Making The Fourth Inaugural Sacred Cow Barbecue Art

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Our January issue includes the latest edition of Game Informer's Sacred Cow Barbecue, our annual randomly recurring feature that provides some much-deserved roasting of gaming's most beloved franchises. Now you can get a behind-the-scenes look at how the hilariously diabolical art was created for the feature, courtesy of illustrator Zander Cannon.

Cannon has created a number of gag-filled pieces for Game Informer over the years, most notably for our irreverent Game Infarcer covers. Sacred Cow Barbecue provides a similar platform for Cannon to jam in as many humorous video game references as he can muster, albeit with a sinister twist. This year's torture chamber motif takes the abuse to new heights (or depths?) as we lampoon major franchises like Uncharted, Assassin's Creed, and Mass Effect – and Cannon's art ensures no one squeaks by unscathed.

Head to Cannon's site to check out his Making Of feature, which provides an in-depth look at the creation of this year's art, as well as insight into how Cannon devises and illustrates his work in the digital age. For more of Cannon's work, be sure to check out Heck and his upcoming (and hilarious-looking) Kaijumax.

Question Of The Month Reader Responses: Issue #261

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In issue 259, we asked readers what game they've put the most number of hours into. The usual suspects came out on top, with Bethesda, BioWare, and Blizzard consuming a staggering amount of our readers' lives. Here are some of the responses we received.

What game have you played the most? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Stare Into The Dark Below – New Details On The Destiny Expansion

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Stare Into The Dark Below – New Details On The Destiny Expansion

Our recently announced sci-fi issue of the magazine includes an extensive look at Destiny: The Dark Below. We traveled to Bungie several weeks ahead of launch and played through the expansion. We have a wealth of additional quotes from the developer and details in our issue, based on the snapshot of the game taken during our visit. However, we’ve pulled together some of the most relevant and game-changing details right here.

What’s Old Is New Again – Upgrading Exotics

The recent Destiny patch brought some notable changes to exotic weapons, but next week’s expansion offers some additional big adjustments. Specifically, exotic items will become available for an upgrade to keep them in line with the new top-tier gear. 

The Just Cause 3 Team's Favorite Mods And Videos

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Game developers make games and then consumers play them, but this transaction isn’t a one way street. These days, game developers often fall in love with videos and mods for their own games that were created by the fans themselves. Gamers are beginning to entertain their entertainers. Over the years, the Just Cause series has developed a sizable and passionate fan base that has helped contribute to this wealth of fan content, so we chatted with the Avalanche team and they gave us a hit list of some of their favorite mods and YouTube clips.

Superman Flying Mod Version 4There are few dreams as visceral as the ability to soar through the air. With this classic Just Cause 2 mod, I spent hours exploring the world at different speeds, dodging trees as I shot low through the valleys then calmly taking in the beautiful vistas high above the mountains. The epic scale of Just Cause 2 combined with the amazing draw distances, mix in the ability to fly? You get pure gaming joy! – Roland Lesterlin, Game Director

Four Teaser Trailers That Did Exactly What They Were Supposed To

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Four Teaser Trailers That Did Exactly What They Were Supposed To

With the Star Wars teaser trailer continuing to make the rounds online (and being mercilessly spoofed), it prompts me to think of some of the teasers for video games I am most excited to learn more about.

These are the recent teasers that drip-fed just the right amount of information to make me excited to learn more, while revealing very little.

The Legend of Zelda Wii UShowcased at this year's E3 a few months ago, the Zelda Wii U teaser is rife with mystery and imagery worth getting excited about. Aside from the game looking beautiful at this early stage, there is a lot going on in the landscape, and Link appears to have plasma weapons. I'm sure it will be some time before we learn more about the next new console Zelda release, but that doesn't mean this teaser makes me any less excited.

Super Replay – Resident Evil Code: Veronica Episode 10

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Super Replay – Resident Evil Code: Veronica Episode 10

Earlier this year we relived the Mansion Incident by simultaneously playing through both the 1996 and 2002 versions of Resident Evil. Months later we're still retreading the series' past, this time with the HD remake of the 2000 Dreamcast title Resident Evil Code: Veronica. We're joined by a special guest from Capcom as we return to Claire Redfield's second adventure, which shares surprising parallels with her new starring role in Resident Evil Revelations 2 (check out our cover story reveal).

Both Code: Veronica and Revelations 2 begin with Claire waking up on a remote prison island, locked away in a dirty prison cell. Resident Evil Revelations 2 producer Michiteru Okabe also says Revelations 2 has a strong focus on family - a powerful theme running throughout Code: Veronica as well. That's only the beginning of the many similarities we spot throughout our tense playthrough of one of Resident Evil's most punishing, lengthy entries.

Join Andrew Reiner, Ben Reeves, Kim Wallace, myself, and special guest Capcom community manager Brett Elston (check out Capcom-Unity here!) as we return to Rockfort Island.

Five Games You Can Use To Experience The Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser

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The Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser has taken over the Internet – but why keep watching it when you could (sort of) relive it?

The teaser is basically made up of seven distinct scenes, many of which will be familiar to gamers if you really stretch your imagination. The obvious answer to recreating these scenes in video game form would be to play Star Wars video games, but that's too easy. Here are five games you can play to experience these scenes in non-Star Wars video games. Hopefully this will hold you over for the year leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens' release.

The first scene shown in the teaser features John Boyega in a desert by himself, presumably unsure why he's there. That sounds a lot like the plot of Journey.

Replay – The Lost World: Jurassic Park

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Judging from the box, The Lost World: Jurassic Park has everything you could want in a game. You've got dinosaurs. You've got humans. You've got more dinosaurs. What's not to love? Ben Hanson says he bought this PlayStation game before he even owned the console. Was he insane? Did he have too much disposable income? Watch this episode of Replay to get a better idea of what exactly was going on in Li'l Ben's head.

Make no mistake, this game's tough. Tim Turi's taken on a variety of challenging games in the past, but this one nearly broke him. Fortunately, through the magic of level selects and cheat codes, we're able to show off the game's later stages, including an amazing post-credits bonus. Reiner and I sat in and provided whatever it is we do, including a discussion on the differences between archaeology and paleontology. Let's just say it's a good thing a certain editor didn't go into a particular field of study.

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Top 50 Challenge 2014 – The Banner Saga

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Top 50 Challenge 2014 – The Banner Saga

I'm a big fan of strategy/RPGs, and I always regretted not having time to invest in The Banner Saga. That's why I gladly accepted Ben Reeves' challenge. Strategy/RPGs are a dime a dozen nowadays, and I love that developer Stoic incorporates choice as an extra layer of strategy. What I wasn't expecting was just how much it would drive the experience with consequences abound. I actually felt like I was in the unforgiving Viking world, and so I emerged from my playthrough beaten and bruised with plenty of regret.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For the Top 50 Challenge 2014.

That's The Banner Saga. You always feel like you could have done something better, but the game catches you off guard so well with unexpected choices. You make these tough decisions on and off the battlefield. On the battlefield, brute force won't always win you the battle and you have to learn when to call it quits against the vicious stone-like Dredge. I found this out early when I won my encounter and the game tantalized me with saving some combatants and finding extra supplies by wiping out a few extra enemies. Sure, I was down a man, but I had my tanks left. I thought I had the victory in the bag, but then I learned the price of overconfidence. I lost and ended up losing more men than if I were to have just retreated in the first place.

Top 50 Challenge 2014 – This War Of Mine

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This time of the year is generally addled with tons of huge game releases. With that in mind, it's not surprise that the unique indie survival title This War of Mine managed to fly under my radar like a rat scavenging for crumbs. The old saying goes "War is hell", and I've never seen a game more aptly and profoundly convey this sentiment. Ben Hanson mentioned the PC game was bleak when he issued the Top 50 challenge to me, but I wasn't quite ready for what it had in store.

Learn more about Game Informer's Fight for the Top 50 Challenge 2014