“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” satisfies long-anticipating gamer

By Franklin Mejia, Staff Writer

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A screen shot of the game in the lush and realistically forest setting

Metal Gear Solid V : The Phantom Pain is one of the games I added to my video game bucket list way back in January. To quickly summarize it was definitely worth the wait. It’s fun, engaging and a must play for any metal gear solid fan or any gamer really.

Before jumping in however, I strongly recommend playing Ground Zeroes. (Borrow it if you don’t have it, otherwise you’ll pay $60 for an over-glorified demo).

Having played Ground Zeroes I was excited to see where the story was headed and how it would eventually bridge the gap between the story from then, all the way up to the original installment, Metal Gear. I am not going to include anything else story-wise, other than you play as Big Boss, one of the series’ titular characters, after he wakes up 9 years out of a coma and it’s your job to re-establish what you had going in Peace Walker, another installment in the series. The story is full of short, thrilling cut scenes and short radio conversations which can now be listened to while playing the game (a huge timesaver, thank you Kojima). The game itself has a very harsh realistic feel, until series creator, Hideo Kojima, starts to throw in his usual brand of random that will either confuse you or scare your life out of you. 

Gameplay-wise, all I can say is that I have no words that will do it justice. MGS4 brought the formula for fluid movement to near perfection and with this installment, it’s perfect. Every transition between crouch and prone and standing looks realistic and feels great.  Boss reacts to his surroundings perfectly in ways such as seeking cover when close to a wall or slowing his breathing when hiding from enemies in grass. Additionally, each weapon feels unique enough that you can play each mission with a semi-varied feel depending on your load out. You now accept missions from your air command base (which is just a helicopter), to which you will pick a landing spot and start your objectives. Most times when you start a mission you will unlock side missions available on the map which are very useful for that extra bit of cash. Be warned if you finish your mission and don’t leave the map by helicopter you run risk of running into another main mission with limited supplies. However, you can just call in for more supplies.

Anybody who has played Peace Walker will feel right at home with the Mother Base operations. You assign soldiers to different departments and reap multiple benefits from each one. Occasionally you can return to Mother Base to raise morale for the troops which actually leads to some pretty hilarious moments. If you punch a soldier in the face in Mother Base he actually thanks you. (So finding this hilarious I systematically started punching each and every soldier on my base. Lets just say they were very grateful by the end of it and morale was through the roof however I had decided I needed smarter staff and headed back to the field.)  This leads me to the fulton recovery system which again anyone familiar with Peace Walker will remember this item. Basically it is a mega balloon that planes can pick up. You can attach it to almost everything over time. You kidnap soldiers and animals, containers, Jeeps, Turrets etc.. One last feature of gameplay are your buddies. It starts as just your horse, which is essentially the best mode of transport ever. You also get the unnecessarily naked Quiet (yes that is her name and yes she is overly sexualized but oh well, what can you do) and your lovable dog is the final buddy. You will die protecting that dog as your love for him will have no limit, I promise you that. Each has their own benefits but I’ll omit it to avoid spoilers. 

As for presentation, it is a graphically beautiful game, hands down one of the prettiest games of the year with little to no load times or rendering issues. Words aren’t enough to explain its splendor; the greens are lush, the deserts are barren, and everything else just feels real. Playing this game first-hand is required to fully understand how well designed it is. 

The only draw back to this game is that towards the end-game, things can feel a tad repetitive, but this is easily remediable if you constantly change your load-out.

If you want a well-designed, third-person thriller/stealth game, then look no further. Kojima and Crew really went all out to re-do all the mechanics and it just feels perfect.