Project KARA Demo Shows Off the Uncanny Valley

Have we reached the Uncanny Valley yet, gentlemen? The place where robots or animation start to get creepy, because of the way they mimic life but happen to be just off? Who knows, but some of the results on the way there are interesting to watch.

Quantic Dream, creators of Heavy Rain, just debuted a new tech demo at GDC this week known as Project KARA, the story of a robot/AI that accidentally becomes self aware during production. Unlike their last project, KARA was created by use of full performance motion capture, rather than separate body/facial animation capture. The quality of the performance is rather impressive (even if the writing always isn’t) in this piece – and what’s more impressive is that all of this is being handled in real time through the PS3.

Cage has noted that this isn’t tied to a specific project at all, but rather a demonstration of where they’d like to go with their next project. What do you guys think of this short? Uncanny Valley territory? Impressive? Lame? Go!

GamerSushi Asks: Mass Effect 3 Roll Call?

Mass Effect 3

Huh. Things were super quiet on the GamerSushi front yesterday. I wonder why that could be… Who knows, but I do hear that this science fiction role-playing game called Mass Effect had its trilogy-ending release drop yesterday. I’m not sure, but I think it was kind of a big deal – although none of us were playing it.

OK, you got me. I totally know what Mass Effect 3 is. I’m sure I had you guys fooled, but you are much too cunning. Anyway, Mass Effect 3 arrived yesterday to much rejoicing from gamers all over the world, and this one in particular. To say that I love the Mass Effect series is nowhere near the proper amount of statement required for a set of games that I feel has defined my console-playing experience this generation. Say what you will about the choices Bioware has made, but I adore this series, its atmosphere and its well-crafted universe.

My guess is that plenty of you do, too – if my friends list was any indication. When I signed on nearly everybody on it was partaking in Mass Effect 3 in some way, shape or form, and I couldn’t help but get that twinge of release-day giddiness. There’s nothing quite like all sharing in the same experience collectively. While I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted yesterday, I managed to get past the intro and subsequent first mission, and I have to say that I’m a fan of the gameplay changes so far. I didn’t have the weird bug that some are having involving the migration of their old Shepard, so that was all fine for me. Can’t wait to jump back in tonight.

So it’s time for a roll call, fellas and ladies. Who got Mass Effect 3? How much did you play yesterday? Did any of you deal with that save file character issue? What are your spoiler-free thoughts?

Assassin’s Creed 3 Reveal Trailer Shows Tree Running

Get it, because it’s called “free-running” but it’s in trees? Ah, never mind. UbiSoft just released the official reveal trailer for Assassin’s Creed 3 showing our new hero Connor (nee RatohnhakĂ©:ton) tearing apart a British patrol then watching a battle between the Redcoats and the Continental Army. This trailer is supposedly all in-engine, making it even more impressive. The fluidity of motion promised for the hand-to-hand combat also comes through in this video with Conner recreating the forest scene from The Patriot to some extent.

Well, I’m sold. It’s kind of funny how life works in regards to what I write on this site and what things happen in the games industry. At any rate, what do you guys think about the Assassin’s Creed 3 trailer? Does it give you more hope for the newest entry? Any secrets that you noticed?

First Halo 4 ViDoc Shows the New Chief and Multiplayer

Microsoft’s internal Halo studio, 343 Industries, just released the first developer documentary for this fall’s Halo 4. I know that just yesterday I posted about avoiding the gaming hype cycle, but this is our first full look at the new Master Chief and the visual direction of Halo 4 as well as a peek at multiplayer. While I expect that we’ll be seeing one of these a month until launch (at least), getting our eyes on the Chief’s new suit is worth it.

Halo 4 definitely has its own style going for it and the Chief seems to have undergone a major revision since we last saw him in Halo 3. One of 343’s talking points is that they wanted the Mjolnir armor to feel like part tank and part fighter jet, sleek yet imposing. I’m also really digging the design of the Spartan IVs that we’ll be controlling in multiplayer. The whole new look also comes off as very “Mass Effect” to me with the segmented armor plates and carbon fiber patterns. What do you guys think of our first look at Halo 4? Feeling the stirrings of desire? Can 343 actually pull this off?

Rumor: Is Valve Working on a Gaming Machine?

Valve Steam

We should really start taking points or placing bets on the things that we spitball on the GamerSushi Show. Eventually, we’d make ourselves some money or score some major Internet achievements or something. As it is, it’s nice when news comes out that we’ve already discussed.

The particular news item I’m referencing at the moment would be that of the rumored Valve gaming console, which has taken tech and gaming sites by storm over the weekend. The Verge wrote of this rumor just the other day, when writer Joseph Topolsky reported that Valve has in fact been working on a game machine for the living. While some are calling this a “console”, it actually sounds more like an affordable PC gaming rig, with Steam at its core. Continue reading Rumor: Is Valve Working on a Gaming Machine?

The GamerSushi Show, Episode 43: Shut Up and Take My Money

Sup fools and lady fools. It is I, your friendly Canadian taking over the podcast posting duties for our esteemed Editor who is indisposed with lots of “real life stuff”. It’s kind of sad how busy Eddy is; he’s only played four hours of Mass Effect 3.

Anyways, on this, the 43 episode of the GamerSushi Show, the crew (minus Eddy) chats about a variety of topics, including the then-new Assassin’s Creed 3 reveal. We went into that discussion blind but we managed to nail a lot of the game’s features and mechanics just through some fancy guesswork (like the Frontier being a location for the game and the ability to climb trees). We’re kind of awesome like that.

We also talk about Twisted Metal, Anthony getting an iPhone, mech games and a whole bunch of other stuff. We even find time to fit in a game of Percentages between all of our nerdy ramblings.

You know the deal, guys. Listen, rate a thing, and enjoy. Just a head’s up, we’re on a one week break due to Mass Effect 3, but we’ll be back soon. Continue reading The GamerSushi Show, Episode 43: Shut Up and Take My Money

GamerSushi Asks: Resisting the Hype

resisting the hype battlefield 3

Sometime last year I made the promise to myself that I would stop trying to consume every piece of promotional material put out by the publishers. This included trailers, developer diaries, screenshots and anything else that came out of the hideous maw of the PR beast. It’s been a tough endeavor so far but I think it’s been worth it.

One of the main reasons I stopped partaking in this circus is that most trailers and screenshots for video games actually contain some pretty significant spoilers. You don’t realize it at the time because they’re out of context (and just a bunch of clips cut together), but you could be watching a really cool moment or a crucial plot twist. Movies are the same way, but games are so much more of a time investment. Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Resisting the Hype