Ken Levine on BioShock Infinite's Bro-Tastic Cover Art

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Fwee:
Frat Guy:
"There's a dude on this cover, okay let me check the back...
Oh, a flying city! Who's this- CLEAVAGE!!!! GOTTA BUY!!!"
I just wonder why everything that I've seen about the woman in this game has to shove her boobs in my face.

i know quite a bit of folks in fraternities, and they are respectable people,and they help out in the community. though those are black fraternities and they may operate different.

on topic i haven't bought a video game because of a case, in....ever?

"Earlier this week", well, i've already seen it as a possible cover about two weeks ago, but ok :)
Considering BioShock is one of my favorite series, i've loosely been following the development of Infinite. I like BioShock so far, because it was one of the first games to me which tackled idealist/ political world views in a new and engaging fashion. In BioShock, very few people actually care whom they played, it was more or less "some guy getting into a place very unfamiliar and wanting to flee it". The Protagonist was Rapture itself, it's story, the ideas it was build from and what lead to it's ruin. At least that's how i played it.
And when i heard more and more about Infinite i thought "this looks like a huge change of focus", sure, it's still placed in an exciting city with lots of stuff going on, but now you have a protagonist with a face and a personality and relations (no, Delta from BioShock 2 doesn't count, considering Delta itself is an ideal, nobody cares about the face and the story behind the helmet and it was NOT Eleanors real father). Will this still inherit what i liked about the original? Then the box art occurred and i thought "what is this? obviously not what i found appealing before". But then, i thought about the context, that Levine wanted to make the new BioShock about cultural (American) exceptionalism (among other topics) and in a way it fits the context perfectly.

I'm skeptical, if, like most sequels, it'll change for worse eventually, but at the same time i still hope that it'll be as smart as before. The near future will show.

Even if the cover does attract the "dude-bros" people are referring to, they'll probably put it right back down when they flip the cover and don't see "INTENSE MULTIPLAYER ACTION!" sprawled out across the back.
The cover art doesn't really bother me; the game looks great. I just hope that the art is the only thing they changed in order to try and broaden their audience (if that was the intention). Then again, I don't feel like Irrational would be ones to sacrifice the focus of the game just to try and broaden their audience (and their profit).

Although, the cover is justified considering that Booker is a Pinkerton Agent. The Pinkertons kicked so much ass that they needed 17 different pairs of shoes just to get through one week on the job.

The Tall Nerd:

Porecomesis:

The Tall Nerd:

http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/31625834.jpg

yeah, no

... Does that meme really work like that?

By the way, you mean "you're".

im using it because i found it , and it was oddly specific and i suppose since it includes the word all, it applies.

but your statement is gonna need the most ciaticous of citations

First line: Eh, fair point. This is the Internet, after all.

Second line: As I am just a forum poster, I really don't feel like providing any citations at all. I don't even know what I'm providing citations for, really. I don't even know how to find ALL of them.

"If you're a frat guy..."

Ah, there's your problem.

But seriously, the game COULD look like it will appeal to everyone but you don't have to take the bro-tastic route cause:

1. Bioshock is a well known franchise by now
2. CoD is Bro-tastic too but it doesn't appeal to EVERYONE
3. Just say its peer pressure and I'll take it

Look at games like Half Life that come in a crappy Orange Box that you would never guess belongs with that game. And yet, that game won Game of the Decade and has tons of fanboys and such.

There's just no need or excuse.

Beautiful End:

"If you're a frat guy..."

Ah, there's your problem.

But seriously, the game COULD look like it will appeal to everyone but you don't have to take the bro-tastic route cause:

1. Bioshock is a well known franchise by now
2. CoD is Bro-tastic too but it doesn't appeal to EVERYONE
3. Just say its peer pressure and I'll take it

Look at games like Half Life that come in a crappy Orange Box that you would never guess belongs with that game. And yet, that game won Game of the Decade and has tons of fanboys and such.

There's just no need or excuse.

The Orange Box was a follow up package for Half Life 2 with a bunch of extra stuff around the time Episode 2 came out.

The original box arts for Half Life 2 were by no means creative, but they made sense.

You could have Gordon:
image

Alyx:
image

or the G-Man:
image

As much as I love her, Alyx's cover is arguably the worst with nothing but a faded shape in the background: Gordon's and the G-Man have got various bits or architecture in the background.

Gordon_4:

Beautiful End:

"If you're a frat guy..."

Ah, there's your problem.

But seriously, the game COULD look like it will appeal to everyone but you don't have to take the bro-tastic route cause:

1. Bioshock is a well known franchise by now
2. CoD is Bro-tastic too but it doesn't appeal to EVERYONE
3. Just say its peer pressure and I'll take it

Look at games like Half Life that come in a crappy Orange Box that you would never guess belongs with that game. And yet, that game won Game of the Decade and has tons of fanboys and such.

There's just no need or excuse.

The Orange Box was a follow up package for Half Life 2 with a bunch of extra stuff around the time Episode 2 came out.

The original box arts for Half Life 2 were by no means creative, but they made sense.

You could have Gordon:
image

Alyx:
image

or the G-Man:
image

As much as I love her, Alyx's cover is arguably the worst with nothing but a faded shape in the background: Gordon's and the G-Man have got various bits or architecture in the background.

Oh, that makes sense. I was only thinking of the console versions..
But you've helped me prove my point. A cover art with someone's face and it's still a game that people go bananas about it.
I'm still buying Bioshock but...meh, could have been better.

BRAWNDO has what plants crave! It has ELECTROLYTES!

Looking at the boxart, all I can think of is that Nathan Drake is popping up everywhere. It would be nice if for once the main character would an Asian or a black guy, or maybe even an unattractive female black/asian small breasted girl. Just getting so tired of the stereotype caucasian good guy.

I don't...get it?

What's wrong with the box art?....

Interesting thought here.. but because I sometimes develop a kneejerk reaction to bad cover art (ie: I ignore it, and this is something I totally would if I didn't know what Bioshock was), I end up needing to go off and look online for information about a game when the cover or back of the box provides next to nothing about it.

These days, a lot of game covers insist on having two or three languages on the back, which greatly reduces the amount of information they can provide to tantalize potential buyers. Slapping a guy's picture who, most likely, we'll never see in game and have little to say (remember Jack?), instead of a truly iconic character like the Big Daddy is quite silly.

I would have put Songbird (if I didn't think the new design was ridiculous) or maybe just the floating city. If you've heard of the name Bioshock - and I can't see why you wouldn't at this point - the name alone should be enough to at least make you pick up the case and look at it.

Does anyone else think that the brotasticness aside that this is just straight up horrible. It has a lens flare ffs... It just looks like a cut and copy paste of some concept art.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the art guys who quit did so because of this horrible pandering or they were the ones who were meant to do the cover art and the job fell to work experience guy Craig.

Porecomesis:
The Little Sister holding the syringe brought across that there would be something dead wrong with Rapture, especially.

#1 you don't know from the cover she is a "little sister" or what that even is
#2 you can't know from the cover it is even set in a closed-off underwater city like rapture
#3 one freaky individual doesn't tell you anything about the whole place. Leatherface on the cover of Texas Chainsaw Massacre does not mean all of Texas is full of people like that.
#4 it's not clear is she is the playable character or a sidekick or an enemy. As Ken Levine said, going in with no prior briefing you'd think it was an artsy-fartsy game where you play a little girl bossing a big robot around.

It didn't ACTUALLY sell the game which is the ENTIRE POINT of having box art.

Well, I suppose another appeal is for the collectors sense of satisfaction, but the actual content creators put work into the box art to SELL the game, not to further satisfy those who are already in love with the game and would buy it even if sold in a blank case.

Eclipse Dragon:
or why the game needs to star a white guy in the first place.

It doesn't have to, it's just a trend that reflects the ethnic background of the people who MADE the games.

Are you equally surprised that Kung Fu films made in china mainly star... people from China.

Or that Indian Bollywood films mainly star people who are from... India.

I'm not the type of berk who refuses to watch an excellent Kung Fu movie because the hero isn't White-European... I don't see why anyone else should reject any other game for the race of the protagonists because that is the very definition of racism.

Treblaine:

Eclipse Dragon:
or why the game needs to star a white guy in the first place.

It doesn't have to, it's just a trend that reflects the ethnic background of the people who MADE the games.

Are you equally surprised that Kung Fu films made in china mainly star... people from China.

Or that Indian Bollywood films mainly star people who are from... India.

I'm not the type of berk who refuses to watch an excellent Kung Fu movie because the hero isn't White-European... I don't see why anyone else should reject any other game for the race of the protagonists because that is the very definition of racism.

I never said I was rejecting the game.
Actually I never really opposed the cover art.
You're taking things too seriously.

Eclipse Dragon:

Treblaine:

Eclipse Dragon:
or why the game needs to star a white guy in the first place.

It doesn't have to, it's just a trend that reflects the ethnic background of the people who MADE the games.

Are you equally surprised that Kung Fu films made in china mainly star... people from China.

Or that Indian Bollywood films mainly star people who are from... India.

I'm not the type of berk who refuses to watch an excellent Kung Fu movie because the hero isn't White-European... I don't see why anyone else should reject any other game for the race of the protagonists because that is the very definition of racism.

I never said I was rejecting the game.
Actually I never really opposed the cover art.
You're taking things too seriously.

Hey, you said:
"or why the game needs to star a white guy in the first place."

Why would you make such a weasel statement? Asking "why is it such" is such a backhanded weasel way of making an allegation and passing it off as a question. The allegation is clear: "the games need to star a white guy" to spite the many examples to the contrary.

You can't make serious allegations about race then be like "You're taking things too seriously."

Frankly I find your racial profiling inappropriate. It's not like non-whites are excluded from games, but your necessity to point out " Socom 4 has three white guys holding guns" is inflammatory while stating "Actually I never really opposed the cover art" is clearly you trying to weasel out of your insinuations. Take some responsibility.

Treblaine:
snip

The fact that you're accusing me of being racist just because I pointed out that Socom 4 has three white guys on the cover is being too serious about something as silly as "video game cover art" Yes Socom 4 has three white guys on the cover. It's a fact. It doesn't have 2 white guys and a girl, or 1 white guy, and 2 guys of other races.

What I'm trying to say is arguing over video game cover art is silly, all I did in my initial post is find some images on Google because Grey asked "How many you name on which a white man holds a gun and stares off into the middle distance while something explodes/catches fire?" and my going and looking for examples and posting them somehow offended you.

Well I'm sorry and I won't be participating in this discussion any longer because you seem to be wanting to make it into something more than it is. Have a good day sir.

Eclipse Dragon:

Treblaine:
snip

The fact that you're accusing me of being racist just because I pointed out that Socom 4 has three white guys on the cover is being too serious about something as silly as "video game cover art" Yes Socom 4 has three white guys on the cover. It's a fact. It doesn't have 2 white guys and a girl, or 1 white guy, and 2 guys of other races.

What I'm trying to say is arguing over video game cover art is silly, all I did in my initial post is find some images on Google because Grey asked "How many you name on which a white man holds a gun and stares off into the middle distance while something explodes/catches fire?" and my going and looking for examples and posting them somehow offended you.

Well I'm sorry and I won't be participating in this discussion any longer because you seem to be wanting to make it into something more than it is. Have a good day sir.

You've really tried so hard to back out of what you've said, but you never just tried admitting you did wrong.

I mean are you too proud? I make mistakes like this, but I don't pretend I didn't do what I did, that won't help anything but a retraction will. It's easy. It cost nothing and gains everything.

I mean why the hell did you start making racial allegations? Don't try to weasel out of this as it being "silly" you went far further than that by bringing race and gender politics into this. The allegation of games cover-art being for exceptionally for white men is not "silly". You think citing facts selectively isn't deceptive? That's a lawyer-lie, saying the literal truth but leaving a deceptive meaning by going on about "3 white guys with guns" the impression is unmistakable... yet conveniently for you, easy to weasel out of with plausible deniability.

Oh but good for you, you've made some inflammatory allegations and now you are just ducking out, how very productive of you, this is really helping the forum debate with this kind of crap.

WTF happened to these forums? Everyone knows what you are doing, well, I wish everyone knew. That's the problem.

Treblaine:
snip

Quoting my last post

Well I'm sorry and I won't be participating in this discussion any longer because you seem to be wanting to make it into something more than it is. Have a good day sir.

I did apologize, and just so you know, that is a sincere apology. I made a "harmless" comment and that made you angry. I'm not participating any further because my doing so only seems to make you more angry and no matter what I say, you don't ever seem to be happy. I'm sure we both have better things to do with our time than argue online.

I'm calling a truce, what do you say?
Friends?

Eclipse Dragon:

Treblaine:
snip

Quoting my last post

Well I'm sorry and I won't be participating in this discussion any longer because you seem to be wanting to make it into something more than it is. Have a good day sir.

I did apologize, and just so you know, that is a sincere apology. I made a "harmless" comment and that made you angry. I'm not participating any further because my doing so only seems to make you more angry and no matter what I say, you don't ever seem to be happy. I'm sure we both have better things to do with our time than argue online.

I'm calling a truce, what do you say?
Friends?

I did not realise that was an apology or retraction for what you said, but an excuse for ducking out, the equivalent of "sorry, I'm leaving sucker". I am sorry for not getting that meaning.

Though if you are retroactively clarifying that to mean a sincere apology of your allegations (that would include a retraction if sincere) okay. Though it's obviously not a full retraction because you still doggedly insist it was "harmless" even though you admit it's made me angry. A classic deflection of "it's you're fault your getting angry, not me". But what the hell, everyone does that.

I don't know if you are clueless or if one some level you know what insinuations you are making.

I don't care any more. Truce. I think we've both said all we are going to say on this.

Treblaine:
snip

It's so easy to misinterpret things written online. I think there might have been a little bit of that on both sides.
I suppose if we were all psychic and knew automatically the intentions of others, things like this wouldn't happen.
Call me clueless, I guess I am. My intention really wasn't to insult anyone, just so you know.

What was that quote...
"Some of the worlds greatest crimes have been committed with the best of intentions"
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Eclipse Dragon:

Treblaine:
snip

It's so easy to misinterpret things written online. I think there might have been a little bit of that on both sides.
I suppose if we were all psychic and knew automatically the intentions of others, things like this wouldn't happen.
Call me clueless, I guess I am. My intention really wasn't to insult anyone, just so you know.

What was that quote...
"Some of the worlds greatest crimes have been committed with the best of intentions"
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Yeah, I think that was Bioshock's Andrew Ryan... and I think he was quoted rather cynically as you hear that in the destructive anarchy on Rapture you see where his "screw good intentions" ideology led to. It's kind of the villain's speech, I guess it's a case of Poe's law, a satire of an ideology can inadvertently be an example of it. Like how many people take Steven Colbert's declarations as literally good advice.

But I do have a good quote for "best intentions":

Doesn't really mean anything, it's just some cold blooded shit about how you do not defy guy with the gun.

Jesus christ this thread is full of pettiness. Shut the hell up about "dude-bro-shooters"; it doesn't look like one and it wouldn't matter if it did.

Videogame box art isn't arty in the same way that, say, movie posters often are; generally speaking box-art tends to be a pre-rendered shot of the gameplay with the main character on it somewhere, with not much more variation than that. Its advertisement, not art. This game's cover looks perfectly serviceable and better than most.

Get the hell over yourselves in your pathetic rush to see who can condemn that lesser race of people who enjoy CoD games the quickest by ironically using the word "bro" like its an original idea or clever in anyway. You're as childish as people who constantly use the word "fag" in order to try and make sure everybody knows that they are definitely not, themselves, a "fag".

JEEZ.

(and yes, I am aware that there are some games with fantastic box-art out there, but Bioshock was never one of those to begin with)

Levine just announced that there will be reversible covers for the game, and he wants us to choose from several possibilities. Vote on one at http://irrationalgames.com/insider/poll/

I'm happy to announce that the game will come with a reversible cover.

But that's not all. We want to hear your voice on what that cover should be. To that end, we've arranged a poll below that lets you choose from several potential reversible covers. I've got my favorite, but I'm not telling which. We've got to do this quickly to meet our print deadlines, so vote soon. Like, NOW!

But what's that you say? You want even more choice in covers? We're also going to be arranging a whole mess of MORE alternate covers which will be available to download and print yourself. Of course, these are free and we'd love to hear your thoughts in the forums as to what you'd like to see.

My personal favorite is design number 4 <3.

Treblaine:

Porecomesis:
The Little Sister holding the syringe brought across that there would be something dead wrong with Rapture, especially.

#1 you don't know from the cover she is a "little sister" or what that even is
#2 you can't know from the cover it is even set in a closed-off underwater city like rapture
#3 one freaky individual doesn't tell you anything about the whole place. Leatherface on the cover of Texas Chainsaw Massacre does not mean all of Texas is full of people like that.
#4 it's not clear is she is the playable character or a sidekick or an enemy. As Ken Levine said, going in with no prior briefing you'd think it was an artsy-fartsy game where you play a little girl bossing a big robot around.

It didn't ACTUALLY sell the game which is the ENTIRE POINT of having box art.

Well, I suppose another appeal is for the collectors sense of satisfaction, but the actual content creators put work into the box art to SELL the game, not to further satisfy those who are already in love with the game and would buy it even if sold in a blank case.

1) She looks freaky. Like a zombie, in fact.
2) The Big Daddy is stomping in water in a dark environment.
3) I have no idea what Texas Chainsaw Massacre is but the Little Sister does infer that the people you meet won't be pleasant.
4) That's irrelevant. She does not look particularly pleasant. That's the point. Also, no I wouldn't because they come across as unfriendly. And why would I think the Little Sister was controlling the Big Daddy? Okay, yeah, she's hiding behind him but I really don't get that impression.

By the way, how well did the US version of Ico do when it was first released?

I honestly have to wonder how much marketing is based on actual data and facts, and how much of it is no better than blind faith in some kind of magic.

Sure, there is some overlap between people who play bro-shooters and people who play other kinds of AAA titles. But the top-tier bro-shooters tend to sell much more than other AAA titles that aren't NES/SNES/Gameboy era legacy franchises, or casual Wii and Kinect games. Like 7 to 11 million in sales for recent bro-shooter titles (COD, Halo, Gears) and rarely more than 4 million for other AAA titles. So there are probably gamers who buy 2 or more AAA titles a month, and have diverse interests, and play bro-shooters alongside action platformers, RPGs, and other genres. But there must also be some of those millions who probably don't buy many other games, and just hang out playing multiplayer COD and Gears all the time. Is it actually worthwhile to try and market to those people?

Porecomesis:

Treblaine:

Porecomesis:
The Little Sister holding the syringe brought across that there would be something dead wrong with Rapture, especially.

#1 you don't know from the cover she is a "little sister" or what that even is
#2 you can't know from the cover it is even set in a closed-off underwater city like rapture
#3 one freaky individual doesn't tell you anything about the whole place. Leatherface on the cover of Texas Chainsaw Massacre does not mean all of Texas is full of people like that.
#4 it's not clear is she is the playable character or a sidekick or an enemy. As Ken Levine said, going in with no prior briefing you'd think it was an artsy-fartsy game where you play a little girl bossing a big robot around.

It didn't ACTUALLY sell the game which is the ENTIRE POINT of having box art.

Well, I suppose another appeal is for the collectors sense of satisfaction, but the actual content creators put work into the box art to SELL the game, not to further satisfy those who are already in love with the game and would buy it even if sold in a blank case.

1) She looks freaky. Like a zombie, in fact.
2) The Big Daddy is stomping in water in a dark environment.
3) I have no idea what Texas Chainsaw Massacre is but the Little Sister does infer that the people you meet won't be pleasant.
4) That's irrelevant. She does not look particularly pleasant. That's the point. Also, no I wouldn't because they come across as unfriendly. And why would I think the Little Sister was controlling the Big Daddy? Okay, yeah, she's hiding behind him but I really don't get that impression.

By the way, how well did the US version of Ico do when it was first released?

1) ignores my point of how Little Sisters are hosts for genetic engineering experiment, not just that she's freaky.
2) ignores my point of isolation and distinctness of environment
3) www.google.co.uk/search?q=Texas+Chainsaw+Massacre&oq=Texas+Chainsaw+Massacre and you ignored my point of representation of wider population of Rapture
4) who the playable character is, that IS a very relevant point. The protagonist is put on the cover art usually for good reason.

Ken Levine himself said that was the impression left by the box art that it was "little girl and her big robot buddy" game.

As far as I know, Ico sold poorly in US, it also sold poorly in UK where it got a very artistic picture for the cover art. In both cases the game simply was not advertised effectively at all.

I'd be okay with a dude holding a gun on the cover [ehhhh - ish] if he didn't looke like such a twat.

He seriously looks like he's strutting down a catwalk, sporting this years hobo-joe-shiek lineup. That's been thrown together by 'incredibly gay fashion drone number 4' in an attempt to win first prise in 'incredibly bitchy, ex-super model number 7s' fashion TV series, season 29.

Seriously, his smug face is making me want to not buy it.

The fact that it includes the original is the most interesting thing on that cover. I didn't know that till now.

wetfart:
The more I look at it, the more I think of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5iTpleCndo

On second thought, a Evil Dead / Bioshock crossover would be awesome! Why is that not being made?

Glad to See I'm not the only one who thought this.

image

I honestly don't understand the hubbub. It's not freaking Mega Man or Heavy Rain. The game features a guy who uses a gun. I think it looks kind of neat actually, and if you're one of those types that for some reason thoroughly has twisted knickers, the game has a flippable cover to allow you to be all like "look at my awesome"

Can we please stop this insanity now?

The Tall Nerd:

i know quite a bit of folks in fraternities, and they are respectable people,and they help out in the community. though those are black fraternities and they may operate different.

on topic i haven't bought a video game because of a case, in....ever?

Apologies all around.

I meant that to be Ken Levine's apparent opinion of the Fraternity community.
Because according to him, the most important group of game purchasers are the stereotypical "Bros" that only have interest in breasts, guns, and Madden.
Which is kind of true in a way. Fans aren't important, because you've already got your hooks in them. They'll buy the next game no matter what. They might complain, but you can just write that off as "you can't satisfy everyone!"

Fwee:

The Tall Nerd:

i know quite a bit of folks in fraternities, and they are respectable people,and they help out in the community. though those are black fraternities and they may operate different.

on topic i haven't bought a video game because of a case, in....ever?

Apologies all around.

I meant that to be Ken Levine's apparent opinion of the Fraternity community.
Because according to him, the most important group of game purchasers are the stereotypical "Bros" that only have interest in breasts, guns, and Madden.
Which is kind of true in a way. Fans aren't important, because you've already got your hooks in them. They'll buy the next game no matter what. They might complain, but you can just write that off as "you can't satisfy everyone!"

oh i get you , i understand
stereotypes exist for a reason, those guys exist, i was just suggesting that maybe not all frat guys are not all like that. and i get you, some fan bases operate of fan fuel though. there are two series of anthropomorphic animals that are running on fan steam right now one hasn't been stopped yet, and the other just started and have yet to stop and they rhyme with blonic
and fy fitttle fony.

Puzzlenaut:
Jesus christ this thread is full of pettiness. Shut the hell up about "dude-bro-shooters"; it doesn't look like one and it wouldn't matter if it did.

Videogame box art isn't arty in the same way that, say, movie posters often are; generally speaking box-art tends to be a pre-rendered shot of the gameplay with the main character on it somewhere, with not much more variation than that. Its advertisement, not art. This game's cover looks perfectly serviceable and better than most.

Get the hell over yourselves in your pathetic rush to see who can condemn that lesser race of people who enjoy CoD games the quickest by ironically using the word "bro" like its an original idea or clever in anyway. You're as childish as people who constantly use the word "fag" in order to try and make sure everybody knows that they are definitely not, themselves, a "fag".

JEEZ.

(and yes, I am aware that there are some games with fantastic box-art out there, but Bioshock was never one of those to begin with)

Too true.

Considering most American boxart is generic hogwash across all genres, and the previous two Bioshocks weren't exactly exemplars of unique and engaging composition, I don't see why you art afficianados are jacking yourselves off livid over being denied Levine's artistic vision.

As a black guy, I find myself bitching about the surplus of white protagonists less than most of you white gamers, but if a grizzled white protagonist is the problem, isn't him being featured in the actual game more problematic than him being featured on the box? I find it more offensive a lot of you are trying to pass off a quaint, memetic observation of a certain trend as righteous indignation. Or that perpetuating a self-aggrandiizing stereotype of mainstream gamers isn't dismissed as petty and childish.

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