Games


June 11, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

E3 2014: The iam8bit exhibit goes way beyond the future of video gaming

Amanda White, left, and Jon M. Gibson are curators of the current iam8bit exhibition, "The Future of Gaming."
With the Electronic Entertainment Expo in town through Thursday, there’s lots of media attention focused on what’s next in video games. None of it, however, involves a man sporting vintage virtual reality headgear while being held to a chair by a mechanical cat. That vision is hanging on the wall at Echo Park’s video game consulting firm-art gallery iam8bit. The Sunset Boulevard storefront space on Tuesday launched an exhibit dubbed “The Future of Gaming,” which features 13 works that see artists interpreting the dreams — or sometimes nightmares — of noted game designers. Participating developers include Warren Spector of “Deus Ex” fame, “Grim Fandango” creator Tim Schafer and a co-founder of the local studio thatgamecompany, Kellee Santiago. The kid-friendly exhibit even features some of those making a splash at E3 this week, including Insomniac Games chief Ted Price, whose company’s […]
June 10, 2014 | 6:12 p.m.

‘Sonic the Hedgehog’: Sony plans new movie for popular game character

The blue speedster is set to star in an upcoming hybrid CG-animated/live-action feature. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)
Sonic the Hedgehog is headed to the big screen. Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marza Animation Planet announced Tuesday that the popular video game character will star in a hybrid computer-animated/live-action feature, produced by Neal H. Moritz through his Original Film banner and Marza’s Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi. Evan Susser and Van Robichaux, alumni of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre who are also currently writing a live-action version of “The Jetsons,” will pen the script. No director has been named. Launched by SEGA (Marza’s parent company) in 1991, the Sonic franchise has sold more than 140 million games, with the irascible blue speedster also headlining multiple spinoffs, including several animated television series. The character also had a cameo in 2012′s “Wreck-It-Ralph.” Are you excited for Sonic to roll onto the big screen? Please let us know in the comment section […]
June 10, 2014 | 11:19 a.m.

E3 2014: Nintendo tips new ‘Zelda’ and wacky squid-shooter ‘Splatoon’

An early look at Nintendo's Wii U entry into "The Legend of Zelda." (Nintendo)
Nintendo, amid the news Tuesday of new games coming to its Wii U console for its beloved “Zelda” and “Star Fox” franchises, took a bold step away from tradition. Princess Peach, the oft-kidnapped damsel in distress at the core of its “Super Mario Bros.” series, received an apology. “Hey, look, I’m sorry about kidnapping you 80+ times, but my bad,” said a cartoonish, clay-like rendition of Nintendo’s main villain Bowser. Peach said nothing, offering the sullen bad guy little more than a cold shoulder as she swiped his last doughnut. Bowser’s response to such non-regal behavior? “I deserved that.” Who can blame her? One of Nintendo’s most formidable characters, with a jumping and gliding ability most of her non-dinosaur male pals could never muster, Peach has often been relegated to the role of the hostage. Yet time and time again over the course of a […]
June 10, 2014 | 7:30 a.m.

E3 2014: Game developer Ready at Dawn rolls the dice with ‘The Order: 1886′

A scene from the video game, "The Order: 1886." (Ready at Dawn)
There is no hiding from the flat-screen TVs in the Irvine offices of video game studio Ready at Dawn. With the workplace blinds shuttered, even a sunny morning finds employees’ faces lit by little more than a digital glow. These dozen-plus TVs were essentially high-definition clocks, each of them counting down a series of deadlines leading to this week’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in downtown Los Angeles. At E3, Ready at Dawn’s Dickensian-looking fantasy game “The Order: 1886″ will stand before an estimated 45,000 industry luminaries, journalists and retailers, and its demos and trailers will be poked, prodded and analyzed. E3 may present a make-or-break moment for the small Orange County studio of 130 employees and its still-in-development game. The conference will set the tone, one of either anticipation or indifference, for the months between now and the game’s Feb. […]
June 10, 2014 | 7:00 a.m.

E3 2014: ‘Alien: Isolation’ invents powerful heroine in Amanda Ripley

The alien is an "unstoppable force" in "Alien: Isolation." (Creative Assembly / Sega)
There was one primary rule given to players who settled in for a demo of Sega’s upcoming game “Alien: Isolation”: Do not try to kill the alien. “Alien: Isolation,” due this October for most major consoles, takes its inspiration directly from Ridley Scott’s 1979 landmark space film, which introduced audiences to the menacing, H.R. Giger-designed creature. The ultimate goal of the game, its writers and designers say, is simply to stay one step ahead of the monster, which cannot be outrun or eliminated. “What we have thought throughout the project is that this is an homage to the original movie, where the alien is unstoppable,” said Will Porter, one of the writers on the game being developed by Creative Assembly. “The alien is death. From that, that’s where the game play comes from. That’s where the tension comes from. It gives it a different feeling from […]
June 10, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

E3 2014: Video game industry hopes to dazzle average consumers

The E3 flag flies over the Los Angeles Convention Center where the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) will get underway in Los Angeles,  (Michael Nelson / EPA)
The Los Angeles Kings may have vacated Staples Center for New York’s Madison Square Garden this week, but the blocks surrounding the arena have been replaced with a level of testosterone that not even the NHL can muster. Cloaked assassins, military tough guys and a fantasy knight have taken control of the neighboring Los Angeles Convention Center and beyond. All that aggressive advertising can herald only one thing: The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) has once again landed in Los Angeles. North America’s largest video game trade show, one that pumps $45 million into the local economy, never makes a modest entrance. “The future begins,” is E3′s slogan for 2014, and the 45,000 registrants will ensure at least that the future is hyped. Less than eight months after Sony and Microsoft each released new consoles, this year’s E3 will step away […]
June 09, 2014 | 3:31 p.m.

E3 2014: ‘Star Wars: Battlefront 3′ video hypes emotion, not gameplay

starwars
A new trailer for the long anticipated “Star Wars: Battlefront 3″ finally arrived Monday during a video presentation during Electronic Arts’ Electronic Entertainment Expo news conference held at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles. The video (see above) features an inside look detailing the effort put forth by programmers and artists from Stockholm-based game developer DICE in crafting the latest big-budget “Star Wars” game. The EA-backed crew traveled to the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to get an up-close look at the props used in the movies — including speeder bikes and blasters, as well as R2-D2. They then headed to the original movie locations to, as DICE’s Niklas Fegraeus states in the voice-over, “not just capture the environments, but the emotions they evoke as well.” The trailer shows little in the way of actual gameplay, relying heavily […]
June 09, 2014 | 10:44 a.m.

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: Charting the video game console evolution

(William Lu / For Hero Complex)
The world’s largest annual video game trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, kicks off in downtown Los Angeles this week, with more than 45,000 people expected to converge on the L.A. Convention Center for the event. Now in its 19th year, E3 has become a mecca for video game developers, retailers, industry professionals and journalists. The trade show, which is to run Tuesday through Thursday and is not open to the public, often serves as the pulpit for the industry’s biggest announcements, such as last year’s reveal of two next-generation video game consoles — Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. Buzz on the show floor often revolves around the rivalry between the major consoles, and though the wars between the systems couldn’t be more contemporary or contentious, the modern-day brawl has been more than three decades in the making. […]
June 09, 2014 | 10:30 a.m.

E3 2014: ‘Halo: The Master Chief Collection’ due for Xbox One on Nov. 11

Microsoft's 343 Industries will in 2015 release "Halo 5: Guardians." (343 Industries)
A brand new “Halo” video game won’t be released until late 2015, but the game’s titular hero, Master Chief, won’t exactly be missing in action in 2014. Microsoft’s 343 Industries confirmed on Monday the release of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” a long-rumored compilation of “Halo’s” first four core video games. The games will receive a next-gen makeover for the recently released Xbox One since all date to prior console generations. The release of the anthology on Nov. 11 will also coincide with the premiere of a live-action series to be executive produced by Ridley Scott, “Halo: Nightfall.” Microsoft unveiled the “Halo” details at a press event on the eve of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, which runs Tuesday through Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Still in the works: “Halo 5: Guardians,” which is tabled for a 2015 release, and another […]
June 04, 2014 | 6:00 a.m.

Batman’s milestone year: 75 enduring images of the Dark Knight

This year, DC celebrates 75 years of the Dark Knight. (DC Entertainment)
Has it really been 75 years since Gotham first saw the Bat? Seventy-five years of vengeance, brooding detective work and campy shark fights? Three-quarters of a century of iconic introductions, gritty reboots and the ongoing vigil that Bob Kane and Bill Finger’s most iconic creation keeps over his city. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. (We’re still wrapping our minds around the fact that it’s been 25 years since Michael Keaton put on the cape and cowl.) Ever since Gotham’s winged creature of the night swooped down and cracked “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” the world — from the DC Universe to our own –  has never been the same. Although Superman made his debut a year earlier, Batman represented something truly new for comic readers. A tortured soul, a man driven by revenge yet committed to principles. […]
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