Recent Articles: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Star Wars: Battlefront is crowned Best of Gamescom at Gamescom 2015

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Heeding the words of Yoda (“Do… or do not. There is no try.”), Electronic Arts and DICE pulled out all the stops to win to five awards for Star Wars: Battlefront at Gamescom 2015, including the coveted “Best of Gamescom” title. The game also took home “Best Console Game – PS4,” “Best PC Games,” “Best Online Multiplayer Game,” and the “Most Wanted Consumer Award.” Strangely, Germany’s Digital Gaming Culture Foundation (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur) didn’t even nominate it in the “Best Console Game – Xbox One” category.

Other multi-award winners at the 2015 Gamescom Awards include Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (“Best Console Game – Xbox One” and “Best Action Game”), FM6 (“Best Racing Game” and “Best Simulation Game”), and Super Mario Maker (“Best Console Game – Wii U” and “Best Social / Casual / Online Game”).

Not to be forgotten, the HTC Vive virtual reality headset, produced in conjunction with Valve, won for “Best Hardware / Peripheral.”

The full list of this year’s winners can be found after the break. (more…)

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain gets two new trailers at Gamescom 2015

The hotly anticipated Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is less than a month away, and Konami is finally ramping up promotion for the game (while in the midst of some internal turmoil) by releasing two more trailers that show off the game’s new features.

Revealed during Gamescom 2015, a short gameplay trailer (embedded above) notably wasn’t directed or edited by Hideo Kojma, while a longer demo walkthrough (available after the break) showcased the new and improved Mother Base.

Among the new features demonstrated in the walkthrough video is the ability to take showers to wash away blood and collect posters scattered throughout the base. Players can also run obstacle courses, train troops, and customize the base (including layout, insignia placement, color, and security measures). We also got a look at how all of these features integrate with the iDroid while you’re in the field.

Also showed off was Forward Operation Base (FOB) multiplayer mode, which involves creating a base separate from Mother Base that other players can invade at any time. In the demo, we saw the player in the middle of a mission get a warning that their FOB was being invaded, and they quickly left the mission to defend the base. What followed was a game of cat and mouse that ended after the defender captured the attacker.

With Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain releasing September 1st, these are probably the last trailers we’ll see before it’s release. It’s been a heck of a ride considering the significance of this game in the franchise. But, the light is finally right around the corner. (more…)

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Star Wars: Battlefront has captured the most nominations at 2015 Gamescom Awards

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Germany’s Digital Gaming Culture Foundation (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur) has announced the nominees for this year’s Gamescom Awards… and Star Wars: Battlefront has Force Pushed its way to the top of the pack. DICE’s shooter sequel was able to collection four nominations including “Best Console Game – PlayStation 4,” “Best PC Game,” “Best Action Game,” and “Best Online Multiplayer Game.”

Battlefront was able to move slightly ahead of the pack, as a small handful of games received three nominations apiece. Final Fantasy XV, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Super Mario Maker, Skylanders SuperChargers, and Guitar Hero Live are all up for three awards.

Even if you’re not one of the jury members for the Gamescom Awards, you can have an influence on the results. The general public can vote for any game on display at the expo for a Most Wanted Consumer Award using the Gamescom app.

The winners of this year’s Gamescom Awards will be announced on August 7. The full list of nominees can be found after the break. (more…)

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Behind-the-scenes article paints Konami executives as Orwellian dictators

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UPDATE: Nikkei has released an official English translation of the article.

Nikkei, a Japanese financial newspaper, recently published an article that delves into the struggles and horrible working conditions of employees at Konami. Basically, it is not pretty, and if anything, Hideo Kojima’s rumored departure can only be seen as a good thing.

The article is entirely in Japanese, and the website requires a subscription to fully access it, but volunteer translators have been working on the article and released some highlights this morning through NeoGAF. Additional translations are available at GamesIndustry.biz and Kotaku.

A number of anonymous employees spoke to Nikkei about life at Konami, describing a prison-like environment. Employees who are deemed “useless” are either sent to the assembly line to work on pachinko machines, or are reassigned to become security officers. Some are even forced to clean up the gym located in Konami’s headquarters. And this punishment isn’t just limited to low-level workers, producers and other prominent creators have also had this type of grunt work hoisted on them.

Lunch breaks are said to be regulated via time cards, and any employee who runs late is “outed” from the company. Konami’s employees are also said to be under heavy surveillance at all times. Even Solid Snake himself couldn’t dodge all the security cameras and punch clocks that line the company’s halls.

All these measures allegedly stem from the success Konami had with a mobile game known as Dragon Collection, which has made far more money and was much cheaper to develop than any console game the company produced in years. This news is certainly in line with Konami’s recent attitude, which has led to the cancellation of the majority of their console projects, including Silent Hills.

Nikkei’s report also states that, as of April 2015, Konami had spent $80 million on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Coupled with the publisher’s desire to move towards mobile games, this astronomical budget likely had something to do with Konami’s rift with Kojima.

Konami has already stated they plan on continuing with the Metal Gear series, as well as Pro Evolution Soccer, but beyond that, much of the company’s plans remain a mystery.

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Does Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes reference Kojima leaving Konami?

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes has been out for over a year now, and it seems to keep providing Easter eggs. One major Easter egg that may hint at the recent strife between Konami and Director Hideo Kojima was recently found by YouTube user “timeSplitter88.”

In the Metal Gear Solid throwback mission “Deja Vu,” you’re given a weapon with a blue light that erases words found throughout the level. Those words aren’t random though, they’re all past titles and logos from Metal Gear’s history.

Hideo Kojima had nothing to do with some of those games, such as Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance or Metal Gear Acid, so they can’t be erased by the light. However, the ones designed by Kojima, such as Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, can be erased. Once you’ve deleted all the titles created by Hideo Kojima, players get a message from Kaz reminding them to cherish their memories. Kojima himself then comes on the com to thank you for your support.

The “Deja Vu” mission has been available since the release of the game, originally exclusive to PlayStation consoles before coming to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One several months later. But it seems that no one put together the possible hidden meaning of erasing all the titles until now. It seems likely that everyone at Kojima Productions knew they were getting the boot months before the information became public.

Since the release of Ground Zeroes, Konami has removed “A Hideo Kojima Game” from all marketing and packaging for both Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. No one outside of Konami knows why this messy divorce is happening, though I’ve got a good feeling once it becomes official after the release of The Phantom Pain, Kojima won’t remain silent for long.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be released on September 1.

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Konami removes Hideo Kojima’s name from the cover of Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain

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As the secret war between Konami and Hideo Kojima continues to rage, the publisher has taken another public shot at the developer with the release of the final cover design of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. In an attempt to distance Kojima from the title, Konami has officially removed the developer’s name from the game’s packaging. This includes an above-the-title text credit (“A Hideo Kojima Game”) and the Kojima Productions logo. A previous version of the Phantom Pain cover included both. The original cover and the updated version can both be found after the break.

Though Kojima publicly states he is “100% involved” with The Phantom Pain’s development, this redesign of the game’s cover is more proof of the strained relationship between the developer and the publisher. It could even be said that the removal of Kojima’s name is a personal attack on the developer as he’s been given a text credit on the cover of every Metal Gear Solid game since 2001’s Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be released for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on September 1. Two weeks later, the game will also be released for the PC. While still unconfirmed, Kojima is expected to leave Konami after the completion of The Phantom Pain.

Last year, Kojima announced an intent to resurrect the Silent Hill franchise in collaboration with director Guillermo Del Toro and actor Norman Reedus. That game, Silent Hills, was canceled by Konami back in April. (more…)

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain producer responds to “downgrade” criticism

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With a little less than two months to go before the hotly anticipated release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Konami is probably glad the drama surrounding the title is coming to an end so they can get on with further imploding.

Kojima Productions recently showed a ton of gameplay footage at this year’s E3 Expo (an extended version of the “Free Infiltration” demo is available for viewing after the break), and while the overall reaction was positive, there has been one constant complaint. Several commenters online are saying the game doesn’t look as good as it once did. This has prompted Ken-ichiro Imaizumi, a Senior Producer at Konami Computer Entertainment Japan, to take to Twitter yesterday morning to defend the game.

If anything, Tweeting in defense of your game will only raise more awareness on the issue. I didn’t realize anyone thought the graphics looked downgraded from past iterations, but now that it’s been brought up, I can kind of see it. Or maybe that’s the placebo effect talking. Either way, Mr. Imaizumi has made some great Tweets since:

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be released for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on September 1. A PC release (via Steam) will follow on September 15. (more…)

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Kojima says he is “100% involved” with MGS5, but doesn’t confront rumor of split with Konami

hideokojimaopmukKonami and Hideo Kojima issued a joint statement yesterday in the hopes of quieting down rumors that the developer will leave the company after the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Unfortunately, what wasn’t said by either side has overshadowed any firefighting they attempted to do.

In the statement, Kojima said that he is “100% involved” in the development of The Phantom Pain and that his goal is “to make it the greatest game [he’s] directed to date.” However, Kojima did not address rumors that he is leaving Konami and no mention was made of Silent Hills, his upcoming collaboration with director Guillermo Del Toro.

Konami reiterated Kojima’s stance and said he will “remain involved [with The Phantom Pain] throughout.” Like Kojima, the publisher did not go into details on what the developer’s future with the company will be. A few weeks ago, Kojima said he considers The Phantom Pain the “final” Metal Gear game and that he won’t design any future entries in the series. The developer has made this claim before, but it looks like Konami believes him this time as the publisher officially announced an untitled new game in the franchise that won’t have Kojima at the helm. A hiring push to find people to fill out the new Metal Gear team has already begun.

Whatever happens, both parties agree that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will launch as scheduled on September 1. The full text of their joint statement can be found after the break. (more…)

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