WHAT i’M PLAYING – MGS V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Open World Done Right

I’m currently about a 1/4 of the way through Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and it’s obviously clear to me now, that this is a very large game. I’m sitting at chapter 14 eager to continue, having completed a large handful of side-ops and Mother Base management, but I’m sitting already at 30 hours.


I picked up the game last Tuesday, and have been dedicating 100% of my free time to it. It’s true what they say in the reviews already published – the game is a masterpiece.

I’ve always been a fan of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, and Hideo Kojima’s vision and humour. I initially jumped in at Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and it is one of the few games that I’ve continued to play though again, every couple of years. I bought the re-release package for the Xbox 360 with Snake Eater as well, but still own both on the PS2.

Kojima’s humour is still evident in V, with the cardboard box, and the animal buddies peeing or defecating. The cutscenes show his flair for direction and the dramatics. My mind is still somewhat blown after the intro sequence, really unable to comprehend what exactly happened, but I digress. The game is a masterpiece.

The style of V is very different from the franchise’s previous iterations. The scope of each new game has broadened. Sons of Liberty was very strict and refined, taking place on a large ship and then an off shore oil rig. Snake Eater broadened the play area and introduced the jungle, survival mechanics, and camouflage. IV, Guns of the Patriots refined the story telling mechanic, opened up the world a bit more with larger map areas, lengthier cut-scenes and new tools to fight the good fight.

V takes it to the next step and drops us in an open world environment in Afganistan fighting against a new army. Full day and night cycle with rotating enemy shifts, and sandstorms. The game is broken up into chapters now, each mission a set story chapter. Side missions are also available to be played at anytime while on the ground. Our Mother Base is our main home base where we can recruit new units and micromanage our finances and weapon development, and our helicopter is our aerial headquarters where we can select the next mission or side op, or manage our base from afar. heading back to Mother Base give us our chance to rejuvenate and progress some of the character story arcs, so it’s a necessity at times.  The story also branches off to Africa, a 2nd map to explore.


The game’s world is large, and we have the helicopter, or our trusty steed to get us around. The world is also littered with vehicles to commandeer, but note that everyone here hates you, and will shoot on site. The game is stealth espionage after all. The world is definitely not as populated as Grand Theft Auto or Far Cry, as it is the desert after all, but it still has its share of wildlife. It is however, lined with roads and paths, peppered with outposts and bases to attack. Unlimited things to do and collect, or sneak around as we progress through the story.

As Snake, we have resources and weapons and tools at our disposal.  Any of which can be supply dropped at our feet, or funnily enough, on an enemies head; see: Quiet Boss Fight. The favourite box returns, improved now to allow for diagrams, and better mobility; an e-cig allows us to speed up time; even a decoy prop to distract enemies. Bringing into the battle we also have buddies, start with a horse, and then a dog. Even an ally.

Metal Gear Solid V is beyond deep in its mechanics. Its story may suffer as a result, but each mission is its own story, on how you play it through. Hideo Kojima has outdone himself yet again, and its a shame that this may finally be his last MGS game. Sadder still that Konami took his name off the box, after their public fall-out.

I eagerly anticipate getting back into the game, and completing a full robust review, so stick around.



IDL NEWS – The Crew Wild Run, Cities Skylines, EA And Star Wars Battlefront

After a fun jaunt down to Seattle, it’s now back to reality and all things video game. Gears Of War Ultimate Edition arrived in the mail yesterday, as did the Day One edition of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – very excited to try these. I’ll be jumping right into MGS V so expect my impressions throughout the week.

I have lots of news to catch up on, I apologize as some might be older, and new games, deals, etc. Lets go!

The Crew Wild Run

Released in November, The Crew Wild Run expansion seems pretty beefy. They’re re-releasing The Crew with the expansion, but no word yet on the DLC and price.

Notable inclusions:

  • Engine sounds have been reworked
  • UI is getting tweaked
  • Car dynamics and handling have been improved
  • Dynamic weather will be added
  • FreeDrive Stunts and the ability to create your own races will be added
  • Motorcycles
  • Monster Trucks
  • Dragsters
  • Drift cars
  • Recurring Championship festival: The Summit
  • Upgraded graphics

Cities: Skylines Expansion

Cities: Skylines has a new expansion coming out, titled After Dark. The new expansion introduces a new day-to-night cycle and with it comes new specialized areas, city services, transportation systems, graphics enhancements, and citizen behaviour. Might have to jump back in. Sept 24th release.

EA Access Backwards Compatibility

EA said that it is investigating adding backwards compatible EA games to the EA Access in the future. November at the earliest when the Backwards Compatibility will launch.

EA has a long list of Xbox 360 games that could potentially be added to the Vault, including the Mass Effect trilogy, Battlefield 3, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Skate 3, and Burnout Paradise.

star-wars-battlefront-offers-first-look-at-fighter-squadron-mode-488398-2Star Wars Battlefront, Sans Server Browser

DICE confirmed today that Star Wars Battlefront will not have a server browser, like in previous Battlefield games, but instead will use a new skill-based matchmaking system to match online players.

EA also announced that a Star Wars Battlefront beta for PS4, Xbox One, and PC will be available in early October.

Evolve – Free Weekend

Evolve will be free for all this weekend on the Xbox One and PC. It includes all the hunters and monsters and unique skins. Those who play it will retain all their experience if they choose to buy it, and those who own it will get the chance to maybe try out some new hunters or monsters, and will get to keep the new skins.

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Game Deals With Gold – Sept 1 – 7

Xbox One

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – 30%
  • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – 50%
  • Rayman Legends – 50%
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts – 67%
  • Shiftlings – 60%
  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark – 75%
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – 35%
  • Amazing Spider-Man 2 – 60%
  • Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions Evolved – 50%

Xbox 360

  • Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – 50%
  • Assassin’s Creed III – 50%
  • Assassin’s Creed Rogue – 50%
  • Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD – 75%
  • Rayman Origins – 67%
  • Rayman Legends – 50%
  • Rayman 3 HD* Arcade 75%
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings-  85%
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II – 67%
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts – 67%
  • Deadpool – 50%
  • Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions – 50%
  • Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark – 75%
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD – 50%
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – 50%

New Games – Aug 25 – Sept 1

Mad Max (Xbox One, PS4, PC) – I got hand’s on with Mad Max over the weekend, and it felt really cool to play. Driving and melee feel really good, and the game looks gorgeous. I had some reservation during my time with it, but only a proper play through will due for my proper opinion.

IGN posted a cool time lapse of the two-hour day and night cycle:

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Xbox One, PS4, PC) – This is my go to game for the next week. I briefly started it last night, so expect opinions daily into next week. I’m super stoked.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC) – I played this game back on the Xbox 360 and thought it was a lot of fun. A quite somber tale of two brothers and their messed up world. Sad and tragic, but vast and beautiful. This looks to be the next-gen release of it.

Until Dawn (PS4) – Playstation’s big notable horror game. i don’t really know anything about it though as I’m not a PS gamer. Getting very good reviews.

Dishonored: Definitive Edition (PS4, Xbox One) – Unnecessary HD remaster of one of last gen’s great games. My original review: here.

Mega Man Legacy Collection (Xbox One, PS4, PC) – Reproduction of the classic series original six titles.

The Deer God (Xbox One, PC) – Xbox’s Free game of the month for September. I got it last night and will be including my impressions when I get to it. The title looks very cool, as an indie platformer, and not of the typical shooting variety.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition (Xbox One) – Yep. Full remastering of the classic original on the Xbox 360. The game that sold consoles. This edition includes all the multiplayer maps and skins and DLC and the Window’s exclusive story chapters. Excited isn’t sufficient. This game is a game-night staple.

Phew. Well that’s all for tonight. More tomorrow as I continue to go through MGS V and leave my impressions from PAX Prime 2015 and Gears of War this weekend.