2K Games announced today that BioShock Infinite will be available on store shelves in North America on October 16 and around the world on October 19. One of the year’s most anticipated games, the Irrational Games-developed title won more than 75 editorial awards at 2011′s E3, including Game Critics Awards’ Best of Show.
“After BioShock, we had a vision for a follow-up that dwarfed the original in scope and ambition,” said Irrational Gamers Creative Director Ken Levine. “BioShock Infinite has been our sole focus for the last four years.”
The first-person horror survival game lets players take on the role of Booker DeWitt, ex-Pinkerton agent, who has an AI companion named Elizabeth. They’re attempting to escape the falling sky-city of Columbia in an alternate vision of America in 1912; the game includes high-speed Sky-Line battles and plenty of new weapons.
Last month, Irrational Games announced 1999 Mode, designed for retro gamers who want to make things a bit more difficult. The mode requires skill development, resource planning and combat specialization. 1999 Mode applies permanent consequences to a player’s actions, requiring restarts and frequent game saves.
The original BioShock, with its underwater city of Rapture and its Big Daddies and Little Sisters, was released in 2007 to great acclaim. The sequel, BioShock 2, made a splash in 2010. BioShock Infinite will be released for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. For more information, visit www.irrationalgames.com.
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Namco Bandai is known for favorite franchises like Tekken, Tamagotchi, Dragon Ball and Ridge Racer, so its appearance at E3 is always worth a look. This time around the company released a news item and showed off some exciting projects, including the new Ridge Racer and Soulcalibur games and the shooter Inversion.
The company announced at E3 that Atari and CD Projekt RED will adapt The Witcher 2: Assassin’s of Kings for Xbox 360 for a Q4 release in 2011. The Xbox version will be an enhanced version of the PC game that was released in May.
Details are yet to be announced, but CD Projekt RED Executive Producer John Mamais said, “I’d like to stress that we are doing a full adaptation to the new platform, not just a straight port. Technology-wise, this means we are aiming to push its limits in order to get visual quality as close to high-end PCs as possible.” He noted that the company is looking at feedback from the PC release to help create a polished gaming experience this time around.
The Witcher 2 is known for its freeform storytelling, high-quality graphics and mature themes. It’ll be interesting to see how this translates over to the Xbox.
For this year’s E3, Namco Bandai announced Tekken Hybrid on PlayStation 3; this Blu-ray title features an HD remake of the PS2 classic Tekken Tag Tournament and the new animated film “Tekken Blood Vengeance.” The film is also coming to regular Blu-ray and DVD this fall, and will be the first CG film based on Tekken.
In other Tekken-related E3 news, a new Tekken game will come to Nintendo’s Wii U, and Street Fighter X Tekken will be developed for Sony’s handheld the PS Vita.
Inversion, which is set for Xbox 360 and PS3, is a Saber Interactive-developed game featuring gravity-wielding combat, zero-gravity environments, vector changes and an interesting destructible cover system. This third-person co-op shooter offers players a Gravlink weapon to move objects and manipulate gravity, both to solve puzzles and destroy the game’s enemies, the Lutadore. Players take on the role of a cop named Davis Russel or his neighbor Leo Delgado in order to find Davis’ missing kid among a war-ravaged, gravity-twisted town.
What’s expected to differentiate this shooter is the gravity elements, and this did seem to be the case at the E3 demo. Your Gravlink will let you do things like capture lava and crush enemies in low-gravity mode and high-gravity mode. This provides a lot of flexibility, and the developers apparently want a lot of experimentation to happen. But gravity isn’t always your friend, since it affects your environment and your enemies as well as you. The title supports co-operative and competitive multiplayer for up to 16 players, and is due out on store shelves February 7, 2012.
Ridge Racer Unbounded was shown at E3, but not enough to satisfy the fans who are eagerly awaiting this 2012 release for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Supposedly, racers will be able to crash through every part of the environment, creating their own paths through urban settings. Destruction and chaos seem to be quite the thing here. The game is set in Shatter Bay, a fictional world/car playground.
This game looks much different than the Ridge Racer you’re used to, if you watch the trailer; the game is being developed not in-house by Namco, but by BugBear Entertainment.
Also shown by Namco was Soulcalibur V, the arcade fighting game. The next installment of the series will take place 17 years after its predecessor; expect about half of the characters to be new. The returning characters will be older; the game is set to include the children of some of the original fighters. At E3 it was revealed that the game features more dramatic moves and is more narrative-driven.
A demo for Dark Souls, the follow-up to Demon’s Souls on the PS3 that’s out this October 7, was made available inside a barely-lit mock dungeon at E3. The game apparently plays a lot like its predecessor in terms of control and the amount of times that you die. Running for your life seems to be a good strategy here, although the old hint system does help some. One new feature is bonfire checkpoints, but RPGamer says the game retains its challenging nature despite these assists.
We don’t have too much information about the Nintendo 3Ds game Ace Combat 3D yet; this may even be just a working title. We do know that players will be able to lock on to other fighters using the touch screen. Dogfights, missions and real-world aircraft will be included in this title, which doesn’t currently have a release date.
We do have a bit more information on Ace Combat Assault Horizon for the Xbox 360 and PS3, which gets some realism from the involvement of military author Jim DeFelice, who wrote the story. The game is expected to feature new aircrafts like super-sonic jets and attack helicopters, enhanced shooting and cinematic visuals, plus a powerful new AI. The game’s hero is Colonel William Bishop, a pilot leading an international task force against insurgent rebels and their experimental weapons.
The game will feature 30 missions and at least 30 customizable aircraft; the E3 demo featured airstrikes over Miami, but real-life locations like Dubai and Russia are included as well. The game will feature 8v8 battles, co-op and online play, plus plenty of acrobatics, destructive effects and high-impact battles. This one’s expected by the end of 2011.