Review: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PlayStation 3)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Member Review

PlayStation 3 2,862 views 5 likes 8 comments
Reviewed by Dominik Dudek, posted Sep 19, 2015, last updated Sep 19, 2015
Kept you waiting, huh?
Sep 19, 2015
  • Release Date (NA): September 1, 2015
  • Release Date (EU): September 1, 2015
  • Release Date (JP): September 1, 2015
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Developer: Kojima Productions
  • Genres: Stealth
  • ESRB Rating: Mature
  • PEGI Rating: Eighteen years and older
  • Also For: Computer, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
28 year passed and Metal Gear is still a mammoth of a franchise. This is Kojima's final baby at Konami and tries to finally drop the clunkyness of it's predecessors gameplay while completing the Metal Gear timeline. Let's see how the game that was supposed to surpass it's own franchise turned out.
Dominik Dudek
Introduction

I think it's needless to say that I love me some Metal Gear.
I remember it like if it was yesterday when my dad came from Germany to visit us in Poland and would bring me PS1 games and Gamestar magazines with DVD's that had trailers on them. One trailer stood out to me in particular, Metal Gear Solid 2.
It was at that moment when I, a 7 year old, realized that there is more to gaming than meets the eye. This trailer kindled my passion for video games. I had no Idea what the game was or didn't know any of the hype and disappointment surrounding MGS2, since I never had a PS2, but it was a huge moment for me none the less. Why am I telling you this? Because MGSV:TPP might be dancing just as close to the fire as MGS2 did (And I tell you why in the spoiler section).

Screenshots provided by T-Hug's PS4 version. They are not representative of the PS3 version. Also if you find something pervy you know who to look at.
Also Salahanthropus is a really long, easy to f*ck up name so I'm going to call him Jehuty and wonder how many people will get the reference.


Story

Snake wakes up from a 9 year coma just in time for sh't to go down. The XOF unit, who destroyed Mother Base in Ground Zeroes, is after him again and the're bringing the entire hospital down if it means killing Snake in the process. Ishmael helps him getting out of there but it turns out to be more difficult than anticipated since the man on fire is after them too. Snake and Ishmael do make it out alive but have a car crash just a few miles away from the hospital. Luckily Ocelot shows up with his horse that you use to get away.
Kazuhira Miller started rebuilding Mother Base without Snake but by himself he can't get anything done. Without the legend that is Big Boss no new recruits are willing to join his army. Just a few days before Snake woke up Kaz get's captured by the soviets and is locked up somewhere in Afghanistan. Without Kaz leading Mother Base Snake can't have revenge on Skull face so we must rescue him.
With him on board Snakes new private military army is ready to go against Skull Face. Well not quite yet. First you have to expand Mother Base and make it strong again.


This scene Quickly became a meme in the Metal Gear community because of how stupid it is without context.​

Non Spoiler Thoughts on the Story:
So here is a big surprise for any Metal Gear fan: The story is just okay.
It's not bad by any means but it's not great either. The Ground Zeroes Mission is probably the best mission from a narrative perspective in the whole game. and that mission isn't in TPP since it is it's own product.
I spent 40 hours doing the story missions and after the credits the only thing I could think of was: "This cannot be all there is".
During the whole playthrough I didn't feel progression at all. Everything I supposedly achieved felt so unimportant. The pacing is just all over the place.
Some missions that feel like they were supposed to be Side Ops are treated as Main Ops. They're filler Episodes but instead of developing the characters they are supposed to develop your Mother Base. I don't understand how this can be an issue TPP yet Peace Walker managed to not have it.
I went in with a mindset of seeing Big Boss becoming a villain, combating Cipher and all sorts of shenanigans but none of that happened. The trailers are very misleading.
Instead we are left with Skull Face whose motives are purely evil, unlike most MGS villains. In fact during the whole playthrough I kinda started disliking Miller more than Skull Face. He was just a douche on every occasion. Once Chapter 2 started I even thought he was supposed to be the villain of this game because of how aggressive he becomes.
Quiet, when allowed to do something character related, was a very nice character. However she is oversexualized for no reason. The reason that was supposed to make us ashamed of ourselves really sounds more like a justification than explanation. After all you can unlock clothes for her and the Parasite Unit doesn't seem to have any issue with having only their head exposed.
If I was new to the Metal Gear series I might think that this game's story is pretty damn awesome but because I played every single title, outside of Portable Ops, I expected there to be more.

METAL GEAR SOLID V_ THE PHANTOM PAIN_20150909121730 small.jpg
Snake and D-Dog departing for the first time​

Spoiler Thoughts on the Story:
Warning: Spoilers inside!

Gameplay

In case you were in a coma during the last 28 years (can't blame you, happens to me every now and then), Metal Gear is a stealth action game. This time around you get an openworld sandbox element to the formula.
It feels good. Some have pointed out that free roam is missing random events and I do agree. Free roam mode kinda feels redundant because of that. I would avoid free roam because it just wastes time and not going on foot won't make you miss anything. I preferred how Peace walker dealt with it by extracting yourself after a side op.
But I really like the non linear level design in this game. I miss indoors however. That was something that I was really looking forward to. Even FOB's don't have indoors which is a bummer.
The buddy system is really well implemented, even though there are so little of them. Each Buddy has their strengths and weaknesses and in my opinion D-Horse might be the most useless of them.
I miss co-op though. Best part of Peace Walker in my opinion.
This game also features new health system that I really don't like. It's basically the FPS blood you get on your screen that goes away after time. I really don't like it since thanks to it death comes too quickly unless you take a combat specified build. Again, peace walker didn't had this issue, sure there were still combat specific builds but the health bar got bigger depending on the character you play as.making even stealthy approaches easier. Here in TPP stealthy gear just increases your health regen which is worth nothing once the game starts throwing one hit KO's at you.
tl;dr: I ran at a donkey, punched him in the face and extracted him to my personal Zoo. Brilliant Gameplay.

Unbenannt.png

The FOB system (Forward Operating Base) wasn't my most favorite addition to the game at first. It's a online vs mode that increases the amount of staff member that you can have in singleplayer but leaves you open to enemy players invading your FOB and stealing your unrefined resources (refined resources, those that you need for developing stuff, can't be stolen).
Being the attacker is tough as you usually have 30 guns pointed at you and you yourself only 1 at them. How good these 30 guns are depends on how much resources the defender spend on his/her FOB.
It's a really nice System but I wished they would make a better tutorial for it. Because when the FOB system was introduced to me I didn't knew what to do at all. Ending in my FOB being raided 7 times in a row in a week while I was away. Oh Btw, your FOB can get invaded when you are offline so make sure to make some alliances with other players so that they can defend your base while you're offline and vice versa. you get tons of money for doing so too.
Also data miners found a secret ending that is supposedly triggered if many nukes are dismantled which lead to the creation of Metal Gear Philanthropy and Metal Gear Patriots.
Two rivaling clans in the FOB System. The Patriots are focusing on building as many nukes as possible while Philanthropists keep infiltrating enemy bases, stealing the Nukes and dismantling them.
No one is 100% sure how to trigger this ending, and the community manager assured us that it is unlock able, but the sheer fact that the Metal Gear community is ready for such role play is amazing.
But here's the Kicker: If you don't have PS+ or Xbox live on non PS3/PC systems you can't defend your FOB. You can attack though so what's up with that?

METAL GEAR SOLID V_ THE PHANTOM PAIN_20150902140221 small.jpg
Sheep: Why you do this Snake?
Snake: I'm already a Demon... (fun fact extracting animals reduces your Demon points)
Presentation

The presentation is fantastic.
The Fox engine is just perverted when it comes to great visuals and performance. Sure it doesn't run with stable 30 FPS and full 720p on last gen hardware but its still the best looking PS3 and 360 game I've ever seen.
On current gen hardware and PC the game runs at perfect 60 FPS and looks even better due to added effects and higher resolution. Graphically this game is heaven. Some would say it's Outer Heaven amiright?
The Soundtrack is awesome too. I did feel that the placement of 'Sins of the Father' was a little awkward but the 90's Soundtrack with 'Take me on' and 'Final Countdown' is really just perfect.
Even the original songs like 'A Phantom Pain' are really catchy and great to listen to while extracting a Sheep, I-I mean enemy soldiers.
Also the voice acting is fantastic. Every voice actor brought the characters to life really well, especially Troy Baker with Ocelot. I wished I could say that for Snake too but he talks so little that I keep forgetting that he even can talk.
The presentation of this game is really just perfect.

METAL GEAR SOLID V_ THE PHANTOM PAIN_20150917152203 small.jpg
Kaz, I'm having a Deja vu here...​

Final Toughs

I really don't know if I like this game.
Maybe i'm just biased because I expect more from Kojima Metal Gear games. I'm really disappointed with it.
The gameplay and presentation are really top notch and for many people out there this is more than enough for a GOTY and I agree I can see myself 100%-ing this game in the future but the narrative is really killing this game for me.
It just saddens me that the only thing that I dislike about this Metal Gear game is ironically the story, the thing that made the series so popular in the first place. MGS4 writing was bloated due to sequel baggage but it still had it's amazing moments. Outside of that one mission, that I mentioned in the spoiler section, there wasn't really anything amazing in MGSV.
Well you can punch donkeys in the face. That's pretty amazing.
On October 6th the Multiplayer mode Metal Gear Online 3 is getting released and is free for all Phantom Pain owners so the best has yet to come (sorry PC players but you'll have to wait a little longer).

METAL GEAR SOLID V_ THE PHANTOM PAIN_20150917151733 small.jpg
I wonder why T-Hug took this screenshot. Any Ideas?

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Verdict
Pros
+ Amazing gameplay
+ Rad 90's Soundtrack
+ Even on last gen consoles very beatiful
+ You get to punch donkeys in the face
Cons
- The story is just okay
- Pointless filler missions
10 Presentation
10 Gameplay
9 Lasting Appeal
9
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
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