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21st August 2017
Read Our Original BioShock Cover Story From 2006

Read Our Original BioShock Cover Story From 2006

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the original BioShock's release. To celebrate the occasion, we're taking a journey through the Game Informer archives – back to March 2006 when we featured BioShock on our cover.

Though BioShock previously existed in another form, this was the world's first look at developer Irrational Games' reimagined project that evolved from a story about a cult de-programmer on a space station. I visited the studio, talked to the team, and wrote this feature based on an early version of the game.

A lot changed from those days to the final release, and even more has changed in the years since. BioShock is revered as a gaming essential, and received two sequels. Irrational Games became 2K Boston, then Irrational Games again, and then the studio underwent a massive downsizing and another name change

This cover story feature transports us back before all of that, giving us a glimpse at the pre-BioShock world. So read on to remember a time before the armored protectors of Rapture were called Big Daddies, before the game was coming to PS3, and before we knew the enormous impact BioShock would have on the gaming landscape.

(Click images to enlarge)

21st August 2017
$200 BioShock Anniversary Edition Unveiled In US To Celebrate 10 Years

$200 BioShock Anniversary Edition Unveiled In US To Celebrate 10 Years

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the BioShock series, which debuted on August 21, 2007. 2K is celebrating the occasion in several ways, the most notable of which is a new collector's edition for those in the United States.

The primary component of BioShock 10th Anniversary Collector's Edition is an 11-inch statue featuring a Big Daddy and Little Sister. 2K says this features lights and a motorized drill, as well as audio clips of both characters from BioShock. You can see this pictured below.

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Additionally, the Anniversary Edition comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity and a physical copy of BioShock: The Collection for PS4 or Xbox One. The Collection consists of remastered versions of BioShock and BioShock 2 (minus its multiplayer), as well as BioShock Infinite.

The Anniversary Edition is priced at $200 and is scheduled for release on November 14. It will only be available at GameStop (PS4/Xbox One) and through the 2K Store; pre-orders are now live through those respective links.

Aside from this, 2K plans to host a celebration event on September 2 as part of PAX West. It's also relaunched a new BioShock YouTube channel and announced a sale for the standalone version of BioShock: The Collection. It's currently available for $30/£16/AU$41 through a number of retailers, as well as PSN (for PS Plus members) and Xbox Live.

21st August 2017
Xbox One's Dashboard Update Offers An Alternate, Light Color Scheme

Xbox One’s Dashboard Update Offers An Alternate, Light Color Scheme

Yet another new design for the Xbox One dashboard is on the way, Microsoft recently announced. Today, during its Gamescom livestream, it showed off a new option for the revamped UI: Light mode.

As pictured in the screens below, you'll be able to toggle between Dark and Light modes. Dark mode is what you've seen before and features a grey background. Light mode swaps that out for a white background that is much brighter and arguably more welcoming. Preview program members will be able to begin using it soon.

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The focus of this new Xbox One dashboard layout is "speed, customization, and expression." It streamlines a number of aspects, letting you more quickly get to what you want. You can also customize what's displayed on the main Home screen, allowing you to create "content blocks" devoted to specific games or other aspects of Xbox Live.

The Guide changes in this update, and like the previous revamp, speed is the emphasis. In this version, tabs are horizontal, rather than the current vertical arrangement, and it features an "action center" that houses a link to system settings, among other things.

An exact release date for the revamped dashboard has not been announced. Preview program members have access to it now, while everyone else should get their hands on it sometime later this year.

21st August 2017
Xbox One X Pre-Orders Are Live But Sold Out Already At Some Stores

Xbox One X Pre-Orders Are Live But Sold Out Already At Some Stores

Update: Retailers have been selling the Xbox One X for close to a day now, and many have already sold out. Amazon and GameStop's allotments of the Scorpio Edition appear to be gone, although GameStop is still selling a $600 bundle that packages the system with an Elite controller. We'll continue to update our Xbox One X pre-order guide with the latest details and links, but you may want to act soon if you want to ensure you get the Scorpio Edition, which is available by pre-order only.

Original Story: Eager fans have been waiting for the opportunity to pre-order the Xbox One X since before it even had an official name, and today's finally the day. As expected, Microsoft's Gamescom livestream brought news about the upcoming console, including the fact that pre-orders have gone live--check out our guide on how to pre-order an Xbox One X. We'll be keeping that story updated as more retailer listings come online.

A rumor emerged last week that pre-orders would go live today following the conclusion of Microsoft's stream. Microsoft promised news on them would be coming today along with a "cool surprise," which has turned out to be the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition. That version is available by pre-order only and sports a unique design and exclusive vertical stand.

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The Xbox One X is set for launch on November 7 worldwide with a price of $500 / £449 / AU $649. Crackdown 3 was set to be released alongside it, but the game was recently delayed until Spring 2018.

Put simply, the Xbox One X is a more powerful version of the Xbox One. It's capable of powering 4K games and is a step above other console hardware already on the market (including the PS4 Pro). You can see our breakdown for more on how Xbox One X's specs compare to other consoles. Despite the horsepower, it's Microsoft's smallest console to date.

21st August 2017
Xbox One X's Project Scorpio Edition Revealed, Pre-Orders Available For A Limited Time

Xbox One X’s Project Scorpio Edition Revealed, Pre-Orders Available For A Limited Time

Xbox One X was the center of attention during Microsoft's Gamescom livestream on Sunday, and among the news about the upcoming system was that of a special edition. Dubbed the Project Scorpio Edition, referencing the codename used for the console up until E3 in June, it comes with a slightly modified design for the console itself and its controller.

Microsoft says the Project Scorpio edition was designed "to celebrate both our heritage and the power and precision that we are bringing into our future." The system and controller each sport the words "Project Scorpio" printed on them--the system features it on the left side of the front, while the controller has it written between the d-pad and right analog stick. There's also a "sophisticated and dynamic graphic pattern across the exterior," and Microsoft notes that the packaging was inspired by the first Xbox.

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Additionally, this comes with an "exclusive" vertical stand, giving you the flexibility to stand the system upright if you wish. It's unclear if it's only the design of the stand that makes it exclusive or if a different version will also be sold for standard Xbox One X systems.

Pre-orders for the Scorpio Edition are already live; check out our guide with details on how to pre-order an Xbox One X. Microsoft says only a "limited number" of the Scorpio Edition are set to be sold and that pre-ordering will be the only way to get one. Some retailers are already sold out.

The Scorpio Edition launches on November 7, the same day as the standard version of the system. It also carries the same price of $500 but will not include any bundled games, as some were hoping.

21st August 2017
Where To Pre-Order Xbox One X Scorpio Edition As Amazon, GameStop Sold Out

Where To Pre-Order Xbox One X Scorpio Edition As Amazon, GameStop Sold Out

Microsoft's Gamescom livestream today brought with it the expected news: Xbox One X pre-orders are now live. Below, you'll find the basic details on how and where to pre-order the system. We'll continue to update this as more retailers bring their pre-orders online. The Xbox One X launches worldwide on November 7 for $500 / £449 / AU $649. Pre-orders are already available through a number of retailers, which you can visit through the links below.

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There are at least two bundles available--GameStop is packaging the Elite controller with the Xbox One X for $600 in the US, a $50 discount over buying them separately. It also has another bundle with a second controller and more for $583.

Microsoft has also announced a Project Scorpio Edition of Xbox One X for the same price as the standard edition. This is available by pre-order only and features a unique design and an exclusive vertical stand. According to a tweet from Microsoft's Albert Penello, any Xbox One X pre-order listing you see is for the Scorpio Edition, whether or not the listing reflects that. There's no word yet on when or if you'll be able to pre-order the non-Scorpio Edition.

21st August 2017
Game Of Thrones Has Truly Stopped Making Sense

Game Of Thrones Has Truly Stopped Making Sense

Spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7, Episode 6, "Beyond the Wall," below

Things are not working out for our heroes on Game of Thrones, as Season 7, Episode 6, "Beyond the Wall," saw Jon, Dany, Sansa, and Arya all in precarious positions, teetering on the brink of total failure and major losses. It's just too bad so much of it barely makes sense.

The show has had trouble getting the details of timing, place, and motivations right ever since its first forays beyond the books on which it used to be based. Remember when Jon took on the mutineers at Craster's keep back in season 4, and not one person present mentioned that they'd recently had three children and a simple giant as house guests? That event, which had no analog in the source material, was the first of Game of Thrones' many major logical missteps. And it just peaked in "Beyond the Wall."

Forget, for a second, the absurdly convenient series of coincidences that somehow brought Jon Snow, Gendry, Jorah Mormont, the Hound, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros, and Davos together for one glorious suicide mission. The real problem is that their quest makes no sense, which they would have realized if the show had time for them to actually stop and think about anything.

Sure, it's easy to say in the bloody aftermath: Dany just lost a dragon, a devastating blow to the forces of life, and for what? So Jon could capture a wight and bring it King's Landing, to get Cersei on their side? But they should have realized even in the thick of it: There's truly no universe in which Cersei would ever team up with her Targaryen and Stark enemies.

Facts and evidence have no effect on Cersei's actions or positions. If she's going to remain at all consistent as a character, she'll come up with some justification for dismissing what's before her eyes, should the captured wight ever actually reach her. The plan was hopeless to begin with, as several of those involved--chiefly Tyrion--should have been prescient enough to realize.

The second massive problem: There are no rules to what makes you a wight, and the plot is suffering because of it. Is it dying beyond the wall that turns you into a frosty soldier? Do you have to get stabbed or bit by an existing ice zombie? Why do they need to find the actual forces of the dead to capture one of them, when Jon, at the very least, is aware that corpses in the North tend to turn on their own (which is why he burns Thoros's body)? Sure, it would have been out of character for him to coldly kill a guy ten feet past the wall to find out, but what about whoever got owned by that zombie bear? They could have turned around right then and avoided this whole travesty, if anyone (characters or the show's writers) was using their brains.

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That's not even getting into the minute-to-minute details this week. Why on earth did they undertake the journey north on foot, instead of horseback (besides the show's already strained budget)? Why did the Night's King let them sit on that rocky island for so long without even trying to send his extremely expendable forces across? If the narrative excuse is he was using them as bait, how could he possibly know that they had any connection with the dragon queen, or that she'd foolishly try to rescue them?

Just how long were they sitting there, anyway? Game of Thrones has become unbelievably sloppy with distances and timing, but the usual excuse of "they're just not showing the travel on-screen" really doesn't hold up here. Exact numbers don't exist, but there are easily thousands of miles between Dragonstone and the Wall, not to mention the distance the group might have traveled north of that. For Jon and co. to even reach Eastwatch should have taken far longer than this current war would allow, making the entire plan unworkable to begin with. Then for Gendry to jog back to the Wall, have a raven sent to Dany, and have Dany fly all the way back should have rightly taken weeks. Instead it all seems to happen in the space of a single day, or at most a few, which is simply complete and total nonsense.

More questions: Why did the Night's King throw his magic ice javelin at the dragon in the air, instead of the one right in front of him, which also had Dany on its back? Afterward, why didn't Dany turn Drogon around and roast his freezer-bitten butt, instead of letting him ready a second spear? How many times can Jon be rescued by convenient and predictable deus ex machina, a thing the show has relied on more and more in recent seasons, and what the heck was Benjen doing there at all? How was Jon able to drag himself up out of freezing water, onto ice, while wearing layers and pounds of water-soaked fur? Most importantly, why didn't Jon just get on the dang dragon when they told him to?

Why exactly is Arya so mad at Sansa? What has Bran been doing this whole time? Where is Ghost, or Theon?

Elsewhere, why exactly is Arya so mad at Sansa? What has Bran been doing this whole time? Where is Ghost, or Theon? Why did Sansa send Brienne far away after being specifically advised to keep her close? There are discussions to be had and theories to debate about the characters' rationales and reasonings, but Game of Thrones, in its penultimate season, no longer has the time or the inclination to care about these details. The series that used to spend episodes and seasons laying groundwork for big pay-offs is now only interested in the latter, and it's suffering for it.

Without the A Song of Ice and Fire books on which to lean, Game of Thrones the show has trouble standing up under its own weight. It's flashy and full of fan service, and viewers (myself included) love it for that. Who among us doesn't, deep down, enjoy watching these plot threads finally, finally coalesce and resolve? It's all happening, from Jon and Dany's romance to the Starks' family reunion. It's just not making a whole lot of sense in the process, especially as Season 7 rockets toward its finale. And although it's painful to admit, Game of Thrones the show has proved a poor replacement for the thoughtfully crafted, exquisitely plotted, and painstakingly detailed books that have yet to be completed.

As always, George R.R. Martin can't write quickly enough. I'm eager to get back to the real thing.

21st August 2017
Pokemon World Championships 2017 End With Weird Teams And Big Comebacks

Pokemon World Championships 2017 End With Weird Teams And Big Comebacks

This year's Pokemon World Championships have come to a close, which means a new set of champions has been crowned. The final battles in both the trading card game (TCG) and in Sun and Moon (VGC) were notable for offbeat strategies, weird teams, and very smart comebacks.

Players are separated into divisions--Juniors, Seniors, and Masters--based on age, so there are three champions in both the TCG and the VGC. They are, in division order:

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In the VGC, Junior Nicholas Kan faced a very unconventional team. His opponent Tomas Serrano's team included Hariyama, Oranguru, and Gigalith, all incredibly uncommon Pokemon in the 2017 competitive scene. Gigalith used the move Rock Slide, which has a chance to cause flinching (and therefore missing a turn), but Nicholas managed to get through both of their games without losing any turns to Rock Slide. That good luck along with careful preservation of his Snorlax won him the championship.

In the Seniors division, Japan's Yuki Wata went up against South Korea's Hong Juyoung. Both players used more conventional Pokemon, and early on Yuki seemed to be two steps ahead of Hong at all times. But after a loss in the first game, Hong hit back hard and countered Yuki's team with the knowledge he gained in game one--even letting his Porygon 2 faint in order to set himself up with the better duo of Mudsdale and Arcanine.

The TCG had what was probably the most memorable game of the weekend. Everyone thought Seniors player Michael Long was set to lose game two of his match against Zachary Bokhari. Zachary was one KO away from winning, but he was running out of cards, and you lose automatically if you can't draw. Michael only had a Froakie with the move Bubble, and in a stunning comeback, he was able to stall and survive long enough to win. Although Zachary ended up winning the title, it was still an impressive to see a player who knew exactly what he had to do to win: Bubble.

You can watch all the finals matches on Pokemon's official Twitch channel. For more on Pokemon, check out our guide to understanding and watching competitive Sun and Moon.

20th August 2017
Xbox One X Scorpio Edition Pre-Order Guide: Amazon, GameStop, And More Go Live

Xbox One X Scorpio Edition Pre-Order Guide: Amazon, GameStop, And More Go Live

Microsoft's Gamescom livestream today brought with it the expected news: Xbox One X pre-orders are now live. Below, you'll find the basic details on how and where to pre-order the system. We'll continue to update this as more retailers bring their pre-orders online. The Xbox One X launches worldwide on November 7 for $500 / £449 / AU $649. Pre-orders are already available through a number of retailers, which you can visit through the links below.

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There are at least two bundles available--GameStop is packaging the Elite controller with the Xbox One X for $600 in the US, a $50 discount over buying them separately. It also has another bundle with a second controller and more for $583.

Microsoft has also announced a Project Scorpio Edition of Xbox One X for the same price as the standard edition. This is available by pre-order only and features a unique design and an exclusive vertical stand. According to a tweet from Microsoft's Albert Penello, any Xbox One X pre-order listing you see is for the Scorpio Edition, whether or not the listing reflects that. There's no word yet on when or if you'll be able to pre-order the non-Scorpio Edition.