Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Review

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It’s been almost 30 years since the first Metal Gear which was running on the MSX was released. Three decades in which Hideo Kojima tried making this game better, bigger and with a cultural value that would last, a cultural value that could mold minds, make people exchange ideas and provoke discussions. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was supposed to be a magnum opus, the final piece, the game at whose end you would feel obligated to stand up and applaud, that’s what was promised, that’s what I hoped it would be. And until the massive scale of the game led to the dismissal of Kojima from Konami, that is what he also thought it would be.

The Phantom Pain series picks up the story from where it remained last time, which is Ground Zeroes, with Big Boss’s army in ruins, and the hero badly injured in the helicopter crash. Nine years since that incident, nine years of coma for our beloved Snake, while his enemies are expanding their plans. His awakening is accompanied by a series of very unpleasant events, with those enemies finding him very quickly and trying to kill him again. But Big Boss is Big Boss, so he manages to escape with a little help and returns to the remains of his army with a new mission, revenge. Along with Kaz Miller, Revolver Ocelot, a lot of other characters plus a wolf named DD he will scorch the earth in its path towards Cipher, towards victory, regardless of the consequences. Without a greater purpose, without just cause, just revenge.

Metal Gear 5 Revenge

Or at least that was promised to us. We may have to face the greatest act of trolling in the history of video games, a move seen only in titles like Desert Bus, because The Phantom Pain is an unfinished game. The story does not have an ending, it is the equivalent of running at full speed through a wall but instead of stopping when you hit it, you would just fall into an infinite abyss. The game is called The Phantom Pain, phantom pain is a term used to describe the phenomenon of feeling pain in a body part that has been amputated, this explains all the references to Moby Dick, and not only, the game manages to fulfill its purpose well, because in the end it leaves you in pain, cringing for the rest of the story, for the glory, for everything that you expected to see in this game.

But it is not because this was Kojima’s brilliant plan, but simply because The Phantom Pain is an unfinished game. It is so unfinished that final mission has to be viewed in a documentary that comes with the game, or on YouTube if you didn’t buy the game. It is so unfinished that it seems like it wants to raise discussion about certain topics, such as using children as soldiers, but then the idea goes nowhere, it simply gets lost along the game. One of the most controversial topics of the game is only superficially treated which is not great at all.

And then there is the tone of the game. Even though it should have been vengeance mission, where people become demons, legends become monsters, and you should often feel as if the story is about to send Snake and his pals on their road to hell, the game doesn’t manage to accomplish this. The only time the game feels the way it should have been is by the end of it, because of an unforeseen event, and not as a consequence of the fall of a hero in infamy. The sequence, however, is excellent. It’s the kind of experience that might make you get Spec Ops The Line, just to play something a little darker. But the way the footage is presented is just so sudden and it is filled with meaningless parts. But that’s nothing surprising, as a big part of the game is filled with such meaningless parts, which only emphasize the fact that there is something missing, like something was cut, a motivation, a fight, a character maybe.

And speaking of characters, they are very poorly utilized. On Mother Base you are supposed to have in the same place some of the most important individuals throughout the series, such as Revolver Ocelot, only you do not have, at any time, the possibility to interact with him, like ask him if he still meows, or how is it that in every episode of the series he is practically crazy, but here is so calm. The situation becomes extremely ridiculous when Quiet, a speech-impaired sniper, who’s only way to communicate is humming, even though she would have been equally able to write on a sheet of paper whatever her plans are or even use the Morse code. These kind of mental gymnastics through which you have to go in order to explain motivations and events will cause some dislocations.

Metal Gear 5 Gameplay

Most of the story feels seems to be a lot of stalling, with characters acting meaningless and senseless things happening. In a series of games well known for flooding it’s players with dialogue and hours of cinematics where two people talk or fight naked on top of a giant robot, we have a scene where Big Boss and his enemy get face to face, with the beautiful “Sins of the Father” melody playing in the background, and yet, nothing happens Snake barely says a word, while his opponent spends a lot of time just staring at him, and occasionally remembering to tell his plan, all of this happens with so many breaks that you have enough time to leave the room, take the garbage out, cook lunch and walk your dog then get back to this scene still playing. The game wastes so many opportunities like this one that it no longer resembles a Metal Gear Solid game.

However, there are certain aspects of The Phantom Pain that deserve to be praised. That extremely dark scene aforementioned is excellent, if that would have happened sooner, towards the beginning of the game, to provide a better tragic context it would have been perfect. If only they would have done that, from that point the game would had gone straight into a gorgeously created hell, it would have been something of which people would be talking constantly rather than wondering how they managed to put “nanomachines” in the game without ever calling them “nanomachines”.

Now about something more important, subtlety. Few contemporary games still apply this concept, but Metal Gear’s subtlety is definitely there. It is the actions of some, in the words of others, in the music and so on… that’s why when things happen without reason it gets even more annoying because it does nothing but trample everything that the game has built by that point. If the whole story would have kept the subtlety, it would have been like a Metal Gear Solid 2 that no one could hate, because it would have been perfect.

The game also suffers because of the translations and the cultural losses which appear in the transition from Japan to the rest of the world. Certain nuances are lost in this process, but those who have some knowledge of Japanese mythology, not just of David Bowie’s songs, can appreciate the storyline at a different level, as there are elements in the story strictly related to the Japanese culture, but this is just another thematic, a more covert one, that is going nowhere, just like most ideas of this game.

They could have done so many things regarding this aspect and that’s all because they fixed a huge problem that which it’s predecessors had. When you talk on the radio, the game does not stop anymore, those huge breaks right in the middle of the action are now gone, you are no longer required to just sit there and watch or listen when all you want is to stomp some bad guys. Now you can play while other characters speak to you, too bad the game does not ever hang on this “feature” as Snake is pretty much never talking, he’s almost as speech-impaired as Quiet.

Back to the story now, and just as I said before, it is incomplete, what was supposed to be three episodes is only two, that is a strong indicator of how incomplete the story is. But it gets even worse, the second act has only two relevant missions, besides that, there’s only rehearsal. Somehow, they manage to leave in the game some parts that should have been completely cut, such as the construction of a Battle Gear that you do not ever get to use. You are allowed to see how an incredible floating tank is being built, a tank that even has its own cinematics, a tank that comes with the promise of being unbeatable, and when it is finally ready, you get to know that you are not allowed to use it, all because the developer has decided that it would make the game too unbalanced. If so, why did they leave it here!?
If you were to put together every cinematic trailer released at E3, you would have the entire story of the game. There is nothing more to be seen in the actual game version. It really makes you wonder, when did Kojima exactly plan to release The Phantom Pain, if he had not been fired by Konami. Probably 2018.

Metal Gear Solid V Afghan

But even though the structure is somewhat shaky, and the story stumbles upon its own unbound shoelaces, Metal Gear Solid 5 excels in gameplay. What we have here fully functional open-world sneaking game. A true rarity, considering the fact the we found other series like Assassin’s Creed, as sneaking games up until now. You are no longer placed into narrow corridors, isolated military bases and such things, you now are in a massive world composed of two independent regions, each with several locations of the previous Metal Gear games size. The regions are not completely open, meaning that you are not really allowed to go wherever you want, there are some predefined paths to which the player is guided, especially when it comes to Afghanistan. Africa is a bit more accessible, less computer directed. Both environments will have their atmospheric effects that affect you in either a good or a bad way, and effectively affecting your chances of success. These locations will offer access to a whole bunch of missions, more specifically, around 50 primary missions and 100 secondary ones, totaling in tens of hours of gameplay. And then, we have the Mother Base, your own base that can expand with the resources that you collect on the battlefield, such as: soldiers, vehicles, equipment, stationary guns, pretty much anything you can use to you create your own army, which can then be sent on their own missions, where they will gather even more resources. All of this sounds like something exciting to play, and it mostly is.

Sneaking and fighting mechanics haven’t changed, the game sticks to those used in Ground Zeroes. It continues to be a successful modernization of the initial concept of the series. It may not be complete, meaning that pretty much everyone seems unable to smell and Snake doesn’t have to sneak around sleeping enemies, but anyway, there are enough other things to do in this game. It could have been more interesting if you’d encounter cameras more frequently, but I guess it’s hard to put a proper security system in the Persian ruins. Even though your enemies might be semi-blind, with very limited peripheral vision, they are not completely clueless and will struggle to make you a lot of problems. In larger numbers, they are dangerous, and when they are also well equipped with helmets and armor, they become a serious threat, especially if you play alone and you try using nonlethal methods. But no matter how well equipped they are, you’ll always find solutions because of the huge number of tools that Metal Gear Solid V puts at your disposal, which is staggering.

Metal Gear Solid 5 Equipment

You have dozens of weapons in each category, you have a large number of electronic devices, grenades, pills, costumes, and boxes that you can all use at will in order to fulfill your missions. A nice thing would have been their research going hand in hand with the actual game. And that only because of the micro-transactions that allow you to instantly build or research something, without them the waiting times are insane and not even Big Boss’s enchanted cigar can affect them. Imagine playing XCOM on fast forward but with the research remaining at the same pace as before, it would be terrible, and Konami knows this, so they encourage players to pay real money in order to skip over the waiting times.

The game puts very few restrictions on your options, even in missions. You want to kill the target which is 100 meters in front of you slamming her head a tank made of a helicopter, then you have to leave the scene safe? No problem! Want to watch two targets valuable that you can kill them, but prefer to extract, so they sleep on both, you crawl out, and laws balloons them to bring them to the base without drawing at any time the sheer attention defends its armed? It’s hard to do, just very possible! You want to use a punch-guided missiles to clean a room? You searched dozens of hours, but it’s possible! The flexibility of the system by stealth, mission structure, the way the AI works, and the variety of the arsenal, is excellent. Hence, even in mission, but from the mere succession through the desert, passing soldiers unwillingly, will remove up to 100 hours of play. Where you put that comes and peculiarities funniest of the series. You can slide downhill on the box, you can put posters to distract the enemy, you fall asleep someone throwing a box of ammunition in the head, and and what not. Chicca are those who always did a pleasure to play Metal Gear.

And as I said, you will not always go alone missions or world. You can take one companion, each with special properties. D-Horse, the horse is good for transport and caused traffic accidents. DD wolf can smell and detect enemies will mark them on the map. Also, being a wolf in the area, enemies will not give alarm if I see him … even if it is dressed in armor Kevlar and has glasses. Quiet, depending on the weapon that a team or can destroy an entire enemy base alone, or can destroy a whole database alone. Occasionally it will abandon to find a better position targeting, but mostly is able to cleanse away any does not mean boss. Because bosses tend to be very resistant and cheats. Quiet is part and a superb cinematic, reminiscent of the classic, action packed of the series, which looked like before The Matrix… it happens to be about the only game of its kind. Then you got D-Walker, small bipedal tank that appears in one of the clips from E3. It is mostly useless until they do an upgrade that gives an AI, and no longer just a vehicle. Then just mostly useless compared Quiet and DD.

Unfortunately, all is not perfect even in the game mechanics. Snake’s movement, first of all, is very imprecise, and the environment will exacerbate the problem. It’s just trying to figure out what you can climb rocks, and not to see what it is. Not to mention Wile E. Coyote-style moments that can happen on narrow surfaces, at high heights.

The Phantom Pain has inherited targeting problematic around grilles and railings, which have Ground Zeroes. Simply put, Snake knows he can put a gun barrel through the net, in addition to a metal bar or straight into the wall. In the campaign, you give mechanical problems with this rare, since everything occurs predominantly in the open. But in multiplayer, when everything is going just the bases full with railings and banisters, targeting fine becomes problematic.

Metal Gear Solid

But the real problems start when you get into gameplay Mother Base. Simply put, if you ever bothered to build a FOB for multiplayer, you’ll conclude that the entire base is unnecessarily large, and completely devoid of activity. Sure, you can strangle your employees that Big Boss never know how to greet them, they will tell you where the hidden diamonds (MGS 5, now Far Cry 2 at times), but apart from that, nothing. All you do there might be solved with automatic kinematics, which does not force you to go back to base and lowest slightest thing. The management interface is still very slow and poorly thought out space wasted on how long may they always have available. Sure, a base as impressive at first glance, is big, beautiful, has two hidden secrets can through it, but it is completely unnecessary level of gameplay. Normandy ship in Mass Effect is when the ship Normandy would have six kilometers long, and only two crew members, placed at opposite ends which however have nothing interesting to say.

The problems become painful when you get the game in the second chapter, a chapter has little content. If you feel that constant return to certain bases and locations of the first chapter got a little annoying with time, the second chapter leads everything to the extreme. More than half of the missions of this chapter are taken from the first, but a higher level of difficulty, and restrictions on equipment. Both. Not even change the story, you have the same cinematic. The recycled content in the table. Adding to that the fact that when you get to this point, secondary missions begin to breathe a little, do you suddenly realize that The Phantom Pain simply does not have that much to do in it.

In no case is Skyrim or any other open world game. Most of the hundred hours that you spend in the game will be times trying to go from corner to corner of the map or removed by the same mission tanks for the tenth time. Admittedly, at first it was great, when I saw the first time that armored and notes with surprise when, on a hill near a sniper guarding the tank. You were thinking then how great is the attention to detail was well thought out how this banal secondary mission, the guards also put side, hidden hac come to you if you approach the tank. That positive view was dissolved after the fourth iteration of the same mission.

What The Phantom Pain is good, certainly do well with a basic gameplay as solid as Ground Zeroes. But look at who must emulate content, unsatisfactory, leaves much to be desired for a game that was supposed to be the highlight of the series. You can easily finish the game without touching 50% completion, the rest is just filler, mostly unsatisfactory. However, the missions in the first chapter, the first infiltration into enemy bases and revisiting them with better equipment a second (not the seventh time), are some of the most wonderful experiences that you will find this year in a game. Too bad the rest of the content is not the same level of quality.

The multiplayer mode of Metal Gear Solid 5 comes in two versions. One is Metal Gear Online, where you can choose a character class and participate in competitive matches against other players. This version for PC will be available until next year. So until then, we are satisfied with how PvP intrusion. To enable it, you must first build a base of operations. This is essentially the Mother Base, but in another place. Initially you can build one, if you want more you have to pay real money. New Baza also lets you zoom your operation level by adding soldiers who no longer fit into Mother Base. Cam you need such a FOB, if you want to investigate everything, not only recruit high-ranking soldiers. But the second you built base, you become a target. Other players can enter your base can kidnap people I went there, and can steal the resources they collect extraction platform. You can do exactly the same thing to them.

Initially, it felt it would be a game in the style of the Watch Dogs, but it is not. On the one hand, sneaking into a base complete with soldiers armed to the teeth without resorting to lethal solutions which discourages game here anyway, can be extremely difficult. It is a very big challenge compared to many missions in the campaign. On the other, it appears opposing player, defending the base, is not a smooth transition. What we hope and what I could swear I saw a commented gameplay was the other player in basic appearance, and so. But not really matter what you’re during the invasion, because when your opponent has connected, probably snatched from the mission upset and trying to finish it (because these invasions can happen anytime), everything resets. You’re at your spawn point, not very well hidden in that place where he could spy on everyone, not three meters from the central chamber of the platform you’d be allowed to steal them instant all employees.

Metal Gear Solid 5

And when two players face, usually the one who cheated best 100 grenade charger for the gun, have the highest success. In some cases, you can have surprises, like an enemy dizzy you get up until you get to draw, just to take you and send you hands in the air. If you were the one who defend fix anything happen to you, because you can respawn. If you were an attacker, you lose.

As a temporary diversion goes. As a central mechanical, annoying too quickly would become the defense. Reason for the times you can play offline, or you can not build a FOB than when you finished the game, and you do not have anything else to do. And guaranteed you will not have anything interesting to do even after the first chapter.

You can not say that Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is the best looking game on the market, but if you were to look at each of his trailer, you see that in no time we were lied to. The game looks even better than his first presentations. Maybe not realistic textures that I saw in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, though similar methods were used to achieve them. Maybe models have at least version console, play sufficient problems with polygons as a headset to look round. Perhaps abuses lens flares here and there … that was apparently inserted the code for the first game ever made by Kojima. But what is undeniable is that the brightness of MGS 5 is great, and at sunset when it rains, looks almost as good as all those images of heavily modified versions of GTA 5. As a whole, the game looks great the characters are simply impeccable and not go crazy animations as much as I would expect, though enemies will occasionally synchronized movements.

Weapons, enemies and sound effects cries generally sounds very good. In any case the Battlefield, but we are dealing with a game that whispers are most important explosions. Voices are for the most part very well played but a small glitch. Kiefer Sutherland was probably paid per word, because only say three words per hour. On the one hand, it is good that we still have David Hayter asking “Metal Gear?” Ten times per minute, but fell from one extreme to another. Now the game seems as though it had little dialogue, and that the original voice of Snake was replaced in vain. Best of Kaz lines belong anyway.

The soundtrack of the game is divided into three elements. We orchestral music that can be overlooked. Nothing here has impact parts of the old games, there is no one piece that give you the creeps like that of Metal Gear Solid 2. Then we have songs with lyrics, Sins of the Father as a great song that is completely wasted . Quiet But there’s Theme, which is used exactly how and where to, for maximum effect. Finally, we found songs on tapes, parts and Rebel Yell ’80s Billy Idol or The Man Who Sold the World by David Bowie, but not in the original, but in a cover. I do not know if you come to believe, but even this minor detail is relevant to the story, again, that subtlety talking about.

If you sit and think well, The Phantom Pain cam is a Vice City in which you walk with the horse, a sort of GTA: Red Dead Redemption, combining elements of both games. Hideo Kojima It’s not like it has not expressed his admiration for the work of Rockstar.

Finally, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, is a monument to one man’s ambition and its failure. At every corner you see what could be but is not. See a flash of genius hidden under a pile of mud. But that spark can still shine like a scorching sun for several hours a day.

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