Game Reviews

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MGS5: The Phantom Pain

October 23rd, 2015

Metal Gear Solid Five: The Phantom Pain (MGSV) is a third-person shooter which encourages stealth while still providing the means to play aggressively. One of the biggest things the Metal Gear franchise has going for it, is it’s complex and well thought out story line. Over the span of approximately 22 Metal Gear games, the game franchises’ plot continues to take countless turns which certainly keeps me playing. However, with Hideo Kojima leaving Konami, it is quite possible that MGSV may be the final installment in the Metal Gear series.

Having spent almost 100 hours in MGSV over the span of a month, I would like to consider myself a dedicated player. The last Metal Gear game I played was MGS4 which did an amazing job immersing me in the game. Needless to say, my hopes were incredibly high for MGSV and I was definitely not disappointed.

Relatively good graphics are to be expected in Metal Gear games, however, MGSV set the bar high in terms of amazing graphics. Typically, when a game has good graphics, it becomes difficult for lower end computers to run it. This is not the case for MGSV considering the game has been really well optimized for lower spec computers. Having good graphics in a open world game like MGSV is a huge accomplishment considering there are usually loads of individual textures which need to be detailed. Konami’s attention to detail can be seen in the game’s character models. The character models in MGSV are very well proportioned and feel very real. Their faces in particular never have a static expression on them and have very realistic movement features like twitches. In a way, MGSV creeps me out considering how genuine it’s characters are. Additionally, by using motion capture, characters in the game were able to perform very dynamic movements making them feel even more lifelike.

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Big Boss from MGSV

On top of having very detailed character models, Konami also hit the nail on the head with adding life to these characters. Through the use of voice acting, each character felt unique in their own way with different personalities and tones. Every voice in the game seemed to go with the face they were accompanied with.

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Kiefer Sutherland, voice actor/motion capture for Big Boss

As a result of having very realistic characters, I found myself becoming very attached to them in game. Considering the player has to play as Big Boss, they are burdened with a lot of responsibilities in game such as taking care of staff members. One companion in the game called “Quiet”, is a character I became attached to because of her role in the game. She is also a very unique character because she does not speak, or rather, she is not able to speak. This is because if she does it will trigger a biological weapon inside of her to trigger and infect those around her. Initially Quiet is an enemy, but later on in the game she becomes one of the best companions to help you complete missions. Near the end of the game it would be no stretch to say that Big Boss, the main character, and Quiet have a very meaningful friendship. Konami tears this apart by getting rid of Quiet in the worst way. The proper ending of the game has Big Boss on the verge on death in a sandstorm after being bitten by a venomous snake. In order to save him, Quiet speaks and uses a radio to call for an emergency helicopter. In fear of infecting Big Boss, Quiet leaves before the helicopter arrives and is never seen again. This is such a heart wrenching moment because it is the first and last time players get to hear Quiet speak. Additionally, it is the last time they can use her in missions.

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Quiet

Overall, MGSV is most definitely one of the best games I have played. The story line was nothing short of phenomenal and the graphics were simply amazing. I believe MGSV serves as a perfect example for the idea that video games are a story. There is an introduction, climax and an inevitable end where the protagonist either wins or loses. In the case of MGSV, the protagonist suffers a loss which would typically mean nothing. However, through the use of amazing character development, players like myself feel like they have been hit by a train when Quiet leaves. In conclusion, even if you don’t follow the Metal Gear game series, MGSV is still a game worth picking up. You don’t need to understand every aspect of the game’s backstory in order to enjoy the game. I definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for an immersive open world third person shooter.

Tags:

x Metal Gear x Metal Gear Solid x Big Boss x Third Person x Open World x MGSV x Konami x Hideo Kojima

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Warframe: Free to Play

September 19th, 2015

Warframe is a Free-to-Play game available on Steam. It was created by Digital Extremes, the same development team behind Dark Sector, a well known third-person shooter that was released in 2008 and ported for PC in 2009. Similarly, Warframe is a third-person shooter, however, the combat system allows for a much faster paced and chaotic experience. Warframe allows players to play as characters known as Tenno who wear combat uniforms known as “warframes”. Every warframe is different in both looks and abilities. Warframe currently has 25 different warframes and each comes with its own set of abilities. These abilities assist players in completing various missions that the game has to offer such as defending a target, completing stealth missions, or exterminating targets.  A trailer for Warframe’s open Beta can be found here while a trailer for Warframe’s newest content can be found here. Warframe truly submerges its players in a foreign realm with very little guidance. This can be seen as one of Warframe biggest faults as a video game. When I started playing in the open Beta there was much less content than there is currently. New players who may be interested in the game are often scared away by the intimidating game mechanics they have to learn in order to progress.

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21 out of 25 Warframes

Personally, I have logged almost 600 hours into this game while others have invested over 1000 hours. A large amount of Warframe’s community consists of players who have been around since its initial release in 2013, I myself am one of these players. Why would anyone invest so much time into a game? Simple. The amount of content in Warframe exceeds that of any other free-to-play games while staying true to the nature of free. Unlike most F2P (Free-to-Play) games, Warframe does not revolve around a pay-to-win system which forces players to buy in-game content with real money in order to progress. The only items in Warframe that have to be purchased with real money are purely cosmetic and have no impact on gameplay. Warframe focusing on rewarding players with credits, mods, blueprints, keys, and resources that they can put towards creating or enhancing their warframes and weapons.

Credits are one of two currency methods available in Warframe, the other being Platinum. Credits are the most common form of currency in the game and they can be collected by simply completing missions. On the other hand, Platinum can only be obtained through purchase using real money, however, players can freely trade their Platinum with other players in exchange for certain items. This is all possible through the use of Warframe trade chat which is essentially a marketplace run by the players. Ultimately, this means that players who are unable to purchase Platinum can still earn it by selling items they were rewarded while playing Warframe.

Overall, Warframe is definitely a game worth checking out if you’re looking for a sci-fi action game. However, there is a pretty significant learning curve when a player first starts out. If you do not think you can handle spending a day figuring out the basics of the game then I do not recommend you download this game off Steam.

Tags:

x Warframe x Digital Extremes x Action x Third Person Shooter x Free-to-Play x F2P

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