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Metal Gear

Toys photo
Toys

Nendoroid Solid Snake comes with a low-poly head


...sold!
Aug 01
// Jordan Devore
I've never gotten into Nendoroid, but after seeing that Wind Waker Link figure and now this Solid Snake one, all I can say is "send help" -- it's happening sooner than later. The key features here, in my book, are the alterna...
MGSV photo
MGSV

Hollywood loves the E3 trailer for Metal Gear Solid V


Filmmakers offer praise for MGSV and look to the future
Jun 28
// Alessandro Fillari
It should go without saying that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain had a great showing at E3. Not only was the official trailer a stellar piece of work, and a big indication of how grim the game will be, but the 30-minute ...

The 5 best parts from the E3 demo of MGS V: The Phantom Pain

Jun 20 // Max Scoville
[embed]276926:54544:0[/embed]
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...in under 2 minutes!
Sure, you could go watch the whole half-hour demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain we saw at E3, but then you don't get to look at my pretty face. Also, an animal shows up at the end of this video! Can you guess what it is? 

Metal Gear photo
Metal Gear

The original Metal Gear is being rebooted by independent modders


...and it will be all yours for free!
Jun 02
// Brittany Vincent
Are you a huge Metal Gear fan? Itching to get your hands on the game for one more run-through for old time's sake? What if I told you a group of independent modders had Konami's blessing to reboot the very first Metal Gear ga...
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Konami not so solid: profits fall below half last fiscal year


E3 could help
May 08
// Dale North
Konami's FY profits of 6.2 billion yen (about $61 million) comes in at less than half of last year's 13.2 billion yen ($130 million). They moved 10.81 million videogames last year, calling the sales of Metal Gear Solid V: Gro...
Ground Zeroes photo
Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes patch coming May 1


Update makes platform-exclusive missions available to all
Apr 25
// Conrad Zimmerman
Konami has announced that it will be releasing a title update for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on May 1. The patch will unlock the up-to-now platform exclusive missions "Deja Vu" and "Jamais Vu" (available only in t...
MGS V photo
MGS V

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes platform exclusive DLC will eventually see a full release


For free
Apr 24
// Chris Carter
I really enjoyed Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes for what it was, and despite many people calling it a "short" game, I've clocked around 30 hours so far -- far more than the vast majority of regular releases. Part of ...
Kojima photo
Kojima

Hideo Kojima unboxes Big Boss in Paris game shop


Backed by breezy Metal Gear theme
Mar 20
// Conrad Zimmerman
This is a silly little video uploaded today to the official Metal Gear Solid YouTube page. Hideo Kojima made a surprise appearance at a Micromania game store in Paris to celebrate the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Ze...
Ground Zeroes video guide photo
Grab all nine and unlock a new mission
Both Sony and Microsoft have their own platform-exclusive missions for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and you'll have to do a bit of legwork to unlock them. Basically, you'll need to grab all nine XOF patches hidden thro...

So how do the two platform-exclusive Ground Zeroes missions compare?

Mar 18 // Chris Carter
Deja Vu (PS3 and PS4): Before you get excited -- no, Deja Vu is not a mission starring the 32-bit version of Snake (at least, until you unlock the first costume) -- you'll be playing as the regular old Big Boss model from the main game. In fact, it's not even a "serious" mission, as your task is to "recreate" scenes from the original Metal Gear Solid by way of a photo shoot. It's a "historical re-creation" that takes place in the same location as the core game. Sadly, the actual task is poorly implemented. Guards are still patrolling the base, and if they spot you, you'll have to take them out or hide like always. It would have been great if they went all out with Deja Vu and basically made the base like a special museum without guards (and a full-blown 32-bit veneer), but that's not what happened. Alas, you're going to go on a scavenger hunt to find different scenes that are set up kind of like Solid, at which point a screen will flash, showing the old event for a few seconds. There are a few wacky things like an Easter Island statue and an "encounter" with an apparition of Psycho Mantis, but these aren't much more than a few fleeting seconds, with references from the original peppered in. There is a surprise for dedicated fans at the end though, and two fanservice oriented costumes (one of which can dash quickly like Raiden in the other DLC) can be earned that are only usable within Deja Vu. Deja Vu is definitely worth playing once, but more effort on the part of Kojima Productions would have been great -- I'm not sure I'd ever play it again. Jamais Vu (Xbox 360 and Xbox One): Thankfully, the Microsoft-exclusive mission is a little better. This one features Raiden (albeit without a functional sword), who controls a bit differently than Big Boss -- mostly due to the fact that he can run super fast, with little lightning bolts trailing his feet. He also gets a really cool reveal (introduced by Kaz Miller as a "war machine from the future" as he slams into the ground, jumping from the chopper), and the entire presentation is much better than Deja Vu, as the XOF badges are actually built into the intro. This is all taking place while a song from the Revengeance soundtrack blares in the background -- pretty badass. Jamais Vu is also more interesting on a macro level, since the entire premise is built on snuffing out Body Snatchers, mysteries entities that steal the bodies of humans -- a direct reference to Hideo Kojima's Snatcher. They operate just like regular soldiers, but they burst into green flames upon death and get right back up after being tranquilized, which is a nice effect. There are also a lot of little touches like the ability to make Raiden speak (briefly) while interrogating enemies that make this a much better effort overall. The mission is still stealth oriented, and there's even a reward for no alerts -- but you can go in guns blazing all the same, so it's fun to play multiple times over. It's also enjoyable to run around the base at high speed with Raiden if you're prone to messing around. Which version should you get? In terms of visuals, the PS4's 1080p is noticeably better than the 720p maximum from the Xbox One. You'll notice it especially when it comes to the rain effects and other small nuances that all around look better on the PS4. It's not like the Xbox One version looks poor though, and it does have the better exclusive mission. Basically, if you love Raiden and don't care about graphical differences, just get it on the 360 or the Xbox One. Otherwise, stick with the PS4.
Ground Zeroes exclusives photo
Deja Vu and Jamais Vu
As you may have heard, both Sony (PS3, PS4) and Microsoft (Xbox 360, Xbox One) have their own piece of exclusive content for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. This isn't a pre-order bonus mind you -- it's built into every copy of the game. Naturally this can lead to a choice between the two, so let's take a look at what you're getting.

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Watch Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes get beaten in 10 minutes


Kept you not waiting
Mar 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes can be as long as you want it to be. But it can also be pretty short. How short? Well as Eurogamer demonstrated, you can beat the entire story in just 10 minutes.

Here's everything you can do in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Mar 18 // Chris Carter
[Warning: minor spoilers below in terms of content. If you are intending on picking up Ground Zeroes, don't read this until after you've completed it. This is mainly for prospective buyers who may be on the fence.] Complete the story: Ground Zeroes ships with one main story mission (named after the title), with a lengthy duo of intro and conclusion cutscenes. The average playthrough of this mission will take anywhere from one to two hours, and consists of two sole objectives that are very straightforward. That's it. Beyond that, everything else you do is entirely up to you. Go for all the challenges: With full leaderboard support, hardcore fans will go nuts over the chance to do everything better than their friends. This is anything from "longest sniper headshot" to "longest time spent on two wheels with a jeep," and Ground Zeroes basically tracks everything you can think of. The signature "grade" based ranking system is also still here, which rewards you for not using some of the new mechanics and completing a mission without being seen. I really wish that the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo had this feature, as I would have loved to have challenged my group of friends to random tasks. Listen to all of the cassette tapes: At one point during my playthrough of Ground Zeroes, I just roamed around the base listening to the lengthy cassette tape recordings from Chico, Kaz, and [mostly] Paz. Although there is support for listening to music while you're blowing up the base, you can hear a string of diary entries from Paz based on her time with Big Boss and his crew (from Peace Walker). Some of these are inconsequential ramblings like "that one time she had a cold," or "that one day she played soccer," but peppered into all these conversations are a glimpse at a day in the life of a solider serving under Big Boss, and fans will dig the chance to get a little more fluff. There's roughly an hour or so of recordings to take in all together, including the old content. Complete all the optional missions: There are only a few extra missions on offer outside of the story, including a VIP assassination level, a fetch quest, and the destruction of anti-aircraft guns. These all take place in the same sandbox as the main mission, albeit during different times of day. While not widely different, playing a "sneaking" mission in the sun is definitely fun, and lets you see the base in a whole new light. My personal favorite is the assassination mission, as you can blow up the VIP's jeeps as they attempt to escape with a rocket, or pre-load jeeps with C4 and blow them when they try to take off. Just like the story level, these also have an additional difficulty setting. Find all the XOF patches: There is one bonus mission that's locked until you find every "XOF patch" hidden throughout the Ground Zeroes story. There's nine in all, and these things are really well hidden to the point where you'd spend hours looking for them without a guide. Once you've found them all, you'll unlock a platform exclusive mission for either the Microsoft or PlayStation versions. Hint -- look right behind you when you start the story mission to find the first patch. Screw around: Remember how fun it was to just mess around on the Tanker? Well Ground Zeroes has plenty of those moments. Try to make up fake goals like jeep races, rescue missions with POWs, or "last stand" objectives with rocket launchers and a sniper rifle on top of a roof. There's plenty of room to explore, find new weapons, and try new tactics, like jumping from roof to roof or rolling around and working on your prone aiming skills. If you're the type of person who enjoys sandbox games it's worth a shot, despite how small that box actually is. If you don't think this is worth the $20 or $30 price of entry, don't buy Ground Zeroes.
What's in Ground Zeroes? photo
You can spend as little as one hour with it, or a lot more
As you may have gleaned from my review, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is not for everyone. It only features one area, very little story, and it's only a glimpse of what's to come in Phantom Pain. But that doesn't mean it isn't a ton of fun to play, and there's plenty to do outside of the relatively short story mission.

Review: Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Mar 18 // Chris Carter
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: Kojima ProductionsPublisher: KonamiRelease: March 18, 2014Price: $29.99 (Xbox 360, Xbox One,  PS3, PS4) $19.99 (Xbox 360 & PS3 digital versions) It's important that you understand what Ground Zeroes is before you proceed any further. For $30 at retail (and $20 digitally for 360 and PS3), you're embarking upon a taste of what's to come with the "real" Metal Gear Solid V entry that's yet to release -- Phantom Pain. Zeroes provides only one story mission in a sandbox that's roughly the size of the entire Tanker section in Metal Gear Solid 2, with a select few bonus scenarios that take place in the exact same sandbox. The thing is though, Ground Zeroes is built to be played multiple times, and fully explored. The open world may not be massive, but it's large enough to mess around in for hours on end until you find everything. If you're just rushing through the story though, expect to spend around an hour or so, tops. You're also going to get very little in terms of exposition -- to the point where you could sum up the entire game's plot in a few sentences. If you're lost as to what's happened so far you can choose the backstory option from the main menu, which gives you a  comprehensive brief on the events of Peace Walker by way of text. The tale follows Big Boss and Kazuhira Miller as they kick off a rescue mission, and attempt to extract Chico and Paz -- characters Peace Walker fans will be familiar with. Again, there isn't much in the way of a narrative here, and outside of a short movie at the very end, there aren't many shocking moments the series is known for -- not even a boss fight. [embed]271878:53053:0[/embed] As you may have heard Kiefer Sutherland has replaced David Hayter as the voice of "Snake," and he's done a pretty good job filling the iconic role. It's really weird at first as you can tell he's sort of acclimating, but you get used to it, especially considering that Kaz does most of the talking. I'm still not convinced David Hayter is completely out of the picture, and will make a surprise appearance in Phantom Pain as "Solid" to Kiefer's "Boss." For now though, Sutherland is not a deal breaker -- and this is coming from someone who loved Hayter. Jack Bauer's voice isn't the only change in Ground Zeroes though, as the game has taken a decidedly more action-oriented direction. A lot of the modifications are tiny, but they all add up in the end, namely -- no more cardboard box, no more "flip roll," no more long codec conversations, no more rations, and no more knocking on walls. The most divisive ones for fans are no doubt going to be the lack of a box and rations -- the latter of which is replaced by the popular "regenerating health" mechanic that is seen in many first-person shooter games today. You'll also see a few more "modern" designs slip through, like the "marking" of enemies from Assassin's Creed and later Splinter Cell games, as well as a "slo-mo" ability that gives Snake a chance take out an enemy before he calls for reinforcements. You'll also have an iDroid device that lets you view the entire map, as well as enemies that you've marked and important objectives. Before everyone starts accusing Kojima of going casual, know that these absolutely don't take away from the game in any way, not to mention the fact that Hard mode renders the two former "powers" moot. The thing is, all of these changes in general don't take away from the core essence of Metal Gear Solid. From the get-go the emphasis is still on stealth, and Snake is just as formidable as he always has been. Like Metal Gear Solid 4 before it, which sought to add more options outside of pure stealth, Ground Zeroes expands your arsenal even further with jeeps, tanks, and anti-aircraft guns. Using stealth, tranquilizing guards, and knocking them out with CQC is still an option, but you also have more tactics at your disposal should you want to go in guns blazing. It's completely up to you, and I like that either option works. What this does is it allows you to approach extended replays of the game's missions any way you want. Remember how fun it was to throw people overboard when you first messed around in Metal Gear Solid 2's Tanker? There are a still a lot of enjoyable moments here made possible by the new Fox Engine, and Ground Zeroes is basically your oyster. If you want to load up a jeep full of C4, ram it into a group of enemies and blow it up -- you can totally do that, all with zero load times. It must be said that the game looks absolutely stunning, especially on a current generation console. For the purposes of this review my time was mostly spent playing it on the PS4, which features glorious 1080p (over the 720p on the Xbox One), and the power of the new engine is immediately apparent from your first helicopter touchdown. The rain effects, the lightning, the way enemy raincoats sway in the wind -- it's all mesmerizing, and truly, an excuse to show off your shiny new console. All of these touches add the gameplay as well, particularly the lightning, which makes it easier to see when you're in danger of being spotted. Once you're done messing about in the pouring rain with the main mission, you can access a few other levels with brand new objectives and new lightning conditions. There's one that involves assassinating two VIPs solely based on their portraits, another involving the destruction of anti-aircraft guns, a search and recover mission, and even a bonus level that's exclusive to Sony or Microsoft. These take even less time to complete than the core story, but again, they are built for multiple replays to go for the highest score on the highest difficulty. This is taken a step further with full leaderboard support to compare scores with your friends, and "challenges" that pop up on the screen like "longest shot" and so on. Having said that, I really wish that Kojima Productions went through the effort of making all of these missions feel different, environmentally. Although playing a level in the bright sun is decidedly different than at night, it's tough to shake the familiar feeling of playing the same map over and over. All it would have taken is the cordoning off of certain areas or a few new indoor locations to scratch that itch. It's also disappointing that Ground Zeroes doesn't add that much to the overall narrative, as almost everything plot-wise has already been shown in trailers that debuted months ago. Of course there's that patented "Kojima tease" at the end, but this time around it would have been nice to get even one boss fight or something substantial. I'm going to be playing Ground Zeroes for quite some time, but not nearly as long as I would have liked with just a few more extras. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is not for everyone. I can't stress how underwhelming the game will be if you aren't a huge fan of the series, or you can't see yourself playing in the same sandbox enough to really get your money's worth. But for everyone else that can't wait to get even a taste of Phantom Pain, it's worth the budget price of entry -- especially on a current-gen console.
MGS V review photo
An exciting demo, but still a demo
Ever since I randomly picked up a conspicuous looking Metal Gear NES catridge in 1990, I've been enjoying Snake's adventures. I've collected every Metal Gear game released in the US, and while I'm busy waiting for t...

MGS trofees photo
MGS trofees

Platidumb! Metal Gear Solid V won't have platinum trophy


I've become so comfortably platinumb
Mar 17
// Steven Hansen
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes won't have a platinum trophy. Hopefully that doesn't bother you lot that planned to infinitely replay the short, replayable game. Kojima explained on Twitter: The reason GZ doesn't have Plat...
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MGS: Ground Zeroes reversible cover art looks fantastic


By Yoji Shinkawa
Mar 15
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The cover art for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is so serious. What's the matter, Snake? It's like you're about to lose an arm or something. Oh ... right. On the other hand, the reversible cover art looks so hot. The artwor...
Metal Gear photo
Metal Gear

Hideo Kojima: Metal Gear wasn't expected to sell


Spoiler alert: It sold a lot
Mar 14
// Brett Makedonski
Metal Gear is one of the most successful and popular videogame franchises to date, but when Metal Gear Solid was being developed, neither Konami nor Hideo Kojima had high hopes for it. Surprisingly enough, that turn...
Snakeless photo
Snakeless

Solid Snake probably won't appear in the next Super Smash Bros.


That's what Kojima thinks
Mar 14
// Brett Makedonski
Solid Snake, one of two third-party characters from Super Smash Bros. Brawl, isn't likely to make an encore in the upcoming Wii U and 3DS Smash Bros. At least, that's according to his creator. As reported by Go...
Ground Zeroes photo
Ground Zeroes

Kojima gives some insight as to the design of Ground Zeroes


'If 100 people play the same mission, there will be 100 different stories to tell'
Mar 14
// Brett Makedonski
One of the biggest talking points surrounding the impending launch of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is the game's relatively short length. Hideo Kojima explains why that won't be a problem in this video. The crux of...
Hideo Kojima photo
Hideo Kojima

Kojima unsuccessfully tried to make a game in the vein of GTA 3


And scrapped it when it wasn't on par with Rockstar's effort
Mar 14
// Brett Makedonski
Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto III is well-known as a landmark title that exerted significant influence over the videogame industry with regard to modern design. One notable developer that was motivated by GTA III was ...
Fatrs 'N' Crafts photo
Groundzillas!
Today on Fart's 'N' Crafts, I'm drawing Godzilla and Big Boss fighting! Or hanging out. Or something. This suggestion comes by way of Nicholas Layne on YouTube, thanks Nick!  If you'd like to buy a print of this drawing, you can pick one up right here!

Infiltrating Outer Heaven: A tour of the Kojima Productions studio

Mar 07 // Max Scoville
Now, by no means am I complaining about getting to go on studio tours, but as someone who grew up watching behind-the-scenes features about movie special effects, there's a certain disappointment to know that videogames are created by a lot of hard-working people sitting at desks, doing stuff on computers, and not a bunch of crazy guys kit-bashing Halloween masks and blowing up model kits in a parking lot. Now, Kojima Productions is definitely an office. There are desks and conference rooms and water coolers, but some special effects work takes place there, too. Videogame magic, if you will. If you've been following coverage of Metal Gear Solid V, you're probably aware of the fact that in order to make it, Kiefer Sutherland had to have some balls on his face. You know, those little tiny balls they use for performance capture. Dozens of infrared cameras track the motion of each little ball from every angle, then a computer somehow turns that into a badass videogame character beating people up. Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain rely heavily on performance capture and motion capture, using it for the vast majority of characters. However, there's one rather fascinating exception: Code Talker. If you caught The Phantom Pain trailer (if you haven't, there are reasons why you might want to avoid it) you might recall getting a glimpse of the elderly Native American fellow named Code Talker. While there was undoubtedly no shortage of performers available for the more normal (and I use that word very lightly) looking characters, I can't imagine there are a whole lot of centenarian actors of indigenous descent working in Hollywood these days. So, Kojima and co. did the next best thing: they called up Digital Domain, the guys who helped turn Brad Pitt into Benjamin Button, and asked them to sculpt an old man's head from scratch. If you're unfamiliar, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was a 2008 David Fincher film in which Brad Pitt's titular character ages backwards. The film won Academy Awards for both makeup and special effects, so it's understandable why Kojima would hire Digital Domain. The studio created an upsettingly realistic latex bust of Code Talker, which I got to see up close during my tour. The picture above doesn't do it justice, it's disturbing in person. If you're amazed that Hideo Kojima let me photograph him with his creepy rubber head, don't be. No recording of any kind was allowed during my tour, so everything you see here has been found online. The creepy rubber head was a good start, but it was up to Kojima Productions to turn it into a living, breathing videogame character made out of polygons and textures and math problems. To do this, they scanned the creepy rubber head, using the same performance capture technology they used for Kiefer Sutherland's performance as Snake. This is done in a completely white room, so there's as little lighting interference as possible, and the performer is filmed from every angle. The whole setup looks like the worst nightmare of someone who's afraid of having their picture taken at the DMV. After that, Jay Tavare (who you might remember for his role as Vega in the live-action Street Fighter movie) will have lots of little balls put on his face, and will play the part of Code Talker. Tavare speaks the Navajo Diné language, which, considering Code Talker's name, will probably be a big part of his performance. Tavare's facial movements will then be transferred onto the digital scan of the creepy rubber head. From there, animators will go through the character's movements and make necessary adjustments by hand. As Hollywood tries to fill live-action movies with as much computer-generated imagery as possible, developers like Hideo Kojima and David Cage are striving to put live actors into videogames. Go figure. In addition to the facial mo-cap studio, I also got to visit the full-body performance capture playroom that Kojima Productions has been using. Aside from the thousands and thousands of dollars of cameras and computer equipment, it reminded me a little bit of elementary school gym class. Blue mats on the floor, large foam pads for gymnastic tumbling. Normally, highly trained mo-cap actors don the silly-looking ping pong ball costume and do cool tactical karate movies and stuff, but during our tour, they just had one of the guys from the animation team come out and tiptoe around. On a nearby monitor, an uncolored but very detailed render of Snake mirrored his movements. It was one those very basic tech demonstrations we've all seen a million times in developer diaries, but seeing it happening in real life was still pretty impressive. Next, we were led into what seemed like an ordinary conference room, but which felt oddly familiar. Then I remembered why. Pictures of this very conference room had been released alongside screenshots of a photo-realistic rendering of it. These screens were primarily intended a demonstration of the Fox Engine's graphical capabilities, but also to show how funny it would be if a horse got into the conference room, as well as what it would look like if they spruced up the place with some tasteful hovering orbs and cylinders. On a more practical level, the reason Kojima Productions went to the trouble of rendering an entire conference room is as a means of calibrating the lighting within the Fox Engine. It makes a lot of sense, really. It's a bit like using a sheet of office paper to calibrate the white balance on a camera, assuming you went through the trouble of cutting down a tree and milling the office paper yourself. What's that Carl Sagan quote? "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, first you must invent the universe." If you wish to render a realistic horse, first you must render the conference room down the hall. It's not quite as thrilling as everything else I saw, but my inner ten-year-old basically exploded when I saw the wealth of reference materials Kojima Productions had amassed. An entire hallway was lined with shelves containing every type of media you could possibly need to look at while making a Metal Gear Solid game. Videogames, movies, comics, manga, art books, and encyclopedias of everything from tanks to motorcycles to horses. Around the corner from that was a corner devoted entirely to replica firearms. It looked like the bunker in Terminator 2 where Arnold finds the mini-gun. Possibly the most fun part of the tour was a visit to Kojima Productions' in-house recording studio and a demonstration of how the game's sound effects are made by their foley artist. Inside the booth, there's an array of microphones, and a pile of ordinary household items with a few pieces of army surplus gear scattered about. In the center of the floor was an odd little raised platform, divided into sections holding different materials. One with a slate flagstone on it, another a piece of plywood, and a third had gravel spread across the bottom. Next to all this was a pile of worn out shoes, like you'd find by a family's front door. Then, we were asked "who can tell which of these are Old Snake's shoes?" Someone suggested military-looking boots. The foley guy slipped his stocking feet into the boots and stepped onto the flagstone platform. He walked in place, and through the monitors, we heard what was definitely not Old Snake's footsteps. The cool cowboy boots with the straps turned out to be Liquid Ocelot's. The big frumpy grandpa sneakers were Raiden's. Appropriately enough, Old Snake's footwear of choice is a pair of worn-out Hush Puppies. What better footwear for stealth? Plus, this is Old Snake we're talking about, so clearly he's more concerned with comfort than fashion. Each character's walk sounded entirely different, partially because of the variation in footwear, but also because the foley artist would adjust his weight by holding onto a chin-up bar, with heavy footsteps with his full weight for big manly PMCs, and the softest pitter-patter for Sunny. Using footsteps to create the sound of footsteps is pretty obvious, but we got to see and hear some more creative means of creative sound effects. On the screen in the studio, one of the cutscenes from Metal Gear Solid 4 was playing, from the beginning of the mission in South America. In the scene, Old Snake is lying on the jungle floor, and we see an actual snake slither from under a bush and attack a guinea pig. Then, a centipede crawls across Old Snake's arm. We watched all of this without any sound. Then, we watched the clip again, accompanied by the sound of a wet rag being loosely rubbed on the flagstone panel, inches from a microphone. Done in synch with the footage, it made an incredibly believable slithering sound. The clip was rewound again, and we learned that the sound of a centipede can be made by running a crappy flip-phone up and down the bristles of a push broom. To think, I've been paying perfectly good money for gross centipede-noise ringtones when I could've been making them at home! In all seriousness, I've been a fan of Metal Gear Solid for over half my lifetime, which is a rather staggering realization. With that much anticipation and excitement built up, I could've very easily come away from this tour completely crestfallen, saying "eh, it's just a regular office" and sounding like a totally jaded douchebag. Thankfully, I got to see a creepy rubber head, learn how to make centipede noises with a broom, and stand in a conference room that looked just like CGI.
Kojima Productions tour photo
Also: Street Fighter's Vega is in The Phantom Pain. Sort of.
While in Japan to preview Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, I was taken on a tour of the Kojima Productions offices. In theory, there's a certain magic to getting to go behind the scenes of where videogames get made. In...

MGS V video from Max photo
Watch Snake shoot down his own chopper!
I'm sure by now you fine folks have seen the stuff I posted about Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, but I'm not done quite yet. Here's a quick rundown of what I thought about the game, as well as some responses to concerns you guys had.

DTOID News photo
KAZAAM!
Sweet Christmas do we have some great news about video games today! Let’s see… My previews for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes went up, a new Batman game was announced by Rocksteady, Batman: Arkham Knight...

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PSA: If you're looking forward to Ground Zeroes, don't watch The Phantom Pain's trailer


Tactical Public Service Announcement Action
Mar 05
// Max Scoville
No new Metal Gear Solid V spoilers or details here, I promise. Earlier today, I put up my preview for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and in it, I wrote a lot about the game. I was careful to steer clear of any s...

War Has Changed: What's NOT in MGS V: Ground Zeroes

Mar 05 // Max Scoville
Stopping Everything To Answer Your Codec: As much as I loved chatting with Master Miller about Alaskan field mice, discussing monster movies with Para-Medic, and hearing Colonel Campbell's funky beat poetry about scissors, there have definitely been moments when Codec calls have interrupted the flow of fast-paced Tactical Espionage Action™. However, I was pleased to discover that in Ground Zeroes, Snake has no qualms about putting Miller on speakerphone while he goes about his missions. This latest installment is fairly light on story, but if it truly is a demonstration of The Phantom Pain's mechanics, we're going to see a lot more integration between gameplay and story. And God willing, we won't have to watch any PowerPoint presentations from Otacon. Somersaults: Or "tactical dives," or whatever else you want to call them. That move where Snake does a little roll, which can be used to knock down enemies, or to look hilariously clumsy on stairs. This has been replaced by a much more serpentine maneuver, which is Snake's ability to dive into a crawl. It's a lot more fun in action than it sounds, I promise. Though I'll definitely miss rolling into guards like the fat kid from Hook. Rations: Look, it's 2014. It's time we accepted that it's just not realistic for video games to depict a man recovering from life-threatening injuries by eating several packages of freeze-dried food. It's much more realistic if the man's wounds go away on their own after he hides behind some cover for a brief period of time. The addition of modern regenerative health will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers, but if it's any consolation, Snake does have some kind of emergency health-spray for near-death moments, and based on his agonizing reaction when he applies it, it's a lot less enjoyable than a hot meal. Knocking: "What was that noise?" Well, it was probably the sound of the outrage of thousands of fans at the fact that banging on walls is no longer available as a diversionary tactic. You can still throw used ammo magazines, though, so distracting guards shouldn't be too much of a problem (knock wood). Tobacco Products: As functional in-game items, anyway. During my time with the game I encountered no interactive tobacco products. Then again, I also encountered no practical in-game use for such items, like laser tripwires or shaky hands during a tense boss battle with a sniper. If you want to make Big Boss look cool, you'll have to settle for reckless driving and blowing stuff up. Or, you can just stare at the menu screen, where he's puffing away at his cigar. The Cardboard Box: Yeah, I know. I wish I could say there's some innovative next-gen alternative to the Metal Gear franchise's trademark technique of hiding inside a cardboard box, like... I dunno, a Ghillie suit or maybe one of those giant paper bags people use for yard waste. But I guess for Ground Zeroes, Kojima wanted to think outside the bo-- I'm sorry, I can't even make bad puns right now. I loved that box. That box was like a container to me. Anyway, that's just some of the stuff that is NOT In Ground Zeroes. Bear in mind, there's plenty of familiar stuff that IS still there, and plenty more new stuff that's been added. Like JEEPS! Go read my full preview for the lowdown.
What's new in MGS V photo
Thinking outside "the box"
Dying to hear all the dirt but don't want to take the time to read my full preview of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes? Well, if you're not a fan of verbose explanations, I can't imagine you're much of a Metal Gear Solid fan. In any case, here's a quick rundown of some classic Metal Gear elements that you won't be finding in the latest release.

Breaking New Ground: Metal Gear Solid V's Tactical approach to Open World

Mar 05 // Max Scoville
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 [Previewed])Developer: Kojima ProductionsPublisher: KonamiRelease: March 18, 2014Price: $29.99 (Xbox 360, Xbox One,  PS3, PS4) $19.99 (Xbox 360 & PS3 digital versions) The main mission of Ground Zeroes takes place a matter of months after Peace Walker, and twenty years before the original Metal Gear. Returning characters Paz (whose allegiances are unknown) and Chico have been captured by XOF, a newly introduced organization whose motives are unclear, aside from being bad guys. It’s up to Snake to sneak quietly into Camp Omega, where Paz and Chico are being held, locate them, and carry them a safe distance from the base for extraction. So, basically, if you’re fuzzy about the plot, or are a newcomer to the series looking for a good point of entry, you’ll probably need to do some homework to make sense of the story beyond “a gruff man with an eye-patch must rescue teenagers from the clutches of a shadowy paramilitary organization.” In terms of gameplay however, Ground Zeroes is easily the biggest overhaul to Tactical Espionage Action since the jump between Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2, and for this overhaul, it seems to have taken some cues from other game franchises. For starters, first-person view is gone. [Correction: first-person aiming is still there.] Snake primarily does his shooting in third-person, with the left trigger letting him aim more closely, in a fashion that should be familiar to us at this point. To switch into first-person, it's a matter of tapping the R1 button while aiming. The weapon selection and item management has been relegated to the D-pad. The health gauge is gone, and Snake will recover automatically as long as he stays out of harm’s way for a moment. Basically, the same regenerative health system you’ll find in most modern action games. If he’s in really rough shape, an on-screen cue will appear to apply some form of health-spray, which will make him grimace in agony. Seriously, Snake? It’s probably just Bactine, calm down. Call me old fashioned, but I miss the silliness of hiding in a ventilation shaft and binge-eating rations to recover from half a dozen gunshot wounds. Along with the health gauge and dual scrolling inventory slots, another thing absent from the HUD is anything resembling soliton radar or active sonar. Tracking guards now depends on tagging them, either by spying on them through binoculars, or by hovering the reticle on them long enough while in range. After doing this, a flag will appear above their heads. It’s very similar to the system in Assassin’s Creed or Far Cry 3. Once tagged, the exact position of enemies can be seen on the map, accessible from Snake’s iDroid device. The iDroid is a portable device that’s also used to access intel and call in your chopper, and is the most anachronistic addition to Metal Gear Solid since Cold War-era giant robots. What’s interesting is that bringing up the iDroid doesn’t pause the game, which can lead to some fairly tense moments. I’d compare it to the on-the-fly crafting system in The Last Of Us; checking the map and calling a chopper are crucial parts of gameplay, so why should the entire game stop down and wait for you? In addition to checking your iDroid, all radio conversations take place in-game. Kaz Miller will periodically chime in with tidbits of intel about your surroundings as you are playing. If you’d like more details about something you encounter (an APC, a guard tower, a security camera, etc) you can point your reticle at it and give Miller a call with a tap of the R1 button, and he’ll briefly give you intel. I really hope this is indication that The Phantom Pain’s story will be more smoothly integrated into the gameplay itself, instead of through exposition-laden codec conversations or long-winded PowerPoint presentations between missions. Snake himself has a number of new abilities. One of the more controversial abilities is "Reflex Mode," which is a brief moment of slow-motion bullet-time that's triggered upon Snake's discovery. The concern is that this will make the game too easy, but I don't think it's the case. In fact, points are actually docked for each use of the ability. In any case, on the "Hard" difficulty setting, neither the enemy-tagging nor reflex mode features are available.Sprinting is another of Snake's new abilities. It’s possibly the least stealthy addition to the series since the shotgun, but if you know what you’re doing, it’s a damn good way to get around. Snake's somersault has been replaced with a new ability to dive into a crawl too. The X button still makes Snake change his stance from standing to crouching to crawling, but now he can dive straight from sprinting to crawling with a tap of Square. It’s one of those mechanics that just feels right, and makes gameplay noticeably more enjoyable. It’s probably my favorite basic in-game action since the ability to karate-kick through car windows in Saints Row: The Third, though it’s considerably less ridiculous-looking. The big, huge, obvious change Ground Zeroes makes to the Metal Gear Solid formula is its transition into open-world. The series has always granted players a fair amount of freedom in how to approach situations, but Ground Zeroes is almost completely wide open. In addition to that, there’s the added element of verticality, and Snake can make his way up on certain rooftops fairly easily. Don't expect him to be parkour-ing up the sides of buildings, but it's a welcome addition. Oh, Snake can also pick locks, but it's really just a matter of holding down the action button by a door and waiting for him to do his thing. Unfortunately, it seems as though some sacrifices have been made for the sake of the game’s scale. For instance, there’s nothing resembling a boss fight in Ground Zeroes, which will undoubtedly be a letdown for some fans given Hideo Kojima’s amazing track record for cool boss fights. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ground Zeroes also feels lacking in quirky details, and the odd touches that have always made Metal Gear Solid games so unique. There are no lockers to hide in, or to use for storing unconscious guards. There are no cigarettes or cigars or girly magazines, at least not that I came across. Worst of all, there’s no cardboard box. I have confirmation on that, there's no box. Ground Zeroes also adds vehicles into the mix. As far as controls go, they’re a simplified version of the driving in any modern sandbox game. Don’t expect to be getting any insane stunt bonuses, but it’s enough to get around. There’s obvious stupid fun to be had, like stealing jeeps and using them to run over guards, or knocking several guards unconscious, loading them into a Jeep, and driving it off a cliff, but vehicles can also be key when quickly completing missions. Driving might be faster than crawling, but it’s also a lot louder and even if you’re going the speed limit, riding around in a large diesel truck will attract the attention of guards. But that’s if you’re behind the wheel. Another option is to hop in the back when no one’s looking, gathering recon of the base while the truck goes about its routine. In addition to Jeeps and trucks, there’s also an APC with a fully functional cannon on it, if you feel like throwing stealth to the wind and blowing stuff up instead. The helicopter plays a major role, thought it’s less of a vehicle and more of a replacement for the Fulton Recovery System from Peace Walker. While it’s slightly less absurd than tying weather balloons to unconscious guards and sending them airborne, there’s still something rather silly about concluding your top-secret covert mission by calling in a noisy helicopter that’s blaring the Peace Walker theme or Ride Of The Valkyries out of its PA system. Yep, that’s right. You can set a custom ringtone for your helicopter. Shortly after you select a landing zone on your map, a chopper will arrive at that point, and any prisoners you’ve brought to that spot can be loaded onboard. In the main mission, rescuing additional prisoners aside from Chico and Paz only adds to your score/ranking at the end of the mission, though considering the presence of a second-screen app devoted to running Motherbase, it’s possible that retrieving prisoners in The Phantom Pain could play a role similar to the recruiting of NPCs to the MSF in Peace Walker. After all, Snake is “Big Boss.” Managerial skills are part of his job title. If you’ve been following coverage of Ground Zeroes, you might’ve heard about the presence of “side-missions” amidst the main campaign. I sort of assumed that these would be secondary objectives that could be completed during the course of the main mission. In reality, they’re more like VR Missions; completely separate challenges that make use of the same map, but with different objectives and placement of enemies. While The Phantom Pain promises a real-time day-night cycle, the time of day and weather conditions in Ground Zeroes depend strictly on which mission you’re playing. The main “Ground Zeroes” mission is set on a dark and stormy night, affording Snake plenty of hiding spots. One side-mission, in which Snake has to assassinate a pair of targets, is set in broad daylight, giving the guards much better visibility and eliminating the option of keeping Snake in the shadows. I’ll probably be booed offstage for saying it, but … the difference is like night and day.   I know one the biggest concerns people have about Ground Zeroes is its length. After Game Informer announced that they’d beaten the main mission in under two hours, the internet had a hissy fit. During my time with the game, I completed the core "Ground Zeroes" mission twice, as well as playing the other missions (with varying degrees of success) and it’s clear that this is a game meant to played repeatedly. If you're the type of player who likes to screw around and explore, and really mess with enemy AI, you'll most likely have a blast. If you're the type of player who's hell-bent on achieving "Big Boss" rank on extreme difficulty, this is probably also up your alley. If you're the type of player who falls somewhere in the middle, it's a tougher call to make.  Ground Zeroes has been framed as an introduction to the new mechanics of The Phantom Pain, and a prologue to its story. I’ve often said, mostly kidding, that my favorite game in the series is the Metal Gear Solid 2 demo disc that came packed in with Zone Of The Enders. Others have expressed similar sentiment towards the demo for the first Metal Gear Solid. I would say Ground Zeroes is very much comparable to those. The layout of Camp Omega feels reminiscent of the first few areas of MGS1, and the new mechanics like driving and climbing are as novel as arranging the bodies of unconscious guards in lewd positions, or hiding in lockers in MGS2. While I feel like I’ve experienced a lot of what the game has to offer, that doesn’t stop me from wanting to play more of it, and if the goal here was to whet my appetite for The Phantom Pain, I’d say mission accomplished. Still, it really sucks about that cardboard box.
Hands-on with MGS V photo
Snake is driving Jeep! How can this be?!
Considering that the series just celebrated its 25th anniversary, it might seem a little odd that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is only the fifth game in the series. However, if you’re counting Peace Walker, it...

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Do you think fashion can bloom on the battlefield?
Hey, did you see those Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes track jackets and sneakers that Puma's making? They're pretty cool, but a franchise with such awesome character and mechanical designs really deserves more creative merchandising. Here are a few ideas.

MGS info photo
MGS info

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes sees a small price cut


Data unlocks explained
Feb 25
// Chris Carter
Konami has shared some more info in regards to the link between Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain. It looks like if you buy GZ "early on" you'll get DLC to use in Phantom Pain at launch, which grant...
Kojima is stuck photo
Kojima is stuck

Kojima wants 'to step out from the Metal Gear franchise'


Seems like to do so he might leave video games entirely
Feb 24
// Steven Hansen
"Ideally I would like to step out from the Metal Gear franchise as a producer and dedicate myself to other games," Kojima said in a lengthy interview Game Informer. "So far that has proven to be a bit difficult." What an un...
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Puma making Metal Gear Solid V themed jacket, shoes


Also here's some screesn of the Companion App
Feb 21
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Want some sick new gamer threads, bro? Well Konami has partnered up with Puma to put out some Diamond Dogs branded jackets and shoes based on Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. The jackets are running for 15,000 yen ($146), w...

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