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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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  • EA making “incubation efforts” in virtual reality space

    EA isn’t ready to make a massive commitment to virtual reality, but when the time comes it intends to be a market leader. During a post-earnings release conference call today, one caller asked if EA had any plans for VR. CEO Andrew Wilson said EA intends to “lead from the front” when VR comes into […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront expected to shift 9-10 million units in FY 2016

    Star Wars: Battlefront will sell strongly, but not make a lot of money for EA this financial year, the publisher has warned. Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a license to print money, EA emphasised in a post-earnings release conference call this morning. Judging by the series’s historical sales, and by sales of Battlefield 4, EA […]

  • Don’t expect Titanfall 2 for at least nine months

    Titanfall 2 is still quite a long way out. Titanfall 2 wasn’t listed in EA’s upcoming release slate in its financials release this morning. Answering a query in a conference call following the release, EA said we can safely assume the Respawn sequel won’t release in fiscal 2016. “You assumption should be 17,” an executive […]

  • Mirror’s Edge 2 due early 2016, new Need for Speed in Q4 2015

    EA has indicated general release windows for a number of anticipated new titles. Mirror’s Edge 2 has an early 2016 release date. EA confirmed the release plan in today’s financials release, also noting that a new Need for Speed and a new Plants vs Zombies are coming in the same window. Mirror’s Edge 2 is […]

  • EA financials highlight millions of hours played in Battlefield Hardline, Dragon Age: Inquisition

    Electronic Arts reported its Q4 and year end FY15 financial results today, highlighting the amount of hours played in Battlefield Hardline and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Selected Operating Highlights and Metrics: For fiscal year 2015 EA was the #1 publisher on PlayStation4 and Xbox One consoles in the world, driven by the success of Battlefield Hardline, […]

  • Black Mesa can now be acquired through Steam Early Access

    Black Mesa, the re-imagining of Half-Life 1 from Crowbar Collective, has entered Steam Early Access. At present, 85% of the campaign is complete with around 10 hours worth of gameplay. Early Access users will be helping test the multiplayer deatmatch and team deathmatch modes via six maps as well as the single-player portion. As will […]

  • Three Easter Eggs spotted in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – video

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has been released in North America, as you know, and it contains some fun Easter Eggs which you can take a look at in the video below. Don’t watch or read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled. Eurogamer’s Ian Higton spotted three Easter Eggs so far, and there […]

  • Destiny: Prison of Elders – here’s what to expect from tomorrow’s livestream

    Bungie today released its Destiny teaser for tomorrow’s livestream, which focuses on Prison of Elders. Below is a breakdown of the teaser and what to expect tomorrow. Arekkz Gaming gives you the lowdown above. You can watch the full stream tomorrow here on the site. House of Wolves is out on May 19.

  • The 3D Realms Anthology is now available on Steam for PC and Mac

    The 3D Realms Anthology, announced back in October, is now available on Steam for PC and Mac for a limited-time price of $29.99. After the introductory period has ended, it will run you $39.99. The collection contains 32 games, which if purchased individually would you run more than $120. Here’s the list in case you […]

  • A Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball later this month

    Valve and Zen Studios have announced a Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball. The table will be made available on all pinball platforms, including Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX2, from May 25. Called the “Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device”, it contains the characters Chell, Wheatley and of course GLaDOS. Portal Pinball […]

  • Star Wars characters coming with release of Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits

    Star Wars characters are coming to Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits. Disney says it will contain “many favorite characters and include more gameplay content and variety than ever before.” There will be three Star Wars Play sets: Twilight of the Republic set in the Episodes 1-3 timeline, Rise Against the Empire set during the […]

  • Hearthstone has been played by 30 million people

    Blizzard’s strategy game Hearthstone has 30 million players, the developer announced on Twitter. The figure doesn’t breakdown players numbers by platform, but Activision will release its recent financial report tomorrow, so maybe more information will be forthcoming. Hearthstone was releases on PC March 14, 2014 followed by Mac, phones, and tablets. Blackrock Mountain, the latest […]

  • Tomorrow’s Destiny livestream focuses on Prison of Elders – here’s a teaser

    Another Destiny: House of Wolves livestream takes place tomorrow, and it will focus on Prison of the Elders. The Prison of Elders is a prison facility in The Reef which is watched over by Variks and is part of the new Arena game mode which is limited to three players. The livestream will be hosted […]

  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced for current and last-gen

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced by Activision, which isn’t shocking in the slightest. Correction: My stupid brain has EA on it due to the financials release later today. The game is being published by Activision. Not EA and I previously stated. I apologize, and have reprimanded myself in a most sever manner. […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition is sold out in the UK

    Hopefully, you pre-ordered the Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition in the UK already. If not, you are likely out of luck. According to GAME, the pack which contains the Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm has sold out in the UK. The retailer confirmed the news to Videogamer this morning. […]

  • Far Cry 4 Complete Edition coming June 19 for PC, PS4 to the UK

    A Far Cry 4 Complete Edition has been announced and it includes the full game as well as the Season Pass. This is the sku which popped up on Amazon Germany earlier in the week. The Season Pass provides access to five separate pieces of DLC. Here’s a refresher on the DLC content: The Syringe: […]

  • The Witcher 3: live Q&A stream with CDP, new monster dev diary inside

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out in just two weeks, and if you want to know more about Geralt’s latest adventure, CD Projekt is hosting a live Q&A now on Twitch. There’s also a new developer diary below which focuses on monster in the game. The Witcher 3 is out on May 19. Huzzah! […]

  • Forza Horizon 2′s Alpinestars Car Pack has five cars and is ready for download

    The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 is out now on Xbox One and its the only way you will ever be able to afford a 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Unless, of course, you win the lottery or are left in some rich person’s will. In that case, I’ll take the ’53 Corvette, […]

  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]