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The art of Metal Gear: Yoji Shinkawa’s visual legacy

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 08:01 GMT By Dave Cook

Metal Gear artist Yoji Shinkawa has defined some of the most iconic characters in gaming history. VG247′s Dave Cook speaks with the artist about visualising Hideo Kojima’s concepts.

I’m sitting in a hotel conference room watching Yoji Shinkawa stare at a blank canvas. He’s been at it for about ten minutes, surrounded by unopened cans of paint and an assortment of unspoiled brushes, as a group of journalists look on in still anticipation.

He stands there in a trance-like state, presumably trying to visualise his art before committing it to paper. The room is silent out of respect for the man and his craft, as if the slightest sound will shatter his concentration.

Occasionally the sound of Hideo Kojima’s camera shutter can be heard, as he scurries around the room excitedly, snapping photos of dusty old books on a shelf. The director is no stranger to posting odd photos on Twitter, and it seems that even Shinkawa’s unspoken call for quiet won’t deter him today.

Even when taking a break Shinkawa
kept on sketching like crazy.

Suddenly, Shinkawa reaches towards his brushes and you can almost feel the air being sucked out of the room. After hovering his hand over his tools for a few seconds, he walks across the room and sits back down again. He’s not ready to work yet.

Luckily for me, this means that we have a window to chat about his career, and what it’s been like to give a face to characters like Solid Snake, Psycho Mantis and Revolver Ocelot.

Many people solely accredit the creation of these figures to Hideo Kojima, but it’s Shinkawa who visualises them and ultimately decides their final appearance. By that token the impact of his work cannot be understated.

Born in Hiroshima on Christmas day 1971, Shinkawa told me that his love affair with art began at an early age, but as games were yet to become a viable career prospect back then, he initially saw himself becoming a Manga artist or painter. Over time he realised it wasn’t an easy circuit to break into.

“However,” he added, “to become a Manga artist, the skill needed for that is quite different from the skills needed to paint, so I had to kind of give up on that. But I always liked games, and back then when I was young all the game characters were simple, like Manga characters. So I sought to create bigger, realer, more hard-boiled characters and environments for the games industry, and that’s when I decided to apply to work at Konami.”

Shinkawa eventually got started and
an image of Solid Snake started to take form.

Meeting Kojima

Before Shinkawa could get inside the studio, he had to undergo an entrance test to prove he had the necessary skills. It was a two-part evaluation that saw him submitting his art portfolio from his student days, and once his work was accepted he was then interviewed by Kojima. No pressure then, but he was quickly hired after pitching a game idea similar to the original Metal Gear.

“Once I entered the company and after my training period, I had another interview where I was asked what department I wanted to work for.

“The first interview was for an arcade shooting game that used modelled monsters. I was good at making models so I thought I might be interested.

“But the second interview was with Mr. Kojima again, and he told me he was thinking about starting Metal Gear, and I said I was very interested in it. So that was the beginning of how we started working together. But if that didn’t happen I might have been making something very different right now”.

Shinkawa was officially part of what would eventually become Kojima Productions, and together he and Kojima began working on designs for Metal Gear on MSX. Little did they know that they were planting the seeds of gaming’s most-cherished franchises to date.

But how did the duo create the memorable characters we know and love today? What are the golden rules for creating guises as identifiable and long-lasting as Cyborg Ninja, The Boss or Otacon? Shinkawa was more than happy to explain part of his method with me, and confirmed that it hasn’t changed since the first game.

The detail in Shinkawa’s art
is simply incredible up close.

“What I do isn’t exactly like creating artwork,” he explained. “I think my main job is to create game characters, so what I think is most important is how characters move and react in front of the users. I draw a lot of sketches and I normally select the best ones, or sometimes it happens that I just draw what I like in the first instance. Normally I create characters gradually”.

It’s an interesting response, as obviously, game characters are not static images on a page. They move, they have personality and they speak with distinct voices. Who is Solid Snake, really? What drives the man? How do his foes react to his skills as a legendary soldier? All of these elements are instrumental to the final designs we see today.

“There are two patterns,” he continued. “One is that I assume and think about a character’s functionality from the beginning and incorporate that into the design, or sometimes I give feedback to the game designers, and we think about what functions are missing, then I incorporate that into the design.”

So poignant are Shinkawa’s early designs that they regularly inform a character’s mechanics and traits at concept stage. For example, when talking with Kojima about how characters will act on-screen, the duo will bounce sketches and gameplay ideas off each other until a final design is decided upon.

I asked if any characters had to be altered or changed from a mechanical perspective based on Shinkawa’s art, but he wouldn’t be swayed into giving away the finer details of the team’s process. Regardless it’s clear that his is an influential voice among the team, and one that has made a profound impact on the series as a whole.

Seeing the image form over time
was amazing, but it took hours.

Making a mark

From the birth of the series, Shinkawa’s art has always had a distinct style that is synonymous with the Metal Gear series. He told me that although Kojima’s games are works of fiction, he feels his responsibility as an artist is to convince players that both the worlds and characters within are very much real. Without that emotional connection, how can we invest ourselves in what we see on-screen?

One character that received a particularly emotional response from both gamers and the press was Raiden. His waif-like appearance triggered immense criticism in the West, and he quickly became a figure of ridicule until his re-emergence as a hardened cyborg ninja in Metal Gear Solid 4. I asked Shinkawa to reflect on the evolution of Raiden’s design.

“When Raiden was first introduced in Metal Gear Solid 2, Japan loved the new character,” he recalled, “because he matches the stereotype of the Manga hero. But outside of Japan it was understood that he wasn’t well-received and perhaps had a weak image. I decided for Metal gear Solid 4 to create Raiden as a more dark heroic character”.

If anything Raiden grew even darker in Platinum’s Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Shinkawa designed the character throughout the process. “In the first Metal Gear Solid there was a character called Cyborg Ninja,” he continued, “and he is one of my favourite characters. So I was already thinking about using some of the elements of that character in the new version of Raiden”.

While many gamers have forgiven Kojima for Raiden’s existence since he took a dark turn in Metal Gear Solid 4, the contrasting reactions to his original design in the East and West is telling, and shows that just like any artist, Shinkawa isn’t immune to criticism. It’s all part of the job.

Shinkawa takes five before finishing
his painting of Solid Snake.

The Phantom Pain

I asked Shinkawa if the advancements in technology going in to Metal Gear Solid 5 have made his job any easier, given the symbiotic relationship between his art and Kojima’s often-wild gameplay concepts. With broader scope for new forms of on-screen action, does this make his canvas harder to fill?

“As technology advances, the reality we can show is getting more precise,” he explained. “When illustrating the question I always ask in my mind is ‘What is reality?’ That is the foundation of any piece of art I create”.

Shinkawa’s day-to-day work at Kojima Productions – much like his method – has scarcely changed over the years, yet he often feels that game producers overlook finer details when approaching design and characterisation.

He told me that Kojima is the other extreme, and that if anything, his obsession over detail has grown with each release. “He looks at every single wrinkle of each character, Shinkawa added. “He looks into details, but the first phase starts with my sketch, then modelling, then it considers a character’s actions before becoming a final piece.

At that point I had to ask if Shinkawa has a favourite piece or project – as tricky as the question may be – and he replied, “I would have to say the first Metal Gear Solid, as it was the first time we used polygons, so there were a lot of challenges. But at the same time we found that people were very happy with it.

“I don’t think we expected anything, because back then there weren’t many stealth action games using guns, so we were just making what we believed was good. We thought, ‘OK if there’s just one person who understands what we’re passionate about then that’s fine’, so we never thought the series would come this far.

“Being in Japan it’s hard to feel when we’re being received well by so many people. But when I come abroad to a launch party I just meet so many passionate fans, and they love shaking hands with me. When I see that It makes me very happy. I’m really glad.”

We finish our chat on a high and Shinkawa returns to his painting. About two hours later I pop my head through the door to see if he’s finished. I’m greeted by this:

Hands covered in paint, Shinkawa is just sitting back in his chair, talking with no-one, relaxing as if nothing has happened. By comparison everyone else in the room has crowded around the canvas to take photos and examine the painting in awe.

If any scene underlined the power of a well-crafted piece of art, then this is surely it. It’s no secret that images can spark emotion in people, but today we’ve been lucky enough to witness the process first hand, from concept to completion.

Shinkawa’s work is more than just lines on a page. It’s given rise to some of the most memorable set-pieces and characters many of us have ever experienced. Right now, both he and Kojima are hard at work creating a whole new chapter of the Metal Gear experience.

I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly excited for Metal Gear Solid 5, and I feel that I have a new-found understanding and respect for just how instrumental Shinkawa’s art is in creating the experience.

Disclosure: To assist in writing this article, Dave attended a Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance event in London. All travel was paid for by VG247. Catering was offered at the event but not accepted.

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21 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    Beautiful article, Dave.

    Yoji Shinkawa is – next to Marko Djurdjevic – one of my favorite artists.

    I love his work. I have the Artbooks of MGS 1 and 2 lying around here somewhere.

    His work is beautifully dynamic. He leaves huge chunks of characters out and leaves them to imagination, while the rest of the picture is extremely detailed. It’s absolutely unique.

    I dunno if it was his work that influenced my sketch-style, but when I do sketches, I also leave out chunks of characters, leaving the rest to imagination. Don’t do that with fully fleshed-out pictures though.

    And for the record, I loved Raiden. I don’t think he was that emo in MGS2. I think he was much more emo in 4. I don’t like what the did to him, to be honest. I hope the next MGR is based on Gray Fox and not Raiden. I hope they don’t ruin Frank as well.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @2 Thanks mate :) It was such an honour to meet him and see him at work first-hand. It was amazing to see the painting form on the canvas over time.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    I can’t imagine. I would love to see him work.

    I met him once at a huge ass entertainment store where he, Hideo and some japanese voiceactress (voiced one of the beasts) had a signing session. Still have the Subsistence Edition with their autographs lying around here somewhere. I remember Yoji did caricatures of some of the people who were there. Not of me though. :/

    Years ago, I tried to imitate his artstyle and his design. Not easy. Should’ve the picture lying around somewhere on my harddrive. I will upload it, if you care.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Lengendaryboss

    I love the art of MGS its so sophisticated and awesome at the same time.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. mathare92

    Nice piece, Dave. One of your best to date. Granted, I have a huge bias towards the series. ;) Good job on the photos too.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. grizzlycake

    Beautiful!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Ristas

    I was lucky to be able to meet Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa a few weeks ago and took the chance to get an autograph from Shinkawa – if you can call it that.

    Cause Shinkawa’s autograph was literally the face of Raiden, perfectly drawn and incorporated into his name. It took about 3 seconds. That alone amazed me, so i can only imagine how inspiring it mus thave been to see this whole process. Great article, Dave.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @5 thank you mate :)

    @7 he did something similar with me, but a scribble of the original MGS box art in my metal gear artbook. Kojima’s autograph is in there too. I’ll cherish it forever :D

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Sadismek

    @3 I’d love to see it.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. DSB

    Is it a Japanese thing to be really good at drawing really fast? I’ve seen others do that as well.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. YoungZer0

    @9: Oh, sorry, didn’t see you there. I think I did it 4 or 5 years ago.

    There you go:

    http://www.imagebanana.com/view/tkxcec8i/roof_ninja.jpg

    @10: No, it’s training. That’s something I learned at nude drawing lessons (is that what they call it in english?). They give you limited time for your drawing. First a minute, then 30 seconds, then 10 seconds. The less time you have, the more you have to focus on the important parts of the person you’re drawing.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Hellhound30x

    THIS ARTICLE WAS TOO MUCH!!! I couldn’t stop laughing… “Suddenly, Shinkawa reaches towards his brushes and you can almost feel the air being sucked out of the room.”
    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA *GAAAAAAAASP!* HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA
    *ahem!* BULLSHIT! The guy is good no doubt, but he’s not angelic, or god like in his craft. Bleh!

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @13 well, that was needlessly horrible. Thank you.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Beta

    @13 Jesus, calm down sunshine.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Alex Donaldson

    It’s so lovely to see articles on the areas surrounding gaming as a craft, or as a community, or whatever else. We really don’t get enough; there’s just a lot of previews, impressions and whatnot – but it’s great to take a step back and look at the stuff on the periphery. Doubly so when the writer clearly has an interest themselves. It’s clear that you must love art, Dave, based on this.

    I could never have written this with such genuine, properly earnest love (about Yoshitaka Amano, maybe…!) and that’s why I love it! Great work. :)

    #15 2 years ago
  16. YoungZer0

    @16: I never understood the fuzz about Amano. Yes, his artstyle is pretty unique, but he doesn’t even get the basics of the anatomy and perspective right. But yeah, I agree, we need more pieces like that. Maybe next time about Akihiko Yoshida? That guys work is so underrated.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Lengendaryboss

    @13
    “Shut up, Sit Down And Relax.” Tommy V GTA Vice City.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. GwynbleiddiuM

    That is one your finest articles Dave, thank you buddy. I can has the painting pl0x? :-”

    @13 I prescribe you a self dosed of a shot in your bloody stupid, ungrateful and unappreciative brain.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dave Cook

    @19 Thank you :)

    #19 2 years ago
  20. NeoSquall

    Nice article, Dave Scook! :D

    #20 2 years ago
  21. YoungZer0

    @20: Lawl. :D

    #21 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access next week

    Frozenbyte has announced Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power will launch on Steam Early Access next week. The early access title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99 and you can purchase it come April 21. If the short video above isn’t enough to tempt you, a video showing nine minutes of gameplay was released last week.

  • Journey, Flower, flOw trilogy to be released this summer on PS4 in 1080p at 60fps

    A remastered version of the Journey Collector’s Edition is coming to PlayStation 4 from ThatGameCompany. According to Gamespot, the trilogy will contain PS3 titles flOw, Flower and Journey on one disc, and it will run in 1080p at 60fps. A standalone version of Journey will arrive close to the trilogy’s release on PS4 through the […]

  • Here’s a few screenshots of PS4-exclusive Alienation from Housemarque

    Screenshots for Alienation, Housemarque’s four-player co-op PlayStation 4 exclusive, have been released and you can have a look at them in the gallery we’ve posted. Announced at gamescom 2014, the game features three main character classes, weapon customization, and various team set-ups. The game has players shooting at things with twin-stick gameplay with a top […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront website notes November 17 release, teaser video and first image hit

    The first Star Wars: Battlefront image has been posted, and apparently it appeared on the official website at some point this morning. The game will also be released on November 17, according to the official website’s source code. The release date is noted in the code located in the image below. Props to Gematsu for […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is the fastest selling entry in the series to date

    Mortal Kombat X has sold faster than any other game in the series to date, making it the “biggest launch” in Mortal Kombat history, according to creator Ed Boon. Speaking in a series of tweets, Boon said both the mobile and console versions have “literally millions of players getting online” resulting in the servers being […]

  • Shadow of the Beast reboot resurfaces with some new screenshots

    The Shadow of the Beast reboot, which was announced in 2013, has show its face once more with early screenshots. Screenshots of the Amiga classic remake show off the Karamoon’s desert and the main character, Aarbron. According Matt Birch, CEO and founder of Heavy Spectrum, the team is currently hard at work on the “core […]

  • Halo: Spartan Strike arrives on Windows 8, iOS and Steam today

    Halo: Spartan Strike is now available on Windows 8, Steam, iOS devices and Windows 8 phones. The mobile top-down shooter will run you $5.99. Halo: Spartan Strike tells a new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. Those playing on Windows 8 devices can compete […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video shows highlights from the Episdoe Duscae demo

    Square Enix has released a Final Fantasy 15 video which shows highlights from the Episode Duscae demo included with launch editions of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. FFT0 has shipped over one million copies worldwide, and a player feedback survey is available for the Duscae demo until May 19. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is available on PlayStation […]

  • Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since release – SuperData

    PlayStation 4 exclusive Bloodborne has sold over 155,000 digital units since it was released on March 24, according to SuperData’s latest report. The figure produced by SuperData is worldwide and comes on the heels of the one million units sold announcement earlier this week. “After the release of the beautiful but terribly short game The […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Mega May returns, Super Smash Bros. update, Mii Fighter costumes

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a Super Smash Bros. update and the StreetPass Mii Plaza games Battleground Z and Ultimate Angler. The update is rather detailed, and a bit larger than normal, and you may wish to pay special attention to the activities listed. Here’s the full update: StreetPass […]

  • Here’s your first look at Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida in Super Time Force Ultra

    Sony Worldwide boss Shuhei Yoshida is a playable character in Super Time Force Ultra, and today, Capy Games has provided a couple images of the man himself in the game. Yoshida was announced as a playable character in the game during Sony’s PlayStation Experience event back in December 2014. The PS4 and Vita version will […]

  • The wait is almost over – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has gone gold

    CD Projekt RED has announced the news we’ve all been waiting to hear: The Witcher 3 has gone gold. This means Geralt’s latest, and possibly last, adventure has been sent to the factory to be pressed into lovely gaming discs. “We worked so damn hard over the past three years to bring you this game,” […]

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is a “couple weeks out from beta,” new trailer

    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]