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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PC) artwork

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PC) review


"If you are looking for a solid stealth game, this is for you."


You’re probably hesitating to buy The Phantom Pain because you heard of the controversies regarding it. No doubt you have heard it's unfinished, lacks story and it's feels Nothing-like-Metal-Gear. While some of that is true, it may be that the people bashing this game's design never played Portable Ops or Peace Walker. This title's gameplay is largely based on those games. They are labeled "Tactical Espionage Operations" while the previous Main titles were labeled "Tactical Espionage Action".

So, you are Venom Snake, woken up from his 9 years coma to get his revenge from the villain Skull Face who destroyed the protagonist’s Base during Ground Zero’s story. You have an Army and a Base to expand, upgrade and operate military operations at your commands. In your missions, you gather soldiers to join your army, when convinced, resources and money to build more platforms and unlock TONS of weapons, items, uniforms/suits and technologies for development.

The gameplay is extremely fluid and absolutely the best in the Stealth category. Nothing you can't do! You can blow up bases, burn soldiers, call an airstrike, gas outposts, change weather or order a sandstorm to assist you. And that's not all, if you want to change your weapons, you don't have to finish the mission or restart all over. Simply call the helicopter to drop weapons, uniforms, items or anything to you. You are out of ammo? No worry, let them drop you more ammo. Oh and I forgot you can order cars and many types of tanks to drive!

Next, you can choose a buddy assistant. You have a horse that can poop to stop cars and soldiers, a dog that can smell enemies and animals from far away, a fast robot that can be fitted with rocket launchers and rifles and a big machete, and of course, the naked sniper, Quiet, with her "headshot-guaranteed" perk (lethally or non-lethally).

You can also send your soldiers to do missions for you too. And later in the story, you will have a giant Metal Gear to make these operations easier.

You have the absolute freedom to approach your missions. You can just go Rambo and kill/blow everything in your way to reach the Demon status, or get sneaky tranquilizing soldiers to kidnap them to join your army and finish your missions without anyone killing anything. Or you can have both play styles at once.

The Missions take place at Afghanistan and South Africa. Yes, you have TWO BIG OPEN WORLD maps you can free-roam. not ONE but TWO. The special thing about these places, is the soldiers there don't speak English, you can't interrogate them for information, unless you get yourself a translator. so realistic it's so amazing to be honest.

Each soldier in these map have his own stats and traits/perks. Ranging from E to S++. getting skilled soldiers will grant you a boost in your army that unlock new developments and upgrades. Also, you can go hunting. There are animals across the two maps, you can hunt them or Fulton them for you base, and some of them require a cage to catch them.
Animals included such as: Bears, Donkeys, Zebras, Birds, Mice, turtles, deer, legendary animals and more.

The game has a good replay value, seriously even after finishing it 100%, I still boot it and still have fun with it.

Cons:

Chapter 2's missions are mostly old missions with much higher difficulty.

Online Features, FOB Missions and Metal Gear Online 3:

The Game also has tons of online-exclusive features. Such as daily drops, free gifts/soldiers/resources and Tasks you can achieve for more bonuses and goodies.

There's the FOB missions, basically a mode where you build an FOB Base similar to Mother Base but armed with security devices and soldiers. You can customize the soldier's’ loadout, and develop/upgrade more security devices such as UAVs/Mines/Camera with Guns/Motion Sensors/Anti-Theft Devices/etc. You can also customize where the cameras and mines are placed exactly where you want them to be.

When you invade another Player FOB, you have to reach the goal within the time limit while you kill/Fulton his solders, resources and armory equipment and destroy his security assets.
If you got caught, he/she will know you and can retaliate against you for payback. You can build Nuclear Weapons for those who invaded you and make them think twice before attacking you.

Cons:

CHEATERS EVERYWHERE.

Metal Gear Online 3:

Has potential, but the game runs on P2P format, there are too much lag, most items are unlocked by MB coins which is hard to earn (login daily for few MB coins), and no strong anti-cheat system. There are five game modes: Bounty Hunter, Cloak and Dagger, Comm Control, Sabotage and Survival. They are really fun and I encourage you to play each of them at least once. It comes free with the main game, there's no loss to play this from time to time.

Presentation:

This might be disliked and misunderstood by many. But the game story presented as its settings, the 80's

The cinematics and cutscenes play and feels like an 80's TV show, minus the cheesy-ness. Instead the game is very dark and emotional and the direction is great and top-notch.

Cons:
Venom Snake doesn't speak too much. Cut scenes don't cover much of the story, cassette tapes do.

Story:

Here it is, the biggest flop by many in this game. I will try my best to make this spoiler-free.

The Phantom Pain story is a direct sequel to Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes. The story is divided between pre/post missions cut scenes and Cassette Tapes. After the first missions, the cutscenes are mostly at the Mother Base, showing the interactions of the characters, their developments and motives. As I said before, the game is presented as a TV show. You will see the character talk about other characters a lot, planning against them or for them, they will speak to you about their worries, fears and pain.

The story is complex, like a jigsaw puzzle, you have to find and listen to every detail through speeches, interpreting cutscenes, character's goals and cassette tapes of other characters and then making the big picture by yourself.

As you might read, the story lacks Mission 51, the final mission. It's sad that we didn't get to play it, it's looks good and interesting, but it's in YouTube anyway, better than nothing.
This is all due to Konami's decision of cutting the budget of the game, firing Kojima and releasing the game in this state. All we can do is hope they release it someday.

MGSV vs old Metal Gear games

MGSV as a presentation and content is quite different than its predecessors.
Kojima used a different direction style here.
Cut scenes are not too long here.
And boss battles aren't quite interesting as before.

Those don't make it a bad game, the game is seriously fun and addictive. Even after 100%.

Recommendations:
- Play MGS3, Portable OPS, Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes before this game.
- Install Mods, Especially "Ultimate Phantom Pain" Mod, you can find it at Nexus Mods.
- Put your favorite songs in the CustomMusic Folder, and set one for your helicopter.
- Listen to cassette tapes during Side Ops.
- Change your style often, if you go peaceful, try to be a Rambo sometimes.
- Always try different types of weapons. e.g.: Tranquilizer for Stuns, or vice versa.

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a solid stealth game, this is for you.
If you more into watching cut scenes, narratives and easy stories, you might think more about it.

5/5

ZeraX's avatar
Community review by ZeraX (May 29, 2016)

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