Half-Life: Origins Brings Us Back

One of the many things that people love and remember about the original Half-Life is the opening sequence that featured no combat and set the stage for the rest of the game. This fan made short movie does a great job of highlighting many of the familiar sites and sounds of Black Mesa, all in live action!

Race Across Land, Air And Sea!

Coming soon to the Nintendo 3DS, the official site for Mario Kart 7 has launched giving fans an edge on how to race the fastest in the wildest Mario Kart game yet! Different sections highlight product features ranging from local multiplayer, download play and how to customize your kart. Express your personal style and racing preferences with a range of chassis, tires, and gliders. Bulk up with monster wheels for battle mode or opt for slim and sleek parts to zip through Grand Prix mode. Click on Items to see an array of devastating items within your reach. Blast your opponents with Koopa shells, use Mushrooms for a speedy boost, and discover all-new items that will give you an edge on these tricked out tracks.

The Adventure Continues With Infinity Blade II On All IOS Devices

From Epic Games and Chair Entertainment comes Infinity Blade II, the sequel to the critically acclaimed, best-selling iOS game Infinity Blade will be available on 12/1/11. Infinity Blade II continues to raise the bar for triple-A mobile gaming by allowing players to build skills and upgrade characters all while delving deeper into this mysterious, timeless adventure. On the official destination site, fans can connect with the community or download Brandon Sanderson’s “Infinity Blade: Awakening” the story of a young knight named Siris that has fought through an army of Titans to face the tyrannical God King in one-on-one combat. His quest for freedom will take him on an epic journey in search of the one being in the world who can unravel the secrets of the Infinity Blade.

Zynga CEO Approval Rating Below 50 Percent

Glass Door, a career services firm, released the results of a survey conducted before Zynga’s quiet period, and CEO Marcus Pincus only had a 46 percent approval rating far below the average rating of 62 for most CEOs. The best of executives, like the late Steve Jobs, were around 97 percent; by contrast, the rating for Pincus is akin to recently fired Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and former HP boss Leo Apotheker.

“If you are under 25, have no kids, love the smell of dog and want to get fat eating all kinds of free food, by all means, apply,” said one written response provided by Glass Door.  “It will be the extension of the dorm-living that you will need right after college. Professionals who want to complete an entire design/develop/iterate/deploy/and document cycle will find the going is tough.”

Source: VentureBeat

Shogun 2: Total War – Fall Of The Samurai

Shogun 2: Total War was set during the ‘Sengoku Jidai’ or ‘Warring States Period’ of Japan, while the expansion Rise of the Samurai dealt with the ‘Genpei War’ some 400 years prior to that. However, a new stand alone expansion Fall Of The Samurai leaps a few centuries into the future to depict the ‘Boshin War’ and the modernization of Japan during the ‘Meiji Restoration.’

Kinect 2 Reportedly Can Read Facial Expressions

According to reports, Microsoft is already planning a next-generation Kinect device that can read lips. Kinect 2 is said to offer improved motion tracking and voice recognition and come bundled in future Xbox consoles.

Specific abilities of the Kinect 2 are said to determine player facing, emotions like anger and the pitch and volume of player voices. The reason for the limitations on the current Kinect are because it is a USB device, which the Kinect 2 is not.

“[Kinect 2] can be cabled straight through on any number of technologies that just take phenomenally high res data straight to the main processor and straight to the main RAM and ask, what do you want to do with it ” the source said.

Source: eurogamer.net

LA Noire Creator’s Next Game Lined Up With George Miller

George Miller has acquired the rights to Team Bondi founder Brendan McNamara’s next game, Whore Of The Orient. The man behind Mad Max said that his seminal post-apocalyptic series will also get the game treatment.

“With the government’s support we can immediately go forward with two games,” says Mitchell. “Warner Bros is standing by, willing to do Fury Road; the incentive would bring it back here in a New York minute. It’s not immediately obvious but the potential in the video games sector is massive. Just from the statistics people are showing me, it’s a $60 billion industry fast-tracking towards $90 billion. And it’s not dominated by any particular country. Films are very expensive, so studios… are making drastically fewer of them, but much higher quality, and they invest in sequels, because they know that they’ve got an opening which they don’t have to buy with their marketing dollars as aggressively.”

“They’ll make 10 films where they used to make 20. So, instead, people are drifting to game acquisition because of the budgets. The cost of a film may be $170 million – twice that to market it – whereas the basic cost of making a game might be 10 per cent of that. Look at LA Noire, they sold about 3 million units in a week, about $135 million net revenue, off a cost base which was infinitely lower than even your average low-budget film.”

On game making, Miller said, “It’s four-dimensional storytelling. A game can literally become the equivalent of a novel. That is the thing that people like me who write screenplays envy about novelists: that you can actually stop time and explore little cul de sacs. Whereas in a movie, you’d love to stop and examine that character, but you can’t. You’re on a rail . . . and if you talk to Brendan [McNamara], who is the brilliant mind behind this, it’s all the same issues as film. Instead of writing a 100-page screenplay, he wrote a 2800-page screenplay. But it’s the same dialogue, acting, blocking, wardrobe, costume, lighting, vehicle simulations. It’s a movie that’s played interactively at home.”

Source: Australian Financial Review

Star Wars: The Old Republic – Activision CEO Questions Economics for EA

Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the most anticipated MMORPGs in recent history and is one of the biggest products for Electronic Arts this year. Still, as a joint venture with LucasArts, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick questions the economics of the title.

“Lucas is going to be the principal beneficiary of the success of Star Wars. We’ve been in business with Lucas for a long time and the economics will always accrue to the benefit of Lucas, so I don’t really understand how the economics work for Electronic Arts,” said Kotick, who noted, “If you look at the history of the people investing in an MMO and achieving success, it’s a small number.”

As for Activision’s business, they’ve had to deal with the ‘first-world problem’ of having their Skylanders game/toy hybrid sell out across the U.S. during the Black Friday sales rush. “Retailers across the board are concerned that they will be out of inventory well before Christmas,” he explained. “There’s nothing we can do because they are made offshore and we can’t get product made that quickly.”

Source: Reuters