."

In October, we spoke with Rhianna Pratchett, who balanced Tomb Raider canon and the freedom of a reboot when writing Croft's dialogue.

In late December, the Official Xbox Magazine confirmed that the game would ship with a multiplayer component, and by January, Eidos' community manager Meagan Marie revealed that Eidos Montreal shouldered that responsibility.

Tomb Raider is scheduled for a March 5 release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC. The $99.99 North American Collector's Edition includes a Lara Croft figurine, the soundtrack (composed by Jason Graves, who also scored Dead Space) and more. Other pre-order incentives include an in-game dungeon from GameStop, a novel from Best Buy and an art book and Kindle Fire app from Amazon.

You can browse through some screenshots, and watch a trailer that premiered at the Spike Video Game Awards below.

Tomb Raider


God of War: Ascension

God of War: Ascension

March 12

God of War: Ascension takes the franchise back in time to tell the origin story of always-angry protagonist Kratos, and also brings the franchise online with its first multiplayer mode.

By late April, we'd gotten our first look at the four-versus-four multiplayer from the game's director, Todd Papy, who explained that it didn't include Kratos because "nobody likes a Robin." We got our hands on the game at E3, so you can read our impressions. And be sure to check out our video interview with Papy at the reveal event here.

God of War: Ascension is primed for a March 12 release on PlayStation 3. Until then, you can check out a gallery of concept art released earlier this year and Gamescom 2012 screenshots or, if you're a PlayStation Plus member, join in on the multiplayer beta for some Megalops sightings.


StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

March 12

Heart of the Swarm, the first expansion for Blizzard's real-time strategy game StarCraft 2, is set to be released nearly two years after the base game launched in July 2010 with significant changes to the size and scope of the universe, including a new zerg-based campaign and additions to multiplayer.

We got details about the expansion at the Major League Gaming Spring Championships in Anaheim, Calif., last year, where Blizzard showed off some of the changes that Heart of the Swarm is set to bring to the game's multiplayer, like six new units. David Kim, who's tasked with balancing the RTS, explained in August that the studio's goal is to retain the balance that players are used to while adding more choice.

As the expansion's release neared, Blizzard started ramping up a beta test that began last September and expanded in late December, and providing more information on the clan system that's geared toward competitive play, the group system that's geared for casual play and the expansion's training area designed to help new players transition to competitive play.

StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm launches March 12 on Windows PC and Mac for $39.99. Players can also snag a $79.99 Collector's Edition that includes in-game bonus items among other collectibles like a behind-the-scenes DVD, and a Digital Deluxe edition that includes in-game items for StarCraft 2, World of Warcraft and Diablo 3. You can check out a gallery of screenshots released last year.


Gears of War: Judgment

Gears of War: Judgment

March 19

Like God of War: Ascension and Marty McFly, Gears of War: Judgment is going back in time. The game stars series regular (but never before a leading man) Lt. Damon Baird and is a development collaboration primarily between two teams — Epic's internal group and People Can Fly, the Epic-owned studio behind Bulletstorm.

We got our hands on multiplayer at E3 2012 and talked with Epic's director of production Rod Fergusson (who would leave the company in August) about development. In the ensuing months, Epic announced various facets of the game like the new COG-on-COG multiplayer mode and released screenshots from the "Island" multiplayer map.

In December, we talked with level designer Jim Brown and producer Alan Van Slyke about the new characters, enemies, multiplayer modes and more that will debut in the game. We also dug deep with co-writers Tom Bissell and Rob Auten about taking the helm of Epic's franchise, expanding the Gears of War canon and the trouble with prequels.

Gears of War: Judgment is set to take on the Locust hordes March 19 on Xbox 360. Check out the trailer below to see the campaign. And if you need more, you can always can pick up a replica Lancer (working chainsaw not included).


Pokemon

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity

March 24

The upcoming entry in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series is the first of its kind on Nintendo's 3DS handheld and the first to include online multiplayer. Aspiring Pokémasters can choose between Pikachu, Snivy, Oshawott, Tepig or Axew as they trudge through the game's 20 titular dungeons. Each randomly generated labyrinth includes random encounters with Pokémon, items and treasure.

The game also utilizes the 3DS camera to create Magnagates within the game by snapping pictures of circular objects in the real world.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity is slated for a March 24 release both at retail and on the 3DS eShop.

PokemonPokemon


BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

March 26

Columbia: a city in the clouds. That's the setting for Irrational Games' successor to BioShock, its 2007 dystopian first-person shooter. Having skipped development on BioShock 2, the company returns with series composer Garry Schyman to bring more moral ambiguity, and challenges notions of racism, gender and diversity in American history in the game's narrative core.

In March 2012, publisher 2K Games announced that BioShock Infinite was scheduled to be released Oct. 16, 2012. By May, Irrational Games co-founder Ken Levine announced that the game had been delayed by four months to Feb. 26, 2013, so that the studio would have time to implement "tweaks and improvements." In early December, Irrational delayed the game one more month to March 26, at the behest of executive vice president of development Rod Fergusson, who left Epic Games in August 2012 to help Irrational finish the game. Levine cited the benefit of "another three or four more weeks for polish and bug-fixing."

We spent three hours playing BioShock Infinite last month, so be sure to check out our impressions from our time on the floating city. In December, Irrational announced the winners of a poll that the developer used to determine the game's reversible cover art. Irrational announced the contest in the wake of criticism of the original box art, which Irrational revealed in early December.

BioShock Infinite is set for a March 26 release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC, the latter of which ships with many customization options. For $149.99, you can pick up the Ultimate Songbird Edition, which includes a statue, a resin-cast Handyman figure, an art book and more. GameStop pre-orders come with a puzzle game called BioShock Infinite: Industrial Revolution, where players assume the role of a factory owner in the game's floating city, Columbia.

If you don't mind light spoilers, you can check out the first five minutes of BioShock Infinite in a video released in December below. For more about the inspirations for and development of Infinite, you can read Polygon's profiole of Ken Levine.


Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel

March 26

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel, the third entry in Electronic Arts' tag team-infused third-person shooter franchise, may be where the series grows up, and the developers at Visceral Games are apt to point out that it's a little less "dudebro" than the previous entries.

The idea for the not-quite-a-reboot, producer Zach Mumbach told us at Gamescom 2012, is to stay true to the tactical co-op and cover-based gameplay that defines the series, while de-emphasizing the butt slapping. The grittier story centers around a drug cartel in the fictional Mexican town of La Puerta, where newcomer mercenaries Alpha and Bravo arrive to regulate.

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel is set to cross the U.S.-Mexican border on March 26 in North America and March 29 in Europe on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Players who buy the Limited Edition of the game will get the TAH-9 handgun, which can be fired continuously without having to be reloaded. Pre-orders for the Overkill Edition will net players bonus weapons, outfits and missions.

You can get a taste of the co-op gameplay in the trailer below and check out two galleries of screenshots released in November here and here.

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