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Kotaku

A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord)Mathieu Aerni is a character artist at Blur Studio, they of amazing video game trailer fame.



He's worked on trailers and cinematics for games such as Halo 4, Far Cry 3, The Elder Scrolls Online, Lord of the Rings: War in the North and Dishonored.



Over the years he's also worked on a number of motion pictures, including Wolverine, The Grey and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.



You can see more of Mathieu's work at his personal site.





To see the larger pics in all their glory (or, if they're big enough, so you can save them as wallpaper), right-click on them below and select "open in new tab".

Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you're in the business and have some concept, environment, promotional or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!



A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord) A Man Who Made Jason Brody (And Master Chief, And A Badass Nord)


Kotaku

Here Are the 2012 Games That Developers Want to Give Awards to Of all the video game events that happen every year, the Game Developers Choice Awards might be the ones that resonate most with game-makers. That's because they're determined by the masses of folks who make video games vote to nominate the best examples of the form from the preceding months.



For this year's GDC Awards, the games getting the most nominations are Journey (named in six categories), Dishonored (four categories) and The Walking Dead (three). The new Narrative category highlights Spec Ops: The Line and Virtue's Last Reward among others while the Innovation nominees include FTL, ZombiU and Mark of the Ninja. The full list is below, and shows off what a great and diverse year 2012 was for gaming . The 2013 awards ceremony happens on March 27th during this year's Game Developers Conference.



Best Audio
Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)



Best Debut

Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail)

Polytron Corporation (Fez)

Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan)

Subset Games (FTL: Faster Than Light)

Fireproof Games (The Room)



Best Game Design

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)



Best Downloadable Game

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)

Trials: Evolution (RedLynx/Microsoft Studios)

Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)



Best Technology

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)

Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision)

Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)



Best Handheld/Mobile Game

Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment)

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

The Room (Fireproof Games)

Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)



Best Narrative

Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Entertainment/2K Games)

Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Virtue's Last Reward (Chunsoft/Aksys Games)



Best Visual Arts

Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software/2K Games)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)



Innovation

Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)

FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)

The Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/Sony Computer Entertainment)

ZombiU (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft)



Game of the Year

Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)

The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)

Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)

Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)


Kotaku

Skyrim's DLC Is Coming To PS3 Next Month



Finally! Skyrim's downloadable content, until now exclusive to Xbox 360 and PC, is making its way to the PlayStation 3.



Dawnguard, Hearthfire, and Dragonborn will all be on the PlayStation Network in February. They'll all be 50% off during their launch week.



In case you're a PS3 player and you haven't been paying attention, here are some links to our coverage for the vampire-filled Dawnguard pack (not great), the home-making Hearthfire pack (lovely for fans of domestic activity), and Dragonborn, the best of the three.



So what took so long? Dunno. Last August, Bethesda said bringing Skyrim's DLC to PS3 was a complicated issue.



Dragonborn will also hit PC on February 5, Bethesda's Pete Hines announced today.


Kotaku

Dishonored Dev Says That Games Don't Create Violence, But They Don't Prevent It Either If you read a recent piece on video game violence, there's a good chance that somewhere in that article, included is a screenshot of a Dishonored neck stab. Last year was the year of the neck stab, after all. Rock, Paper, Shotgun spoke with the developer that coded that move in-game—Joe Houston—and he had Opinions On Game Violence.



For those that haven't played it, Dishonored is a stealthy game in which you are free to choose how to approach a problem. This poses unique questions about video game violence and what a player chooses to do, versus what a game developer gives as an option. Who holds responsibility, the person choosing or the person that gave the option in the first place?



Delving into the issue a bit in relation to actual-life violence, Houston said the following:




So does that mean that linear violent games are better for society than those like Dishonored, those that touch only superficially on violent acts versus those that allow the player to make extreme choices? I argue that linear games that have a lack of personal ownership in game violence actually do so at the disadvantage of society.



I don't believe that game violence causes real world violence, but I do believe that it does little to prevent it. And games with meaningful (and potentially distasteful) choice just might do better because they stand a chance of making the player think about what they're doing on screen.




Linear versus choice-driven games and what they offer/do when it comes to violence is arguable; there's probably no right answer. But the idea of whether or not games even have a responsibility to prevent violence is a curious one.



Do they?



By nature of how ubiquitous the medium is, it's probably irresponsible to not even think about it, at least. Certainly we've had games that aim to educate or make the world better. So it wouldn't be impossible to make a game that tries to prevent violence.



Food for thought between our neckstabs.



Dishonored Dev Joe Houston On Violence In Games [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]


Kotaku

Help Make A Video Game Magazine Called Sneaky Bastards (With Awesome Dishonored Art)Aussie writer Daniel Hindes, who for a while has run a niche site called Sneaky Bastards, wants to take the idea of discussing stealth games to a more tangible format. Hence, Sneaky Bastards, the magazine.



Promising that the magazine will feature 100% new content (as in, nothing that's been on the site before), the first issue also has a stunning front cover courtesy of British artist AJ Hately, who we've featured here before.



It's hoped that the print run can be a way of "producing more of a substantial, long-form, long-lasting analysis and exploration of stealth gaming in a format that this kind of material is designed to be read and consumed in."



You can check out more, and contribute, below. Which you should. The internet is a wonderful place to read about cats and fake trailers, but this kind of in-depth discussion about such a dedicated topic is perfect for dead trees between your fingers.



Sneaky Bastards [Kickstarter]


Kotaku

A New Vegas Mod That Makes Your Favorite My Little Pony Character Into A Companion You know what the Mojave desert was missing? My Little Pony, of course. My Little Pony buddies, to be precise. Here's a mod by Kuroitsune and Riven1978 on New Vegas Nexus that allows you to have the MLP protagonists as your companions. Not all ponies are included—for now, there's only Luna, Celestia, Twilight, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Ditzy/Derpy and a few others. Perhaps the best part about this is that the ponies come with specific perks.




Littlepip - Stable 2 - Whenever Littlepip is your Pony Companion, you will receive +10 points to Science, Medicine, and Repair and 1 point to Charisma, at a cost of 1 point of Agility and Strength, and -5 to Guns, Melee Weapons, and Unarmed Weapons.



Luna - Mare of the Moon - During the night as long as Luna is your Pony Companion, you will slowly regenerate health. Luna will also gain a 20% combat effectiveness.



Celestia - Mare of the Sun - During the day as long as Celestia is your Pony Companion, you will receive 30 points to Energy Weapons, at a cost of 10 to all of your other offensive skills. Celestia also gains a 20% damage potential.



BonBon - Friendship Is Magic - When Bon Bon's health gets below 30%, Lyra will appear to help out in the battle.



Lyra - Friendship Is Magic - When Lyra's health gets below 30%, Bon Bon will appear to help out in the battle.



Twilight - Studious - Twilight's intelligence is par none. While she is your Pony Companion, your accuracy, spread, and critical chance improve by 20%.



Fluttershy - All Creatures Great and Small - While Fluttershy is your Pony Companion, every creature in the Mojave is your friend, at the cost of your human relationships.



AppleJack - Apple Cider - While Applejack is your Pony Companion, she will give you Apple Cider every time you give her 2 Apples.



Rarity - Rarity & Charity - While Rarity is your Pony Companion, you will find more caps or hard to find weapons on fallen foes only she kills.



Rainbow Dash - Speedy Arrival - While Rainbow Dash is your Pony Companion, you will be 10% faster at everything you do, at the cost of 30lbs of your total carry weight.



Pinkie Pie - Party Time! - While Pinkie Pie is your Pony Companion, you will find more chems on your fallen enemies. But you will be 20% more likely to become addicted to chems.



Derpy - Muffins! - While Derpy is your Pony Companion, she will give you 3 Muffins every time you use a campfire once a day.



Trixie - Trixie's Greatness - While Trixie is your Pony Companion, you gain +10 to all of your skills that are under 50 skill points.



Vinyl Scratch - Bass Cannon - Whenever Vinyl Scratch is your Pony Companion, any explosive based weapon you use will have three times the power, at a cost of -20 of your sneak skill.




You can download it here, though I'm a little sad that they walk upright. I mean, that kind of makes it more hilarious, but still!



My Little Pony Follower [New Vegas]


Kotaku

Dishonored's Probably Not Right For LEGO, But Here's Dishonored LEGO AnywaySomething tells me the chances of us seeing officially licensed Dishonored LEGO are slim. Rats, murder, prostitutes... I don't think it's quite LEGO's thing. But hey, where LEGO misses an opportunity, custom builders are always there to come through with the goods.



Nathan Proudlove built this Dishonored "Tall Boy" walker, a unit in the game that spends its time trying to kill you while at the same time trying to not trip over the slightest bit of debris.



This, though, will just spend all of its time sitting on a shelf. Safer for everyone, really!



Dishonored LEGO [Proudlove, via Super Punch]



Dishonored's Probably Not Right For LEGO, But Here's Dishonored LEGO Anyway


Kotaku

Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012 You don't realize just how good a gaming year it's been until you look back at all of the games you actually played. From physics puzzlers to ninja simulators, 2012's library was full of interesting, creative, unique experiences.



I played a lot of games last year. A few were bad. Most were good. Some were great. Those are the ones I'll remember: the games that stood out from the pack in memorable ways. So here are my ten favorite games of 2012. Presented in no particular order:





Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward


My personal game of the year, Virtue's Last Reward kept me up for many hours, many nights in a row. Though some—like Kotaku boss Stephen Totilo—have found the game's opaque puzzles and overwrought dialogue to be rather tedious, I enjoyed every moment of Aksys's chilling visual novel.



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



The Last Story


A wonderfully well-written role-playing game with pleasant British voice acting and combat that taught me how to enjoy running around and smashing the A button, The Last Story (not to be confused with Hironobu Sakaguchi's other work, Final Fantasy) is the year's best JRPG—if not the generation's.



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Dishonored


I've written a lot about how Dishonored is a stellar experience, but really, all that matters is the Blink spell. There are few abilities in a video game as satisfying, as empowering, as totally game-breaking as an ability that you can use to teleport anywhere at any time. The world and art direction are just dismally gorgeous icing on the delicious Blink cake.



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Persona 4: Golden


Let me sum up my feelings toward Persona 4 with an anecdote. A few nights ago, I was fighting one of the game's final bosses. After a solid 45 minutes of battling, I had taken him down to something like 10% health. I was following the same patterns: buff, attack, heal, rinse, repeat. I was ready for it to be over.



He uses one attack. Bam. My main character instantly dies. Game over. Time to start again.



If I was playing any other game, I might have quit and moved onto something else at this point. Instead, I went and killed monsters for an hour to make my characters stronger. Persona 4 is the worst. (Also the best.)



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy


Rhythm games are fun, Final Fantasy music is fantastic, and there's something really special about a game that combines the two. Even when you're repeating the same songs ad infinitum, it's hard not to love the addictive, frenetic tapping of Theatrhythm. The name, on the other hand, is very easy not to love.



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Quantum Conundrum


I enjoyed every minute of this first-person puzzler, wonky physics aside. I wish the ending had been more satisfying, but the journey was totally worth it.



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Torchlight 2


Funny that the year's best Diablo game wasn't even called Diablo.



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Mark of the Ninja


Forget the snappy controls and smart interface; the best part of Mark of the Ninja is that every stage feels like a puzzle with multiple solutions. Would you like to choke out that guard from behind or throw a smoke bomb so you can get past him without being seen? Ninja is a smart, tight, remarkably enjoyable game.



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask


It's easy to complain about the "annualization" of video games—how companies like to milk a series cow for yearly sequels until the teat has run way too dry. But when it comes to Layton, I say bring it on: the professor's charming puzzle adventures just seem to get better and better every year.



Jason's Top Ten Games Of 2012



Far Cry 3


Because shooting down pirates, running into the forest, finding myself face to face with a giant tiger, getting the hell out of dodge, finding a hang-glider, and using it to soar across the skies to safety was one of my most enjoyable gaming experiences in 2012.


Kotaku

An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From DishonoredThis isn't an exquisite 3D render of Corvo's mask from Dishonored. It's an actual mask, put together by the team at Technically Magic Effects.



Sadly, it's not available to buy—it's a one-off made for a competition—but that only makes it that much more of alluring.



The accuracy is a result of the source material: developers Arkane shared the actual 3D models used for the mask in the game, meaning that, technically, this is no different to Corvo's actual mask.



Except you can actually touch this one.



Corvo, DISHONORED [Technically Magic Effects, via The Omega Nerd]



An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored An Exquisite Replica Of Corvo's Mask From Dishonored


Kotaku

Dunwall City Trials: A Welcome Addition To DishonoredI've been having a lot of fun with Dunwall City Trials, the first downloadable add-on to October's fantastic stealth game Dishonored. I've beaten the core game almost two times now, and while it's such a brilliant bit of design, I'd found myself hungry for new, different challenges.



It's always felt like the game would benefit from an extra mode in addition to the single-player story, one that let us really put the game's many enjoyable systems to the test. Dunwall City Trials, which costs $5 to download, adds just that.



It's a collection of 10 challenge maps that put players through a gauntlet of stealth, combat, and puzzle challenges, each one designed to stand on its own as a leaderboard-focused trial. Master those, and you'll unlock five more 'expert' maps that make the existing challenges even harder.



The DLC, while perhaps a bit slight, feels like just what Dishonored needed. While the ten challenges are great, I can already tell that I'm going to want more of them.







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The stealth challenge "Mystery Foe" puts you into a "Lady Boyle's Last Party"-type scenario, where you'll have to sneak about a party undetected and gather clues about who your target is before taking him or her out. The fewer clues you need to take down your target, the higher you score. The best bit is that the target is randomly selected each time, making the level feel a bit like something out of Hitman: Absolution's smart Contracts Mode.



"Burglar" has you robbing a house (that floats, awesomely, in the same dream-zone in which you meet The Stranger), and remaining undetected. There are wave-based attack challenges, too, as well as one of my favorites, "Kill Cascade," which has you chaining those oh-so-satisfying aerial kills together as quickly as possible.



I've only played an hour or so of Dunwall City Trials, but it already feels like a solid add-on for anyone who liked the core game. It's hard not to wish for a couple more stealth challenges, as those are the best of the bunch, but each challenge offers a welcomely stiff challenge and some good optional objectives, and certainly feels worth five bucks. As with the challenge rooms in Batman: Arkham City, the trials are a fun way to stress-test Dishonored's systems without worrying about your chaos level or which powers you've chosen.



I hope that, as Bethesda releases more DLC for the game, we get to see another slew of challenge rooms in addition to whatever else they may be planning. Dishonored deserves even more of this kind of thing.


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