Metal Gear Solid V released last year to thunderous applause. It was the anxiously awaited sequel to the movie Metal Gear Solid 4 which boasted an incredible amount of cinematics. Because of this fact, I did not share the same enthusiasm as my fellow gamers did. But, Metal Gear Solid V completely changed my opinion on this matter. The Phantom Pain deserves every accolade it received and aside from the controversial fan service (and overly long intro) it is a masterpiece.
When I began the game, I was honestly not surprised at how long the introduction took. MGSV takes about approximately 30 minutes to let you play and it was grueling. Even after the player takes control of “Snake” it took a hot minute to gain full movement since he’s effectively a cripple after that nine year coma. However, this is temporary and Hideo Kojima rewards the patience required to get through this slough masterfully.
This is because when the game opens up, and the player gains full control of “Snake” during that first mission it is incredible. The first mission in MGSV is a huge map in Afghanistan and I was given a horse of all things to traverse. While the equipment was limited it was enough to beat the whole mission without being seen. The graphics as always were gorgeous and the scenery looked amazing in Afghanistan. You’re given three days to rescue Master Miller and I certainly took my time to complete this mission. Everything about this game feels right, with solid controls, excellent stealth mechanics, and creative distraction maneuvers. I aimed to be snake, so my goal was to not be seen and have no kills the entire mission. This made it difficult as I couldn’t shoot a single person during my run.
I was surprised when it turns out the game rewards you for doing this type of run. You can basically play the game, however you want and feel almost no repercussion, the only exception being the shrapnel in “Snakes” head which grows or shrinks depending on your style of play. It’s just amazing the type of variety present and the funny ways you can torture your enemies. One of the best quirks in the game comes when you gain a translator in order to decipher what your enemies are saying. They speak about events, and even about your gameplay. This is important because Metal Gear Solid V learns from your style and adapts to it in order to increase the difficulty.
If the player aims for headshots often, the game will give enemies helmets in order to protect them. If the player sneaks around and singles enemies out too much the game will assign two men patrols. It manages to feel fair and keep players constantly adapting to the situation while maintaining the feeling of cheapness away. Every single time that I had to restart it was because I made a mistake and it was not the game’s fault. This also led me to eventually memorizing a pattern that allowed me to succeed and it feels great. I’m not certain if there is an incentive to playing as perfectly as you can, but even if there isn’t. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a game that aims to please its audience and succeeds on almost every single level.
Hideo Kojima produced an amazing game, and it shows in Metal Gear Solid V. An excellent follow-up to a game which had a severe gameplay to storyline ratio, Metal Gear Solid V provides a perfect division between game and movie. Metal Gear Solid V will please any fans of the titular “Snakes” and is a solid addition to any gaming library. Buy this game right now if you haven’t. MSGV does not disappoint and it stands as a testament of how games can be considered art without sacrificing gameplay.