METAL GEAR SOLID V
Developer Kojima Productions Publisher Konami Format 360, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One
It’s difficult to tell what Konami will do with post-Kojima Metal Gear. As open-ended and player-driven as the designer’s final game in the series is, it nonetheless bears its creator’s indelible hallmark. There are plenty of studios capable of making open-world military action games, but none that would be able to easily imitate Metal Gear’s particular style and strangeness. This is a game of strategic depth and realistic violence that also includes a knife-wielding dog and a skull-faced villain called Skull Face. It’s part of a series of personal and philosophical responses to the threat of nuclear proliferation, and also a game in which you kidnap men to work on your oil-rig base by strapping them to a magic balloon. MGSV is unafraid to be fun and silly as well as serious and portentous. The player’s creativity and initiative is always treated with respect, and that distinctive tone is a product of the decision to encourage you to both think and play. MGSV is spectacularly clever even as it is deeply dumb, and that’s why it will always be so beloved by its fans, and us with them.