» Posts Tagged ‘videogames’

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It’s clear that cinematography is changing, both from technological and aesthetic perspectives. Images are being created in new, oftentimes fascinating ways, and the role of the cinematographer is evolving at a rapid pace. Cinematographers are now being included in the extensive visual effects processes that dominate contemporary Hollywood — although the extent to which some cinematographers are actually involved is hotly debated. All of this means that the future of cinematography as we know it today is an exciting, albeit uncertain one. However, there’s one area that might provide a new outlet for the cinematographers of tomorrow: video games. More »

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the last of us naughty dog sony playstation ps3Developer Naughty Dog’s latest outing, The Last of Usis one of this year’s most anticipated gaming titles. After playing it for 5 minutes, I can tell you that it combines elements of Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Children of Men28 Days Later, Hillcoat’s The Road, Spielberg’s War of the Worlds, The Walking Dead, and the recent I Am Legend, all while engaging you emotionally more than any of those pieces could and, dare I say, improving upon them. It’s crazy, but it’s true. Here’s how, and here’s why. More »

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Xbox One with Kinect and ControllerLast week Microsoft unveiled its successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One. While most gamers are concerned about how you’ll actually be able to play games on the device (including the loss of backwards compatibility and the issues with used games), Microsoft went out of their way to show off the device as an all-in-one home entertainment system. They reiterated how they want to integrate TV into the experience — even going so far as to add an additional HDMI port so that the Xbox becomes a pass-through device for cable or satellite boxes. There has been plenty of negativity about the changes, but might the focus on all around seamless entertainment actually open up new ways of storytelling? More »

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Nowadays, major franchises get the royal treatment upon release. Some video game series are expanded with original novels or comic books between release dates. The opening of many big films occurs with novelizations and video games accompanying them. The problem is, I haven’t seen many video game adaptations I’ve been able to appreciate as good films in their own right, and all the while games seem to be getting more and more realistic. How comparable, or even compatible is storytelling between video games and movies? If anybody could figure it out, it’d be “Star Wars Episode VII director” J.J. Abrams and Valve co-founder/CEO Gabe Newell. Check out their full D.I.C.E. 2013 keynote discussion below. More »

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If you’re looking for an existing property on which to base a short with the potential to blow up online, then transposing a video game to live action is probably the most potent springboard you can find. We’ve seen Dan Trachtenberg elevate the fan film genre in Portal: No Escape, Machinima’s recent Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn be lauded a success and even SXSW get in on the act with their trippy take on Mario. The latest film to do its gaming roots justice is RISE, Russian born director Gevorg Karensky’s take on the rubber burning, dirty dealing franchise Grand Theft Auto: More »

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Aside from the occasional distractions to be found on my phone and a lifelong love of Street Fighter II, I’m about as far from a gamer as you can get, which perhaps explains why I was completely unaware that developer Arkane Studios and publisher Bethesda Softworks were launching the new stealth action adventure game Dishonored next week. What did make me take notice, however, was the craftmanship of The Tales From Dunwall, a prequel webisode series, eerily narrated by Chloe Moretz over Daniel Licht’s haunting score. Comprising The Awakening, The Hand That Feeds, and In the Mind of Madness, digital creatives Psyop firmly set the tone of revenge as a cure to life’s woes which forms the spin of the game world narrative: More »

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Dan Trachtenberg’s unoffficial short film Portal: No Escape, based on Valve Software’s videogame series Portal, brings to mind a few talking points. One of them: if you want eyeballs on your short, picking an existing franchise is a great way to ensure you’ll get them (of course, Hollywood uses this same logic to make remakes and adaptations ad naseum). You could do worse than a franchise like Portal, though, which is a terrifically clever series (Portal 2 is one of two videogames I’ve found time to play in the past year). Shot on a RED with anamorphic lenses, the short is extremely well-made: More »

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Check out the aesthetic of the independent game Limbo, which seems to be influenced by film noir, sci-fi, and german expressionism. Limbo won Spike’s best independent game award last year for its presence on the Xbox Live Arcade and has been lauded as a “modern classic.” Today, the game premiered on the Playstation Network for $14.99, and will also be coming to the PC platform on August 2nd via Steam. Here’s the atmospheric trailer, which shows its cinematic influences by beginning with the sound of scratchy film: More »

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In the blockbuster game world, recent multimillion-dollar releases like L.A. Noire (which was the first video game to play at the Tribeca Film Festival) and Portal 2 have taken videogame storytelling up a notch. If this demo of the forthcoming game BioShock Infinite is any indication, first-person shooters are packing in the action, set-pieces, ideas, and storytelling of blockbuster films — but handing controls over to the player. And that’s the whole point, right? Take a look at this video, which isn’t a pre-rendered trailer, but rather 15 minutes of screen-captured gameplay : More »

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Nintendo’s announcement of the Nintendo 3DS brings with it the usual slew of technology refreshes — faster processor, higher resolution display, etc — as well as a capability new to handheld gaming: 3D. However, this 3D technology is a bit different from the one moviegoers are used to, in that it doesn’t require glasses. What could this mean for the future of 3D video games and movies? More »