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Brothers Colin and Connor McGuire wanted a Left 4 Dead movie... so they made one.



The home project took them the better part of two years, including 3000 hours of editing. The final product is about the length of an "hour" long television show, clocking in around 40 minutes, and looks at least as good as several TV shows I've seen.



You can find out more about the making-of from the video listing and the McGuires' Facebook page.


Kotaku

Turn Your Face Into A Portal Turret With This Badass MaskWe've seen artist TwoHornsUnited come up with some Portal referencing gas masks before, but this one is even more creepily awesome.



I also get the impression that I would look like a Valve-inspired Transformer if I wore that, and then my brain goes on from there to invent wild action sequences where I'm flying through the air shooting lasers at Decepticons while the Autobots cheer me on as their secret weapon and savior.



Is that the door right there? I'll just let myself out.



Turn Your Face Into A Portal Turret With This Badass Mask Turn Your Face Into A Portal Turret With This Badass Mask Turn Your Face Into A Portal Turret With This Badass Mask





The Aperture Science Sentry turret soldier helmet [TwoHornsUnited via On The Level Gaming]


Kotaku

A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy LandLaura Dubuk is an artist and designer employed at Valve, where her most recent public work was her contribution to the studio's terrific Meet the Pyro trailer.



She's also worked on games like Portal 2, and in this gallery you'll see a collection of some of her best stuff, both from personal projects and from Valve games.



Note that you may have seen that top pic before, especially if you've been to Michael Fahey's house.



If you like what you see, you can check out more of Laura's work at her personal site.



To see the larger pics in all their glory (or 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 or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!



A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land A Closer Look at Meet the Pyro's Psychotic Fantasy Land
Kotaku

DOTA 2's Official Replica Weapons Are Blowing My MindUnlike some of its other series, Valve isn't going for massmarket appeal with its official DOTA 2 merchandise. Instead, it's teamed up with special effects house WETA for a range of statues and replicas that is very fancy.



Available for pre-order from WETA's online store, there are two swords, a shield (all life-size) and a statue, all priced between $249 and $299.



Those looking for something even more impressive, take a look here to see the work that went into creating the Aegis of Champions, the trophy handed out to the winners of the 2012 International.



DOTA 2 [WETA]





DOTA 2's Official Replica Weapons Are Blowing My Mind DOTA 2's Official Replica Weapons Are Blowing My Mind DOTA 2's Official Replica Weapons Are Blowing My Mind DOTA 2's Official Replica Weapons Are Blowing My Mind DOTA 2's Official Replica Weapons Are Blowing My Mind
Kotaku





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Over the weekend, the Asia E-Sports Cup was held at the Tokyo Game Show. Local Japanese team myRevenge (formerly UNiTED) faced off against the largely Singaporean team Asking Questions.



Noppo has been playing competitive Counter-Strike for a while now and is one of the best players in Japan—and the world.



The above clip is from the Asia E-Sports Cup, and supposedly, that's no mod. Cheats and mods are not allowed in tournament play.



So, while the clip shows through the walls, this was edited in. Noppo was apparently shooting through those walls "blindly" based only on sound, crowd reaction, and where people usually hide. What's more, Noppo had to remember which walls his bullets could pass through (and which guns to use).



MyRevenge took first place in Counter-Strike 1.6 at the Asia E-Sports Cup—and as this clip shows, deservedly so. The team was awarded ¥800,000, which is around US$10,000.



The above clip comes courtesy of The Developing Community and YouTube user Sparky1337357.



Asia e-Sports Cup 2012 - Noppo vs Asking Questions [Sparky1337357@YouTube via HLTV]



『Asia e-Sports Cup 2012』 Counter-Strike1.6 部門で日本チームの myRevenge が優勝 [Negitaku]



(Video Thumb: Negitaku)



Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.
Kotaku

We Almost Got A Left 4 Dead Expansion Based On Cabin In The WoodsEagle-eyed gamers watching the tricksy horror flick Cabin In The Woods might have noticed a cool shout-out to Valve's Left 4 Dead in a sequence in the third act of the movie.



Talking today in a Reddit IAmA, the film's director Drew Goddard said we almost got a lot more than that: If MGM hadn't gone bankrupt, we would've gotten a downloadable Left 4 Dead expansion pack based on the movie.



Cabin In The Woods Spoilers Follow.



Here's Goddard:




We actually were going to do a downloadable L4D2 expansion pack, where you'd fight in the Cabin world, but then MGM went bankrupt so the delay squashed it. But the people at Valve were still cool enough to let us use some of their monsters to fill the cubes in the background (I had a lot of cubes to fill.)



By the way — the game was gonna be amazing. You were gonna be able to play in both the upstairs "Cabin in the Woods" world and the downstairs "facility" world with all the monsters. Believe me, I HATE all video games based on movies, they always suck, but porting Cabin into Left For Dead felt like the right fit. It pains me that it didn't happen.




I already think that Cabin in the Woods had a lot of fun playing with video game tropes, so it hurts my heart that we almost got to take a four-player run not only through the cabin but through the monster-filled facility underneath. I wonder if there would have been a merman? Or if Sigourney Weaver would have been the final girl-boss?



I guess now we'll never know. But we can always imagine.



Drew Goddard IAmA [Reddit via Tom Francis]


Kotaku

The One Man Left In The World Who Hasn't Heard Portal Spoilers Plays Portal, And It Is Glorious Mark Oshiro does things. He has, in a sense, made a professional life out of being a fan. For several years, on his sites Mark Reads and Mark Watches, he has tackled fan favorite TV shows (like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who) and novels (Harry Potter, His Dark Materials) one episode or chapter at a time. The catch is that he only reviews stories for which he is completely unspoiled. The results are generally hilarious, and Oshiro has developed a fan following of his own.



He has now added Mark Plays to the trilogy of sites, in which he experiences and reviews video games (again, games that he has somehow always managed to avoid spoilers for) one chapter or section at a time. And in fine fashion, the site has started with Portal and Portal 2.



Following along with the experience of an unspoiled, new player brings back fond memories of experiencing a game oneself for the first time. And Oshiro's chronic unpreparedness for the twists stories throw at him often rings familiar:




Look, this was a 19 level puzzle game. I THOUGHT YOU BEAT IT, YOU GOT CAKE, AND THAT WAS IT. And suddenly, I'm in passageways looking in on the very game I just played, and my mind can't handle it. That 19th level pulls your right out of the world you were once in, and you have to force yourself to accept that you've been manipulated, not only as Chell, but as the player.




Anyone who has ever enjoyed introducing their friends to a favorite game, and waiting with pent-up glee for the friend to hit THAT MOMENT OMG, will probably enjoy reading along, as Mark discovers more classic and current titles.



Just don't ever leave any spoilers. That wrecks all the fun.



Mark Plays...


Kotaku

Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2Realm Lovejoy is an artist currently working at Half-Life and Team Fortress developers Valve Software. Having helped create student title Narbacular Drop, which later evolved into what we now know as Portal, she's also interned at Nintendo.



So, yeah, dream career path right there.



Among her current projects is Valve's DOTA 2, for which she's done stuff like character design, while she's also worked on games like Portal 2. Oh, and if you want someone to thank for the adorable art that ran during Steam's Autumn sale in 2011, Realm's your target.



You can check out more of her work at her personal site.



To see the larger pics in all their glory (or 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 or character art you'd like to share, drop us a line!



Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2 Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2 Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2 Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2 Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2 Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2 Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2 Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2 Some Valve Art From Portal & DOTA 2
Kotaku

Black Mesa: The Kotaku ReviewFan-made Black Mesa is a remake of Valve's classic 1998 shooter Half-Life. It's been in development for around eight years, which is poignant, since it's been around that long since I've played the original.



A lot has changed since then.



For starters, the project's original goal slowly became almost untenable as time went by. First conceived as a way to remake Half-Life and do it properly - unlike Valve's own lacklustre effort - as the years dragged on it became less and less likely that the finished product (if it ever was finished!) would look as modern as it had first been hoped. Time was moving faster than the project's ability to keep up with it.



So, let's get this out of the way first. Black Mesa does not look like a modern video game. The limitations of both the Source Engine, and the fact its armchair developers were working with someone else's code, means that things like object density and character animation look like something you'd have seen in 2007, not the kind of thing we're accustomed to now, even in mods.



That's not to say it's ugly, far from it. There are some gorgeous lighting and environmental effects to be seen, and as a foundation Valve's original art design still looks, in many parts, as fresh as it did when it was first released. But in general, for the majority of your playthrough, you'll feel like you're playing, yeah, something from 2007.



Black Mesa: The Kotaku Review
WHY: Black Mesa isn't just a remake of one of the greatest games of all time, it's also, in many ways, an improvement. Oh, and it's free.




Black Mesa


Developer: Black Mesa Mod Team

Platforms: PC

Released: Sept. 14



Type of game: First-person shooter.



What I played: The whole thing, in three sittings. It's shorter than I remember it.






My Two Favorite Things




  • It's an update to a classic, but it's a restrained, tasteful update.

  • Did I mention it's Half-Life, and it's free?






My Two Least-Favorite Things




  • The new music is, at times, wonderful. But at other times it's wholly unsuitable.

  • Some of the new voice acting isn't so great either.






Made-to-Order-Back-of-Box-Quotes




  • "Black Mesa has Full-Life Consequences!—Luke Plunkett, Kotaku.com

  • "Still hot shit" —Luke Plunkett, Kotaku.com




Except for the parts where you remember you're playing a game that's actually from 1998. Those simply reliving old glories won't mind, and will probably even enjoy the fact, but for younger players interested in seeing what all the fuss is about, know that the FPS genre moved on from a lot of this game's staples for a very good reason. You need health packs to survive, not five seconds behind cover, which may make things harder, but often also results in a tedious procession of endless quicksaves. There is still platforming, dominated by crouch-jumping, and it's still dreadful.



But you know what? None of that stuff really matters. Because Half-Life, like its sequel, is great not for its bullet-point features, but for the way it pioneered the experience of really being in the first-person perspective, and not just using it as a disembodied floating gun platform. And Black Mesa doesn't just maintain that feeling, it's where the bulk of the really worthwhile improvements have been made.



This isn't just a remake. The Black Mesa team, led by Carlos "cman2k" Montero, have quietly gone in and either fixed or added new content all around the fringes of the game to make it more immersive, to really kick up the sense that Black Mesa was a facility where a lot of people worked, and not just some empty, cavernous shooting gallery.



That means more chit-chat and incidental events in the background. More junk lying around. One gun has, gasp, iron sights. Many areas have even been not-so-subtly changed, to make them bigger, or even just to be more impressive.



Which is a gutsy thing to do! There are other developers porting obscure old games who wouldn't dare mess with the original, let alone something on the level of Half-Life, one of the greatest games of all time. But these guys did, and did it well, so my hats are off to them.



Especially for the end. If you've never played Half-Life, know this: the end sucks. I don't mean that relative to the rest of the game, I mean it really sucks. Terrible first-person platforming combined with a weird storyline twist (that sits at odds with the one of the rest of the series) makes it easily Half-Life's lowest moment.



Lucky for newcomers (and everyone), then, it's gone. You don't play it. The team have cut it from this release of the mod, and instead of plugging it in later, will release it as a standalone title sometime in the future, promising to make substantial changes. It's not often you can praise a game for leaving something out, but again, making that call must have taken guts, and in the end it was the right call. The Half-Life experience is a tighter and more coherent one without it.



It feels strange playing Black Mesa after all this time. I'd honestly resigned myself to never getting my hands on it at all. It's also weirdly stressful to be reviewing it; while it's a fan-made mod, it's also a remake of one of the greatest PC games ever made, only now I'm reviewing it with 12 years of critical baggage and adoration along for the ride.







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Which, of course, must have been nothing compared to the stresses involved in actually creating such a high-profile project. There have been AAA original titles come and go with less scrutiny than this mod, which may explain in part why it's taken eight years to get the thing into the hands of the public.



Now that it's here, though, the Black Mesa team has actually delivered. This is Half-Life updated just enough to make it palatable for contemporary tastes, but not so much as to deviate from the original vision. Considering the amount of people involved, the time it's taken and the legacy of the source material, it's an amazing achievement.



Almost as amazing as the fact that it's free.


Kotaku





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Well, I mean, I don't think it will shoot you. But this Portal turret does everything but that—it even has a working motion detector! We'd already seen this little guy in action before, but this official video from Valve is a lot cooler.



Okay, time to see how much it'd cost to get one of these to hang out in my apartment. Surely they can't be that expensive...


...

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