The Best Of Kotaku, This WeekWelcome to the Best of Kotaku, where I round up all of this week's best content.

I just had to reuse one of those gorgeous shots from Far Cry 3. Look how pretty that game looks. And that island. If it wasn't infested with sharks, tigers and thugs, I'd definitely want to go visit.

Moving on to our Best Of content this week, we kick things off as usual with a comment from the community.

The Best Comment From The Community

Our favorite comment of this week comes to you from OddDino:

Something I love about Link is the way the character design has been largely unchanged since the first game, meaning the fans of the franchise have come to associate that design with everything Link stands for.

Link, despite his limitations, is a surprisingly diverse character.
Each game tends to have Link expressing himself in a different way and showing slight alterations on his core traits, especially in the newer games.

In a lot of the earlier games Link had a childish dismissal of the severity of the situation he was in, with elements of the story that could be really dark and sinister not really phasing him.
Twilight Princess had a much more tortured link, giving him a lot more reasons to fight out of anger and to protect his loved ones, with a number of scenes showing people he cared about being directly put in danger.
Skyward Sword in my opinion had by far the most well characterised Link, as the story started out with him and Zelda already in the middle of a very strongly developed relationship.
The characters around would comment on Link's lifestyle and constantly point out how impressed they were by the ways he had grown during his search for Zelda.
At multiple points you come face to face with Zelda only to be separated each time, but at each of these moments the reason for the separation was different.

At first Link is denied access to Zelda because he has not matured enough to be with her again, the second time he lets her go in order to protect her, the third time he accepts that Zelda has a job more important than reuniting with him, and so he lets her go.
Each time Link's motivations change slightly, each time his purpose is to be with Zelda again, but as the game progresses he accepts more and more responsibility and realises there is more at stake than just there relationship.

Banned From Making Money, These YouTubers Share Their Stories

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Jason Schreier rounds up more stories from YouTubers. More »

The Wonderful, Terrible State of Modern Multiplayer Video Games

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Patricia Hernandez contemplates the benefits and drawbacks of evolving technology. More »

The Real Problem With BioShock Infinite's Box Art: Poor Trigger Finger Discipline

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Tina Amini points out a bad habit of video game box art that don't feature protagonists properly holding their weapons. More »

It's A Desperate Fight For Survival In The Opening Hours Of Tomb Raider

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Kirk Hamilton previews the newest Tomb Raider and comes away with a ton of information. More »

Dragonborn Is The First Skyrim DLC That Actually Feels Like An Expansion

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Jason finds a lot of new and exciting things to discover in this latest DLC. More »

Before You Start: Tips For Playing Far Cry 3 The Best Way

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Kirk rounds up a bunch of tips to help you get going in Far Cry 3. More »

Ask The Creators of Assassin's Creed III Questions. They're Here To Answer Them Right Now.

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Alex Hutchinson and Matt Turner answered your questions live. More »

This Year's Biggest Shooters Remind Me Why Multiplayer Unlocks Suck

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Patricia explains why she doesn't like the unlock system in first-person shooters. More »

Skyrim: Dragonborn: The Kotaku Review

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Jason finds quite a lot to explore in Skyrim's new DLC. More »

Guitar Hero 7 Was Going To Have Six-String Guitars, No Drums, No Singing. Was Cancelled In 2011.

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Stephen Totilo tells us the story of how Guitar Hero 7 was canned. More »

Shooters, Let Me Play As A Rookie Moron, Please

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Luke Plunkett wants a video game that doesn't pit you as an all-powerful soldier. More »

What It's Like to Play a Game About Someone Else's Dreams

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Chris Person reminisces about LSD: Dream Emulator. More »

Why David Petraeus Will Never Be a Strategy Game General

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Michael Peck explains why David Petraeus could never appear in a strategy game. More »

The Year's Worst Bullshots, aka, Screenshots That Lied To You

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Luke puts together a bunch of screenshots that look way better than the games they're associated with do. More »

I've Played 4 1/2 Hours of BioShock Infinite. I'm No Longer Worried About This Game

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Stephen pretty much liveblogs his preview experience with BioShock Infinite. More »

Square Enix, You Have a Problem. You Are Addicted to Countdown Clocks and Need Help.

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Brian Ashcraft doesn't want to see this sort of drip-fed, hyped-up information anymore. More »

Nine Signs That Video Games Grew Up a Bit in 2012

The Best Of Kotaku, This Week

Evan Narcisse gives us proof of how games have grown up this year. More »


Dark Souls II Introduces a New Hero, a New World, New Multiplayer and a New Game DirectorDark Souls II, the surprise sequel announced at Friday's Spike TV Video Game Awards, is going to be tough, its creators promised in a press release. That's to be expected.

But here's a surprise: the series' creator, From Software's Hidetaka Miyazaki, will serve only as a supervisor on the sequel, while the game will actually be directed by From's Tomohiro Shibuya. His comments about the game don't shed a whole lot of light on the sequel, other than to indicate that the new title will be faithful to the older ones but also introduce new things (as expected, of course): "This new chapter in the Dark Souls saga presents opportunities for us to drive innovation in gameplay design, develop an entirely new story, and expand the scope of the world in which the player interacts with the game. We have taken these necessary steps with Dark Souls II in order to evolve the overall experience of the Dark Souls series... the entire development team is striving to make Dark Souls II an experience that is fresh while not forsaking its roots in presenting players with challenging gameplay. Our goal is to surprise and delight our fans with new experiences and plot twists while enticing new players to join our dark journey."

According to the game's publisher, the new game "will feature a new hero, a new storyline, and an unfamiliar world for players to survive in while delivering its signature brand of unrelenting punishment that players hunger for."

It seems that multiplayer is going to be tweaked as well. Demon's Souls and Dark Souls had an unusual multiplayer system that allowed users to do everything from leaving quest hints for each other to invading each other's games. So what to make of this bit from the press release about Dark Souls II ? "Players seeking to share their experience will discover a revamped server-based multiplayer mode that will put a distinct Dark Souls II twist on the concept of playing with others."

The game's publisher, Namco, is promising a game full of "unrelenting challenge."

Dark Souls II is slated for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. No timeframe given, though anything sooner than late 2013 would be a shock. No mention of Wii U or next-gen platforms. Hmmm.

Watch the trailer for the new game here.


Did Metal Gear Solid 5 Just Get Secretly Announced?Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo is out in L.A. for the Spike Video Game Awards. And he's dug up some evidence that appears to support the theory that the mysterious Phantom Pain game is in fact another Metal Gear title.

See the trailer here

The moody trailer for The Phantom Pain took everyone by surprised when it aired on Friday night and theories immediately started spinning about what it could portend. Upon seeing the logo, Totilo spoke to the gentleman pictured below about the shirt he was wearing. This conversation happened at a Konami party. Moreover, the mystery man said that he designed the shirts for the Moby Dick dev outfit. When Totilo replied by saying that Moby Dick wasn't a real studio, Shirt Guy just laughed.

Did Metal Gear Solid 5 Just Get Secretly Announced?

Konami, of course, publishes the Metal Gear games and this man's presence at a Konami fete could mean that the Phantom Pain trailer could be teasing Ground Zeroes or even Metal Gear Solid 5. Consider, too, these images sent in by tipster Nil Zero. The theory here is that a Metal Gear Solid V logo is lurking in plain sight. Active camo, anyone?

Did Metal Gear Solid 5 Just Get Secretly Announced? Did Metal Gear Solid 5 Just Get Secretly Announced?

According to Totilo, no one affiliated with Konami is talking. But, then again, maybe they don't need to.

The conspiracy theorists at NeoGAF are rounding up hints that further support the Metal Gear Solid V theory. Check out the thread—and the animated GIF below—there.

Did Metal Gear Solid 5 Just Get Secretly Announced?


Here's a preview of an upcoming Minecraft update, showcasing fireworks, enchanted books and nether brick slabs.

And, in case the you're interested in the fireworks, here's a closer look at how they work and how you'll be making them. Creeper-shaped fireworks? Neat.

EDIT: The fireworks update "will be out before Christmas, and 1.5 will wait until January (or possibly February)," according to Mojang.


BioShock Infinite Shoots Up The VGAs With An Explosive New Trailer At the 2012 Video Game Awards, Ken Levine of Irrational Games previewed the latest trailer from BioShock Infinite, which is now releasing on March 26. This appears to be entirely in-game footage, with 75 seconds of that being straight gameplay and not cinematics.

BioShock Infinite: VGAs Trailer


If Samuel L. Jackson Cameoed in Black Ops II, He'd Look Like ThisCompleting his cameo tour of the year's biggest games, this is Samuel L. Jackson appearing in what he calls "The real motherf—-ing Black Ops."


Halo 4's Multiplayer Soap Opera Continues on Jan. 21. 2013 The Spartan Ops episodic missions for Halo 4 have provided a whole other narrative experience for players of the Xbox 360 exclusive. The weekly UNSC vs Covenant drama will continue in January. Here's a teaser of what's coming.

Skip ahead to 6:33 for the trailer:

Halo 4: Spartan Ops: VGAs Trailer


Gears of War: Judgment Shows Us How the Fighting Started The key takeaway to this prequel to Epic Games' sci-fi shooter series is the idea that the humans of Sera thought they could win a fight against the Locust. You've got Delta Squad's Baird and Cole front and center as the Slugs start to break through the surface. Giant subterranean lifeforms? Check. Cover combat. Check. A sense of scale bigger thane we've seen in previous Gears games? It's got that, too. Look for Gears of War: Judgment to hit next March.

Skip to 7:57 in the below video for the trailer:

Gears of War: Judgment: VGAs Trailer


This is All We Know About "Moby Dick Studio", Alleged Makers of The Phantom Pain [Update]The Phantom Pain was a world premiere trailer out of left field—not only is that a new series, it's a new studio. Well, to most folks, anyway. Ever heard of Moby Dick Studio? Me either.

[Update] It's Kojima.

[Update] Yeah, we hear you. "Joakim" is a rearranged spelling of "Kojima." All sorts of things point to this being some kind of a surprise reveal for a Metal Gear Solid game. Fine. Here's how this outfit describes itself on its own page.

Moby Dick Studio is a game developing company operating out of Stockholm, Sweden. Moby Dick Studio was founded by CEO Joakim Mogren who after years of working for a major American developer brought together people out of various game studios from around the Scandinavian area to start something new.

Our goal is to deliver an uncompromising, exciting and touching game experience to people all around the globe.

We will shortly be disclosing information regarding our first major release.

That's the only page with anything on it. Tabs for an image gallery and studio are coming soon.

And, all the chatter backstage at the VGAs seems to hint strongly that this is a teaser for the next Metal Gear game.

Moby Dick Studio [Official Site]


And This is Mace Windu as an Angry BirdSamuel L. Jackson, host of the 2012 Video Game Awards, is cameoing in some of the year's most noteworthy games. Here he reprises his Jedi master role in Angry Birds: Star Wars.