Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain Game Review

“… [F]rom hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee.” – Captain Ahab from Moby Dick

 

As you know by now, MGSV:PP is a stealth action game from Konami aka FckKonami. It was created by god’s gift to humanity Hideo Kojima. The game was released fro PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC. I’ve played the PS4 version as well as the PC version. The game was released in September of 2015.

 

Characters

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Venom Snake is the protagonist this time around. After the event of Ground Zeroes, Venom Snake has been in coma for 9 years, and is woken up to take revenge on Skull Face for destroying his base.

 

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Revolver Ocelot returns, but this time as an ally to Venom Snake. You know how he is, he is like quintuple agent. He is mostly here to be the moral center, I know, it’s ironic.

 

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Skull Face returns as the main antagonist, but now has a mask… to hide his identity? He has this grand plan of eliminating people and that is about it for him.

 

Gameplay

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The gameplay is almost identical to that of Ground Zeroes, because you know, they were suppose to be one game. You still have to manually mark each enemies, you still have reflex mode, and you can have your ways these poor bastards.

 

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But there are A LOT of new stuff. If you’ve played Peace Walker, you know how building the Mother Base goes, well same thing here. You go around and knock out enemy soldiers, fulton them to base and they will work for you. More of them you have, more soldiers you can send to missions for more money, faster they develop weapons and upgrade, and more support you can get. You can also fulton vehicles and large shipping containers for more resources.

 

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The biggest change is probably the buddy system. Unlike the previous game, expect Peace Walker, you can start missions with a buddy, you have 4 choices: D-Horse, D-Dog, Quiet, and Walker Gear. Among them, my favorites are D-Dog and Quiet. Buddies are there to make support Snake. D-Horse is a horse = faster mobility, also he can create distrtactions, by that I mean D-Horse can poop on command. D-Dog has sense beyond human abilities and is willing to share the data with you, aka radar. Quiet has similar ability but less powerful radar, but to make up for it, she has sniper rifle. You can look at a target and tell her to shoot that target, you can tell to go on ahead and start scouting, you can tell to just start firing at will when things go south. Walker Gear is a mini mech you can ride and also has weapons on it.

 

Story

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The story picks up after 9 years since Ground Zeroes. After the events of Camp Omega, Big Boss has been in a coma, and kept hidden. Then he wakes up for revenge on Cipher and XOF.

This game is suppose to be the missing link between the stories of legendary Big Boss and the stories of legendary Solid Snake. Of how the greatest soldier in American history become the most threatening villain of the world.

 

the Bad

With all that said, the story of Phantom Pain is really weak. Most of the story scenes are actually in the trailers.

 

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There are a lot of missions, but most of them are similar to one another. It is usually go rescue this person, go attack this assault unit, go steal that. Sure they were fun, but after doing each of those things like 10+ times, it starts to get stale. Ground Zeroes, while shorter, had more variety to it than Phantom Pain did: contacting a double agent, rescue a man from like 20 tanks from a helicopter, recreate scenes from older game, fight aliens. And if you want to talk about even more missions, there is Peace Walker’s Date with Kaz, Date with Paz, ghost photographing, and hide and go seek, not to mention fighting dinosaurs and Gear Rex.

 

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The villains are not memorable at all. Skull Face is the most boring villain in Metal Gear franchise. He’s just kind of there and says goofy lines that are funny, but not in a good way. He is no Liquid. The Skulls are pretty forgettable as well. They are just like super powered zombie people…. yeah.

A lot of things felt forced and was not surprising. If you’ve seen the trailers and see a character and you think to yourself, “Is that person this character I know?”, then the answer is always YES. There are not many surprises here.

 

the Good

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Obviously, he graphics of this game are insane. The game runs on Fox Engine and it is freaking epic.

 

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The game gives you so many tools to infiltrate the enemy base. One of the weapon you can get is a water pistol, you can use this to put out enemy campfires, fry electrical equipment, and hold up enemies that think it is a real gun. There is a mecha hand that also acts as a rocket punch. There is a hand that can electrocute people. There is a helicopter equiped with speakers to blast music at enemies. There are so many ways to fck with your enemies.

 

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The game operates with a hidden difficulty setting. The more you get head shots, the more enemy soldiers start wearing helmets. If you like to infiltrate in the dark, they will start carrying flashlights. If you like to go in guns blazing, more of them will start to wear armors and carry shields. And to lower this difficulty, you can send your men to destroy enemy warehouses that store their helmets, flashlights, and so on.

 

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It is hilarious. Kidnapping enemies and animals are hilarious to watch. Bringing a water gun is just silly. Having a rocket punch is crazy. Having a fulton system that warps through space is ludicrous.

 

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This is for PC only, but like so many games, you can mod your games so that Ocelot is now Quiet. Or have Ocelot as D-Dog. Or replace all of the birds with Metal Gear. Or bring Kojima into action.

 

Verdict

  • Will I play this again? Yes, already have. As it is mission based, I’ve played several of the missions over and over again. With the AI getting tougher every time, it is very fresh each play.
  • Do I recommend it? Hell fcking YES. This gave me the best feeling playing a stealth game. You have so many things you can do in this game, so many ways to screw with a guy. This is a masterpiece in gameplay.

 

Final Thoughts

Gameplay wise its the best Metal Gear game. Story wise, it is easily the worst. Overall though, it is a damn solid game.

 

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This is a really sad game, not because its story is sad but how life imitates art. This is Kojima’s swan song with Konami and Metal Gear, this signifies end of an era, not just for this series but for all of gaming. This game represents how giving 30 years of your life for a company doesn’t make that company respect you. This is a story about how the the free soul is controlled by the system.

Like the Snakes being controlled by their puppeteers, Kojima was forced to work on projects he was no longer interested in, and now it is over. Like how Solid Snake left everything behind to start his own Philantropy, Kojima left Konami to start true Kojima Productions.

Hope you enjoyed this one!

Gihoon

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3 thoughts on “Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain Game Review

  1. It’s a shame the game ended up the way that it did because from a gameplay standpoint, it’s arguably the best the series had to offer. Unfortunately, when it comes to story, I think the writers made the common 2010s AAA error of writing in a way that accomplishes what needs to be done in the fewest steps possible, and the only reason many of the developments don’t come out of nowhere is because we already know the end results from installments set chronologically later. Granted, this was probably the result of executive meddling. In either case, it’s obvious the game wasn’t finished, and I was ultimately unable to give it a passing grade when I reviewed it myself. As a result, the game doesn’t really end as much as it comes to a screeching halt. As much as I don’t like to admit it, Metal Gear Solid V stands as my least favorite 3D installment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ironically, the story of Hideo Kojima is unfortunately similar to that of the Snakes. Fight for his organization, becomes their tool, rebels, and leaves the organization. And fortunately, like Solid, he started his own group. I loved the gameplay, but the story left so much out.

      Liked by 1 person

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