Directed and written by Hideo Kojima, 'Metal Gear Solid V' returns with a short offering that's heavy on gorgeous gameplay.

Review: 'Metal Gear Solid V' Is Short On Adventure, But Boasts Superb Attention To Detail

By now, gamers have had a chance to dive into the world of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, which is only a fraction of what Hideo Kojima has planned for tech-noir stealth fans.

When the game was revealed during E3 last year, fans of the popular series went absolutely insane over the news. Not only did it look next-gen, it would mark the first time that Snake (also known as Big Boss) would venture into the open-world sandbox territory. With the title now available for purchase and digital download, we are only left with Ground Zeroes to play, as The Phantom Pain is no longer on the 2014 release calendar. But, as you'll note when you get hands on the game, it is only a brief at look at what's to come.

Konami's Ground Zeroes serves as a prologue to The Phantom Pain, and is priced at $30 for next-gen consoles, $20 for last-gen. The military tactical espionage series finds Snake, voiced by 24 star Kiefer Sutherland, attempting to infiltrate an American black site on Cuban soil called Camp Omega. His mission is to rescue Cipher agent Paz Ortega Andrade and Sandinista child soldier Ricardo "Chico" Valenciano Libre. Taking place after Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, players are introduced to some new elements of gameplay such as the removal of the ever-present radar in favor of marking enemies, and a slow-motion event to take out whoever spots Snake.

The game also offers new and exciting ways of stealthily traveling around the mission, as well as the choice in what order the story events take place by selecting missions in any order the player wishes. This, in part, is due to the wonderfully named Fox Engine, which was designed specifically for Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. The more you play, the more you witness why Hideo Kojima and his production company worked so hard at giving us such goodies. The engine offers players a chance to see Snake in a realistically new light. Armed with an iDroid, players are able to keep up with what goes on around them without needing to pause gameplay. The gun controls are much easier than in previous incarnations, as there is a soft lock that targets enemies and help players to fight their way out of trouble. All in all, the gameplay in Ground Zeroes is tighter, more fluid, and packed full of different approaches that will be enjoyed by those who like varying play-styles.

A detracting mark for Ground Zeroes does come with the price tag, as it offers not a lot of meat in terms of story. The hefty price tag for next-gen fans may seem like a bargain, but with such a short run-through, the lack of a larger narrative may turn off certain gamers. Apart from the two epic cut scenes at the beginning and end of the game, Ground Zeroes doesn't take that much time to complete, clocking in at five-to-eight hours of gameplay (depending on one's skill level). The other down mark is, sad enough to say, the lacking presence of David Hayter as Snake. Sure, Kiefer Sutherland adds some Hollywood star recognition to the project, but in those lengthy moments Sutherland doesn't really kick as the lead in Hideo Kojima's next-gen offering.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is more impressive, responsive, and explicitly inspired by Guantánamo Bay. With a new setting and an open world narrative, Kojima shares his thoughts on war, morality and the necessities of conflict — backed by the powerful Fox Engine. Players will enjoy the rich detail and freedom to play to their strengths. Upon completing the main two missions, players are welcomed to try their hand at the numerous other side missions that offer extra insight to the characters they'll face in The Phantom Pain. This is arguably Hideo Kojima's most exceptional and meticulously designed interactive experience to date. There are moments during replay that feel like something epically is missing throughout the game, but it doesn't stop this from being an enjoyable taster for Metal Gear Solid fans.

Don't believe us?! Well, you can watch the trailer for yourself below:

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is available now for purchase and digital download for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

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Malcolm X’s Assassination To Be Reinvestigated After Docuseries Raises Questions

A documentary on Malcolm X’s assassination has prompted authorities to reexamine the case. In Who Killed Malcolm X? historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad explores the many questions surrounding the death of one of history’s most pivotal figures. The six-part series originally aired on Fusion but has been gaining popularity since appearing on Netflix.

This February will mark the 55-year anniversary of Malcolm’s murder. The former Nation of Islam leader, who left the organization and changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was gunned down inside Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965. Three members of the NOI, Mujahid Abdul Halim, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam, were convicted for the murder and sentenced to life in prison.

As noted by the Innocence Project, Aziz and Islam always maintained their innocence, while Halim confessed to partaking in the fatal shooting. In 1966, Halim testified that Aziz and Islam had “nothing to do” with the murder. In 1978, Halim identified four other men as co-conspirators. His confession was supported by FBI documents obtained by civil rights lawyer William Kunstler. Prosecutors in the original trial claimed to have been unaware of the documents and New York State Supreme Court Judge Harold Rothwax ultimately rejected a motion to vacate Aziz and Islam’s convictions. Rothwax died in 1997.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has since met with representatives from the Innocence Project “and associated counsel regarding the matter,” a spokesperson for the DA’s office said in an emailed statement, per NPR.

Although Islam died in 2009, Aziz, now 81, continues to fight to clear his name. He was freed on parole in 1985. The Innocence Project joined forces with civil rights attorney David Shanies to re-investigate Azis’s conviction. “We are grateful that District Attorney Vance quickly agreed to conduct a review of the conviction of Muhammad Aziz. Given the historical importance of this case and the fact that our client is 81 years old, we are especially encouraged that Mr. Vance has assigned two highly respected prosecutors, Peter Casolaro and Charles King, to work on this re-investigation,” the Innocence Project and Shanies said in a joint statement. “We look forward to working cooperatively with them to see that justice is done.”

Casolaro worked on the case of the Exonerated Five and King is a member of the Conviction Integrity Program of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

As noted by the Innocence Project, there was no physical evidence linking Aziz or Islam to Malcolm’s murder. In fact, Aziz wasn’t even at the venue. The day of the murder, Aziz had returned home after being treated for a leg injury. He heard about Malcolm's assassination while listening to the radio that day, and has doctors and witnesses, to corroborate his story.

Watch the trailer for Who Killed Malcolm X? below.

 

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Ava DuVernay Named Director Of Nipsey Hussle Documentary For Netflix

Ava DuVernay's next cinematic feat will center on a hometown legend. According to Deadline, the acclaimed director will lead a documentary on Nipsey Hussle for streaming giant Netflix.

The announcement was made on Monday (Feb. 10), two weeks since DuVernay presented a musical tribute to the late rapper at the 52nd annual Grammy Awards. Hussle won two gramophones that evening: Best Rap Performance and Best Rap/Sung Performance.

In tribute to his birthday on August 15, the Emmy-award winning director shared a message on Twitter that expressed her gratitude for the interactions they had. "Grateful that he existed. Grateful we walked this vast earth at the same time," she wrote. "In the same city. Grateful that our paths crossed. Grateful for the work and wisdom he gave us."

For Nipsey. Ermias. Son. Brother. Partner. Friend. Artist. Champion. Grateful that he existed. Grateful we walked this vast earth at the same time. In the same city. Grateful that our paths crossed. Grateful for the work and wisdom he gave us. We miss you. Happy Birthday, Nip. xo pic.twitter.com/cNEZHUhiao

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) August 15, 2019

On March 31, 2019, Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was fatally shot outside of his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles. His death rattled various communities and prompted supporters and new fans to take a look back at this trajectory within music and entrepreneurship.

According to Billboard, other streaming services in the mix included Apple and Amazon. Alongside Hussle's family, the entrepreneur's Marathon Films will also helm production duties.

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Eminem performs onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 09, 2020 in Hollywood, California.
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Eminem Performed "Lose Yourself" At The Oscars And Everyone Was Confused

When it comes to soundtrack songs, it doesn't get anymore classic than Eminem's "Lose Yourself." The song from the film 8 Mile was a huge hit, even by Eminem's superstar standards: it was his first Billboard Hot 100 single, stayed there for 12 weeks in a row, and was the first hip-hop song to win the Academy Awards' Best Original Song. After making history 17 years ago, Eminem surprised Oscars viewers with an unannounced performance of the song on Sunday (Feb. 9).

The performance was preceded by a speech that saw Lin Manuel Miranda paying homage to "examples where a song has transformed a film, and where a film has transformed a song." A montage showed clips from Risky Business, Hustle & Flow, Purple Rain and more, before ending with a clip from 8 Mile that showed Eminem's character B. Rabbit pulling up in his car and walking toward the hallway before the film's climactic final battle. Then, to viewers' surprise, Eminem took the stage to perform "Lose Yourself" with a live band.

The performance took social media off-guard – the song "Lose Yourself" or the award ceremony that gave the award aren't celebrating any particular anniversaries, and Eminem wasn't announced to appearing at the show. But that didn't stop Em from giving a pinpoint performance of the song – which is largely seen as the best in his career – or from members of the audience from singing along.

EMINEM AT THE #OSCARS 🤯pic.twitter.com/enMWCOsWif

— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) February 10, 2020

After the performance, Eminem posted a video from the 2003 Academy Awards that saw Bette Midler announcing "Lose Yourself" as the winner for Best Original Song; Eminem didn't show up to the ceremony that year, so collaborator Luis Resto accepted the award in his place. "Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity... Thanks for having me @theacademy," Eminem captioned the photo. "Sorry it took me 18 years to get here."

 

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Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity... Thanks for having me @theacademy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here.

A post shared by Marshall Mathers (@eminem) on Feb 9, 2020 at 6:39pm PST

Eminem also posted a photo with musical target-turned-friend Elton John, who took home an Oscar himself that night for his and songwriter Bernie Taupin's "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again," from the film Rocketman.

 

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I got to see my Uncle Elton tonight at the Oscars. Congrats on your win too, Sir! @eltonjohn

A post shared by Marshall Mathers (@eminem) on Feb 9, 2020 at 9:07pm PST

Eminem released his new surprise album, Music To Be Murdered By, in January.

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