Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
I have loved the Metal Gear Solid Franchise and have played pretty much everyone to date. So it does excite me when a new one comes out, and this one was no different. The clips, screenshots and demos that I had seen for the game had only heightened my excitement to play it. The question was, did it live up to the expectations?
The first thing I am going to talk about is how good the game looks. The massive open world looks absolutely fantastic, and the effects that come with the world just make it that much better. Roaming through the deserts of Afghanistan and looking through your binoculars to mark-up targets and you can see the heat waves flow back and forth in front of your screen. Simply Stunning.
The worlds are massive and you have been given access to your own horse to make the trips across the land a lot more bearable, kind of like in The Witcher 3. I love this little added bonus to make journeys quicker, but the animation when you get into the horse I find is a bit too much and can be a bit disorientating.
This is a completely different style of Metal Gear to what the previous ones have been like. It’s not your standard mission to mission job, although you can do that, but in this game you have a Mother Base to look after as well as online features such as leader boards etc.
The Mother Base is your home, its where you can send people you’ve rescued or captured on missions to work for you and help you out during missions. The more people you recruit though the more space you are going to need, and this is where you can build extra platforms and facilities such as Research and Development, Intel, Support etc.
As you can probably guess, R&D helps develop weapons and gadgets to use on missions, Intel helps with… Intel on missions and Support helps with response times for getting to Big Boss. The higher the levels for each of these areas the better they are in terms of weapons created, support gain and Intel provided.
The beauty with Mother Base, the people you recruit, you have to manage effectively. Everyone has their own strengths to play to and you have to put them in the right areas, so you have to make sure that someone who maybe ranked a B for R&D isn’t put in Intel where they may be classed as an E. That’s not going to work out! So as you can imagine careful planning it needed.
Having to or being able to recruit for Mother Base has kind of changed how I would set out in these type of games when going through them. Normally, if I was to sneak up on a guard, then BAM… They would be dead, but now I’m finding myself wither tranquillizing them or knocking them out and sending them off to join my ranks. Which can make a very big difference in terms of stealth play, as I would probably just leave the bodies lying there and deal with the consequences later when someone found it, but now I’m shooting them off in a balloon and there’s nothing left for anyone to find.
There are 2 distinctive ways in which you can play this game, and I mentioned something similar in my Dishonored review. This game can be played 2 ways, Stealth or you can go into the missions all guns blazing. I have to admit, as I’ve been playing through I have mixed it up a bit in terms of style, playing some parts stealth and quietly working my way through, where there may be some other parts in the mission where I have been going all guns blazing.
But that’s the beauty of the game, you can play this to your strengths, the areas are so large that you can take up a good vantage point, use your binoculars and work out the best way of getting to your goal. While all at the same time marking up guards and weapons that are around the base, and this all helps when preparing your route and how you’re going to take the mission on.
An example for me would be, worked out how I was going to get to the hostage, however said hostage was surrounded by 4 guards. I worked out my route (sometimes I took several go’s to find out which was the best) and made my way there, I then had to plan how I was going to take the 4 guards out quickly and quietly, as I had stealth’d my way through the level to get to them, and I didn’t want to alert the others. Easier was to be seen, have to time slow down motion and as quickly as I could stun all 4 with sleeping darts… Totally James Bond esq… I felt good after this as well…
One thing that is good as well is when you’re selecting a mission you can pick the time of day that you are going to do it. So you can choose from ASAP, 0600 and 1800, which is good because if you feel that the mission is best played in the dark of night you can land at 1800 and it won’t take long for it to get dark.
Each option has their pluses and negatives. At night, you are more stealth and harder to see, but that works both ways, it’s harder for you to see enemies etc at night as well, and day time landings are exactly the same, you can see enemies, but that also means that you can be seen clearly as well. So there’s always little details to think about.
There’s also loot around the world to collect from Medicinal plants to processed materials. All play a big role back at Mother Base, as the materials can be used to help construct and expand Mother Base as well as help with R&D while plants can be used as poisons and health medicines.
I have to admit, I haven’t had all sunshine and lollipops from the game, I have come across a few frame rate issued, which have caused movement difficulties and general stuttering. Some have been worse than others, but generally it hasn’t been too often that it has happened. Wouldn’t say it was a deal breaker in terms of getting the game.
Overall I think is an absolutely fantastic and beautiful game, its brilliant to play and has many options that will have you coming back for more, as well as maybe replaying some of the missions.
I’m going to give this a solid 9.