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December Cover Revealed

Last December we celebrated our 200th issue with eight unique covers and our Top 200 Games of All Time. This year, we decided to reveal our Top 30 Characters Who Defined A Decade.

Characters and story in games moved forward at a rapid pace in the last decade as developers and publishers pushed the envelope. Characters no longer just jump and spin at the whim of their controller-wielding masters; they interact with and engage gamers to draw us deeper into the experience, telling new stories and challenging us with unfamiliar feelings of admiration, disgust, and compassion.

To capture this list, we enlisted artist Sam Spratt to create a single art piece to stand as a monument to the characters that defined our gaming lives in the last decade. The large piece connects from one cover to the next. An orange portal connects the first cover to the second, and Bonnie's hand rests on John Marston's shoulder to bring in the third. There are tons of hidden goodies throughout, so enjoy the art and look closely for hidden references.

Though it is split into three amazing covers, the art itself is best viewed as a single piece. In the coming weeks we will announce a way for you to order a poster of the complete art if it inspires you as much as it inspires us.

The article spans over 28 pages and covers the places we remember, the characters that made us laugh, and the developers who brought these tales to life.

To view the full image in detail, click on the image below.

Also in the issue:

Dan Ryckert gives us a hands-on report on Gears of War 3, Tim Turi takes a look at where the zombie infestation may go next in games, and Matthew Kato asks the question, "Another Ho-Hum Holiday?" as he investigates to see if the holiday season is what it used to be. Matt Helgeson interviews Jeremiah Slaczka of 5th Cell to discuss the origins of Scribblenauts and the future of the studio, including his thoughts on the 3DS and Kinect.

Previews of Little Big Planet 2, Dota 2, Diablo III, Homefront, Portal 2, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon, and many others.

Reviews of Call of Duty: Black Ops, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, and more.  

And what December issue would be complete without our 2010 Holiday Buying Guide, packed with gift ideas perfect for the gamer nerd in us all?

The issue will start arriving in subscribers' mailboxes next week, and hit newsstands the 11th of November.

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