Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review
Hideo Kojima’s final game with Konami, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain if one of the best experiences I’ve ever encountered in any medium of entertainment and should be played by any gamer. Having the freedom to roam around and gather intel to attack enemy camps gives me such a satisfying feeling every time. Finding higher ground is necessary to spot enemies in each camp and sneak past them to reach your goal, which is much easier to do during a sandstorm or when being cloaked in the darkness of night. The main goals of infiltrating these camps can be to destroy enemy communications, capture an enemy with high stats (more on that later), rescue a POW, or even to rescue a stray sheep in need. With so many different objectives to complete and routes to choose from the game never feels repetitive. The game also gives you the freedom to kill anyone or go about the game as stealthy as possible making every mission unique, something many games lately have been struggling with. Every action that Big Boss does flows into one another and it’s important that they do because you will need to utilize every action in Big Boss’ arsenal to survive enemy fortresses. Big Boss also has the support from anybody at mother base at any time so you can call in for air strikes or supply drops whenever you wish. On top of that, you can have a “buddy” with you on the field and you can choose which ally best fits your style of play as each buddy has a unique ability on the field (I recommend using D-Dog as he can spot enemies for you).
Peace Walker’s mother base game play returns and it’s no longer a hassle! At mother base you handle different team units with specialties, which range from Medical, R&D, Intel, etc. All these give your mother base stats to allow you to choose what weapons, items, and tools are produced. To utilize the heavy duty guns like RPG’s you need a much higher level in R&D unlike a hand gun which requires a lower level. Your levels grow corresponding to the enemy soldiers that you kidnap from enemy bases. Every individual enemy can be captured and they all have different stats and occasionally you will discover an enemy soldier with a special ability. For example, I had to capture an enemy soldier because he was a translator and another because he specialized in explosives, which boosted my R&D level and gave me the ability to produce explosives. Your unit’s levels are not all that is dependent on building new weapons, you must also gather resources on the field to help with the process in developing nearly anything, making you explore a must if you want to play with the many guns that you can develop. Having the ability to travel to mother base and run around is so satisfying every time because you get to see firsthand all the things you’ve worked so hard to build. All of the staff that you’ve gone out of your way to hire will run around the base randomly and all of them have their own unique interactions so going for strolls is encouraged and even recommended, especially when there are hidden cameos to discover.
The game kicks off after Big Boss’ 9 year coma and saying anything that occurs afterwards will be creeping up on spoilers. Just know that if you’ve enjoyed the wacky over the top action from previous entries you will feel right at home with TPP as Kojima does not disappoint; however, the way he makes the story progress is much different than before. Cut scenes are nearly non-existent and the story takes precedence within the many cassette tapes that are collected throughout the game (similar to codec calls). I enjoyed this new format for the series as I can choose when and where to listen to the cassettes instead of being called every couple of minutes like the series has done before. I tend to do my recon work on the field as I listen to the tapes allowing me to multitask instead of sitting down watching an hour long cut scene, which isn’t a bad way either but this way is much more convenient.
*You DO NOT NEED to know the story up to the point where The Phantom Pain begins as the game gives you back story within the game.*
The game’s aesthetics look beautiful and the game’s score is just as good. The game’s artists and sound composers out did themselves for one last hurrah. I never thought a desert could ever looks so fantastic but I was proven wrong with this year’s Mad Max Fury Road and Metal Gear Solid V. Not only are the visuals outstanding but the frame rate is a consistent 60 fps and I never noticed a single dip including during a fire fight that I was in with enemies shooting mortars at me and having my attack helicopter backing me up during a sandstorm.
*Kojima’s sense of humor and love of women is still present.*
If you haven’t had the opportunity to play MGSV yet, do so immediately. Kojima has created one of the best games of all time with his latest release and it hurts to see him depart from Konami but hopefully he continues on with developing games as he is only getting better with age.