My favourite game of the year, as you know by now, is Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Maybe you saw the picture up there. Maybe you heard me talk about it on Twitter or on the podcast or even read my review. It had clever man-shooting, excellent stealth, and a weird sense of humour and tone which irritated people, so that made me happy. Some of it was total shite, like the Quiet character and the bit where the children flew away with your MacGuffin and no more was said about it, but apart from that it was pretty good. You can attach balloons to people. I liked it.
Thing is, I did actually like something else more, and that was the way the game was created. Konami, allegedly, has been keeping some odd practices with regards to staff morale, and while I can’t confirm if Konami actually did those things, I’ve got to say I’m all for it if it produces games of this calibre. Seriously, if I was running a games company I’d routinely walk around the office smashing people’s hands with hammers, making them look like a run-over bucket of crabs while whistling the theme to Airwolf. When I was done with that – an exhausting job, but a noble one – I’d be in my office, blinds half-drawn, calling up the families of staff I’d taken a dislike to and telling them their loved one had died while I suppress a big laugh, before hanging up and sighing contentedly. I’d get a water cannon, one which I borrowed from Boris, and fire gallons of liquid death on all the staff if I heard as much as a text-message bleep. I’d probably also put amphetamines in the coffee machine, cranking the dosage to see how much work people could do before they died. Brilliant.
Not that Konami did any of this, of course. But I would. Anyway, I also really loved Pro Evolution Soccer 2016, which is the best football game ever made. The only people who disagree are FIFA fans (full-kit wankers) and nostalgists, and as far as I’m concerned both of those sets of people can be incinerated. Nothing of worth will be lost. What was I talking about? Ah, PES. Authentic without being a slave to realism, fast without being too arcadey, tactical without being dull, it’s simply the best. Bonus: there’s a person out there creating 90s kits for PES. Glorious.
What else? Not much, video games are mostly wank. But there were some other crackers out there. Until Dawn was brilliant deconstruction of horror movie staples, casting players firstly as stars before slowly revealing you were really playing as the director. Cool. Anyway Sony marketed it like it was a brand new form of death, and so it didn’t really sell anywhere near as well as it should have done, so go and pick it up please. Thanks.
More words? Fuck me, really? Um, what about Her Story? On paper it seems like it shouldn’t work, mainly because it’s a video game meant to be played on a telly. Ha! No, but seriously it’s an FMV game which seems simple: you’re a (probably corrupt, they all are) copper investigating a cold case, the alleged murder of a man by his wife. Until you realise you’re not. Don’t let the aesthetics put you off, it’s meant to be like that. It’s also one of the few games which is smarter than the person playing it, although given you’re probably wearing a Christmas jumper while reading this, that’s not particularly difficult.
Really, more? OK, Rainbow Six Siege is great. Dave will tell you all about that one though, I’ve got to go and mace some of the staff.