Out this week: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Mad Max, new PS Plus freebies and more

It’s the end of an era. Hideo Kojima bids farewell to the Metal Gear Solid series with the incredibly well-received The Phantom Pain. This is also likely to be one of Konami’s last big-budget games, save for the Pro Evolution series, with the publisher turning their attention to mobile and gambling devices.

What a way to bow out on – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain arrived to a dazzling array of 9/10 and 10/10 reviews, with many critics calling it the greatest stealth adventure ever made. We’re also pleased to see that the last-gen versions didn’t end up on the scrap heap – a la Dying Light, Max Mad and Mortal Kombat X – as those clinging to their Xbox 360s and PS3s haven’t had a great deal to play recently. If Ground Zeroes is to go by, it should hold up rather well on last-gen.

MadMax

Speaking of Mad Max, the open-world car combat game also hit store shelves on Tuesday. Reviews of ‘the sandiest sandbox of all-time’ have been good but not great, by which we mean plenty of 6s and 7s. And 6.5s. Most reviewers seem to agree that there’s fun to be had but the enjoyment doesn’t last.

Other retail releases out this week include Level-5’s 3DS action RPG Little Battlers Experience, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and the allegedly middling Adams Venture Chronicles in physical form, eggball sim Rugby World Cup 2015 and the strategic Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence on PS4 and PS3.

BrokenSword5

Tomorrow also sees the release of Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse both at retail and on the download services. Oddly, it appears to be cheaper in physical form – it’s currently £18.95 to pre-order on Amazon as opposed to £24.99 on PSN. Xbox One version price currently unknown.

The PS4 certainly isn’t short on new releases this week with month’s PS Plus offerings now available. There’s Ubisoft’s platforming adventure Grow Home, time-altering shooter Super Time Force Ultra – which we’ve always likened to one of Treasure’s 16-bit titles – and the pixel art Metroidvania-alike Xeodrifter. Those last two are also available on PS Vita.

The two titles that were against Grow Home in the PS Plus poll are out as well, with a temporary 30% discount to boot. Zombie Vikings comes from the team behind the sleeper hit Stick It to The Man and as such shares a very similar visual style. It’s also due out as a retail release at some point, packaged with a few extras. Armello meanwhile mixes table-top gaming and RPG elements to from something rather inciting. Consider us intrigued.

Finally for this week there’s the current Xbox One freebie – The Deer God. We have a review waiting in the wings after ploughing through it on launch day. At times it felt like more of a curio than an actual game – it’s a 2D platformer with survival elements, in which the “levels” loop until you finally figure out what to do next. Without clear direction, you’re often left aimlessly searching. Rather like real life.

Next week: Super Mario Maker (Wii U), Tearaway Unfolded (PS4), Etrian Mystery Dungeon (3DS), Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX (3DS), Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (Xbox One) and Leo’s Fortune (PS4).

Matt Gander

Matt is Games Asylum's most prolific writer, having produced a non-stop stream of articles since 2001. A retro collector and bargain hunter, his knowledge has been found in the pages of tree-based publication Retro Gamer.

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