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Portal 2 Alternate Storyline Revealed During Valve Panel at PAX 2012

Remember at the end of Portal 2 when the companion cube get spat out at Chell’s feet in the middle of that generic cornfield? Well, until relatively late into development, that cube was going to be a turret…as in, married…to Chell. “What?!” you no doubt just said out loud to yourself, preferably around a bunch of strangers who are now looking at you with curious yet slightly terrified eyes. I know, crazy right?

During their PAX Prime 2012 panel, Valve writers Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw revealed that the team had developed an entire subplot where Chell did in fact get married to a turret. Remnants of this subplot can still be seen in the game, specifically in the name of the disproportionally larger turret you might have spotted in the game, which is “the Turret Wife.”

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At Pax 2012 today, legendary game designer Hideo Kojima showed off a big chunk of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. The game is open world, with vehicles, but with a stealth twist. Kojima said MGS: Ground Zeroes is not Metal Gear Solid 5; it's a "prologue."

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes Announcement Trailer »


Prologue or not, the game looks amazing. Built on the Fox Engine, the demo level shown featured a long cut-scene (naturally) that transitioned seamlessly to in-engine gameplay footage. According to Kojima, the lushly detailed demo gameplay we saw is not for next-gen systems. This is how it will look on your PS3 or 360. Although Kojima pointed out that the game is scalable to next-gen systems.

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Insomniac CEO Ted Price Explains Why His Studio's Going Multiplatform

PAX Prime 12 began in a strangely fitting venue: Seattle's opulent Paramount theater. Built in 1928, The Paramount was created as a showcase for the then cutting-edge creative technology of movies. Since the 20s, the theater has hosted some of the most important musical artists of the 20th century. At PAX, the Paramount's stage is a showcase for a new kind of artist working in the current cutting edge creative technology of video game. Ted Price, the founder and CEO of Insomniac games, started PAX 2012 with a speech geared toward encouraging creativity, and judging by the reaction of the nearly 3,000 gamers in attendance, the man knows his audience well.

"We are all creators," Price told the assembled Pax-faithful. "Playing video games is creating...Every time you start a Call of Duty match, it's like a blank canvas-- but you're painting with bullets," he said.

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Attack of the Show fans, listen up! If you missed the AOTS Comic-Con 2012 panel with Candace Bailey, Sarah Underwood, and Matt Mira, then you're in luck! We have the video and it's ready for your viewing pleasure!

Attack of the Show Comic-Con 2012 Panel »


 

HBO Trademarks

If you like bizarre soap opera storylines and the supernatural, then I dare I say you’re a fan of HBO’s True Blood. The hit show is currently in its fifth season. During Comic-Con 2012 I attended a panel for the show featuring everyone’s favorite Bon Temps residents like, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell), Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten),  Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley), Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård), Roman  (Christopher Meloni), Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten), and Alcide Herveaux (Joe Manganiello). Series creator Alan Ball was also on the panel.

Alan Ball noted on more than one occasion that he will not return for season 6, which will air in June 2013. A few fans asked during Q&A if the TV show would begin to dip more into the book series for which the show is loosely based, "The Southern Vampire Mysteries." These plotlines include the Fairy Wars and the introduction of weretigers. While Alan Ball did not confirm the next season would include any of these, he did say it was possible, giving fans in the audience, and everywhere, hope.

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Singer Chris Daughtry was at Comic-Con 2012 teaming up with Jim Lee to promote DC Comics' campaign, We Can Be Heroes. G4 got a chance to interview Daughtry to learn about how he's helping out with this effort to provide relief for the people on the horn of Africa who are suffering the worst famine in 60 years. Comic-Con is about more than comics, everyone.

Click play, check out Daughtry, and see how you can help the We Can Be Heroes campaign:

Chris Daughtry Interview On We Can Be Heroes Comic-Con 2012 »


 

Legend of Korra Book 2: Spirit Details Revealed: Comic-Con 2012 Panel

I'll admit: The Legend of Korra panel at Comic-Con 2012 took me by surprise. I was aware of it, but I've never actually seen the Nickelodeon cartoon Legend of Korra, but after checking out the panel, I'm gonna set the TiVo to catch this unique cartoon.

The mood was pretty jubilant among the Korra fans at Comic-Con; Nick had just announced that it had picked up the show for three seasons, so there will be years of enjoying the mature, striking animated show in the future. 

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Dexter

The Dexter panel at Comic-Con 2012 featured Dexter stars Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter, guest star Yvonne Strahovski, executive producer Scott Buck, and producer Wendy West. Although much was discussed in terms of upcoming Dexter content (We got a brief look at mobile game Dexter 2, and some clips of the first episode of web show "Dexter Early Cuts: All in the Family") the real reason the faithful waited for hours was for a glimpse of Season 7 of the Showtime show.  

When the clip came, it was brief, but very interesting. SPOILERS: Now that Deb knows that Dexter is not the nice guy he seems, what will her reaction be? Are we going to see her turning the killer in to authorities, or can the wily, nice-guy serial killer talk his way out of this situation? It remains to be seen.

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Resident Evil: Retribution: Live Webchat With Milla Jovovich

Resident Evil is one of the only video game properties to spawn a truly successful series of major motion pictures, and  director Paul W.S. Anderson, Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez were on-hand at Comic-Con 2012 to show off the attest flick from the franchise: Resident Evil: Retribution.

This is the series’ fifth installment, and in it, we see a new side of protagonist Alice, a softer side. The trailer shown puts Alice in a pre-apocalypse setting, with a husband, a child and a normal life. Presumably, we'll get to see the breakdown of society, and how a (seeming) suburban mom becomes a cold-blooded, zombie-slaying machine.

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Firefly Comic-Con 2012 Panel: Joss Whedon Gets The Band Back Together

Not many one-season TV shows from 10 years ago could cause the kind of reaction Firefly does at Comic-Con, I mean it's not like 5000 people were lined up to see a reunion of the cast of Life with Bonnie. But then, that show wasn't created by the great Joss Whedon, and wasn't put together with the kind of care that Firefly was known for.

The panel hall for the Firefly reunion was packed to the gills with fans, and the stage was packed with stars. Whedon, Jose Melina, Tim Minear, Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, and Summer Glau  were all on hand to reminsice about everyone's favorite sci-fi show.

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Disney Epic Mickey 2 -- What Warren Spector Has Changed Since Epic Mickey -- Comic-Con 2012

Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two may star the same familiar faces, Mickey the Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but the sequel will be quite different from the first game. Thanks to the Disney Epic Mickey 2 panel at Comic-Con 2012, moderated by G4 alumni Adam Sessler, we now know six ways Epic Mickey 2 will be different. Judging by the line to get into the panel, I'd say plenty of gamers enjoyed Disney Epic Mickey for the Wii exactly as it was, but Warren Spector and the rest of his team both at Junction Point, and at Disney, wanted to continue pushing the boundaries of the ways gamers think. Keep reading to find out how they plan on doing that.

[Pictured from left: Adam Sessler, Marv Wolfman, Warren Spector, Becky Cline and Peter David.]

Choice and Paths

Persistence will be a major theme in Disney Epic Mickey 2. If you make a change to a map it will remain there when you come back. Warren Spector added, "Everything you do really, really, really, really makes a difference." Enemies can become friends, quests can be ignored, you can paint or paint-thin: choices are everywhere and each choice affects the next one.  One play through is expected to take 10-15 hours, but since the path you choose relies on an accumulation of choices, Warren thinks it will take three play-throughs, six with co-op, to see it all.

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Morgan Webb was on hand at San Diego Comic-Con to moderate panel for The Unfinished Swan, bringing together creative director Ian Dallas, level designer Ben Esposito, art director Hokyo Lim, and producer Max Geiger to talk about their upcoming "first person painter" game that will be released sometime later this year on PlayStation Network.

It was interesting to learn that Ian Dallas has a background as a comedy writer, having worked at The Onion and on Drawn Together, especially since The Unfinished Swan feels much more like an introspective art game like Flower or Journey. It was almost as surprising to learn that Ben Esposito was a poet, as it sounded like a joke, but he actually went to college for that. Now he's channeling iambic pentameter into artistic levels.

The panel itself was mostly focused on the artwork in the game, which is the mechanic by which players find their way through the game. At first that involves throwing splats of black paint in a completely white room, which is something you'll have to figure out on your own. During some of the playtests, they noticed that players would sit there for five minutes waiting for the game to tell them what to do.

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In the video below, Blair Butler talks to comics legend Robert Kirkman at the Image Comics booth at Comic-Con 2012 about The Walking Dead and more. Kirkman gives us the inside word on what's coming up in The Walking Dead, as well as his new comic, Thief of Thieves.

"AMC is developing it [Thief of Thieves] as a TV show right now," Kirkman said, "It's a very grounded take an heist story. It's about Conrad Paulson who has turned his back on his personal life to pursue his career as the greatest master-thief who ever lived."

Robert Kirkman & Image Comics At Comic-Con 2012 Live »



Halo 4

I was lucky enough to attend the Halo 4 panel at Comic-Con 2012. About 1000 of my closest friends and I joined developers Kiki Wolfkill, Josh Holmes and Frank O'Connor to talk all things Halo 4. The coolest news (in my opinion) at the Halo 4 Comic-Con panel was about animation. The upcoming FPS from 343 Industries will feature brutal, awesome multiplayer assassination animations, and 343 showed off a couple of mode-specific animations at its Comic-Con 2012 panel.

The flag-carrier in Capture the Flag will be able to perform a massively cool kill. Basically, he'll slam players down, then embed the flag in his head or chest. That's good killing! Oddball will also offer a cool assassination. The holder of the oddball will be able to uppercut opponents to death, like Mike Tyson on bath salts.

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Mass Effect 3 Hands-On

In their "Past, Present and Future" panel, the developers of Mass Effect offered an exciting look at the evolution of the franchise. Producer Mike Gamble, senior combat designer Corey Gaspur, writer Sylvia Feketekuty, writer Chris Helper and community manager Jessica Merizan met with the fans and discussed the history of the series, beloved characters, multiplayer gaming and even hinted at upcoming ME content.

The panel ended with a teaser shot of a look into the future. Bioware showed a single, mysterious image. I'd re-post it, but that's a Comic-Con faux-pas, so instead, I'll tell you that the image appeared (and it was very hard to make out) to show an Atlus underwater. What it means is anyone's guess.

Another "future" peak: When asked about the motivation behind the shot that ended the "perfect" runthrough of the trilogy, that famous single shot of Shepard breathing in a wrecked atmosphere, writer Feketekuty said:

"The motivation was, 'are these endings all too bleak?' You know what, for the fans who stuffed everything in the Normandy's hold, and did everything, we wanted to give them a little something.  We did intentionally make it vague, so you can project your own gameplay experience on to it."

"It could be just a last gasp before death," writer Helper added, helpfully.

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