Agoraphobia: The Decline of Open World Games

Over the past decade or so, the Open World format has steadily increased its penetration of the video game scene; starting with role-playing games whose nature included such vastness and openness in the game world like The Elder Scrolls series, eventually the number of new games with Open World sensibilities increased noticeably, and existing series began to adopt those features as well.

More linear games like Metal GearFar Cry and the Arkham series of Batman games developed from being fairly straightforward, guided experiences into what we saw in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainFar Cry 3 and 4, and Batman: Arkham City and Arkham Knight. The reason should hardly surprise anyone – it’s the supply to the audience’s demand. My argument, however, is that the tide is well on its way to turning around, changing the landscape of Triple-A games in the next few years. Continue reading

Harmony of Despair: How Konami Stumbles Out of the Video Game Industry

Many of my favorite games and franchises are products of the well-known Japanese game developer, Konami. At a certain point in time, I even considered myself a Konami fan. However, some recent developments and revelations look like they will result in me withdrawing my affection for them, as well as them being pushed out of the greater video game market scene – partly voluntarily, partly consequentially. Continue reading

The Philosophers’ Legacy: The Future of Metal Gear

NOTE: This post contains spoilers about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, as well as a number of other Metal Gear titles.

After Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain being released a month back, everyone’s probably getting to the point where they’re sick and tired of hearing about it, especially anyone who’s not playing it themselves. I’m still playing the game, but I’m rather tired of discussing it myself. Instead, after beating the game and picking up the story twists it has to offer to the saga, I’ve moved on to contemplating what the future holds for the franchise. Continue reading

Les Enfants Obsolètes: Why Solid Snake is irrelevant

Since the late 90’s, anyone paying even the least bit of attention to the video game space must have been somewhat familiar with the title “Metal Gear Solid“, even if they hadn’t played it themselves. In the 17 years since that game’s release, those three words have become increasingly high profile, up to the point that today this series can be considered one of the biggest franchises in the video game industry. Gamers know Metal Gear, whether they want to or not. They also tend to know the classic main character, Solid Snake, by name if nothing else. I’m arguing, however, that as the series has progressed, Snake himself has become less and less important, and at the current state of the franchise, he is entirely expendable and not key at all. Continue reading

In with the Old: Sequels, Reboots & Spiritual Successors

Naughty Dog‘s The Last of Us was arguably the most notable game of the last generation of gaming consoles, and it will definitely be a game to be remembered for a long time. With such success, it’s fairly safe to assume there will be a sequel – rarely in entertainment, whether it’s film or games, has there been a case where a title is an amazing success and those who made it don’t give in to the temptation to create more. It’s not all just about sales – the fanbase often demands sequels, as they can’t get enough of the product. Continue reading