Reggie Bush in Madden NFL 13 Reggie Bush in Madden NFL 13

Video Games Plus is a weekly update on all things gaming. Check it out every Thursday.

Football season may still be months away, but the “Madden NFL 13” cover competition is heating up with only four players left in the running. Video Games Plus has all the details, as well as news from the Borderlands and the wild worlds of "Starhawk." We're also going to the links to take on “Tiger Woods Golf 13” in our weekly game review.

Madden Cover Competition Heats

It’s down to the final four for the “Madden NFL 13” cover vote, and there’s one Cinderella left in the competition: Patrick Willis.

As an 11th seed, the San Francisco 49ers linebacker beat out Giants wideout Victor Cruz, who was seeded second, to advance to the semifinals where he is pitted against Cam Newton, the Panthers’ super quarterback.

In the other semifinal, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, a k a Megatron, faces off against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Fans can vote at ESPN this week to determine which player will move on to the final round of the competition. The final winner will be unveiled on ESPN’s SportsNation on April 25 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Our prediction? Cam Newton dashes past Aaron Rodgers in the final and somehow manages to avoid the annual Madden curse.

nullDeMarcus Ware in Madden NFL 13

EA Sports has also released the first Madden screenshot showcasing the new Nike uniforms that will debut in the NFL next season.

The uniforms aren’t radically different, other than those for the Seattle Seahawks, which are getting a pretty big makeover. Clothes don’t make the man, but can they make the football player? We shall see.

“Borderlands 2” Gets New Character

Shortly after getting acquainted with a couple new characters in “Borderlands 2,” we have fresh info about yet another one. At the PAX East conference last week, Gearbox Software, the developers on the game, dropped news of the Mechromancer class. (Get it? Mech + Necromancer.)

Gearbox is working on the character right now, and plans are to release it as an add-on two or three months after “Borderlands 2” is released. For those who pre-ordered the game or are members of the Borderlands 2 Premiere Club, Gearbox will offer the character as a free download code.

Little else is known about Mechromancer, though we did get our hands on a piece of concept art, which reveals a character that looks a little like Ramona Flowers from the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels combined with the Terminator. That would be an incredible combination.

In case you missed it, here’s our hands-on preview of “Borderlands 2” and why it looks way better than the original.

Fly, Ride or Die in New “Starhawk” Trailer

Ride, die or fly?

We’d take fly out of those options. Nonetheless, all three are in the upcoming PlayStation 3 game “Starhawk.”

In a new trailer, titled “Ride, Die or Fly,” Sony demonstrates some of the ways you’ll be able to get around in the third-person shooter/strategy game. In the video, there are four different vehicles: the JetBike, the Razorback, the Tank and the Hawk.


The Sidewinder JetBike is a hover bike that looks a bit like a speeder from “Star Wars” built for crazy jumps off ramps. The Razorback is a 4x4 buggy vehicle with the added bonus of having a mounted gun and being able to carry up to three players. The Ox Heavy Tank is, well, a tank. And the Hawk is a jet turned mech that wouldn’t look out of place in a Transformers game.

All of it makes “Starhawk” a game worth keeping an eye out for when it hits stores on May 8.

Review: Tiger Woods Golf 13

Last week, Tiger Woods kicked one of his clubs out of frustration at The Masters tournament, and you might find yourself doing the same with your video game controller if you don’t have the patience for “Tiger Woods Golf 13,” the new sim for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

nullRickie Fowler in Tiger Woods Golf 13

The “Total Swing Control” system, which EA Sports boasts as an innovation, is rewarding for those who can endure the steep learning curve, but others may want to invest in a Kinect or PlayStation Move, as the motion controls are more fun and more forgiving than the control stick.

Otherwise, there’s a lot to like about EA’s latest golf game.

There’s a brand new mode called Tiger Legacy Challenge, in which you play as Woods in a variety of scenarios and milestones in his career (much like what “NBA 2K12” did for Michael Jordan) from his kiddie years all the way through his early 30s.

The career mode in “Tiger Woods” is called the Road to the PGA Tour. It starts you out as an amateur with the promise of an invitation to The Masters if you can win a regional championship.

Overall, “Tiger Woods Golf 13” provides for a solid game of virtual golf, even if the boring presentation undermines the gameplay and sometimes leaves you pining for a jolt of energy every once in awhile.

Is it too much to ask for “Rickie Fowler Golf" next year?

For more from Ryan Smith, follow him on Twitter: @RyanSmithWriter




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