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Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is taking up most of my gaming time these days. It's easy to see why it's gotten so many glowing reviews thus far.
For me, the biggest problem with the past games was that the story felt like a forced march. You made your way through a set amount of gameplay and were then asked to sit through long cutscenes. The balance between gameplay and cutscenes feels better here. This is thanks in part to how the game's structured. You're able to wander around for hours without interruption in the game's open-world, undertaking side quests or hunting down extras. Those cutscenes are still out there, waiting for you after you complete key missions. Until you embark on those missions, though, you've got plenty of time to dick around and just enjoy the mix of stealth and action that few people other than Kojima can deliver.
I'm still baffled as ever that Konami decided to get rid of Kojima and his team. I don't envy the guy who has to find replacements for them. It's not just that the Metal Gear Solid series is well-made - it's that the franchise has such a unique point-of-view. It's simultaneously a dark rumination on war and a slapstick comedy where you can don a chicken hat or sneak around in a cardboard box. I won't pretend that it's a perfect series but it's a singular one. Can another studio step in and replicate its feel without making their games seem counterfeit? I wonder whether they'll end up taking the franchise in a completely different direction rather than try to recreate it.
Top Stories Of The WeekPS4, PS3 Dominate Porn Usage - I guess gamers don't want to go through the trouble of taping cardboard over their Xbox One's Kinect
Why Gears Of War's Creator Almost Retired From Gaming - Got depressed when he realized you can only fit one chainsaw on an assault rifle.
Street Fighter 5 Character Rashid Has Been Revealed - Capcom announces a Middle Eastern character on September 11th and the comments are what you'd expect/fear.
Xbox One Launch Problems Were Avoid, Former Xbox Boss Says - "Dear Hiring Manager: I am a driven, results-oriented individual who would love to be your next Director of Hindsight. Here are my qualifications."
Why Microsoft Never Made A Handheld Xbox - "We decided to focus on more promising hardware, like Zune."
Bethesda Has Big Plans For Fallout 4 After Launch - They've scheduled months of DLC and then years of pretending there's no sequel in development.
How Elite: Dangerous Paid Tribute To Player's Late Mother - Damn it, Frontier Developments. How am I supposed to stay snarky when you keep pulling crap like this?
Oculus Founder: Virtual Reality Will Be Free Eventually - "I mean, as long as you don't mind a 10-foot-tall banner ad for Dollar Shave Club in your virtual world."
Ubisoft Is Opening Their Own Theme Park - The line for the roller coaster is a month longer if you're a PC gamer.
Bungie Is Planning Several More Xbox Releases - Wow, there's a way Destiny actually meets expectations.
Video Of The WeekMetal Gear Solid 5 mod uses Revolver Ocelot's model in place of Snake's pet wolf:
Quote Of The Week"On one of my normal PR rounds I received an email from a very popular YouTuber with a few million subscribers offering to have one of our games featured on their YouTube channel for a rate of either $17,600 for 2-3 talking points or $22,000 for 2-3 talking points AND a description link. Upon reading this my jaw dropped. Is this real? Are there developers out there that pay that sort of money to have their game featured in one video?" - Soul Axiom developer Ben Tester on Reddit