TIME Video Games

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Is the Best Metal Gear Ever

The new pinnacle of stealth gaming, and a triumphant farewell from one of the medium's brightest luminaries.

The holy grail of world-building games, it’s argued, is a black box that lets players do as they like with minimal handholding. Pliability with just the right measure of accountability. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, a tactical stealth simulation wrapped in a colossal resource management puzzle inside a love letter to theatrical inscrutability, comes the closest of any game I’ve yet played to realizing that ideal.

That probably sounds a little backwards if you’re hip to Hideo Kojima’s long running Metal Gear Solid series, which launched in 1987 on a Japanese computer platform. We laud Kojima for his contributions to stealth gaming’s grammar, but he’s also loved and, by some, lampooned, for bouts of indulgent auteurism. A self-professed cinephile (he told me in 2014 that he tries to watch a movie a day), he’s notorious for straining attention spans with marathon film-style interludes and epic denouements. His last numbered Metal Gear Solid game, Guns of the Patriots, holds two Guinness records, one for the longest cutscene in a game (27 minutes), another for the longest cutscene sequence (71 minutes). A fan-edited compendium of the latter’s combined non-interactive sequences clocks in at upwards of nine hours.

So it feels a little weird to declare The Phantom Pain comparably cutscene-free. Oh they’re still here, as fascinating, offbeat and abstruse as ever, but restricted to momentary exposition instead of Homeric interruption. It’s like some other mirror-verse version of Kojima helmed production, suddenly obsessed with play-driven storytelling, while most of the grim narrative about the descent of a Melvillian mercenary trickles in through cassette tapes you can listen to at leisure, or ignore completely.


That turnabout pays dividends. We’re instead treated to a clandestine feast of open world prowling, an unparalleled tactical toybox staged in sprawling bulwarks bristling with eerily sentient enemies. You play as Big Boss, the grizzled, cyclopean soldier of fortune we spent so much of the series reviling, traumatized and left comatose by events in last year’s prologue and prolegomena, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. The Phantom Pain is the revenge fantasy entrée transpiring nine years later, a grab-your-bootstraps offshore empire-building exercise and parallel slide into militaristic perdition by way of the Soviet-Afghan and Angolan (civil) wars circa 1984. It’s a Cold War paranoiac’s paradise.

The idea, first articulated in 2010’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, is that you’re leading a private nation-agnostic military force from your “mother base,” a concrete and steel-jacketed platform anchored in the middle of the Indian Ocean near the Seychelles archipelago. From there, you execute contracts for shadowy clients in fictional swathes of Afghanistan and the African Angola-Zaire border region, accruing capital to unlock an arsenal of espionage munitions, all the while sleuthing for intelligence on the sinister outfit that brought you to ruin nearly a decade ago.

You’d think a game about private mercenaries would entail managing squadrons of them, and The Phantom Pain does eventually unlock a meta game where, wielding an anachronistic wireless handheld drolly dubbed an “iDroid,” you can deploy groups of soldiers to conflict zones based on probabilistic projections. But this is Big Boss’s story, and the lion’s share plants you in his boots, embarking on missions framed like TV episodes, infiltrating then exfiltrating enemy compounds, mountain fortresses and repurposed ancient citadels to extract some piece of intel, rescue a skilled soldier or assassinate whatever operative. It’s during those tense, punishing, exquisitely crafted sorties that the experience shifts from glorified hide-and-seekery to sublime subterfuge.


Consider just a few of the ways Kojima lets you poke his anthills. Like how to approach a cliffside fortress teeming with floodlights, security cameras, anti-aircraft cannons, machine gun nests, barbed wire fences, lookout posts, labyrinthine caverns, hovering gunships, weaponized bipedal robots and playgrounds of scalable, multilevel mud-rock dwellings staffed by relentless, hyperaware soldiers. From what angle? At sunrise or sunset? After thorough or slapdash surveillance? In what sort of camouflage? With the aid of a horse for quick arrival and escape, or a canine pal that can spot and mark enemies faster and more completely than you?

Should you wait for a stray sandstorm to blow through, occluding visibility and making direct approaches (or escapes) tenable? Buzz HQ to chopper in a rocket launcher so you can take out an enemy gunship while it’s still on the helipad? Scout for unguarded power hubs to kill lights and cameras (at the expense of raising guard alert levels)? Detonate communications equipment to disrupt radio chatter between field operatives and HQ? Should you slink across a dangerously unconcealed bridge to save time, or clamber down a rocky bluff, scurry across the basin below, then inch up half a dozen flights of steel-cage stairs to pop out at the bridge’s far side? Are you the turtle or the hare?

But it’s the game’s ruthless artificial intelligence that ties it all together so superbly. The Phantom Pain sports the most unpredictable, exploitation-resistant opponents we’ve seen in a sandbox game. Though they run through all the classic Metal Gear-ish paranoia loops, they’re capable of far grander collaboration and topographical awareness. If alerted, they’ll swarm your last known position, then spread out to probe logical escape routes. Favor night ops and they’ll don night vision goggles. Favor headshots and they’ll start wearing metal helmets. It’s as impressive, in its way, as Monolith’s Nemesis system in last year’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, turning indelibility into tactical iteration.


In the background sits your mother base, visually emblematic of Kojima’s fondness for pumpkin-orange containers and pipe-strung sidewalls, everything smooth and orthogonal and gleaming—the Jony Ive of offshore platform design. Once you’re using the Fulton recovery system, an intentionally silly balloon-driven means of quick-firing anything (enemies, weapons, animals and more) you find in the field back to base, you’ll spend hours here developing new weapons, fiddling with staff assignments and snapping on new platforms. Once you grok how battlefield bric-a-brac feeds into base growth, mission difficulty trebles, as you’re incentivized during assignments to track the best-rated foes and gear.

The game has its share of head-scratchers, like why enemies tagged on your radar stay marked when restarting a mission (convenient, but immersion-killing), or why it takes so much work to unlock the game’s notion of a fast travel system. I’m also conflicted about the buddy system: I wound up abandoning my wolf companion because he made the surveillance game too easy.

The least defensible design choice is probably Quiet, a female warrior-sniper dressed in, well, let’s just say the opposite of practical battlefield attire. There’s a plot explanation for this, but it’s pretty weak, though I found it curious that the men in the game seemed not to notice (okay, a couple yahoos overheard talking about her, but that’s it). It’s Kojima’s directorial eye that lingers voyeuristically here, robbing us of the choice not to leer, daring us not to be titillated.


But then we know by now that Kojima games mean wrestling with paradox. Thematic gravitas versus silly dialogue. Visual revelation versus graphical compromise. Gameplay versus cutscene. Eroticization versus objectification. Antiwar allegory versus lurid violence.

When I asked Kojima what hadn’t changed about gaming over the past several decades, he told me that while the technology had evolved, “the content of the game, what is really the essence of the game, hasn’t moved much beyond Space Invaders.” It’s the same old thing, he said, “that the bad guy comes and without further ado the player has to defeat him. The content hasn’t changed—it’s kind of a void.”

Loping across The Phantom Pain‘s hardscrabble Afghani-scapes, lighting on soldiers bantering about communism and capitalism, playing tapes of cohorts waxing philosophic about Salt II, Soviet scorched earth policies and African civil wars, questioning who I’m supposed to be—sporting metaphorical horn and tail, both hero and villain—all I know is that I’m going to miss the defiance, the daring, the controversy, the contradictions. This, given Kojima’s rumored breach with Konami and his own affirmations about leaving the series, is all but surely his last Metal Gear game, so it’s poetically fitting that it turned out to be his best.

5 out of 5

Reviewed on PlayStation 4

Read next: Here’s How to Upgrade Your PlayStation 4 Hard Drive

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TIME Video Games

Here’s How to Upgrade Your PlayStation 4 Hard Drive


Want to upgrade your console from its default 500GB to a whopping 2TB? We'll show you how.

Worried your PlayStation 4 might be running short of elbow room? Heard Sony supports hard drive upgrades? Ready to pull the trigger? Have half an hour to spare?

Sony’s upgrade process covers all the basics, but it’s also just the nuts and bolts, begging the question of whether you ought to upgrade in the first place.

Want some help deciding?

First, do you really need to upgrade?

In North America, the PlayStation 4 ships with a 500GB hard drive. You may have seen something about a standalone 1TB “Ultimate Edition,” which just launched in Europe on July 15, but it’s not (yet) available stateside.

The question’s whether you need more than half a terabyte of storage. That’s either too little or more than enough, depending how many games you need at the ready. If you’ve never looked, it’s time to visit the PlayStation 4’s storage allocation overview. You can find it here:

SettingsSystem Storage Management

Take a gander at that top bar, which shows how much space you’ve used so far, then note the number to the right of “Free Space” (bottom right). Do you have more than 250GB free? If so, and you’re running everything you’d want to, the argument for upgrading isn’t as compelling (it’s certainly not as urgent as if your “Free Space” were 50GB or less).

Even if you’re full up, have you cleaned house lately? Do you actively play everything you’ve downloaded or installed from disc? Does your “Capture Gallery” have any discardable photos or videos? Do you have superfluous save games? Don’t remove anything you’d rather keep, but it’s worth taking a look, especially at your list of installed games, which can hog upwards of 50GB a piece.

Assemble your tools

Decided to upgrade and ready to go? You’ll need the following items:

  • Your PS4, with gamepad and microUSB charge cable
  • A medium Philips screwdriver
  • Your chosen 2.5-inch SATA replacement hard drive
  • A 1GB or greater USB flash drive (to reinstall the PS4’s system software)
  • A FAT32-formatted external hard drive (to backup your system and/or saved games)
Matt Peckham for TIME

Pick the “right” hard drive

Two things to help guide your research: one, performance gains are fractional with even the zippiest (ergo priciest) solid state drives—benchmark sites obsess over upticks, but the real world gains here are minuscule. And so two, price and space should be your watchwords.

Not necessarily a recommendation: I chose Seagate’s 2.5-inch 1TB solid state hybrid drive (model number STBD1000400) with 64MB of cache, but only because I had store credit at GameStop, which sells the drive heavily marked up. You can find it for as little as $77, or if you want the version with 8GB of cache, it’s available for as little as $101. But be aware that Seagate, which also owns Samsung’s hard drive business, presently scores the highest in hard drive failure rates, according to online backup company Backblaze. I’ve never had a Seagate drive fail, but the survey’s worth noting.

At the moment, you can find the Samsung Seagate Momentus 2TB hard drive for under $100. For that price, it’s probably the drive I would have picked, if I hadn’t had store credit to burn.

Whatever you decide, be aware that Sony requires a PS4 hard drive to meet the following criteria:

  • 2.5 inch form factor (9.5mm or slimmer)
  • Serial ATA connection

Backup your saved games

Assuming you have more than a game or two installed, and plenty of saved content, skip straight to the full system backup option, which you can find here:

SettingsSystem → Back Up and Restore

Choose “Back Up PS4,” and the process will grab everything (including your system settings) except trophies, which should already be synchronized if your system’s online.

You can alternately back up your saved games to the PlayStation Network if you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber. But Sony only gives you 1GB of space, so you may have to squeeze to get all your stuff in.

Matt Peckham for TIME

Download the PlayStation 4 system software

You can grab a copy of the latest version from Sony here. Just follow the instructions at the bottom of the page, under “Update using a computer,” to download the correct full system install file—it’s nearly 800MB—and create the requisite USB install key.

Crack open your console

It should go without saying, but make sure your PlayStation 4 is completely powered down (the indicator light should show black, not orange, or any other color), then unplug the system from everything.

Now perform the following steps:

  1. Slide the PlayStation 4’s hard drive cover left (the glossy strip on the console’s left, when laid flat).
  2. Extract the old hard drive by first removing the sole Philips screw at lower left, then gently pull the hard disk drive cage forward (toward the front of the system) and out.
  3. Remove the four Philips screws from the hard disk cage, pull the old hard drive out, replace it with the new one, then slide the cage back into the PlayStation 4 and re-secure it with the remaining screw.
  4. Replace the hard drive cover, and that’s it!
Matt Peckham for TIME

Install the PlayStation 4 system software

Connect your PlayStation 4 gamepad (with microUSB cable) and plug the USB stick you just created into the console’s second USB port, then power on the system. You’ll be prompted to install the new system software and initialize your system. Confirm, wait a few minutes for the process to complete, and your PlayStation 4 will finish by rebooting and launching the first-time setup screen.

Now put all your stuff back

Once you’re logged in, you can restore your games, saves and settings from that external drive backup (connect the drive, go back to SettingsSystem → Back Up and Restore, then choose “Restore PS4”). Or, if like me you like to rebuild clean and don’t mind re-installing or re-downloading your games and apps, you can take the time to do that instead, then as noted earlier, pull your saved games down from online storage (the latter has to happen in that order, by the way—it’s an inexplicable Sony quirk that you can’t download a saved game you’ve stored online unless you install the full game first).

TIME Video Games

YouTube’s New Video Game Feature Is Finally Launching

YouTube Gaming will take on Amazon's Twitch

Google’s answer to the Amazon-owned live-streaming juggernaut Twitch is about to launch. YouTube Gaming, a new video game-focused vertical announced earlier this summer, is expected to launch sometime Wednesday, according to the BBC.

The new website and app will better organize the massive amount of gaming content that already resides on YouTube. More than 25,000 titles will have dedicated pages that gather the best live streams and videos related to each individual game in one place. The site will also have its own dedicated search results, making it easier to find gaming-related content.

The main attraction, though, is likely to be the livestreams, which YouTube says will be front and center in the new app. The Google-owned video site has been beefing up its livestreaming capabilities this year by boosting streams to 60 frames per second and enabling smoother fast-forwarding.

Gaming has become a key part of the online video scene in recent years. YouTube’s most-followed star is PewDiePie, a twentysomething Swedish gamer who commentates over popular games as he plays them in a format known as “Let’s Play.” Meanwhile, Twitch has become the go-to among gaming fans looking to watch live action or recordings of particular matches. Google was reportedly interested in snapping up Twitch last year to fulfill its live-streaming needs, but Amazon bought the company for $970 million last August instead.

YouTube Gaming will be available in the U.S. and the U.K. when it launches.


After 30 Hours of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, I’m Nowhere Near Finished


... and I'm loving every minute of it

12 missions completed, 73 times spotted, 72 tactical takedowns, 215 neutralizations, 75 interrogations, 93 recruits added and 30 hours of play time total. That’s the dossier on my experience so far of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I’m still pretty far from the finish line, but 30 hours is a lot of time to spend with anything, and so I can say this much—not a moment of it has been less than thrilling.

What do any of those metrics mean? With 30 hours of nose-to-the-grindstone play, the game tells me I’ve completed around one fifth (19%) of the missions where the philosophically convoluted, drowning-in-acronyms story plays out. But that 19% isn’t counting the barrage of compulsive distractions Team Kojima fastballs at you, including: photo gathering, luring and extracting animals to safety, and a daunting barrage of “side ops” you’ll have to chip away at to accrue the resources and personnel necessary to shore up deficiencies (and advance the mainline missions) in The Phantom Pain‘s elaborate base building game. Taking everything into account, the game tells me I’ve completed a tiny 7% overall.

Am I just slow? Methodical I’ll cop to, but I finished the story in Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed Unity in less time. You can’t rush missions here, or slop your way through them. Even if you ignore the optional stuff, the physical space where the missions transpire is so vast, the dozens of enemies patrolling the areas so shrewd, and the penalties so severe if you lumber in guns-a-blazin’, that pulling off your primary objective can take hours, planning to execution to extraction. Whatever intimidated Kojima about Grand Theft Auto V a few years ago, The Phantom Pain is no less sprawling than Rockstar’s open-world opus.

But the label “open world” is all both games share. Rockstar’s expansive Los Angeles burlesque may look visually denser, but it feels brittler, an ocean of urban beauty that collapses if you want to do more than harass its vagabond citizens or play hide-and-seek with the cops.

The Phantom Pain takes the opposite tack, placing you on an offshore platform in the Indian Ocean, then letting you helicopter in to a craggy, population-zero rendition of Northern Kabul, Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war (circa 1984), and eventually prowl around a swathe of Africa’s Angola-Zaire border region. (I haven’t unlocked the latter area yet, but judging from the pack-in map, it’s just as big as the Afghanistan one.)

Imagine several village-sized nodes connected by roads surrounded by rocky hills you can’t go over, only around. That’s how The Phantom Pain keeps you semi-corralled. You can move between areas along these roads on horseback or in vehicles, bumping into military outposts and skirmishing with Soviet soldiers, but most missions involve picking a landing zone, surveilling the target area from afar (to mark enemies on your map), then executing whatever tactical approach you care to.

All that between-space is there to provide a semblance of openness, in other words, but almost all of the action transpires in the map’s labeled spaces, be they outposts, occupied villages, or repurposed ruins. That’s a good thing, because it’s also a focus thing: everything I was talking about taking hours to complete above takes place in those spaces.

The stealth stuff isn’t new, let’s be clear about that. You’re still doing the same basic thing you’ve been doing for decades in these games, sneaking around enemy haunts or in conflict zones, trying to creep up behind and dispatch your foes (ideally, as always, by knocking them out, not killing them). It’s just never been attempted on anything like this scale, or when it comes to your opponents, with this much behavioral granularity. The Phantom Pain has some of the brightest, meaningfully collaborative, and thus relentlessly hostile opponents I’ve ever battled.

Yes, much of it is iterative, and we caught a glimpse of some of those iterations in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. It’s also not trying to be ultra-realistic. Metal Gear Solid games have their own kinetic peculiarities. This isn’t stealth à la Splinter Cell‘s sinuous slinking, or Assassin’s Creed frenetic parkour. The protagonist still crouches, gracelessly sprints and clumsily belly-crawls just as he has in The Phantom Pain‘s predecessors for decades.

But some of the changes feel monumental in how they impact the design. Interrogating enemies can produce intel on both items or personnel of interest, as well as the positions of other soldiers. Day and night cycles prompt different patrol patterns and change the places guards tend to hangout. Sandstorms roll in suddenly, turning dangerously open space into advancement opportunities or escape routes. Tech upgrades eventually let you suss the abilities of potentially employable enemy soldiers, turning battlescapes into talent-scouting exercises. And as promised, the game tries to frustrate your tactical habits by adding little wrinkles, like putting helmets on enemies in subsequent missions if you’re fond of headshots. (Word of your activities gets around, and you’ll even pick some of that up in overheard soldier-to-soldier confabs as time passes.)

All that adds up to an anthill I can’t stop poking. And that’s without saying a word about the base-building game, a vast (and at my 30 hour mark, only getting vaster) resource bulwark you have to ply to manufacture better weapons, intel scopes, mobile communications devices, balloon extraction systems, bionic limbs, camouflage duds, horse armor, helicopter armament and more. Even camo-boxes, a longtime series joke, have their own upgrade paths.

If I had to grade it now, 30 hours in, with 80% of the story yet to come, most of the equipment still locked away, my base still a nascent thing, and only a handful of the side missions complete, I’d give The Phantom Pain full marks, easy. But if you want to see whether another 30 or more hours changes my mind, I’ll be back with a full review before the game launches Sept. 1.



TIME Video Games

Watch Chatroulette Users Play This Real-Life First-Person Shooter Game

Random video chatters were invited to fend off zombies in the homemade set

British independent film company Realm Pictures unveiled on Thursday a short video of its elaborate, unique project: a homemade, real-life first-person shooter game—that operates on Chatroulette.

Using special cameras to live stream the game’s ornately built zombie set, Realm Pictures then invited a handful of users on the webcam-conversation site to play in real-time. “Rather than just prerecording something that looks like a first-person [shooter game], we thought we’d actually include the most important element there—which is the player,” explains creative director David M Reynolds in a behind-the-scenes video. “We thought, maybe we could take that video and stream it live to strangers on the Internet. Whatever we say, we will then do.”

TIME Mental Health/Psychology

Violent Video Games Are Linked to Aggression, Study Says

Getty Images

But there's not enough evidence to suggest they are linked to criminal behavior

Violent video games are linked to more aggressive behaviors among players, according to a new review of research.

The debate over whether violent video games are linked to violent behavior has long been contentious. Some argue there is little evidence connecting the two, while others say that lots of exposure over time causes young people to react more aggressively compared to kids who do not play video games. Now the American Psychological Association (APA) has joined the debate, arguing in a research review that playing violent games is linked to aggression, but that there’s insufficient evidence to link the games to actual criminal violence.

MORE: Everything You Know About Boys and Video Games Is Wrong

In a report published Aug. 13, an APA task force reviewed more than 100 studies on violent video game use published between 2005 and 2013. They concluded that playing video games can increase aggressive behavior and thoughts, while lessening empathy and sensitivity toward aggression. The task force also concluded that although some studies suggested links to criminal violence and neurological changes, there wasn’t enough evidence to determine a connection.

“Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence,” said task force chair Mark Appelbaum in a statement. “However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field.”

The APA says that there’s no single factor that can drive someone toward violence or aggression, but that violent video games could be classified as one risk factor. The agency is calling upon the video game industry to increase parental controls over violence exposure in the games.

TIME Video Games

How to Stream Crazy-High Xbox One Graphics to Windows 10


The visual improvements are significant, but is it smooth enough for primetime?

If you own an Xbox One and Windows 10, you can stream Xbox One games to your Windows 10 PC, this much we knew. But an intrepid Reddit user just discovered there’s something Microsoft’s not showing us: namely, a sequestered “very high” quality streaming option, for those with fast enough home networks. I just verified this works myself, and it’s a snap to implement, but fair warning your mileage is going to vary.

Before we get to any of that, here’s how to enable the setting:

  1. Ensure you’ve connected your Xbox One to your Windows 10 machine and test-driven a streaming session (if you haven’t, the file you’ll need to modify won’t exist)
  2. Close the Xbox App on Windows 10
  3. Navigate to the following directory (copy/paste the following in File Explorer): C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Packages\
  4. Open the long name folder that begins “Microsoft.XboxApp”
  5. Open the folder “LocalState”
  6. Use Notepad to open the file “userconsoledata” (right-click, choose “Open With”)
  7. Find the tag “IsInternalPreview” and change it from “false” to “true”
  8. Save the file
  9. Open the Xbox App on Windows 10, and once you have a streaming session going, click the upper right broadcast settings button and select “Very High”

Back to performance. By default, Microsoft sets Xbox-to-Windows-10 streaming quality at “Medium.” They also include a “Total Bandwidth” view that puts streaming metrics at your fingertips (you can enable it by clicking the icon left of the broadcast settings button).

On my system, just sitting at the Xbox One’s menu screen doing nothing on “Medium,” I can zip left or right through Metro’s tiles with virtually no audio or visual stuttering. My average bandwidth at this setting clocks 1-2 mbps, and quick shifting bumps my max up to 14 mbps, though we’re talking quick, manageable spikes.

Hopping into a Destiny session, visiting the tower hub, knocks my average bandwidth up to 6 mbps (though the max stays at 14 mbps). The visual quality at “Medium,” needless to say, is pretty much as advertised: middling quality, with distant details visibly blurry and a refocusing effect that kicks in each time you twist the camera. Even with your network performing optimally, the visuals look like they’re being upscaled from a significantly lower resolution.

Upshifting to “Very High,” by contrast, appears to offer native 1080p streaming. The Xbox One menu looks pristine at this level, and feels nearly as responsive as in “Medium” mode. My average bandwidth at this setting was slightly higher, about 2-3 mbps, with quick shifting bumping the max up to over 20 mbps, but still completely usable.

On “Very High,” Destiny appears to be visually near-flawless when stationary, though the average bandwidth leapt to 10-11 mbps (I still saw no spikes above 14 mbps during my brief test in the tower). That said, at those speeds, on my otherwise quiet 802.11n home network, once you start moving around you get into trouble. The audio cuts in and out frequently, and the visual feed drops too many frames—the curse of every game streaming service I’ve used, ever, from OnLive to Gaikai to PlayStation Now (it’s why, being enough of a visual snob to care about native graphics and smooth frame rates, I won’t stream games).

In summary then, it’s probably not worth the effort, save as a kind of visual curio—something to fiddle with while we wait for Microsoft to confirm and deliver what everyone’s really after: streaming PC games to the Xbox One.

TIME Video Games

Here Are The Drugs You Can’t Use in Professional Gaming

The ban is effective immediately

The Electronic Sports League (ESL) on Wednesday revealed the full list of drugs it will ban for gaming competitions .

“As the world’s largest and oldest esports organization, ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding both the integrity of our competitions and that of esports as a whole—we wish to ensure we can provide a fair playing field for all participating players,” Ella McConnell, senior editor of ESLGaming, wrote in a statement.

ESL is working with the World Anti-Doping Agency to choose which drugs are prohibited. The current list includes everything from cocaine to steroids to ADHD medication Adderall. Those with legitimate medical reasons for taking Adderall will need proof from a physician.

This follows the ESL’s announcement last month that professional gamers would be tested for performance enhancing drugs, after one player confessed to using the ADHD medication to gain an advantage. As the ESL becomes increasingly popular and prizes get larger, “temptation of rule-breaking [becomes] even greater,” McConnell wrote.

Testing will begin for the first time at the ESL One Cologne this August via skin tests.


One of the Best Video Games of the ’90s Is Getting a Remake

No timing on a launch date, yet

Resident Evil 2, the classic survivalist horror video game, is making a comeback, Capcom announced Wednesday.

The details are hazy at this point, but the remake is being led by Yoshiaki Hirabayashi under Capcom’s R&D Division 1. Hirabayashi also headed up Capcom’s relaunch of original Resident Evil, which came out this year.

Capcom made the announcement in a video on its website.

“Fans have been asking for an RE2 remake for years now, and we’re happy to finally confirm one is coming,” the company wrote in the blog announcement. “However, as [Hirabayashi] mentions in the video, you’re learning this news practically as fast as it happens, so further updates may take some time. Game development is a long process and the team wants to deliver a remake that lives up to expectations.”

Watch the full video here:

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