Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Game Review

There are amazing things that can be said about MGS V. Thrilling. Exciting. HUGE. BLOWN OUT. ADDICTIVE. Exulting. Epic. Grand. So so much. Kojima’s final work (lets hope not though) for the Metal Gear series has come to an exhilirating end.

So why is it that I feel empty after all that?

Continuing after the events in Ground Zeroes with Mother Base being destroyed and Snake suffering a coma for 9 years, this game is all about getting revenge against the force responsible, Cipher. Snake and co will have to recreate everything that they lost, along with ensuring that every step of their military action gets closer to Cipher. And sure, a Metal Gear pops out of nowhere to ensure everyone that we’re playing a Metal Gear Solid game. I’d be happy if they called it Big Boss: Diamond Dog’s Revenge even.

The game’s story, as Kojima can only do, is nothing short of amazing. As you go through ensuring that Snake and Co gets their revenge, you start to realise that the motivations of everyone in the game gets bigger and bigger and everyone has a stake in it. The problem may come with how the ending is for me. Without providing a spoiler, the ending leaves me confused and unsatisfied. That’s the best I can say.

The game is all about trying to give you the best experience of being a soldier. An actual, living breathing soldier based on the legend that is Big Boss. Every mission that you take is only limited to what you wish to do. Stealth still exists (and is probably the best policy still). But there is nothing in this game that limits you to just that. If you want to be Rambo, done. Nothing and no one is going to stop you from doing whatever it is that you want in the battlefield.

That is the best way for me to explain to you the core of the game. You know what’s the real problem? Everything else. Why did I say it’s a problem? BECAUSE IT’S SO ADDICTIVE. Aside from the main missions, here’s a list of things you can do with the game:

  • Take on 157 Side Ops ranging from saving prisoners, eliminating tank units, save legendary animals, and so much more.
  • Hunt for wild life because an NGO wanted to save these creatures from extinction in war torn lands.
  • Build Mother Base by gathering resources, creating platforms, fulton-ing (Read: Abduct/kidnap) EVERYTHING YOU SEE so that…
  • You may develop more equipment that you can bring with you in missions. The better the equipment, the easier it gets.
  • Manage the staff that you kidnapped fulton-ed so that they are assigned to the right places which either gives you greater support, better resources for Mother Base, or…
  • Deploy soldiers in your team so that they can earn GMP (the game’s currency) which gives you more options to do other things with Mother Base.

And I didn’t even touch the Online Component which is the FOB Missions yet. Even better? You don’t even have to use Snake per se in the game. You can even use a female soldier to replace Snake entirely during missions and free roam.

Each and every component of the game is overwhelming. You can do so many things in this game that if you believe you finished the whole story, you probably would have scratched 30% of the game so far. At one moment, I will ask for a development for a weapon. And then I realise that I need to put the right people in the right departments to design weapons. And then I have to get more people who knows certain skills that they have to enable more developments. And then my base gets full and I need to build it further. One thing always jumps to another. And it hardly stops. It hardly even pauses. Once you realise you don’t have enough GMP, you know you gotta get more. And off to side ops and missions that you have to undertake that you would go to do. It. Hardly. Ends. I. Could. Not. Stop. Playing.

I feel a mega sense of satisfaction being able to not only become the living legend, but to also manage everything related to Mother Base. Creating my very own Mother Base is already unique enough. Creating my own emblem that represents me, the color of my Mother Base, customised equipment, customised chopper, customised this and that. If anything, The Phantom Pain is all about Kojima giving you the game that you can enjoy based on your rules and your game play. Remember how Kojima wished that he did something like GTAV? If anything, he accomplished very very very close to that sense of wonder.

The online component is nothing short of amazing as well. FOB Missions allow you to conquer another player’s Forward Operating Base in an attempt to get more resources, soldiers, and GMP by successfully inflitrating that player’s FOB. This feature is a great way of showing how online modes can be done, because if you customise your base properly, these infiltration missions won’t be easy at all. It’s like an easier and more simplified level of Super Mario Maker but for MGS. People with slower online connections can also benefit from enjoying the online component because everything has been loaded in the first place. Maybe not during PvP missions though. PS4 players don’t even need a PS Plus to play the FOB Missions. All online components except for PvP and counter-ing a player’s infiltration are available for all to enjoy.

Is Kiefer a good replacement for Snake? Yes indeed. Many of us may miss David Hayter’s great performance as Snake. However, at the same time, Kiefer feels very well placed in the game.

Are there complaints about the game? Sure. It may be close to legendary status, but you gotta be able to nit pick the game as well. Kojima most of the time has a specific touch of funny funny things that you can find in his games. The thing is, it is not as jarring as before. Perhaps this is inline with providing a bigger sense of realism with the game itself.

Conclusion

Earlier I said that the game left me empty. It’s hard to say without providing a spoiler. But I realised, there is a reason to that. I probably will no longer be able to continue the Metal Gear saga any further. This is pretty much the end of it all. It is indeed complete. I realised that the best of games not only leave you wanting for more, it leaves you anxious for the next. Perhaps this is why I feel sad after the story has ended. Konami may bring someone else to do the game. But there’s no guarantee it will be as wonderful as the legacy that Kojima and Big Boss has left in all of us.

Regardless, this is a world not only worth living in, but worth dying in as well. Thank you so much Hideo Kojima-san.

For Against
Best MGS since MGS 3. Too addictive. May leave you wanting to play the game daily.
Super fun and super flexible to play as Big Boss. It’s the last one from Kojima. 😦
Mother Base is yours to create. Every game that I play after this needs to be as fast as MGS V.
Sensational story. I couldn’t play anything else.
Fultoning everything is always fun. Lack of Kojima-esque easter eggs to find in the game compared to before.

Final Score: 10/10

Wajib Main-01

The game has been reviewed using a retail copy of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. You can still get a copy from Kyo by ordering or through other retailers as well!

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