Elsa Rhae is a self-taught make-up artist that transforms her face into a multitude of characters from movies, television shows and video games. She’s also a video editor, and you can see her remarkable transformations in her timelapse videos on YouTube.
September is here, summer is drawing to a close, but not to worry – it’s going to be a bloody good month to go to the cinema.
Check out some of the films we’re looking forward to seeing here:
Sausage Party (02/09)
Whats it about?Food items are horrified to discover what actually happens after humans take them home from the supermarket.
Whos in it?Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Kristen Wiig, James Franco, Michael Cera and Salma Hayek.
Is it good?It’s probably the weirdest film you’ll see all year, but it’s hilarious.
Don’t Breathe (09/09)
Whats it about? A group of friends attempt to rob a wealthy blind man, but they quickly find out that he’s a lot more capable (and violent) than they’d thought…
Whos in it? Stephen Lang, Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette
Is it good?Reviews have been very positive, and people are already suggesting that this could be the best horror of the year…
Blair Witch (15/09)
Whats it about?After James finds a video that he believes shows his (missing) sister in the notorious Blair Witch woods, he and a group of friends head there themselves, hoping to find her.
Whos in it?Corbin Reid, Wes Robinson and Valorie Curry.
Is it good?We haven’t seen it yet, but director Adam Wingard (V/H/S, You’re Next) claims it’s his scariest movie yet.
Cafe Society (02/09)
Whats it about? A young New Yorker moves to 1930s Los Angeles, and promptly falls in love with his uncle’sbeautiful young secretary.
Whos in it?Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carell and Blake Lively
Is it good?Reviews have been largely positive, with loyal fans of Woody Allen sure to enjoy his most recent effort.
Bridget Jones’ Baby (16/09)
Whats it about?Bridget Jones, now divorced from Mark Darcy, gets pregnant, but has no idea who the father is. Is it her ex-husband, or her handsome rebound, the American Jack Qwant?
Whos in it?Rene Zellweger, Colin Firth, Patrick Dempsey and Emma Thompson
Is it good? Watch this space…
The Girl with all the Gifts (23/09)
Whats it about?Based on the best-selling horror novel, this looks at a scientist and a teacher living alongside some very special children in a post-zombie-apocalypse hell.
Whos in it?Gemma Arterton, Glenn Close and Paddy Considine
Is it good?Reviews have been mixed, but fans of the zombie genre should be delighted.
Whats it about?An FBI agent goes undercover to take down a radical neo-Nazi group.
Whos in it?Daniel Radcliffe, Toni Collette and Sam Trammell.
Is it good?Yes – Imperium has attracted some high praise (apparently it’s tense and terrifying) with Radcliffe’s performance in particular seriously making some waves.
The Magnificent Seven (23/09)
Whats it about?Seven “magnificent” men come together to help a village defend themselves from thieves in this remake of the 1960 Western classic.
Whos in it? Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke.
Is it good? Watch this space…
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (30/09)
Whats it about?Investigating his grandfather’s death, Jacob stumbles across a strange home filled with “peculiar children”.
Whos in it?Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson and Asa Butterfield
Is it good?We’ve yet to see it, but if Tim Burton’s other work(and the book that this film is based on)is anything to go by, we should be very excited…
Swiss Army Man (30/09)
Whats it about?A man stranded on a desert island gets some company in the shape of a (still farting) corpse that washes up on the beach.
Whos in it?Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe.
Is it good?This film polarised audiences when it first screened – some walked out in disgust, others gave it a standing ovation. You’ll have to judge for yourself whose side you’re on.
With the help of a laser-range finder, a laptop and a Microsoft Kinect, researchers at MIT have created a wearable piece of equipment that can map out a building in real time.
The prototype, called SLAM (short for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), was announced today.
Essentially, SLAM operates as a second pair of eyes by generating a virtual map of the user’s location (think: real-time strategy video games.) Creators of the device say they hope firefighters and emergency personnel will use the device to help them more easily navigate through thick smoke during fire emergencies.
Watch the video above to learn more. How else can real-time mapping be used? Let us know your thoughts below.
Image courtesy of Flickr, GEEK ASiA
Like Logan Walker in Call of Duty: Ghosts, Sony’s eighth-generation console, the PlayStation 4, has come out of the gates swinging to accomplish a mission. That mission? Getting into as many gamers’ hands as possible — and as quickly as possible.
In the first 24 hours since the $400 PS4 was released on Friday, Sony sold 1 million consoles in the United States and Canada, the company announced Sunday.
“PS4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal,” Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, said in a statement. “Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on Nov. 29.”
Thousands of gamers waited in line to purchase the PS4 at various midnight launch events across North America on Friday, including at the The Standard in New York City, where Sony unveiled game teaser trailers for Uncharted and Destiny.
There’s nothing more petty than losing friends over video games — but that doesn’t mean we haven’t all done it.
When you’re really into gameplay, it’s easy to let your emotions take hold of you. You may forget the times you’ve shared together IRL and instead focus on that extremely unfortunate blue shell hit in Mario Kart or how bad your friend is at drumming on Rock Band. And when that happens, you’re tempted to scream and shout and shut them out of both your Facebook and your real life. In a green shell: you hate the player and the game.
These games are probably the biggest catalysts of the sometimes-not-so-friendly fights you have at LAN parties — you’ve been warned.
This year’s E3 showed off a myriad of new technology intended to enhance our gaming experiences. The impending release of two powerful next generation gaming consoles this holiday season means games are going to become more advanced.
These advancements will not only improve the quality of the games’ looks onscreen, but also allow them to interact with the players unlike ever before. From motion controls to second-screen gaming, E3 offered a glimpse of the bright, innovative future to come in gaming.
Of all the technology on display, we’ve highlighted the five trends we expect to change gaming in the next few years or so. See something we missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
1. Motion Controls Get Smarter
While Nintendo’s Wii pioneered motion controls for gaming and Microsoft’s Kinect brought a whole body sensor to the Xbox 360, the current offerings on the market are far from perfect. Motion controls are often gimmicky or added in unnecessarily. Additionally, Kinect’s camera often requires exaggerated movements to follow the player’s action.
Microsoft’s new Kinect for the Xbox One is much more precise than the demos shown at E3. Microsoft’s tech demo showed how it could detect more precise movements. In order to raise your shields and deflect bullets during a first-person shooter style match, you would simply tilt the controller upward. To activate your night vision goggles, you would tap the side of your head, and simply tilt your body left or right to literally lean around corners.
“We tried to make the motions more natural to what a gamer would do,” Yusef Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of marketing and strategy for Interactive Entertainment Business branch, told Mashable.
This may include any natural moves by intense gamers. For example, in a racing game, a player might lean his body into the turns, which this upgraded Kinect would detect.
Harmonix, a company adept at working with the Kinect for its Dance Central games, showed how motion controls could operate in a more abstract way during the demonstration of its upcoming title Fantasia: Music Evolved. In the game, players conduct music with motions, enhancing the world around them. It’s a unique game, and we haven’t seen a control scheme quite like it before.
2. The Evolved Second Screen
At this year’s E3, we saw more second-screen integration from not only console makers, but also from game publishers.
Microsoft revealed much more information on the interaction between tablets running SmartGlass and Xbox One games. In Roman action-adventure game Ryse, for example, players can use tablets to watch friends’ concurrent progress through different levels, along with videos of their conquests. In Xbox One’s Project Spark, a game-creation game, players can use tablets in concert with the controller to create your game world.
Publisher Ubisoft released two titles with their own apps designed for tablets, both which added value for players. In Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, an Android and iOS app functions like a GPS device, allowing players to use it as a map in-game for their quests. When the game isn’t running, the app allows players to send their fleet to quests while they’re not playing.
Tom Clancy’s The Division is a multiplayer, third-person action game that challenges players to control a pandemic in New York. The drop-in/drop-out co-op allows for players to quickly join one another’s games, and also allows for players to join via tablet. That tablet player operates a drone in the game, which can aid its team by marking enemies for takedown, healing allies and surveying the area well. It’s impressive because the player on the tablet is actually taking part in a real-time game session.
Of course, the Wii U tried to bring this idea to fruition last year with its touchscreen GamePad controller. While third-party games take full advantage of the screen’s ability to convey extra information to the player, the screen hasn’t been very widely adopted. Some of Nintendo’s newer first-party titles use the feature frequently, such as in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Wii U remake, which uses the GamePad screen to swap items rather than forcing the user to pause the game to access a menu.
3. Virtual Reality
Developers have only been working on Oculus Rift for a few months, but already the virtual reality headset shows promise in creativity. Virtual reality often feeks like a gaming pipe dream hallmarked by goofy accessories and poorly functioning technology — but that’s about to change.
Oculus Rift creator Palmer Lucky said his company has come a long way since last year’s E3, when the headset was only being shown off by former id Software co-founder John Carmack. With 10,000 developer kits in the wild (and more shipping), creators from all backgrounds have been working on virtual reality games, and now, Oculus Rift is working with some of the most commonly used engines such as Unreal 4 and Unity.
We played five or six Oculus Rift games at E3. The biggest of note was EVR, created by CCP Games, the makers of EVE Online. This space fighting game was only a tech demo, according to CCP developers, but it still demonstrated the awesome, immersive power of virtual reality.
Other indie titles featuring the Oculus Rift were playable at the IndieCade booth, and each provided a different take on the benefits of virtual reality. Soundself, a game created by Robin Arnott, focused on meditative chanting; the player’s tonal hums made the dizzying spirals in front of his eyes spin and pulse along with the sounds he made.
Oculus Rift continues to expand. The company announced Monday that it received $16 million in venture funding to continue hardware development, and OculusVR showed off its new HD Rift at E3 — a first for the platform.
4. Game DVR and Streaming
Both Sony and Microsoft have recognized that gamers want to share their content, so they integrated methods in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to simplify a previously complicated process. Both consoles feature the ability to broadcast gameplay live with minimal work; the Xbox One streams to Twitch, while the PS4 sends live video to Ustream. Both consoles also capture gameplay continuously via game DVR, and both allow players to edit and share key moments with friends.
5. Cloud Computing
Console makers have turned to cloud computing as a way to extend the life of gaming consoles and ensure players get more out of the hardware in their living rooms. Instead of the console acting as the entire workhorse for processing, some will be handled by remote servers.
This isn’t a new idea to gaming. The now-defunct OnLive started a few years ago on the premise that players could harness server power to play a wide variety of games that weren’t on their home computers — and it wasn’t the only company working on that idea. In 2010, Sony purchased streaming company GaiKai, and its technology is now helping power the PlayStation 4’s cloud services.
Sony detailed streaming in its February press conference, sharing that it would be used to eventually bring older PlayStation games to the next-generation console (which are currently incompatible due to radical architecture changes from previous generations). Sony also plans to use cloud computing to allow PlayStation 4 games to stream on the handheld PlayStation Vita.
In an Xbox One demo, Microsoft software engineers harnessed the console’s internal processor to render 40,000 of the asteroids in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, displaying their movement in real time. Then, they showed that with help from Microsoft’s 300,000 servers, the Xbox One could render 330,000 asteroids in that same belt. The engineer explained that this technology could make games look better, increase the map size and decrease load times.
These technologies are the biggest examples of trends found at this year’s E3, but they aren’t the only ones. Gaming is evolving rapidly with the launch of new consoles, new players getting involved in the field and the rise of mobile gaming. I’m sure we’ll see great things in the future, even as soon as next year’s conference.
Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
If you’re a fan of high-level strategy games and want to kick alien butt Will Smith-style, you’ll be excited to play XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The game, out in two weeks for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, is a reboot of X-COM: UFO Defense, a 1994 strategy classic gamers still reminisce about. The new game, like the original, is made by Firaxis, and will be published by 2K Games.
Aliens have invaded Earth, and a shadowy council has organized the world’s major powers into XCOM (Extraterrestrial Combat Unit) to fight the global siege. If you fail, the planet is toast, so you’d better put your strategizing hat on.
Mashable spent some quality time with Enemy Unknown on the Xbox 360, and it has high potential to satisfy fans of the series and those entirely new to the franchise.
Good for Strategy Newbies
If you aren’t very familiar with turn-based strategy games, Enemy Unknown is ready for you. You’re quickly dropped into the action with a small squad, and the game takes you step-by-step through setting up your troops, finding cover, and shooting a variety of weapons all without dragging you through a burdensome tutorial.
The game absolutely rewards strategic decisions, and doesn’t allow you to run headlong into a fight without really feeling the repercussions. Each soldier’s route is clearly laid as you move them, so you can see if you are running them past danger or if your cover is protective enough. You can gauge almost every decision on statistics, and decide what weapons to use from there.
The fighting is really satisfying and flows well. You are given so many ways to use your squad, especially given the variety of terrain you’ll fight on. Soldiers can run in and out of buildings, and use the roof to take down aliens with a sniper or a rocket launcher. Your squad can also play more defensively thanks to a function called “overwatch,” which allows you to spend turn actions waiting for an enemy to come in range or out of cover so you can fire on it.
The most important thing the game drills into your head early is that the soldiers you send out for missions aren’t a nameless, expendable force. You’ll need to keep them alive so you can promote them, and train them with new skills. It’s all part of the broad asset management system that takes the game to the next strategic level.
More Than One Game
XCOM: Enemy Unknown doesn’t stop at the battlefield, though. Your base can also provide hours of potential gameplay. Once you arrive, you’re greeted with a view referred to as “the ant farm” — a bisected version of your base where you can voyeuristically watch your staff doing their jobs.
You’ll use your base to level up almost everything. You can promote and train soldiers in the barracks, research the alien technologies you’ve collected in the lab, and build new equipment in the engineering room. The number of staff you allocate to those posts determines how quickly you can accomplish objectives, because new equipment is vital to winning battles on the ground.
You’re also given a screen showing the levels of distress of XCOM member nations as they are attacked by aliens. If you let any of those countries boil over, they’ll leave the alliance, and you need their resources. But you also have to weigh that against what countries are offering the best rewards for your help. As you can see, every action has a consequence, and you can take wildly different paths during each playthrough.
The game content doesn’t stop there, because Enemy Unknown also offers a multiplayer mode for a 1-versus-1 battle. Players can pick human or alien soldiers to fill out their squads, then outfit them with weapons based on a certain point buy. Players can even save dream teams for future matches. Playing versus another person wasn’t something available in the original titles, but it allows players to really experiment with unique play styles against their friends.
For fans of the series, the refresh should be welcome, and all the improvements made to the game seem to add to its depth. After playing on a console controller, I think I would probably prefer the accuracy of a mouse and keyboard for this game, which makes sense for a strategy title. Some of the console controls seemed a little loose or non-intuitive, but that can also be attributed to only playing for an hour and a half.
The free demo of XCOM: Enemy Unknown is available on Steam, and a console version will follow. If you want to relive your nostalgia, or compare the gameplay of the two, X-COM: UFO Defense is also available on Steam for $4.99. The full version of the game is out Oct. 9.
Are you excited to play XCOM: Enemy Unknown? Let us know in the comments.
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If you’ve wanted every single member of the Justice League to help you solve a puzzle, or have Superman give you a lift to the top of a building, you’ll be excited about the announcement of Scribblenauts Unmasked.
Scribblenauts, developed by 5th Cell and published by Warner Bros. Interactive, is a franchise that gives the player power to create any object of their imagination by typing it into the game. The open-puzzle game allows players to come at problems with many different solutions.
Now the Scribblenauts world is crashlanding into the DC Comics universe. Players will tour through multiple popular locations in DC lore, including Superman’s Metropolis, Batman’s Gotham City and Aquaman’s underwater home of Atlantis.
To help the game’s hero, Maxwell, solve the puzzles in front of him, he’ll be able to type out any DC character’s name in his magic notebook to summon them. According to an interview in Polygon, every character is included, like all 33 versions of Batman that exist in different chapters of DC’s history. Villains aren’t left out either, and all are rendered in Scribblenaut‘s cute, distinctive art style.
If that sounds a little overwhelming, players will be able to check the character’s information and powers to see how they can best utilize them.
“Challenges in the game encourage broader player choices all set in well-known locations of the DC Comics universe, interacting in new and inventive ways with a wide range of popular DC Comics characters,” said Samantha Ryan, Warner Bros. Interactive’s SVP of production and development.
Scribblenauts Unmasked will also feature a hero editor, where players can mix and match pieces of popular characters to create their own Franken-hero. Want to make a Wonder Joker? No sweat.
Scribblenauts Unmasked will be out this fall for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U and PC.
Images courtesy Warner Bros. Interactive
“IM. SO. HAPPPPPPPPY.”
1. Little Caleb has been obsessed with playing Minecraft for over a year, and all he wanted for his 8th birthday was the Xbox edition.
2. So when he opened his first present and realized that his dream was finally being fulfilled, he pretty much started hyperventilating…
Kenn N / Via youtube.com
3. And couldn’t stop saying how happy he was.
Kenn N / Via youtube.com
4. Like, really happy…
Kenn N / Via youtube.com
5. While his reaction might seem a little melodramatic, if you think about it, he’s wanted this game for an 1/8th of his life.
Kenn N / Via youtube.com