GOTY (Games of the year), because picking 1 wouldn’t be fun.

Stand back and look in shock-horror at yet another 2015 GOTY post. Everyone and your mum has posted their top something games of the year and then gone ahead and put a number next to each one. In order to spice things up a bit i’m going to just list the 3 games I played this year, since all of them pushed the 50-100 hour mark i’m not entirely sure how I was suppose to play anything else.

So tl:dr – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Fallout 4.

(No surprise there then)


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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

With over 70 hours invested into MGS5 its easy to see why it made the pack, the game is fitting episode in the MGS franchise, but not a fitting end to it. If like me you where expecting a solid break down of what the fuck is all going on and how everything works together you will be disappointed. The game has the potential to be one of the all time best games to hit your eyes, unfortunately it falls apart towards the end.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

For me this was my most anticipated games of 2015. The Witcher 2 is in my top games to play in your life time and its being put together by one of the best development teams currently working in the industry. I might have sounded a bit too harsh on the game when I reviewed it after my initial play through. My hatred of sandbox norms unfortunately meant that I didn’t appreciate it as much as i should have. This year I plan to replay the game with the new expansions, lets hope this will make the game live up to my expectations.

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Fallout 4

Having had trouble getting into Fallout 3, I was on the fence about Fallout 4. The game however dragged me in and I poured 50+ hours into it.. I liked the game, it kept me interested for an ample amount of time, I didn’t know what to expect so for me it was a nice time sink. For everyone else it wasn’t so good, it felt to console’affied (coined it) no longer living up to the Fallout franchise and your ability to persuade end-bosses to kill themselves – or something. Anyway didn’t work out to well.

So thats it 2015 the year sandboxes games became the norm.

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Did I make it to the end?

This is going to be a strange post – it will likely only apply to me but maybe somewhere someone else is just as confused as me about when a game actually ends. Sandbox games will likely dominate this years GOTY contenders and rightly so as games like MGS5 and Fallout 4 have made me more accepting of the never ending, free-roaming, hands off gaming experience which is sandbox. Story wise though im not sure where I stand on either one of these games, in this post I will be dropping spoilers like a boss. So if you have yet to finish any of the top titles this year please avoid below.

Lets post all the spoilers!

MGS5 is a prime example of when a game runs out of money(?), chapter 2 just felt pointless and the end of chapter 1 left me confused as to whether I had actually completed the game. After shooting the shit out of Sal (sahelanthropus) chapter 2 was unlocked with a nice little introduction highlighting what to expect. Even though I was pretty much done with MGS5, I felt rejuvenated with the intro to chapter 2. Unfortunately chapter 2 never really took off, leading me to become confused about where I was in the games story and if chapter 2 had anything to do with.. anything.

Chapter 2 is mostly a re-hash of chapter 1 missions, but with the added twist of certain constraints being injected into the missions to make them harder. Some mission just had a straight up hard mode setting where others didn’t allow you to use any equipment or require absolute stealth. I have nothing against this, but this kind of gameplay should be entirely optional. Unfortunately to move forward in the story you needed to complete these mission or do more side missions which just felt like grinding.

So was chapter 1 the end? I don’t know, what I do know is I googled all the additional ending simply because I had no idea what was going on. This seems to be a general consensus across the internet. Why cant we just have the story delivered straight up with no hidden confusion, why was the “Kill all my diamond dog bros” mission not in the core story? Chapter 2 just felt like a failure.

Fallout 4 was less of a cluster fuck when it came to story but it did throw me off a bit after I joined the institute for a while.

Watching brotherhood of steal bros head smashing the railway nerds.

After you find out that Shaun is Farther you have the choice to join the institute and essentially become another Kelloge, going around collecting run away synths which the institute accidentally made sentient. I started off helping out and picking up a few synths un-till we got the bunker hill fuck up. At this point everyone was still my bro so I essentially walked through the entire fight as a spectator watching brotherhood of steal bros head smashing the railway nerds.

Eventually you get to the synths and you have to make a decision about returning them to be re-programmed or setting them free. I opted to set them free.

Farther was a bit upset and so decided to have a heart to heart with me on top of the MIT building where he said we could no longer be besties and so sent me off in to the waste to wander around along again.

Now what, literally that was it a “Im disappointed” speech and then he teleported off. I followed up on all my leads: The railway, brotherhood, minuet men, etc and no one wanted to know that I had found the evil child catchers.

Who knows.

A few hours later Gravy told me the castle was under attack by the institute and everything kicked off for a bit. But again I had to google to find out what exactly I was suppose to be doing.

fallout-end

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The 100 hour game

So what happened, 100 hour free roaming games are finally here. Something changed and the justification for the £50 you drop of a game is now actually justified. Remember when you dropped £45-50 and got a weekends worth of gameplay out of the thing, I’m looking at your Resident Evil 5 and basically anything that came out near the end of the xbox 360 – PS3 era.

The obvious answer to why are games bigger now is the hardware, but then we look at The Order 1886 and how that was a fuck up people are trying to forget.

We have had long games before, basically anything with Final Fantasy in the title is going to be pushing 40-50 hour and if you choose to do the bonus content then you can truly drag it out. Bethesda is the king of long fucking games, I easily spent about 80 hours in Skyrim but lets be honest most of it was just being lost… oooo look another fucking loot cave. Or in Fallout 3 where i just got bored of not really knowing what going on. The latest round of games seem to have actually structured the main story to be 80 hours plus and then you have side missions where you have to do some just to make sure your level is on par to drill through the main story or so you have enough resource so getting through the next mission where you have to take out tanks isn’t just you, a horse and a silenced rubber shooting uzi. Balls.

“oooo look another fucking loot cave”

I’m happy that we finally made it, the price of a game is well and truly justified. Even if the games industry is trying to squeeze every penny out of a title with microtransations. In a way be careful what you wish for. I find myself becoming more burnt out on a game and instead of looking forward to playing it i just see it as a drag and getting to the end is more of a relief than a celebration. 40-45 hours for me is probably enough of a game, but 100 hours of core content is just a bit to much for me.

 

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That MGS thing

Metal Gear Solid has always been a little bit special, something has always set it above other games. The directional style of Hideo Kojima has helped to set MGS appart from other games. Its something that always been there and something which contiues in the latest addition, Metal Gear Solid 5.

So what is it about the Metal Gear Solid experience.

My first experience of a MGS was the much loved Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation 1 back in 1998, this game exploded on the Playstation with outstanding reviews coming in from all direction, and this is where we can first see something slightly different from other games. One of the more outstanding aspects of any MGS game is it ability to blur the lines between game and film – admittedly MGS4 should probably just be classed as a film you could sometimes take control of. The intro alone in MGS1 was something I personally had not seen in a game before, the intro felt very much like I was watching a film.

This introduction where the character are outlined, continues through out the MGS universe all the way up to the latest MGS5 where the end of every main mission fires off the credits and the intro is a bit like your flying into ‘Nam’ (if Vietenam was a desert – I seem to relate military helicopters to Vietnam). The game also walked the line with breaking the 4th rule, where information about how the game worked or how to do something was explained to the main character by explaining what button needs to be pressed on the gamepad or how to save the game at certain points through the codecs.

The game-play in MGS has always been an interesting one, even in the original you had to dig and find out little things which you never knew existed or little pieces of information which added another dimension to the game. For example in the original MGS you could travel between location in the truck based on the cardboard box you had on, something which to most was never explained until someone on the internet pointed it out (probably on gameFAQ, that site has not changed in about 15 years) or when you fight Pycho Mantis, you need to switch the controller port in order for him not to read your mind. Even now im still finding things out about MGS 3, 4 and 5 which shows just how much effort goes into thinking about all the little things which makes MGS such a special game.

MGS does have one major issue, for me. I literally have no idea what the overall storyline is for the MGS universe. I understand that nuclear weapons are bad and that somewhere along the lines the original idea of bringing about world piece from The Boss have been skewed in order for large corporation to make money.. or something. I think its probably time to crack open the wiki pages and do a little research. Or maybe I should just replay all the MGS games again.

[Hopefully we should have a break down of the latest Metal Gear soon and also a post outlining the entire story]

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