Watch Big Boss Get A Birthday Surprise In MGS V: The Phantom Pain

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At the beginning of The Phantom Pain, you are asked to enter your date of birth. While it doesn’t seem significant at the time, the game stores that information and treats you to an amusing scene when the special day rolls around. If you don’t want to wait (or mess with your system’s date settings), you can see the event play out right here.

The scene occurs after you’ve gained access to Mother Base. It might happen when you return to base on your own, or you might get a call from Miller directing you home after a mission. Either way, once you exit the helicopter, you witness the sequence depicted in the video below. Happy birthday, Boss!

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Test Chamber – Mad Max

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After a 25 year hiatus, we finally have another Mad Max to play. Join Kyle Hilliard, Jeff Cork, and myself as we kick the tires on Max's new ride, discuss the various upgrade systems, and drive headfirst into a storm despite our better judgment.

Mad Max is out today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can read our review of the game here, and check out our cover story hub here for a more granular look at the game's features.

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Question Of The Month Reader Responses: Issue #270

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In issue 268, we asked what your most anticipated game coming out of E3 is. Readers responded with a wide range of promising games, but the number-one entry shouldn't surprise anyone. Here are some of the responses.

What's your most anticipated game? Share your pick in the comments below!

Spending A Day With My New Best Friend, The MGS V Collector’s Edition Hand

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Spending A Day With My New Best Friend, The MGS V Collector’s Edition Hand

While I have largely weaned myself off the knick-knack poison of collector’s editions, I couldn’t resist the Metal Gear Solid V bundle. I’ve been a fan of the series since the NES days, and with this likely Kojima’s last hurrah (for real this time), I wanted to have something to remember this by.

When my package arrived yesterday morning, I rushed to unbox the included half-scale version of Big Boss’ hand. Is it (and the few other items included) worth the extra $40? Probably not, unless, like me, you adore the series.

My tiny Big Boss arm is my new best friend, and I’ve decided to start spending much more time with him. 

Metal Gear 101: What New Players Should Know Before Playing The Phantom Pain

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Metal Gear 101: What New Players Should Know Before Playing The Phantom Pain

The Metal Gear series has been around since 1987, and it’s been telling one long story the whole time. That’s great for longtime fans who got in on the ground floor, but someone who has never played Metal Gear might get overwhelmed by the saga’s complex history. If you want to play The Phantom Pain, but don’t know much about Metal Gear lore, this (relatively) compact and digestible guide will teach you the basics.

The goal here isn’t to be complete. In the entries below, I won’t touch on every significant character and event; I just want to give new players an easy-to-read reference to make The Phantom Pain less confusing. You won’t get all of the context or impact, but when you play The Phantom Pain (which you should do, because it is excellent), things should be more accessible.

Big Boss (a.k.a. Jack, John, Naked Snake, Snake) A legendary mercenary who used to be part of the American covert operations unit FOX. His mentor, The Boss, allowed herself to be killed by him in 1964 in order to avoid nuclear war. The U.S. government was complicit in her death, which made Big Boss question his purpose and his loyalty. This single event is what started him down his path as a soldier-for-hire, not beholden to any country or ideology. At the beginning of The Phantom Pain, he is waking up from a nine-year coma.

10 Spoiler-Free Tips For Everyone Starting MGS V: The Phantom Pain

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10 Spoiler-Free Tips For Everyone Starting MGS V: The Phantom Pain

After years of waiting, gamers are finally playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain today. In terms of depth and scope, this installment takes the series to a new level, which means fans have more Metal Gear to explore than ever. However, it also increases the chances that details and features might slip through the cracks. To make sure you don’t miss anything important, we’ve put together a spoiler-free list of tips and tricks to ensure you get the most out of your time as Big Boss.

1. Enter A Real Name, Fake The Birthday Early on, you are asked to enter a name and a birthday. I won’t explain why, but I recommend using an actual name (it doesn’t even need to be yours) instead of something like “Buttz” or “Flaccid Snake.” As for the birthday, there’s just a fun in-game nod when the date rolls around. You can either lie about it, or tell the truth and just change your system’s internal clock.

Konami Is Walking A Tightrope With Metal Gear Solid V In-App Transactions

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There are things we are unlikely to change, no matter how much we despise them. Pre-order bonuses aren’t going anywhere. Season passes with unspecified content are a growing trend. In-app transactions in full-priced games make too much money to abandon.

The question then becomes one of nuance, and it becomes our job to discern whether they are being implemented in consumer-friendly ways. By all accounts, Metal Gear Solid V’s forward operating base (FOB) feature is perched on a knife-edge.

Unlike completely segmented modes like the wildly popular Ultimate Team offerings in EA Sports games (which bring in huge revenues for the publisher), The Phantom Pain’s FOB mode is integrated with the single-player.

Test Chamber – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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Test Chamber – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

The latest entry in the long-running Metal Gear series is finally upon us, so Game Informer's Joe Juba and Jeff Cork take a spoiler-free look at the weapons, buddies, and other features in this stealth-driven action game.  

The Phantom Pain is a huge game, so taking a quick look at it is difficult. Even so, we give it our best shot, completing one of the main story missions, one of the quick side-ops, and then exploring Mother Base. We also chat about various other aspects of the game, including the important questions, like: "Can you extract yourself with a Fulton balloon?" Watch the video and learn the answer.

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I've Finished MGS V: The Phantom Pain – Ask Me Anything (Round 2)

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I've Finished MGS V: The Phantom Pain – Ask Me Anything (Round 2)

Update: On the eve of The Phantom Pain's release, I'm answering even more questions from our readers! Just ask me what you want to know, and I'll do my best to answer.  

As a reminder: I can not answer every question, particularly those that deal with significant spoilers. I will delve into some mild spoiler territory (only if specifically asked!), but you can stay spoiler-free if you don't expand the comments on any questions you don't want to know the answer to.

Original story (published 8/24/15):

Double Fine’s Headlander Is More Fun Than A Bag Of Worms

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Traditional ‘70s sci-fi tends to turn me off, but Double Fine’s charming new side-scrolling shooter makes me wonder if I’ve been missing out on something special this whole time. During a demo at PAX, I got a good look and this inventive project and I almost lost my head…well not really, but the game does look cool.

Headlander is a unique 2D sidescrolling shooter that takes place in a false utopia modeled after ‘70s pop sci-fi. In this world, everyone consciousness has been transferred into robot bodies, and you play the last organic being in the universe. The catch is, you’re only a head.

During the game, you can fly around as a head and use a built in vacuum pack to suck off other people’s heads before plopping your noggin down on their body. Every body features its own animations and features and you can even attach yourself to stationary computers or even dog bodies.