Even as the Sony PlayStation 4 only released in November 2013, rumors about the next version have already surfaced after a job hiring for Sony’s “next generation gaming system” popped online. The PlayStation 5 will reportedly drop physical media and opt for a digital-only approach. The PS5 release date is also said to be targeted in 2020.
PS5 Is A Digital-Only Console?
Sony PlayStation Magazine Editor Ben Wilson said the PS5 will no longer use physical CDs for games as the console will focus on being a streaming service. However, Wilson pointed out that there is a possibility that the feature won’t be dropped because of its popularity. “Steam on PC has taught us that disc drives are becoming less and less necessary, but I can’t see them being phased out completely for a while yet,” Wilson told Techradar.
Former Microsoft President for Entertainment & Devices Division Robbie Bach echoed the same sentiment that the next generation of consoles will not use physical discs. Bach told Geek Wire that just like with other new technologies, the future of consoles might be about making everything readily available and accessible with streaming.
“Does it have a physical media? Probably not, so how does that look? Is it just a game box or is to more? What’s the balance between an Apple TV is and what an Xbox or a PlayStation 4 is? These are really interesting questions, and the teams [are] going to have to wrestle with those [ideas]. That next generation will be a wholly new game.”
It seems far-fetched that Sony would opt for a digital-only console after one of the company’ portable gaming device flopped. The PSP Go, a pure digital only version of the PSP that doesn’t support a UMD, was a complete failure. “We think price was one factor, but more important the download only distribution for PSP games never resonated well with core gamers,” Lazard Capital Market’s Colin Sebastian said as reported by Eurogamer.
Low sales of the PSP Go console is also an understatement as the device only sold 14 units in a week in Japan during the month of July, Gamesradar reported. This is a largely significant poor sales compared to other consoles which sold thousands of units during the same period such as the 3DS (46,637 units), PSP (26,511 units), and PS3 (23,322).
PS5 Price And Release Date
According to VCPOST, the PS5 will only cost around $600 and will release in 2020. The release date assumption was based on the interval of the release dates for each Sony gaming console. “PS1 was released twenty years ago followed by PS2 after five years and three months,” VCPOST reported. “PS3 wa released six years and eight months after PS2 followed by the latest PS4 with seven years gap.”
The production of Sony’s next generation console seems to have been already confirmed since May 2015. AttackOfTheFanBoy reported that Sony upped a job opening for a “senior game programmer” for Sony’s “next generation gaming system”. Here is the job listing that has now been removed according to the report:
“We have an exciting opportunity at Sony Computer Entertainment of America (PlayStation). We seek a senior game programmer to assist us in developing a game for r&d purposes related to our next generation gaming system. For someone passionate about gaming this is a very rare opportunity. After reviewing the below job profile, if this is you, please apply!”
"Force Friday" may be over, but there is plenty more Star Wars goodness coming soon.
How soon? On Sept. 10, the free-to-play Star Wars: Uprising mobile game will release on iOS and Android devices. Even if you aren't a gamer, the game is definitely worth paying attention to. The game is official canon, taking place after the events of Return of the Jedi in the Anoat sector of the Star Wars galaxy. After the Emperor's death, Imperial leaders have quarantined the section of the galaxy to maintain tight control, using the formidable new Purge Troopers to enforce the Empire's iron will.
The Anoat sector just so happens to be the home of Hoth and Bespin, two locations Star Wars fans are no doubt familiar with thanks to their appearances in The Empire Strikes Back. Uprising will, along with the recently released Star Wars: Aftermath novel, help pave the way for the state of the Star Wars universe in preparation for Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December.
As for how the game plays, it's a cooperative dungeon crawler that doesn't look all that different from Blizzard's popular Diablo series, only with laser pistols instead of crossbows and Stormtroopers instead of demons. Players work together to battle various Imperial enemies using their unique skills, and upon defeating those enemies are rewarded with items of various quality to improve their characters.
You can check out the game's announcement trailer below. Head here for a list of all the new Star Wars toys that recently hit store shelves (including ones that dive into spoiler territory). Star Wars: The Force Awakens lands in theaters on Dec. 18.
Last week the Japanese magazine Shonen Jump has confirmed that Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is going to include Susanoo Kakashi, the ultimate form of the character. With the power of two Sharingan, Susanoo Kakashi will be a force to be reckoned with.
Earlier today new Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 screenshots have been made available online, showcasing Susanoo Kakashi. You can check out the screenshot right below.
Yesterday a new Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 off-screen gameplay video has started making the rounds online. The video, taken during a recent Bandai Namco promotional event, showcases The Last Naruto as he fights against Hanabi Hyuga. The Last characters will be available as DLC characters some time after the game launches, with all those pre-ordering the game being granted early access to them.
The Last characters aren’t the only pre-order bonuses confirmed for Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4. All those who pre-order the game will also be able to play as Boruto and Sarada from the Boruto – Naruto the Movie film. The two characters are going to be available only as pre-order exclusive characters and won’t be sold after the game launches. A few screenshots showcasing the character have also been made available a few days ago.
Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC and will be released this February in all regions and not during Fall 2015 as originally announced. More on the game is going to come in soon so stay tuned for all the latest news on the upcoming CyberConnect 2 developed game.
Tinertia gets a new trailer and some screenshots from Candescent Games, the developer for this platforming title. The trailer includes a look into the equipment that will be in the game, including the X-ploder 9000, the Dash Pack, and a Sensor Array, that will help your little robot make it across this fast-paced obstacle course of death. The game truly is fast-paced, as there is a little bit of gameplay also featured in the trailer in which the robot propels itself across many dangerous traps and crumbling tracks in a nauseatingly quick fashion.
"Kingdom Hearts 3" is scheduled to be released next year, and despite having gameplay footages revealed, it is not confirmed whether those are just concepts or the actual thing. Thus, die-hard fans of the franchise are left waiting to every possible detail about the sequel's development.
However, in a recent interview with Games Radar, director Tetsuya Nomura gave fresh updates on the progress of the game, as well as stuff gamers can expect.
According to Nomura, their team has already "established the ground foundations" for the large part of the game -- such as the basic system and game mechanics. However, he cited that some elements like "mini-games" and other "small items" are still in the planning phase, with foundation yet to be laid out.
"Since this is an HD title, it's now building the resources, and development of the 'mass' elements of it, like mass production of the areas and the actual things that are going into the game," Nomura told the outlet.
"But the basic structure of what's going to go in the game is set, it's now a matter of mass production of the different elements," he went on.
Additionally, the game director noted the challenge they are facing in developing via current generation consoles, as compared to handheld gaming devices. He pointed out that developing the game in a console requires a lot of time and resources, most specially due to gaming requirements.
"The quality is different because it's on a platform that is capable of such high-quality processing compared to a handheld," Nomura said.
He also hinted that a Disney-themed world may appear in the game, which might be in the form of a "Lion King" world called "The Pride Lands." This appears to be his long-time favorite.
Besides confirming that the game will still be enjoyable for new players, changes in combat play were also brought out in the interview, where Nomura explained that certain moves can be performed in the new Disneyland-themed attractions.
"In terms of where and in what opportunities these attractions will show up, if you fulfill certain criteria it'll trigger what we call the 'Attraction Flow'. You're given the choice to execute certain moves and, depending on the place and situation, it'll dictate what is available to players," he shared.
"Kingdom Hearts 3" is one of the mostly anticipated games of Square Enix which, as pointed by Game Rant, drew the loudest cheer when it was revealed in E3 2013. The news outlet also cited that the game, already in its second year of development, will be featuring a "Big Hero 6" game story.
The new game is scheduled to be released on December 31, 2016 for the PS4 and Xbox One.
A new "Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4" gameplay trailer has been released.
The video showed Naruto Uzumaki fighting against Hanabi Hyuga. Characters from "The Last: Naruto the Movie" such as Sasuke will be available as DLC after the game's launch. Those who preorder "NS:UNS4" can use the characters first.
The "Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4" gameplay trailer is an off-screen video which showcased how Naruto and Hanabi looked in-game. It also gave a glimpse on the fighting skills that players can use for the characters.
Three rounds of the game were featured in the latest "Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4" gameplay trailer. Hanabi Hyuga won this time. Although the footage was off-screen, its quality was decent and highlighted the game's graphics.
The leader change system was previewed in the video with Hanabi Hyuga playing with Kakashi and Sasuke. CyberConnect2 president and CEO Hiroshi Matsuyama has previously revealed details on the improved system.
"Since some players will have a two person team and others a three man cell, we wanted to balance this by only having one life gauge between all characters," Matsuyama said about being able to switch lead characters in-battle.
"If you activate Awakening mode, [it] stays active when you switch leader characters too. It's possible to have a Tailed Beast Ball combo attack where Shukaku attacks first then Kurama can come out right away."
Kakashi was confirmed to be a part of the game's roster last week. The newest "Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4" gameplay trailer also gave fans a glimpse of his capabilities in the game.
Geek Snack reported that Shonen Jump magazine has revealed Kakashi will be a playable character in "Ultimate Ninja Storm 4." His ultimate form Susanoo Kakashi, which has the power of two Sharingan, will be included in the game.
In exactly one week from today the largest expansion to the mega-hit video game Destiny will be available to players. The expansion – called The Taken King (TKK) – is considered by many to be more than just an expansion and more of a type of sequel; TKK doesn’t just add levels and content but fundamentally changes how many aspects of the game are played.
Bungie has done a good job of using social media to make Destiny attractive to many gamers who would usually turn their noses up at action-oriented shoot-em’-ups by adding mythical, role playing, and other non-traditional elements to the first person game. Its makers have publically acknowledged drawing from influences like Star Wars as a way to flesh out the player experience to make Destiny more immersive, and it seems to have worked.
Non-gaming readers are invited to take a look at the trailer and then see if they aren’t at least a little bit intrigued; gaming readers are already counting the hours until next Tuesday.
A new promo spot has debuted for “Attack on Titan: Junior High” that confirms the anime’s concept is every bit as zany as you think it is.
Based on the the comedy spinoff manga by Saki Nakagawa, the series reimagines the cast of Hajime Isayama’s blockbuster post-apocalyptic fantasy as students at Titan Junior High School. Cast members from the hit “Attack on Titan” anime reprise their roles in this new series, which premieres Oct. 3 in Japan.
"Attack on Titan" season 2 has not yet revealed its official release date, but fans are already formulating the story arc of the upcoming series.
Several publications suggest that the upcoming season reveals the death of major characters in the film.
Latin Times slipped out spoilers pointing out that Captain Levi Ackerman is most likely going to die in "Attack on Titan" season 2. Noting that the next season will take on manga chapter 73, where it will focus on the death of Captain Levi while saving the new squad, Shiganshina trio consists of Eren Yaeger, Mikasa Ackerman and Armin Arlert.
In addition, spoilers also claimed that the second installment will get to feature more of Ymir and Krista Lenz, revealing that Lenz is actually a Historia Reiss, the daughter of Rod Reiss.
According to Crunchy Roll, the anime series will most likely be released next year.
"The anime is set to return to TV to continue the adaptation of Hajime Isayama's hit manga in 2016," the publication reported.
Furthermore, director Testsuro Araki confirmed that "Attack on Titan" season 2 release date is indeed happening in 2016, according to Anime News Network.
Below is the official synopsis to "Attack on Titan" season 2.
"Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by titans. Titans are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source," the synopsis read.
"A small percentage of humanity survived by walling themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest of titans."
While spoilers of the upcoming "Attack of Titan" season 2 are merely possibilities, it should be noted that the speculations were based on the manga, which is very much likely to be adapted in the anime series.
Gameloft has launched a definitive new video for its free-to-play "Order & Chaos 2: Redemption", showing two unique features and actual gameplay. The developer reclaimed itself after showing a faint teaser trailer for its MMORPG last month. This is the first gameplay trailer from the much-anticipated mobile game.
According to App Trigger, the two-minute clip for "Order & Chaos 2: Redemtption" highlights the solo dungeons, wherein players can get adventurous on their lonesome or even if they just have a few minutes to play. Gameloft likewise confirmed that there will be 4 dungeons available at launch, with gold or crafting and evolutions materials as rewards.
Another feature revealed in the video is the Instant Quests, which dismisses the need to talk to NPCs and ask for a task. The players just have to walk into an active region to gain access to an Instant Quest. These quests are located in Haradon, and those who are adventurous enough will get rewards in return.
The Solo Dungeons in "Order & Chaos 2: Redemption" are not as big compared to multiplayer dungeons; but they do offer what it does which include boss fights , according to Droid Gamers. Doing tasks on their own, players can reap a new gear, XP, among others. The gear in this area is also somewhat similar to the ones which can be found inside multiplayer locations. Solo Dungeons can be entered into by using dream fragments, which can be replenished every day.
As mentioned, players can progress through Instant Quests even when they have just a brief time to play. However, these types of quests do not displace the normal journeys in the game. After completing a task, players are automatically given some rewards and loot; there's no need to check in with the quest giver anymore. Exploring is the primary skill for a player to find all the quests that are in Haradon.
According to Gamezebo, four years after Order & Chaos Online, the franchise has swelled up with developments which include a card game - "Order & Chaos Duels - and a MOBA - "Heroes of Order & Chaos". It seems Gameloft can plan a lot of genus from the "Chaos & Order" franchise.
Since Order & Chaos was a hit when it launched, it's but likely that players have expectations as well about this sequel. And with these new features in the game, Gameloft might hit it big with "Order & Chaos: Redemption 2" as well. There's no definite release date yet, but players can pre-register in its official website and receive exclusive content upon the game's release.
The new trailer for the upcoming reboot game Need for Speed talks about the importance of Reputation in the game, and the "five ways to play". There are five ways to "play" Need for Speed—Speed, Style, Build, Crew, and Outlaw. Speed is what is is—being the fastest; Style is about pulling off those awesome car tricks and exhibitions on the road; Build is the player's very own custom car project; Crew is about racing with the team as one; Outlaw is all about racing mixed with all the risk of being hunted by the law. Each "way" to play gives the player Reputation points in the game. In other news, Need for Speed Executive Producer Marcus Nilsson explained to Official Xbox Magazine why the reboot game requires players to be always connected to the internet—and it has a lot to do with the new game features they are introducing. "We've been pretty big with Autolog throughout the years and, as we know, it's a really powerful feature," Nilsson explained. "This time around we're going to give it more of a human voice. It will treat your friend's play as if it is part of the narrative experience."
"We also have a new snapshot system as well," he added. "Which is taking pictures of a lot of different moments--[they go] out to the Need for Speed network where people can 'like' them, and those likes are being pushed back into the game as currency. So you get progression from sharing your photos. The Xbox One has really good built-in systems to make videos and stream them, which we are also going to use."
Nilsson, in a separate interview, also talked about their DLC plans for the game, and how they plan to sustain the interest of players outside the offer of new car packs everytime.
"We have pretty significant plans of what we think will work and I think the story that you see in this game can effectively help to keep you in there, as well as many other ways that we can refresh and renew content for you throughout," he said.
Need for Speed releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 3.
One of the many announcements game publisher Bethesda made during its inaugural E3 2015 press conference was that "Dishonored," the hit stealth/action game from developer Arkane Studios, would be getting a proper sequel in 2015. The cinematic trailer that Bethesda unveiled along with the announcement naturally got fans hyped, and now Arkane has revealed just how much the trailer will reflect on the final product.
In a new "trailer breakdown" video, Arkane co-creative director Harvey Smith runs through the major details of the "Dishonored 2" reveal trailer and talks about how they will be presented in the actual game. First off, the transforming clockwork palace shown in the trailer will be an actual level in the game aptly titled "The Clockwork Mansion." The evil inventor seen in the trailer is a disciple of Anton Sokolov, the scientist whom players had to kidnap (and eventually ally with) in the original "Dishonored."
While the city in which "Dishonored 2" takes place relies mainly on wind power, it also imports a fair amount of whale oil, a substance returning from the first game which is used to power the deadly looking new clockwork soldiers seen in the trailer. According to Smith, there will actually be several different versions of the clockwork soldiers, including ones not seen in the trailer, such as a taller, more imposing wooden version with a scary bird-like head.
The two different "faces" each clockwork soldier has (one on the front of its head and one on the back) will actually give them two simultaneous vision cones, making stealth a more challenging option whenever they're present (since sneaking up behind them will be virtually impossible).
You can watch the full trailer breakdown video below. "Dishonored 2" is set to be released sometime in spring, 2016 for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. It will allow players to once again step into the boots of master assassin Corvo Attano as well as new playable protagonist Emily Kaldwin.
Mixing the gameplay of “Total War” with the mythology of “Warhammer” seems like a winning combination, so its no surprise that the newest trailer for “Total War: Warhammer” has had fans jumping for joy with excitement. While no actual gameplay has been shown, the entire video was made with the in-game graphics of the game.
Not only do fans get a look at the game’s gorgeous graphics engine, but they also get to see the dwarves in action. According to Game Reactor, the dwarves will be one of the four playable races in the upcoming strategy game. Unlike the dwarves from Middle Earth, they can wield shotguns and shoot canons to fend off enemies, which automatically makes them an interesting class to play as.
Viewers also get a good look at High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer, whose last name is very well suited to his attitude. The High King is tired of the countless betrayals that have hurt his people and now dreams of vengeance. The trailer has him take part in the battle, which looks like his last stand against an unbeatable foe, though he does not seem to die in the video.
While no gameplay has been shown, “Total War: Warhammer” will be developed by Creative Assembly. The company has worked on previous “Total War” game sin the past, so fans can expect a good strategy game at the least. Bleeding Cool brought up that it would be interesting to see what the developer does with the “Warhammer” mythology.
If the game looks just as good as the video shown, then it will be a wonderful looking game. The colors are bright enough to add life to the environments and character models, while the lighting can be used to make certain situations grim, like the death of the dwarf with a shotgun.
Though the trailer is impressive, the one area it disappoints in is not showing a proper release date for the game. The only thing fans know about the release date is that it will be out on 2016 and will be a PC exclusive.
I've always wanted to play a game loosely based on either Honey I Shrunk The Kids or Brian Aldiss's Hothouse, so Ant Simulator looks like a dream come true. Unlike the film and novel mentioned, you don't play as a tiny human in Ant Simulator (it's all in the name), but it does let you explore a world where the grass is a jungle and pollen flecks are the size of large rocks.
The final game will feature several ant species, a colony management system, as well as digging, building, harvesting and resource gathering. You'll need to "attack and defend against other insects and ant colonies" too. Studio ETeeksi is currently working on procedural map generation, a campaign and VR support.
Ant Simulator is in development using Unity 5. There's no word on the company's website about a release window, but it looks like a pretty ambitious project for a (relatively) small team. The video below features a substantial look at the game in action, as well as discussion about lighting, and the challenges of curbing disorientation when you're an ant (the answer is pollen).
Cheers to Kotaku for the heads up. More info on the game is on the studio's official website. A playable prototype is available here, though it's the result of a 48 hour Ludum Dare game jam and doesn't reflect the title's current state.
Sports Interactive have revealed a host of new features coming to this year’s iteration of their long-running Football Manager series. Most notable is the introduction of two new game modes. The first, Fantasy Draft mode, sees you challenge real world players with identical budget and a draft full of players to pick from. You’ll assemble your team and then manage it to better your opponents.
Next up is Create-a-Club, which makes its first appearance in the desktop version of Football Manager, having previously appeared in Football Manager Handheld. Needless to say, you’ll create your team, select its crest, name and shirt colors, and work your way up the divisions.
The match engine has also seen its fair share of updates, including over 2000 new animations, improved AI, greater control over set-pieces and a brand-new highlights package. In fact, there’s more of everything in Football Manager 2016. More options at press conferences, a deeper statistical analysis of matches, improvements to player negotiations, upgrades to board request, the most realistic depiction of injuries to the series and cross-play between desktop and tablet.
All of this can be seen when Football Manager 2016 is released on November 13th for PC and Mac, with FM Touch (a streamlined version of the game, previously known as Football Manager Classic) expected to release shortly after for tablets, followed by Football Manager Mobile for iOS and Android.
Metal Gear is arguably the greatest action gaming series ever created – but it is also easily the most bewildering. What is the difference between Liquid, Naked, and Solid Snake? What is Foxdie? And why is the US president involved? These are just some of the questions lurking within Hideo Kojima’s expansive, convoluted and often contrived gaming classics.
So if you’ve been attracted to the series by the deliriously positive reviews of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but are worried about not understanding anythingthat’s going on, here’s what you need to know. We’ve also ranked all the main titles for lasting quality – behind the latest title, of course, which we consider to be the very best.
Year: 1987 Format: MSX2 (now on PS2, PS3, 360, PS Vita as part of MGS3: Subsistence / HD) The one where : Special ops soldier Solid Snake infiltrates Outer Heaven on the trail of missing agent Gray Fox. Directed over the radio by his CO Big Boss, Snake discovers the existence of Metal Gear, a doomsday nuclear-equipped tank, and plans to take it out – but the enemy seems aware of his movements, and Big Boss starts acting funny. Eventually Snake offs the Metal Gear, and Big Boss reveals himself as the puppetmaster. The two face off, and after winning Snake flees the exploding compound. But after the credits, Big Boss vows he will meet Solid Snake again ... Best bit: When Big Boss, panicking at Snake’s success, tells the player to “TURN THE MSX OFF AT ONCE.” Weirdest bit : Metal Gear was “ported” to the NES but utterly butchered in the process, with many important aspects (like the Metal Gear) removed. Kojima publicly disdains this version. Still playable? Technology has moved so fast Metal Gear is more of an historical artefact than a great game, but in its time the achievement was enormous. Series ranking: 9
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Year: 1990 Format: MSX2 (now on PS2, PS3, 360, PS Vita as part of MGS3: Subsistence / HD) The one where : An enormous refinement over Metal Gear, and the basis for many of Metal Gear Solid’s 3D mechanics, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake sees the retired Foxhound agent return for one last job. Again. Supported by Roy Campbell, Solid Snake infiltrates Zanzibarland to rescue a biologist, but discovers there’s a new Metal Gear project cooking away. Snake duffs up Metal Gear D’s creator, destroys the mech, battles ex-comrade Gray Fox to the death, and then faces off against Big Boss. Again. In a rather grim twist, Snake burns Big Boss to death with an aerosol can and a lighter. Best bit: The wealth of new options Snake has for stealth, including robotic mice. The weirdest bit: There are children knocking about the fortress, and you can shoot them (which is penalised with loss of health) . Still playable? It was one of the best 8bit games ever made – but, unavoidably, of its era. Series ranking: 8
Metal Gear Solid
Year: 1998 Format: Playstation (also available on PC, PS3, PS Vita) The one where : Metal Gear moves into 3D. The detailed environments and polished presentation set a new standard for action games - then Kojima’s gift for creative set-pieces and toying with the player elevate things even further. Solid Snake stars again, this time facing down his brother Liquid Snake alongside a great rogues’ gallery including Revolver Ocelot, Psycho Mantis and Sniper Wolf. Snake infiltrates Shadow Moses in order to rescue two hostages but, after both die in his presence, begins to suspect he’s the vector for a bio-weapon called Foxdie.
Another Metal Gear turns up, this time twinned with its guilt-ridden creator Otacon. The cyborg ninja slaughtering Liquid’s troops is revealed as Gray Fox, kept hideously alive by bio-mechanical engineering, who earns his redemption in getting crushed by Metal Gear Rex. Solid Snake duly takes out Rex, socks Liquid in his posh English jaw, escapes in a jeep, and then when Liquid makes a dramatic return – Foxdie hits him. Solid Snake survives and imagines a future free of this crazy stuff. Who wouldn’t?
Best bit: When Revolver Ocelot has Snake trapped in his torture device and advises that you submit before death because “there are no continues, my friend”. Weirdest bit: Probably the fact that you can gawp at Meryl in her underwear while hiding behind the ceiling vent – then you have to punch her unconscious when Psycho Mantis takes over her mind and starts saying “make love to me Snake!” Still playable? MGS holds up surprisingly well. The stealth is fast-paced with clear mechanics, and Shadow Moses is still a detailed, vibrant world. Series ranking: 4
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Year: 2001 Format: Playstation 2 (later PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita) The one where : (Deep breath) Snake takes photographs to prove the existence of Metal Gear Ray, a new weapon, which is immediately stolen by the returning Revolver Ocelot – who now thinks he’s Liquid Snake. I know. Fast-forward two years and new character Raiden’s responding to a terrorist incident on an offshore rig called the Big Shell and, lo and behold, Solid Snake and Metal Gear Ray are right in the middle.
MGS2 is a rug-puller, not least in the fact you play as Raiden, and a core part of its technique is to bombard the player with information so they’re not sure what is true. As the mission proceeds, Raiden’s world starts collapsing, his support team begin to behave erratically, and revelations pour out of everyone – but what to believe? Liquid Ocelot reveals the Big Shell was set up to train a soldier as good as Solid Snake (ie Raiden), a new Metal Gear called Arsenal crashes into downtown Manhattan, and Raiden is ordered to assassinate Solidus Snake. Solidus? Yep. The third brother of Solid and Liquid, Solidus is also the president of the US (!) but makes zero impression before being offed. This is honestly the simplest explanation of MGS2 you’ll find anywhere. Best bit : The revelation that Raiden is a rookie soldier who’s been trained through VR videogames to emulate his hero Solid Snake – making him not-unlike the target audience. Weirdest bit : Kojima realised that killing off Liquid Snake in MGS was a terrible idea – despite the character’s terrible accent. So Ocelot returns, with Liquid’s hand grafted onto his arm, and is “taken over” by Liquid’s personality. Dire. Still playable? MGS2 is an acquired taste, not least because it’s got far too much exposition. But the ideas are great, and the game underneath all the chin-stroking is even better. Series ranking: 5
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Year: 2004 Format: PS2 (later Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, 3DS) The one where: After the negative reaction to MGS2’s internet philosophising, Kojima goes back to the series’ roots – and basically makes a Bond movie set at the height of the Cold War. Naked Snake, who is not Solid, is double-crossed by his mentor the Boss as she defects from west to east. The political shockwaves mean that Naked Snake soon has a new assignment – assassination. Fighting his way through Boss’s WW2 Cobra unit, as well as psycho Russkie Volgin, Snake and the Boss eventually face off in a field of white lilies. Naked Snake is haunted by the success of his mission, and is given the name Big Boss – the CO and antagonist of the original Metal Gear. Best bit: The End, a hundred-year old sniper, and a boss battle that can take hours as you battle mano-a-mano over a huge environment. Weirdest bit: The eerie boss battle against the Sorrow forces you to wade through the ghosts of all the enemies you’ve killed before that point. Still playable? MGS3 has aged better than any other entry, because the story is easy to follow and the amazing systems have the time they need to breathe. Series ranking: 2
Year: 2008 Format: PS3 The one where: Kojima makes the game the fans say they want – Solid Snake’s back. And Meryl. And everyone else from every game. MGS4 is the series lowpoint, even if there’s still a great game in there somewhere, because it’s buried under a mass of convoluted and contrived fanservice.
Solid Snake is, pointedly, now an old man – and war is in an era where “normal” soldiers are no longer required. Yet this hardy geriatric stealths his way through, settling various old scores before a return to MGS’s setting of Shadow Moses, where he and Liquid Ocelot pilot the Metal Gears from the first two games. Characters including Psycho Mantis, MGS3’s Eva and Meryl return in ways that only dull the impact of their original characters. After even more cutscenes, Solid and “Liquid” fight to the death in an admittedly great showdown. At the very end, Big Boss turns up again, says “I was never dead all that time after all”, then dies. Best bit: The “octocamo” suit at the centre of MGS4’s stealth, which lets Snake blend into surroundings like a chameleon, is both an incredible mechanic and gorgeous in action. Weirdest bit : After beating the main bosses, they turn into scantily-clad ladies who try to hug you to death – and can also be enticed into a photo mode. Still playable? If you skip all the cutscenes, MGS4 has a lot of great stuff – but redundant elements too, and a few duff sections. The years have not been kind. Ranking: 7
Year: 2010 Format: Sony PSP (later PS3, 360, PS Vita) The one where : Big Boss is running his own mercenary group, helped by his chum Kaz Miller, and gets tempted into Costa Rica by CIA agent Hot Coldman – who has an audio recording of what appears to be the Boss. As Big Boss investigates and sets up his own private army, he begins uncovering the existence of an AI-controlled nuclear-capable Metal Gear – built because of Coldman’s belief that human unwillingness to launch a nuke is the flaw in deterrence theory.
Big Boss shows Peace Walker what deterrence theory really means, whereupon the machine’s AI personality (based on the Boss) realises it shouldn’t be allowed to exist and drowns itself. Alongside this, Big Boss’s merc squad has been constructing Metal Gear Zeke as a defensive measure, which eventually gets nicked by the peace-loving Paz who threatens nuclear war. After sorting her out, Big Boss finally accepts his nickname and christens this new merc paradise Outer Heaven. Best bit : The introduction of the fulton surface-to-air recovery system, which lets you hook balloons to KO’d bad guys and turn them into Mother Base soldiers. Weirdest bit : You can use X-ray vision, never explained, to look at the underwear of female characters during cutscenes. Still playable? This is a truly epic PSP game with a lengthy main game supplemented by numerous objectives and challenges. Peace Walker’s a masterpiece but also built for its chosen platform – Sony’s PSP. It doesn’t transition perfectly to the big screen but in co-op, especially, it’s still fantastic. Series ranking: 3
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
Year: 2014 Formats: PC, PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One The one where : Chico and Paz, two supporting characters from Peace Walker, have been kidnapped and are being held in Camp Omega – a thinly-veiled version of Guantanamo Bay. Big Boss breaks in to get them out, but it’s all a set up. While he’s at Camp Omega, Mother Base is being razed to the ground by XOF, and Paz has been booby-trapped with bombs – she leaps out of the chopper before exploding, but the chopper loses control anyway and the only survivors are Miller and Big Boss. Best bit: Helping an informant escape by providing air support, and realising it was Mr Kojima all along Weirdest bit: The idea of a bad guy called Skullface inserting two bombs into the body of a teenage girl is probably not Kojima’s greatest moment. Still playable? It’s a great starter. Ground Zeroes is more than anything a showcase for imagination, experimentation, and play for play’s sake, because there is simply so much to do in and around this environment. Series ranking: 6
Spinoffs, Remakes, and Revengeance
A quick look at the titles orbiting the main Metal Gear series
Metal Gear 2: Snake’s Revenge Year: 1990 Format: NES The one where: Konami wanted a Metal Gear sequel and gave the job to someone other than Hideo Kojima. Though much-derided by series fans, Snake’s Revenge is decent for the time. Still playable? One for Metal Gear boffins only.
Metal Gear: Ghost Babel Year: 2000 Format: Game Boy Color The one where: Konami mishmashed together Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and MGS to make a Game Boy Color game. This is one of the series’ secret gems, a non-canon but completely true-feeling Metal Gear Still playable? Great, but hard to get hold of.
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes Year: 2004 Format: Gamecube The one where: Silicon Knights remade Metal Gear Solid for Nintendo’s Gamecube, introducing some of MGS2’s mechanics and rather unwisely recasting much of the voice talent. Still playable? The original MGS remains definitive.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops / Portable Ops+ Year: 2006/7 Format: PSP The one where: Big Boss is being targeted by Foxhound and has to build his own squad to respond, but the kidnapping mechanic is terrible – which rather taints the whole thing. Still playable? Obsessives only, and even then ...
Metal Gear Acid / Acid 2 Year: 2004/5 Format: PSP The one where: it turns out you can make a half-decent card game out of the MGS principles, but you can really bog it up with cutscenes and chatter too. Still playable? The card strategy is great, but Acid 2 is a much better take on the formula.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Year: 2013 Format: PC, PS3, 360 The one where : MGS2’s Raiden returns as a cyborg ninja who’s had quite enough stealth, and now just slices through armies and enormous mechs at mach speed. A belting action game, the mental plot ends with Raiden ripping out the heart of a US senator.
The conventional Mars rovers have wheels for rolling around and are unable to function upside down in rough territories.
In order to conquer this barrier, NASA scientists along with researchers from Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are developing a Hedgehog robot weighing about 11 lbs that will be hopping and tumbling on the surface rather than rolling on wheels.
The robot has been designed specifically for overcoming the challenges of navigating small bodies such as asteroid or a comet with low-gravity conditions and bumpy surfaces.
Issa Nesnas, team leader of the project from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement that, “Hedgehog is shaped like a cube and can operate no matter which side it lands on.”
The construction cost of the robot is comparatively lower to a conventional one and several ones could be packed together for flight. The mothership could release many robots at the same time or one in stages.
The basic concept of such a rover is a cube with spikes which moves around by spinning and braking internal flywheels. The JPL Hedgehog prototype has 8 spikes and 3 flywheels, where the spikes helps in protecting the body of the robot from various territories and works as its feet while it hops and tumbles.
Nesnas added “The spikes could also house instruments such as thermal probes to take the temperature of the surface as the robot tumbles.”
There are two prototypes, one from Stanford and the other JPL which have been tested aboard NASA’s C-9 aircraft for microgravity research in June 2015.
In a course of 4 flights, during 180 parabolas, these robots have shown numerous maneuvers which would be of help for getting around on small bodies with reduced gravity.
Researchers have tested these maneuvers on diverse materials that imitate an extensive range of surfaces such as sandy, rough and rocky, slippery and icy, and soft and crumbly.
Robert Reid, lead engineer on the project at JPL said, “We demonstrated for the first time our Hedgehog prototypes performing controlled hopping and tumbling in comet-like environments.” The team is anticipating that the robot could be weighing more than 9 kg with instruments like cameras and spectrometers and are currently working on Hedgehog’s autonomy trying to enhance how much the robots can do by themselves without any instructions from Earth.
A team of scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), headed by an Israeli scientist, has reported identifying what appears to be the oldest galaxy currently known. In an article published in Astrophysical Journal Letters the researchers describe evidence showing that this galaxy, called EGS8p7, is more than 13.2 billion years old, meaning it was formed 600 million years after the “Big Bang” when, according to accepted theories, the universe came into being some 13.8 billion years ago.
The team is involved in searching for the earliest objects in the universe, and this particular article was authored by Adi Zitrin, an Israeli post-doctoral fellow who is on a NASA fellowship, and Richard Ellis (who recently moved to University College in London). Zitrin, the lead researcher in this project, finished his doctorate in 2013 at the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University. His thesis dealt with the mass distribution of galaxy clusters, as determined by gravitational lensing.
The study of early galaxies is one of the biggest challenges in researching the universe, attempting to approach as close as possible to the moment of its creation. Locating and investigating these early galaxies should provide researchers with answers to some basic questions, such as how the first stars and galaxies were formed and what underlying physical processes were involved. The fact that the universe contains hundreds of billions of galaxies, each of which contains hundreds of billions of stars, provides an infinite basis for research.
One stumbling block to discovering such distant galaxies is that at the time they were formed there was a process underway called “re-ionization” which prevented them from emitting light, thus making them elusive. The present research supports the hypothesis that these processes were not uniform and did not completely block the early universe’s light emission.
A few months ago, Zitrin and his colleagues identified the EGS8p7 galaxy, using the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. They marked it as a candidate for research. Later, they used the infrared spectrometer called “MOSFIRE” at the Keck observatory in Hawaii. This instrument can calculate the distances of galaxies by measuring the amount of redshift in the light they emit. (The higher the so called redshift, the farther away the object is from the observer.) This is detectable only with by special measures.
The redshift that the researchers measured in this galaxy corresponds to the period in which the universe was filled with hydrogen clouds which absorb the radiation. The most distant galaxy described before this work had a redshift of 7.73, they note. This one had a redshift of 8.68, making it farther away and thus older than the previous one.
According to Zitrin “when one looks at galaxies in the early universe, one observes that they contain large amounts of neutral hydrogen gas, which doesn’t emit light. We expected most of the radiation from these galaxies to be absorbed by hydrogen in space, on its way here. Nevertheless, we still observed these spectral lines coming from this galaxy.”
Prof. Hagai Netzer from the School of Physics and Astronomy at Tel Aviv University explained that the importance of this article lies mainly in its accurate measurements. “The article confirms earlier speculations about the existence of such a galaxy and the associated redshift, which was measured less accurately in the past. Using spectroscopic methods enabled higher precision.” According to Netzer, there are even earlier galaxies. “The general idea is that we are peering through a clean window at a universe which was largely opaque to radiation” he said.
According to Serio Belli, one of the students who worked on this project, “the galaxy we saw radiated in an unusual manner – it may be characterized by unusually hot stars, as well as by special features that enabled it to form a large bubble of ionized hydrogen much earlier, something which is untypical of galaxies from that period.” read more: http://www.haaretz.com/life/science-medicine/.premium-1.674816