Feb 29, 2012
Kotaku

Kotaku East Starts NowKotaku East runs from 4am to 8am EST. For more info about Kotaku East click here.
Kotaku





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This is a perfect storm. It's as if the internet gods got together and created this just to show what they were capable of.



It is, as noted in this post's title, a cat watching Star Wars—no, a cat sitting up while watching Star Wars.



Cat is watching "Star Wars" [YouTube via GWen Harlow via Nonsequitur via LaughingSquid via Nerdist]


Kotaku

Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game ArtReader Thayer likes to take legal tender and draw all over it. While that's technically illegal, we're going to hold off on reporting him to the authorities, because any man who turns Abe Lincoln into the Dovahkiin is OK in our books.



The shots you see are just some of his more gamey works; you'll find plenty more at his blog, which has the wonderful name "The Dastardly Dollar Bill Art of Lord Thayer"



The Dastardly Dollar Bill Art of Lord Thayer [Tumblr]



Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game Art

Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game Art

Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game Art

Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game Art

Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game Art

Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game Art

Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game Art

Turning Dollar Bills Into Works of Video Game Art


Kotaku

Game Informer Accidentally Leaks Another Assassin's Creed III Image? [Update]Only a few hours after we gave you the first look at what's likely to be Assassin's Creed III's new hero, website Game Informer appears to have accidentally displayed an image all but confirming its legitimacy.



The image, which seems to have gone up a little too early, has since been pulled down (but which was first captured and then uploaded by NeoGAF users). It shows the same character in our image from yesterday (though he's looking a lot younger), in the same hood design, along with another shot of an assassin tapping George Washington on the shoulder.



Hey, George. What's up.



(OK, he's not really tapping, it looks more like he's pointing the way across the Delaware. It's also likely an in-house Photoshop on Game Informer's part, combining Ubisoft's character art with the classic painting).



Given the proximity to yesterday's leak and the fact it's pointing towards a "hub", Game Informer's usual means of highlighting content ties to a particularly big exclusive, all signs are indeed pointing to a big reveal for the game in the coming days. If not sooner.



Bear in mind, though, none of this - including the image here - is confirmed as being authentic, so exercise a pinch of caution.



UPDATE - Website Toastervision was sharp on the buzzer and got a screengrab while the banner was still live on Game Informer's website. You can see it here.



[via NeoGAF]



Game Informer Accidentally Leaks Another Assassin's Creed III Image? [Update]


Kotaku

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone UniverseAndrejs Skuja works at Killzone developers Guerilla Games, where he's currently a senior concept artist specialising in character design.



Which is why, aside from a surprisingly interesting glance at the dumpsters and fold-out chairs of the future, this gallery will almost entirely feature his amazing work helping design the characters and costumes of the Killzone universe.



What I love about this stuff is the incidental stuff, the things beyond the men with the guns. Like what pretty ladies look like in the Killzone universe. Even on Helghan, there is high fashion!



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



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

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe

The Dapper Villains and Pretty Ladies of the Killzone Universe


Kotaku





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You know, it's funny, every time we've posted one of Eric Ruth's amazing demake videos, people have complained "looks great, but why doesn't he make something original?". Well, shut up. He's making something original.



This is Corril Slayer, inspired by the likes of Mega Man and Castlevania, where the player flips between the real world and the ghost world, all the while shooting as many pixels as you've got bullets for.



If you like what you see - and it looks pretty great - you can buy it on PC for $3 at the link below.



Corril Slayer [indievania]


Kotaku

An Enormous Zelda Painting to Blow Your Socks Clean OffLast Year, Japanese artist ag+ put together one of the most amazing pieces of fan art the world has ever seen.



Well, obviously drawing inspiration from that image, here's a slightly smaller, more focused effort by L-DAWB, which instead of spanning the series' entire history just looks at Skyward Sword.



I'm really liking the different styles coming together in the one piece.



LOZ SKYWARD SWORD [DeviantArt, via Video Game Nostalgia


An Enormous Zelda Painting to Blow Your Socks Clean Off


Kotaku





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I'd love to be able to tell you this debut trailer for MechWarrior Online gave us a first look at how it plays, but of course, it doesn't. It gives us a first look at a man climbing into a giant walking tank.



First revealed last year, the game's already got a few people concerned simply for the fact it's a free-to-play title.


Kotaku





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Forget what the Driver series has become over the years. When the first game was released, back in 1999, it had a very clear vision: take a badass movie and make a badass video game out of it.



But wait, was there a movie called Driver? No. There was one called The Driver, however, which Ubisoft's Reflections studio lifted as much from as it could without having to actually pay for the license.



The Driver was a 1978 movie starring Ryan O'Neal, Bruce Dern, and Isabelle Adjani. It was about a guy who drove getaway cars for bank robberies. And he was good. Very good. He also didn't speak much, so if you were wondering whether this flick was also a big inspiration for 2011's Drive (whose main character is often referred to only as The Driver), then yes, it probably was.



It's a cool movie. Very "real", with great car chases. It's most memorable moment, however, is early on, when O'Neal's character is put to the test by two prospective clients, who meet him in an underground garage and want him to show his stuff. Which he does. And then some. You can see the sequence above.







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Driver, the game - which follows the spirit of the movie, if not the exact plot - pays the ultimate homage to this by lifting the sequence and turning it into the player's tutorial. Which was brilliant. No stilted commentary here, or constant pauses for instruction. You're dropped in an underground garage and asked to drive.



Listen closely (that's it to the left) and you can even hear your passengers screaming and exclaiming, just like they do in the movie's sequence.



If you haven't played the original Driver, you really should. It's got a simplicity to its design and vision (a lot of it based around copying this movie) that later games just completely lost track of. And if you haven't seen the movie The Driver, you really should. It's got some of the best car chases you'll ever see.



Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends. You'll find Total Recall stories every Mon-Fri between 11pm and Midnight ET.
Kotaku

Why a Colonial Assassin's Creed Makes Complete Sense (and Sounds Awesome)It's becoming increasingly likely that the next major instalment in the Assassin's Creed series takes place during the American War of Independence.



Which shouldn't be a surprise. It's been suspected for years now that the game would be set around there. Seeing what appears to be final proof, though, has a lot of us excited. And for almost purely historical reasons. Here's why.



(Yes, this is going to be largely about actual history. Indulge me.)



THE REVOLUTION DESERVES BETTER


Given it was the birthplace of the American nation, the War of Independence has taken on mythical status in the hearts and minds of many Americans. Yet anyone who actually knows a thing or two about the war, and its causes, knows that there's actually very little mythical about it.



Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed games may play loose with the facts, but in the more tangible history of a time period, they excel. What I mean by that is the politics, the attitudes, the society, even the fashion. It'll be interesting seeing them apply the same focus to such a revered time in American history, and hopefully show that it wasn't all as heroic as most movies and popular accounts would have you believe.



The choice of a Native American protagonist, as it appears has been made, would only aid this. Rather than having you play as a colonial, or a loyalist, being one of the indigenous population gives them the opportunity to propel the story from outside the partisan restrictions of the reds vs the blues.



THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE TREES


People are already complaining that Colonial America lacked the large urban sprawls present in previous games. To that I say...those cities weren't exactly to scale. You can't run across Constantinople in a day. I also say, Colonial America had plenty of large urban centres. New York at the time was home to just under 50,000 people, while there were around 25,000 living in Philadelphia. Not exactly Rome, I grant you that, but big enough (if recreated in scale) for someone to run around in all day.



Another aspect of the same complaint is that those cities lack the towering landmarks we've been able to climb all over in other games. Well, they had church towers, same as any other city you've played an Assassin's Creed game. There were also large forts and plenty of tall ships.







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But consider the character (who appears to be Native American) and the setting. Ever see Last of the Mohicans? Specifically, the scene (to your left) where the French and Native Americans ambush the British column in the forest? Colonial America may have been short on medieval cathedrals, but it had plenty of tall trees and mountains you could just as easily run through and over. Opening things up like that would also give the new game a nice change from the previous games, in which buildings were about the only things you could climb.



Oh, and if you really want to (I'm sorry) go out on a limb: given the war was as much driven by events in London and Paris as in the New World, what's to say you don't end up at one or both of those locations as well?



NATIVE AMERICANA


It's approaching cliché, the number of times the argument that there aren't enough minorities represented in video games pops up and someone makes a joke about Prey. Well, here we have what looks to be a Native American starring in one of the biggest video games on the planet, one that precedence shows may last well beyond a single title. And it's an entirely serious series to boot.



GUNS & STEEL


I'd long argued this game would be set in this time period based on a single assumption: that it was as late as they could set a game without having to completely overhaul every aspect of its combat. The late 18th century saw large battles fought by lines of men armed with muskets, yes, but smaller-scale engagements weren't so grand. And the American War of Independence had plenty of those. Whether it was Europeans using bayonets and swords to Native Americans using tomahawks and other melee weapos, there's enough gunpowder around to make it important (remember, Ezio's had a pistol for a while now) but still enough reliance on bladed weapons to retain those essential mechanics of sticking sharp things in people's necks.



Also: scalping. You know it'll be in there. Somewhere.



PLENTY OF TARGETS


While we have no idea which side you'll be on in the war, if you even take a side at all (hopefully you don't), the fact there were so many nations and races at play should make for a great variety of people to talk to, rob from and stab in the face. Past games have always featured a clash of peoples or cultures, and the War of Independence was no different.



You've got established colonials. European immigrants from all corners of the continent. Local militias. The Continental Army. The British Army. Tens of thousands of Germans fighting for the British Army. The Royal Navy. The French Army. The French Navy. The Spanish Army. Slaves. Not to mention Native Americans on both sides (and stuck in the middle).



SUPPORTING CAST






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One of the things that's helped the latter games stand out from the original is the cast of supporting characters. Some of them are fake, sure, but others, like Leonardo Da Vinci, are of course real people, and weaving them into the story has worked wonders.



Imagine, then, the possibilities present in the War of Independence, which has no shortage of both important and fascinating characters. There's George Washington, of course, interesting not only for his importance, but also for the fact he fought for both sides in his long military career. There's Benjamin Franklin. Paul Revere. And don't forget Benedict Arnold as a possible Templar villain, who like Washington fought for both sides (only he did it in the same war).



AMERICA FUCK YEAH?


I've already seen a few people complaining that this is yet another game about America, that it's a shame to see a series that had been so un-American end up so, well, American. That to me sounds ridiculous. The America you're sick of seeing wouldn't be the America represented in a Colonial video game. This is that nation's origin story, and as such will sound and feel much more European (particularly British) than anything you normally associate with electric guitars and square jaws.



Besides. Desmond Miles is American. His lineage had to end up in the US sooner or later. And the guys making the game? Most of them aren't American either.



Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends. You'll find Total Recall stories every Mon-Fri between 11pm and Midnight ET.
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