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Play Phantom Pain photo
Play Phantom Pain

Set aside (lots of) time to play Metal Gear Solid V at gamescom


Here's to you
Jul 13
// Jordan Devore
Konami is bringing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to Cologne, Germany for gamescom next month. I wasn't keeping track, but this is the first time the game will be "available for the public to play," according to the com...
Metal Gear Solid photo
Metal Gear Solid

I would watch this Metal Gear Solid cartoon


From the mind of Matt Synowicz
Jul 13
// Chris Carter
While some people claim that the Metal Gear series is tied to realism, I always ask them -- hey do you remember the vampire guy who could run up walls, or the guy who spits out weaponized bees? The series always felt lik...
RIP Kojima Productions photo
RIP Kojima Productions

'Kojima Productions has disbanded,' says Japanese voice of Solid Snake


Metal Gear always changes
Jul 10
// Jed Whitaker
The voice of Solid Snake in Japan, Akio Otsuka, has stated that Kojima Productions has disbanded. "Kojima Productions was forced to disband, but it appears that the work that the team has been putting their utmost effort into...
The Phantom Pain photo
The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V producer responds to early 'downgrade' complaints


The Phantom Pain
Jul 09
// Steven Hansen
Wow. If my math is right  (it always is), we're 69* days away from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but enterprising gamers are getting a jump on graphics downgrade controversies, sarcastically tweeting at Konami pr...
Battle dress photo
Battle dress

Alternate Metal Gear Solid V footage puts Snake in a dress


Phantom Pain E3 demo, but differently
Jul 06
// Steven Hansen
Konami showed off a lengthy Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain demo during E3 this year. But Metal Gear has been more about supporting different play styles in the latest entries and The Phantom Pain's open world and large...
Metal Gear Solid V photo
Metal Gear Solid V

Get a better look at the Metal Gear Solid V special edition bits


Red PS4
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
Konami has provided a pair of videos to help show off what's inside the various special edition kits for Metal Gear Solid V -- an official unboxing, if you will. The above showcases the new red PS4, and the bottom shows us the actual game's special edition. That case is just so sexy! I have enough Metal Gear in my collection so I don't think I'll spring for it, but I do want it.
Suikoden 3 photo
Suikoden 3

Suikoden III coming to PlayStation Network


PS2 Classic launches this Tuesday
Jun 21
// Kyle MacGregor
Suikoden III is slated for a digital re-release on PlayStation 3 this week, according to the PlayStation Blog's weekly listing of upcoming releases for North America. Earlier this year, a European rating for the PlayStation 2...
The Phantom Pain photo
The Phantom Pain

Konami's stance on Metal Gear Solid V microtransactions


And, uh, 40 minutes of footage!
Jun 19
// Jordan Devore
I'm back home from E3 2015 thanks to a too-early flight. I can safely watch this 40-minute demonstration of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain without any guilt trips from Steven. Yes! Straight away, "While it is true that...
MGSV E3 trailer photo
MGSV E3 trailer

Kojima's final MGSV E3 trailer shows off the bloodshed


The Twin Snakes
Jun 15
// Alessandro Fillari
A lot's happened this year with the state of the MGS, and its creator's fate after the launch of MGSV. As Hideo Kojima's final Metal Gear, and this time it's for real, The Phantom Pain will be a very bittersweet title fo...
Metal Gear Rising 2 photo
Metal Gear Rising 2

Sorry, Metal Gear Rising 2 will not be at E3


Not the new Platinum Game
Jun 14
// Chris Carter
Anything can happen at E3 -- until information is leaked and publishers confirm that certain things will not happen. Much like many exciting new projects this year from Microsoft, Konami producer Ken-ichiro Imaizumi has ...

Sneak king: 14 hours of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Jun 09 // Steven Hansen
[embed]293558:58900:0[/embed] There is a reason I am excited about Snake's horse having a poop button and it is not only that I am a dumb idiot. While I never managed to confirm, I am sure that you can do something like strategically place poop so an enemy walks into it and stops, or maybe slips. Because things like that are what elevate Metal Gear Solid V above typical stealth and/or open-world titles. It's the idiosyncrasies, like calling in a supply drop from Mother Base right onto the head of a stationary guard, knocking them out. It's knowing winks like hiding in a PS4 cardboard box, or the ghost from PT being an item, or a spoken, in-universe tutorial where you're told fourth wall breaking things like "press X" while under extreme virtual duress. The opening segment, which has mostly been covered in diced up trailers, stuck with me in hindsight for how long it goes on with you controlling a crawling, limping Snake in the under siege, burning hospital. It's a while before you're given any power back (guns or even the ability to walk properly), which I appreciated. Kojima ratchets up the direness here, too, as loads of hospital patients get brutally murdered all around. The meat of Phantom Pain opens after this mix of spectacle and terror with a trip to dusty Afghanistan to save Miller that ends in a frightening [redacted]. This plays similarly to Ground Zeroes, of course, but with a horse and more scouting and enemy tagging to do. I wormed my way up to where Miller was captive, climbed up a crack in a building, and jumped from one roof to another to neatly sneak in. Carrying a less-limbed Miller out did get me plenty shot up, but a whistle for my buddy D Horse got both of us out of there quickly. Back on Mother Base, the structure becomes clear. There are main missions you must travel to (by helicopter to a nearby landing zone, or on horseback/by ground vehicle) and they are not all story heavy, though you're always treated to beginning and ending credits, as if each mission was a TV episode, just in case you forgot that this was directed by Hideo Kojima. One mission simply tasked me with rolling up on a compound and assassinating three Russian officers. I fulton'd them all -- attached balloons to them to send back to Mother Base -- against Miller's wishes instead, which proved wise as the officers had some high statistical aptitudes. These poached soldiers fill out your private army and get cool names like Blue Mastadon. Eventually you can scan them ahead of time to know which have high stats, or you can sometimes interrogate soldiers into informing you if an en elite operative is nearby (provided you've acquired a translator for your support team, as Snake's language skills are limited). [embed]293558:58893:0[/embed] It's a lot of contract work in addition to the narrative goal of stopping the Hamburglar-masked Skull Face and generally figuring out what the hell is going on with things. I was actually a bit surprised by how infrequently missions came with cutscenes or main story ties. Sometimes they open up three at a time and you can take them on in any order. You can also choose to repeat a mission at any time if you want to aim for a better performance ranking. I did this with a prisoner extraction mission I had previously finished, but barely. Turns out using the Phantom Cigar to speed up until nighttime, coupled with the night vision goggles, made that particular mission a five minute cakewalk. Going at it in the day led me to enough deaths that I was offered the Chicken Hat, which makes things easier and slows down enemy reaction time. Other dynamic weather events -- rain or sandstorms -- can also come into play, sometimes not at opportune moments. The low visibility caused by sandstorms helped me a few times, but also led me to walk right into an enemy soldier, once. There are also useful side missions that pop up for you take at your leisure, often en route to the next mission point. The Afghan desert is huge, but much of the terrain is empty or cordoned off by mountainous areas or steep cliff sides that encourage you to use the main roads. These roads are littered with enemy outposts, however, often with small platoons of three to four and a watch tower. Sneaking through them isn't too tough, because often you can take a longer loop around them, but they often house collectables (you can pinch a huge assortment of music from enemy tape players) and valuable resources that tie into the upgrade system. Oil, alloys, raw diamonds for straight cash, plants to upgrade the sleeping toxin in Snake's tranquilizers or the time-shifting Phantom Cigar -- you'll be scooping up all of it, though other means of acquisition open up when you can start sending squads out on missions. Plus, those posts are full of soldiers to abduct and, after you upgrade your Fulton balloons, things like heavy artillery to nick. [embed]293558:58895:0[/embed] Everything you Fulton, barring bad weather or bad luck with nighttime visibility, ends up back at Mother Base, which is large enough, especially once you get construction going, that you can actually take a helicopter to other parts of it. Or you can take a long, straight drive in a jeep. Going back to visit helps your troops' morale. They're also proud and happy to have you practice your close quarters combat on them at any time. During my lengthy hands-on, I never got to the point where my Mother Base came under attack, though that's supposed to be a big part of it, up to the point where you can consider nuclear capability as a defense. It's worth noting that 14 hours or so with Phantom Pain and I didn't feel close to finished. Back at Mother Base, I was still building an animal sanctuary (necessary to house all the wandering sheep and other creatures I kept bringing back) and trying to get an imprisoned, sun-bathing Quiet as a deployable buddy like D-Horse and Diamond Dog (the adorable wolf pup that grows into a super-scouting badass). She just sat in the cell, face down, top undone (got to watch those tan lines) listening to tunes from an eclectic, amusing soundtrack. Adorably, construction scaffolding on Mother Base is all stamped with a picture of a dog in a hardhat with a pick axe. It's the little things. Like changing my Diamond Dogs logo from a boring, stencil font "DD" to a cool ass octopus emblazoned with the words "VENOM WOMAN." You can even paint Mother Base if that Giants-orange is too much for you. I find a tasteful dark blue goes well with the sea. My favorite Mother Base quirk so far, though, is the giant shower Snake can jump into to come out feeling refreshed. It also washes off all the blood that accumulates on him while out on missions (if you end up getting shot, at least). [embed]293558:58891:0[/embed] While there are reasons to return home, you can manage a lot of Mother Base, like troop allocation and base development, while out in the field through the iDroid. It also acts as Snake's cassette player, useful for Codec-replacing heaps of exposition, which is just about the only place I heard Snake do much talking.  From the iDroid you can also develop new or better versions of weapons and items. There are upgraded critter traps, different abilities for Snake's robot arm, enhancements to the binocular scanner, extra Fulton balloons to heft heavier weight. I mostly played with a stealthy approach so I didn't dabble much with the vast assortment of snipers, machine guns, or rocket launchers you can call in. Nor did I ever run up on a lack of funds that would prevent re-supply drops of my own essential Fulton balloons and tranq darts, but the fact that you have to call in and then get to the supply drops means that the feature rarely made things too simple. Especially because missions often end up in close quarters or indoors where a supply drop would be useless anyways. I was impressed by how naturally set piece sort of areas exist in Metal Gear Solid V's world. There are long tracts of dusty road, vast open desert, but suddenly you stumble upon an enormous, imposing compound. In the case of one early mission, it was an Uncharted-style winding, honeycomb-esque historical labyrinth, which you get to by creeping through an excavation camp. There are mission areas that would feel like obvious "levels" elsewhere, but here they mesh cleanly with the open world. Just starting or ending a mission (the latter, usually by reaching a helicopter and flying out in real time) is seamless and the day/night cycle persists in cutscenes. I did hit one snag with this open-world structure, though. When you start a mission (or side-mission), you're then restricted to a "mission area." Leaving it ends the mission. I only ever noticed after one challenging mission that ended with [redacted] and [redacted] coming up on [redacted] and holy hell [redacted] -- anyway, towards the end I tried to hightail it on my horse, but I ended running clean through the mission area and having to start from way, way back. It wanted me to sneak to a nearby chopper extraction point instead of just racing to safety and calling one in. This is, incidentally, when I noted the cutscene and subsequent segment I originally did at night now took place during the day. [embed]293558:58892:0[/embed] Phantom Pain feels like the freshest, most distinct use of an open world since Far Cry 2 and it does this without sacrificing the cozier feeling of the series' past level design. While I can't say anything about the story, I don't actually know much at this point, either, besides various "holy shit" moments that have only raised questions. It's appropriate, then, that this Sutherland-voiced Snake speaks sparingly. He always seems sad and a little bit confused, retreating into the rote, work-like task of soldier stuff hoisted upon him by Ocelot and Miller, who seem to be a bit at odds with each other as well.  While Ground Zeroes' sadistic storytelling might raise concerns over how this extra grim tale will play out (Snake is basically a devil what with the horns, the intro is pure brutality before giving way to surreal insanity, there's still a whole thing about child soldiers at some point), I've come away nothing but impressed with Phantom Pain. I don't miss codecs, I don't miss Hayter. I've embraced the open world, I love the tangible Mother Base. And I feel like I've only scratched the surface. There's so much more to do. I've barely used the cardboard box -- you can leap out the sides or hang out in delivery zones and actually have enemies unwittingly pick you up and drive you into outposts. I haven't used to inflatable decoy to bop someone off a cliff. In a world of blockbuster clones and genre convention, Metal Gear Solid V manages to feel fresh. I can't wait to get someone to slip on my horse poop.
First hands-on! photo
First hands-on with Metal Gear Solid V
Trailers from as far back as two years ago offer evidence enough, though. Do you all remember the giant, on-fire man supplanted in malevolence seconds later by the even more giant, on-fire whale careening through the sky to ...

Sweet photo
Sweet

Venom Snake red limited PlayStation 4 console coming to Europe


Previously Asia exclusive
Jun 09
// Steven Hansen
If you missed my (spoiler-free) hands-on preview with the first 14 hours of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, go read that here. If you are in Europe, you may be pleased to know that the previously Asia-exclusive deep red...
Metal Gear Solid V photo
Metal Gear Solid V

The Phantom Pain's official guide sounds slick


The hardcover edition has an art gallery
Jun 08
// Jordan Devore
The folks who created guides for the Metal Gear Solid series and Revengeance are working on the official guide book for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It'll cover every mission, secret, and collectible, as well as the ...
Duel shock photo
Duel shock

Konami confirms Xbox One, PlayStation 4 Yu-Gi-Oh! game


$20, coming this summer
Jun 05
// Steven Hansen
Hey Boo Boo, let's go get us a pic-a-nic basket. Following leaks, we have official confirmation on Konami's upcoming Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist! The PS4 and Xbox One card game will be a $20 download that allows players t...
PES 2016 photo
PES 2016

PES 2016 rumoured to be revealed on June 12


Football crazy, football mad
Jun 04
// Joe Parlock
According to Dutch website Gamer.nl, it looks like Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 will be announced on Friday, June 12. It noticed a date for the game shown apparently at the UEFA Champions League, however we've been unable to con...
Konami is bad photo
Konami is bad

Creator blames Konami for end of popular 27-year-old series


Love to work for Konami
Jun 03
// Steven Hansen
Momotaro Dentetsu isn't a household name in the states, but in Japan the series has sold tens of millions and long predates Mario Party as a popular (train-themed) video game board game. The Hudson series has seen dozens of e...

The Silent Hill Retrospective: Silent Hill

May 30 // Stephen Turner
Silent Hill was as much about crumbling economics as it was about night cries and picket fences. Much like Resident Evil’s Raccoon City, the dilapidated lakeside town was undone by greed. America losing its values to modernisation was a recurring theme in survival horror. It was a warning from those whom had lost their own traditions to capitalist growth, not that far removed from the J-Horror zeitgeist at the time. But more often than not, Silent Hill takes its inspiration from days gone by. Old Silent Hill's influences are worn on street names and ledgers, from Stephen King to Sonic Youth to Psycho. Even the intro pops to the sounds of vinyl, its theme song in equal parts Eastern tremolo and Western twang. These influences come together to create small-town America on the slide, full of “mom & pop” stores and tight-knit suburban mazes. But rather than a tourist, you’re a trespasser. Horror in all its forms has this element of invasion. Here, Harry Mason breaks into homes, schools, and hospitals, as he searches for his missing daughter. Though the overall plot ends up becoming more about the Otherworld, his parental fears are always at the forefront. Essentially, it's not Harry's story, but Alessa Gilesspie's. As the player, and as Mason, we're the outsiders looking in. Perception is the key to the story and scares. Memories are skewered to point where friendly faces are misjudged and emotional attachments lead to narrow-minded decisions. Harry falls through the layers of reality, like the waking waves of a bad dream, and sees the town for what it really is. The Otherworld is an abstract place, clearly a concept that reflects its tortured conduit. What could’ve possibly been a new paradise takes a horrific form because of Alessa's abuse and lack of care by her mother, Dahlia Gilesspie, and Dr. Michael Kaufmann. Later games would force the perspective onto the main protagonist, and at times would suffer for it, but few would capture that “traveller in a foreign land” feel of their predecessor. It's because of the Otherworld that Silent Hill is relentless and oppressive. It constantly toys with the audience, waiting to take shape, and gradually stripping away the safety nets. Harry is shown to be extremely vulnerable, early on. He stumbles off steps, puts out his hands as he crashes into walls, has to catch his breath, and is a terrible shot. Our first contact with the Otherworld ends in seemingly death. It’s a far cry from the shrug-it-off antics of S.T.A.R.S. or Edward Carnby P.I. Every attempt is made to obfuscate the audience, either by claustrophobic gaze, location, sounds, or virtual threat. Radio static is both friend and foe; warning us of monsters beyond the flashlight's reach and ramping up the tension just by letting us know that something's there. Ominous, hollow synths give way to industrial noise, punishing and overbearing. Akira Yamaoka’s soundtrack is comparatively brutal to his later work, the kind of unsettling cacophony that would give a pre-Grammy winner John Congleton nightmares. Even at its most calm in the Fog World, the music still sets your teeth on edge. And yet, by the final act, where reality is in actuality nothingness, Silent Hill does an amazing job of drawing sympathy out of horrific circumstances. To many, Lisa Garland is the human face of Silent Hill (both town and title), and our perception of her stems from Alessa’s own memories. She’s seen as this kind and selfless nurse that only wants to help, but as we delve deeper, endure and learn, we discover what lies beneath. The bright smile, the homely uniform, and her position of warmth and care, are all her “picket fences.” By the end, we find out Lisa was a drug addict, terrified of her only patient. Through Harry, she finds the strength to push onwards, only to realise her own fate was already set in stone. Truth shatters the façade, breaks down her body, and we’re confronted with yet another disturbing subject of horror. For Harry, it's too much and he runs away. But for once, instead of the oppressive percussion of Yamaoka’s themes, we’re treated to the melancholic Not Tomorrow. These were people, not monsters. [embed]292927:58733:0[/embed] In a time of hi-five heroics, Silent Hill offered no such compliments. The best ending closes on a bittersweet note. The town is still lost to the Otherworld, though probably not as powerful as it once was, and Harry doesn't quite get his daughter back. In a shot mirroring the intro, and with his cop friend, Cybil Bennett, standing in for his deceased wife, there's the nagging suspicion that for all we've done, it might just happen again. Sure, we saved a young girl's soul, but we didn't really win anything. Only lessons and traditions were learned. Maybe that was the point, considering the start of this article. As a game, the first and only PSX release has undoubtedly aged in the last 16 years. But much like the low-budget horror movies and low-fi recordings it emulated, Silent Hill overcame handicap through inventiveness. The Otherworld, the town, the storytelling, they were all informed by thinking outside the box. Everything we know about Silent Hill – every fan theory, every femme fatale characteristic, run-down aesthetic, social commentary, urban quest, childhood memory, occultist lore, and personal demon – stems from this very title. So it might be a little frayed around the edges, and certain conveyances are needlessly obscure, but for a mainstream horror game that was intended, quite cynically by Konami remember, to chase after that sweet Resident Evil success, it really was a very unique and artistic beast. It's still wonderful to think how something like that could be produced by such a small group of rag-tag developers, left alone to their own devices in a fairly corporate environment. Of course, though we had survived our first trip through the dark side of Americana, the world had been left open for more lost souls and more horrific layers to come…
Feature photo
What's going on with that radio?
Western horror, Eastern eyes. That was what made Silent Hill memorable for a generation. It was visceral and relentless, oppressive and paranoid, and underlined with a tragic tale that hadn’t been seen on the normally e...

Silent Hills Rumor photo
Silent Hills Rumor

Rumor that Microsoft is buying Silent Hills for billions is ridiculous


Push the truck and get a Mew!
May 29
// Jed Whitaker
[Update: Xbox boss Phil Spencer has confirmed that this rumor isn't true. My history of being right at all times about all things continues.] There is a rumor getting posted on basically every gaming website saying Microsoft ...
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

IGA's whip gets cracking on Bloodstained level design as Ayami Kojima joins project


$3M bucks later, development gets going
May 26
// Steven Hansen
What with all the excitement around Castlevania: Symphony of the Night assistant director and subsequent series producer Koji "IGA" Igarashi's Kickstarter project, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, it's easy to forget that ...
Yu-Gi-Oh! photo
Yu-Gi-Oh!

Konami's releasing a new Yu-Gi-Oh! game


Sensible hair will come as DLC
May 26
// Joe Parlock
IT’S TIME TO D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-delve in to the German ratings board’s latest classifications, as they include something of interest to those rare few who’re still in to Yu-Gi-Oh!. Konami have apparently h...
Bloodstained photo
Bloodstained

Bloodstained will now have a PC beta, similar to Mighty No. 9


$60 or more
May 20
// Chris Carter
If you backed Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, you may want to take a look at your contribution level. IGA and his team have just added another bonus to the $60 tier, which includes access to a PC beta by way of Steam. Whil...
Gambling, man photo
Gambling, man

Konami backs Nevada law allowance for 'skill-based' gambling


Gambling, man
May 18
// Steven Hansen
United States state Nevada's newly passed, plainly named Senate Bill 9 "allows for variable-payback percentages in slot machines." What that means is that previous games of chance can be augmented with, for example, bonus rou...
Mobile Gear Solid photo
Mobile Gear Solid

Konami proves mobile is the future of gaming with Metal Gear Solid V iOS port


Apple Watch version under consideration
May 18
// CJ Andriessen
Last week, Konami announced its intention to focus on mobile gaming going forward, saying the platform is the future of the industry. This morning the company proved that even the most complicated console game can feel righ...
Silent Hills photo
Silent Hills

Guillermo del Toro is torn up about Silent Hills' cancellation too


He's 'been in touch' with Kojima
May 15
// Steven Hansen
Director Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth) is sad about his second big video game project, Silent Hills, falling by the wayside. Konami recently canceled the del Toro x Kojima joint, presumably a victim of Konami's break w...
Konami photo
Konami

What is your favorite Konami game of all time?


Man that's tough
May 15
// Chris Carter
With the new CEO of Konami focusing on the mobile arena, many people out there have called this a death knell for the publisher as we know it. Although it comes as a surprise for some, Konami has been experimenting with mobil...
Konami photo
Konami

Konami plans to focus on mobile games from now on


Mobile is the future, says CEO
May 14
// Kyle MacGregor
To the surprise of absolutely no one, making console games is no longer Konami's priority. Moving forward, Konami plans to turn its attention to the mobile space, new company CEO Hideki Hayakawa recently told Nikkei Tren...
A poem for Kojima photo
A poem for Kojima

Movable Breasts: A poem for Hideo Kojima


I hope he likes it
May 12
// Jed Whitaker
I was inspired to write a poem for the father of Metal Gear Solid, after reading our very own Kyle MacGregor's A Gardevoir for all Seasons poem. I tried to make it about something he likes: movable breasts.  Kojima, senpai, won't you love me too?
Devs Play photo
Devs Play

Watch IGA play Symphony of the Night with Double Fine


#whip
May 08
// Jordan Devore
I hadn't really thought about it until now, but man, I would like to spend two hours today watching designer Koji Igarashi play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night alongside Double Fine senior gameplay programmer Anna Kipnis ...
P.T. taken off PSN photo
P.T. taken off PSN

P.T. is no longer available for download, even if it's already in your library


Konami has gone full Flappy Bird
May 06
// Nic Rowen
If you thought the story surrounding Konami's falling out with Kojima, P.T.'s delisting off the PSN store, and the cancellation of Silent Hills couldn't get worse, I have some gross news for you. As of now, P.T. has been comp...
Konami photo
Konami

Konami teases something Metal Gear related on Twitter, and people are pissed


What's happening with Kojima, guys?
May 05
// Chris Carter
Konami has been having a bad couple of weeks. Rumors have been flying around of Hideo Kojima's departure for some time, with no solid confirmation of what's actually happening with his employment. Then, Silent Hills gets...

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