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Normally you’d expect a video game event to be ceremonially opened by, say, a video game executive,

Normally you’d expect a video game event to be ceremonially opened by, say, a video game executive, but Europe’s big 2017 show—GamesCom, in Köln—will be kicked off on August 22 by none other than the Leader Of The Free World herself, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

aliens

GTA V Fans Think They Might Finally Solve A Three-Year-Old Alien Mystery

GTA V fans have looked for aliens endlessly since the launch of the game, all to no avail. After years of fruitless searching, fans have finally started solving a three-year-old mystery involving an alien egg in the GTA V code. For those of you who have followed the Chiliad Mystery, you may already know about the alien egg in GTA V. The egg, which is depicted on the mural itself alongside a jetpack and a UFO, was never found in-game. About three years ago, however, an alien egg model was discovered buried deep in the code of GTA V. At the time, that code egg had no functionality or any scripting attached to it: it was just an unused model with no gameplay significance. In the Gunrunning update, which dropped last week, a team of mystery hunters found new scripts and code that weren’t in the game before. It’s got the GTA community buzzing. SSJ5_Tadden, who is a part of a mystery hunting group called Team Guru, recently shared the discovery that players have found new data pertaining to aliens, UFO, and the military: According to mystery hunters, these images were obtained via a tool READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Surprise, A Long-Lost Homeworld Game Is Now For Sale Again

Homeworld, a space strategy game that is almost perfect, was just the first of three releases in the series around the turn of the millennium. The first two games have been remastered and re-released for a while now, but the third and I think best—Homeworld: Cataclysm—has long been assumed lost. Until now. Homeworld: The Return Of A Game That’s Almost Perfect Playing through Homeworld again after all these years is weird. Read more Gearbox and GOG today announced a surprise re-release, with the catch that it now has a new name (Homeworld: Emergence) to avoid legal troubles with Blizzard, who thanks to World of WarCraft have claim to the term “Cataclysm”. Advertisement Emergence was a weird one in the series timeline. Beginning life as an expansion, it grew during development into a full-blown standalone game. While sharing the same overall premise and control scheme of the first two games, it wasn’t developed by Relic, instead being handled by Barking Dog Studios. The refinements it made to Relic’s existing systems, though—chief among them the ability to speed up time and modify your ships—made it a fan favourite. It had long been assumed by fans—and Gearbox themselves as recently as 2015—that the…

fine art

I Don't Think Fire Is Going To Work, My Man

Hakob Minasian is a concept artist at Treyarch where he’s worked on games like Black Ops 3. You can see more of Hakob’s work at his ArtStation page. To see the images in their native resolution, click on the “expand” button in the top-left corner. Advertisement Fine Art is a celebration of the work of video game artists, showcasing the best of both their professional and personal portfolios. If you’re in the business and have some concept, environment, promotional or character art you’d like to share, drop us a line! More Fine Art: The Art Of Persona 5 The Art Of Mass Effect: Andromeda The Art of Bungie’s Destiny The Art Of The Witcher 3 READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

e3

E3's Iconic Game Ads Are Painted By Hand

GIF Every June, the giant video game images adorning the walls of the Hotel Figueroa in LA are one of the stars of E3. I’d always thought they were just enormous posters, but nope, turns out they’re actually painted by hand. Many of the more recent ads have been done by a company/group of artists called Walldogs, who specialize in creating huge advertisement murals. Here are some shots of their work for this year’s E3, when the Figueroa was done up in Battlefront II images: See how Darth Maul’s face is missing? And here’s the finished article: To give you an idea of how painstaking this work can be, but also how cool it looks when it all comes together, here’s an old timelapse video showing Walldogs’ painting of Skyrim’s ad for Bethesda in 2011: And here’s an interview with Bloomberg from 2014, where you can learn more about how the work is done, and the advantages hand-painting such an enormous space has over just printing huge posters: READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

boktai

The Kojima Game That Made You Play In The Sun

Hideo Kojima is famous for being the driving force behind stuff like Metal Gear and Snatcher. But today, we’re going to talk about another of his games: Boktai, a quirky little Game Boy Advance title that asked the player to go outside and get some sun. Snatcher, Hideo Kojima’s Adventure Masterpiece Most people know, and love, Japanese developer Hideo Kojima for the Metal Gear series, a franchise… Read more While that sounds…odd, it was for a very good reason: not only was Boktai the story of a vampire hunter who was more powerful during the daylight hours, but to ensure that these powers were properly timed, the game’s cartridge included a daylight sensor at the top. The sensor is that little round thing, which would be able to detech sunlight since the GBA’s design meant the end of the cartridge was always protruding | Image: National Museum Of Play When you first fire up the game, you get this helpful message: GIF You were then asked to input the time and your timezone, and Boktai would adjust to your location and match the daylight in the game accordingly (so READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

kotaku core

PC Shooter Removes Single Tree From Game, Just For One Guy

A few weeks back, SprayAndPlay made a request that a single tree (pictured) be taken out of Tripwire’s Rising Sun 2: Vietnam, a multiplayer PC shooter released earlier this year. And now, the tree is gone. On the surface, it seems like an odd request. But when you hear the explanation, it starts to make more sense: So there’s Huey’s in this game and I love to fly them, favourite role by far. There’s a landing zone with some tree cover fairly close to an objective which I like to try and use when possible but because its so close to the objective I get under heavy fire when I come in for a landing. So what I tend to do is fly extremely low and fast, pull a 180 and land to get my guys out there before an RPG blasts me rotor off. However the exit out of the LZ was blocked by a lone, lanky, thin tree. In the heat of the moment I’d glance out and see an exit and head there only to be met with that tree but I’d keep forgetting about it and I’d repeatedly just smash into it. READ FULL STORY AT…

kotaku core

Next Yakuza Game Asks Famous Gangster To Chase A Roomba

The Yakuza series’ merger of story, exploration and bone-breaking combat has made for some of the best games I’ve ever played, including this year’s wonderful Yakuza 0. Last week, at E3, I had hands-on time with Yakuza Kiwami, a remake of the first game, and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. It was awesome. Much of my playtime focused on Yakuza Kiwami, the upcoming remake of the first game in the series. When Yakuza first arrived stateside in 2006, it was a jumbled hodgepodge of solid combat and a very ambitious narrative that featured voice actors like Mark Hamill and Michael Madsen. It never really took off, despite strong critical reception. Kiwami looks to turn back to clock, telling the tale of yakuza brawler Kazuma Kiryu right as it started. Kiwami doesn’t just add a new coat of paint to the original game. It introduces crucial systems added in later games like Yakuza 0, such as the ability to switch fighting styles in the middle of a fight. Combat has always been a strength of the series, and in my time with Kiwami I was able to leap from fast-paced beatdowns to an absurd style that grabbed READ FULL STORY…

GTA Online's Big New Update Adds Awesome Stuff, But It's Still Frustrating

GTA Online’s free Gunrunning update, which dropped last week, lets players acquire a variety of military tools and weapons, including an underground military bunker. None of it is cheap, and once you have it, you might be left waiting around for too long in order to make any money or unlock more toys. The biggest addition—literally— are the bunkers. Bunkers are concrete bases filled with tunnels and rooms. These underground bunkers are so large that Rockstar threw in modified golf carts that help you get around the facilities, meaning that yes, you can recreate this classic scene from Austin Powers. My “friends” having some fun with the new bunker carts. Once you buy a bunker, you can start gun running. If you’ve played any of the previous GTA Online updates, you already understand how gun running works: you earn supplies by doing missions. As you earn supplies, your workers and researchers will turn those supplies into weapons to sell. You can also unlock new items, such as weapon skins and turrets via research, which also uses supplies. Advertisement To earn supplies, you and some friends need to complete missions in public sessions. In my experience, these missions are mostly great:…

30 Minutes With Call of Duty WWII: Thrilling, But Familiar

Last week at E3, I got to play multiple rounds of Call of Duty: WWII’s multiplayer. While the core experience feels similar to previous games, a focus on presentation and a new story-based mode made things much more interesting than recent entries in the series. My main takeaway from my time playing Call of Duty: WWII is that I was totally engrossed in the matches I played even if the majority of the gameplay was standard for the series. My first two matches were a traditional Team Deathmatch and the zone capturing Hardpoint. They were familiar, allowing me to ease in and experience with the game’s new class based system: Divisions. With Divisions, players can select from a group of specialized battalions, each with a specific focus. Airborne soldiers functioned as scouts, with the ability to put suppressors on their guns and rush around the battlefield. The Infantry were standard grunts and used weapons familiar to anyone with World War Two including the M1 Garand. A few classes were more specialized; Mountain Division soldiers were a class of snipers while the Armored Division loaded up with heavy weapons like machine guns and bazookas. The most interesting of them all was…

Pokémon Go Starts Giving Cheaters Marks Of Shame

Pokémon Go’s war against cheaters continues to intensify, with Niantic now giving out digital scarlet letters of sorts. On Reddit, a verified Niantic support account alerted players to a new feature coming to Pokémon Go: With the announcement of Raid Battles and the new battle features, we are staying true on our commitment to ensuring that Pokémon GO continues to be a fun and fair experience for all Trainers. Starting today, Pokémon caught using third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay will appear marked with a slash in the inventory and may not behave as expected. We are humbled by the excitement for all the new features we announced yesterday. This is one small part of our continued commitment to maintaining the integrity of our community and delivering an amazing Pokémon GO experience. We reached out to Niantic to ask further details, but did not hear back in time for publication. Right now, players are unsure which specific “third-party services” will trigger the cheater’s mark, though in the past folks have been known to use “mappers” that tell them where rare monsters will spawn, spoofing (using fake GPS locations so you can spawn anywhere), or bots (programs that find monsters for…

“PPAP” Singer Now Doing Layton's Mystery Journey Puzzles

[Image: Level-5] The Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen guy is doing puzzles to mark the upcoming release of Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy. This particular one seems kind of tricky! Can you figure it out? The iOS and Android versions of Layton’s Mystery Journey will be released worldwide on July 20. It will hit the 3DS this fall. Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Heather is back from E3 and ready to beat up more bosses in the sci-fi Souls-like The Surge.

Heather is back from E3 and ready to beat up more bosses in the sci-fi Souls-like The Surge. Heather is back from E3 and ready to beat up more bosses in the sci-fi Souls-like The Surge. Watch her totally not die live on Twitch. [embedded content] Staff Writer at Kotaku READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

black mesa

Huh, Black Mesa Is Still Not Finished

I played Half-Life remake Black Mesa, and really liked it! I also in the intervening years completely forgot that it wasn’t technically finished, since it ended on Earth and not, as the original game did, on the alien planet Xen. Black Mesa: The Kotaku Review Fan-made Black Mesa is a remake of Valve’s classic 1998 shooter Half-Life. It’s been in… Read more That’s because Black Mesa’s developers thought, like the rest of us, that Valve’s ending sequence was a bit terrible, and that instead of simply remaking it like they had the rest of the game, they were going to try and make their own Xen and do it better. Advertisement That vision is almost done. The team have said today that their version of Xen will be out in December, a release window they say is a “a do-or-die deadline” (it was supposed to be out around now). In addition to this new final chapter to Gordon’s original adventure, they’re also making a few changes to the existing game like a new dynamic lighting system (see below) and some colour correction. GIF Note that READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!