No matter how long it’s been since I first played the game, each Winter when it begins to snow up here in Canada I get deeply nostalgic for Metal Gear Solid. I begin to play the soundtrack in my mind as I walk, mapping my surroundings as if they were a sneaking challenge and guards were around every corner. Of course I’m too old to actually run around and play out the scenario these days, but I do want to keep that feeling alive. Something about seeing footprints in the fresh snow, hearing the crunch under my foot, and feeling that chill in the air makes me want to listen to that soundtrack again.
Which is honestly why I’m so appreciative of Rich Douglas’ newest soundtrack, Metal Gear Symphony. I’ve been listening to it all day, and I feel like I’ve been transported back to in 1998 all over again. The songs use awesome samples, spans 18 good length tracks(!) and stays in the zone from beginning to end. It only costs $8 on Loudr, but you can pay more if you want to support this kind of epic, professional work. (You can also get it on iTunes or Google Play, just follow the links on this page.)
Thankfully Rich Douglas is a veteran game composer for 10 years (Lifeless Planet, Shadowgate Remake, etc.), which means he did the right thing and got it officially licensed. That means royalties go to the original creators as well, and everything is mutually beneficial and legal. Walking around in the snow with this on your MP3 player will make you feel like a sneaky badass, I guarantee.
Some guy at Reddit has conducted a survey on which theories people believe. I found the results interesting!
For example, more than twice as many people believe that Big Boss is replaced with a doppelganger at some point during the game than believe the “Quiet is Chico” theory. More people still believe that Quiet is related to Sniper Wolf, and the majority of people believe she’s related to The End! Of course that’s just one slice of the Metal Gear community.
Remember how I said there’s a war over gaming culture between the “softcore” and the “hardcore” gamers? Softcore gamers are desperate to have mainstream validation, while hardcore gamers only want to be catered to as the prime demographic of the industry — as the vocal consumer. The softcore part of gaming culture, which largely includes media personalities who want to become accepted by the mainstream for the sake of their careers if nothing else, hate the hardcore because they make gaming culture look unfriendly and uncool; they complicate the “games are art” and “games are becoming movies” narratives, and they demand higher standards from everyone in the industry, including the media.
I can’t force you to join META GEAR on Steam, but I can throw some inspirational quotes at you and beg you to validate my fragile ego. By making that little number on the group page go up, I feel motivated to work on new articles, draw comics, and more!
…Come on, I just want to have more followers than the gag accounts who review every game on Steam by saying stuff like “Hodor? Hodor” or “No, it’s not Postal”.
Unlike an intron of history, we will be remembered as exons! The Patriots won’t be able to erase our existence, my friends. We will pass on our memes to future generations, through this Steam Group! (And it’s not like you can only be subscribed to one group so don’t be shy.)
I won’t scatter your sorrows to the heartless sea… You will always be with me (on Steam). So click here to check out our curated storefront and then find the “Follow” button in the top right!
Your role — that is, your m-mission — is to follow the META GEAR group on Steam. You’ll ruin your eyes playing too close to the TV, but you will enjoy my funny announcements and meet other people who also like this website.
And I should point out the obvious…
Yes, this is the closest thing to a discussion forum this site will get.
It doesn’t really get any better than this. Kojima has given us lots of new information and video, including the African jungle location, an AI buddy system, a pet wolf, and the return of the most iconic outfit in the Metal Gear series. It’s glorious.
We learned that Quiet has ridiculous abilities, including the ability to turn invisible, move at supersonic speeds, and perhaps phase out of existence altogether judging by the way she simply shed those handcuffs back at Mother Base. Whatever her powers, the most shocking revelation of all was that depending on how you play, you might not meet her at all! What kind of game is The Phantom Pain going to be, if the main female character is optional content?
Nothing could surpass the introduction of a new character, however, in the form of “D.D.” — an adopted wolf-dog who eventually grows into a badass companion for war.
The gameplay itself is what fascinated me, however. Big Boss can equip different prosthetic arms, which allow him to electroshock enemies, smash the ground for wide-radius sonar tracking of creatures, and the ability to climb cracks in walls. He rides into the jungle on a helicopter, and apparently can jump out whenever he wants, which is dangerously close to my fantasy of being able to parachute down to locations as Big Boss freely.
The buddy system is designed to give players a strong incentive to maintain relationships with his comrades (in order to unlock better powers), find new characters to befriend, and basically not become a brooding lone psychopath in the middle of nowhere. The fact that these are optional means that players will have to be vigilant, and get even more attached to characters whose fates are extremely unknown (ie. they don’t appear in future titles!)
We also got a new Silent Hills concept video, which is disturbing. Apparently its what Kojima and Del Toro discussed for the direction of the game, and it was made by just a small handful of artists at Konami using the Fox Engine. There’s been a lot of positive reaction to it, but I’ve also noticed some complaints that it’s not very moody or eerie, but more of a parade of insanity. It’s kind of interesting how big of a difference there is between a playable experience like P.T. and simply watching a video of something scary. When you’re playing, turning a corner is a terrifying risk. You almost don’t want to proceed, because you don’t know if you can handle what’s there. It’s stressful. A video like this simply can’t deliver that gruesome tension, where you control the pace.
It’s good to see that they are running with the series’ themes of sexualized horror, mingled with childlike innocence, and dark filth.
Sick of the game media talking about everything except games? Wish there was a better way to find out about new indie games without visiting dumps like Kotaku and RockPaperShotgun? Me too, and that’s why I created @GreenlightRview on Twitter!
Follow me and you’ll see concise but thoughtful critiques on as many Steam Greenlight projects as I can find. Already I’ve seen some hilariously bad projects, and some amazingly good ones — like, stuff that I’m actually going to fund on Kickstarter.
Greenlight is one of the biggest forces for change in the history of games, but it needs intelligent people to pay attention and weigh in on the process. We all know that it’s not perfect, and we know that even Valve is working on replacing it, but in the meantime there are thousands of games waiting to be seen and judged, with hopeful teams whose dreams of game development depend on you and me. @GreenlightRview is a way for you to share my enthusiasm for upcoming indie projects, discuss game design with me, and help the cream rise to the top.
If you ever felt like there was a lack of game discussion and reviews on this site, you’ll definitely want to follow me there, because I’m going to have the same standards as I would if I was publishing it on this site, with the same wit and sharpness.
Thank you, and I look forward to discussing countless new games with you all!
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