Review by SolidusBigBoss
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Review)
Metal Gear Solid is regarded by many as one of the greatest stealth series of all time. Something every game in the series has done is evolve on the previous installment and add more features and refine the old ones. In terms of evolution goes MGS 5 is definitely one of the biggest changes in the entire series. Most of these changes are outstanding and work in the game's favor.
The story of the game takes place right after Ground Zeroes, which acted as a prologue to the game. While the story is very good at some parts, it is also my biggest issue of the game. If you played previous MGS games you would know that the games are always storydriven throughout, but not in Phantom Pain. There are many times where you will feel like there is no significant reason you are doing a mission. The actual story moments of the game are fantastic, and there were some truly emotional moments, even if there were few of them, they were still fantastic. If you are a fan of the MGS story then you will appreciate the story for what it is, but you may be disappointed and possibly unimpressed.
If you played Ground Zeroes and/or Peace Walker then you will probably have an idea of what to expect with how this game plays. The game has amazing controls and I consider it one of the best playing 3rd person games I have ever played. The controls are extremely tight and responsive. The game has a lot of elements from Peace Walker, but it basically took what Peace Walker did and perfected it. While Peace Walker gave you a small linear path to get to your objective, Phantom Pain gives you an open world to explore. The open world adds a lot to planning your strategy since you can go into an area at different areas, or scope it out from far away, giving you a tactical advantage. The way the open world is feels somewhat similar to Far Cry, you can explore and clear outposts (They are never permanently cleared though, the enemies eventually respawn). Similar to many of the previous games you can choose to be lethal or non lethal. There are now a lot of different ways to be non lethal or lethal if you choose. There are large varieties of weapons and items to help you your way through.
If you enjoyed Mother Base in Peace Walker then you will be happy to know it makes a return in Phantom Pain, and it is a major aspect of the game. It works similar to the way it did in Peace Walker, you fulton people and depending on their skills will depend on what team you put them on. You can play the game without focusing on Mother Base but I recommend using it to it's full potential, due to the fact that the higher you level it the more weapons and items you can develop. Mother Base is much more satisfying this time around. You can explore Mother Base and actually walk around. You can see the various soldiers you fultoned walking around. Mother Base is a fantastic part of the game and should not be ignored.
The Buddy System
All of the buddies have been shown in trailers so I will be mentioning all of them. If you consider that spoilers then scroll past this part of the review. Buddies can be a major part of the game, depending on how you use them. They all have their own abilities and add different elements to the game.
Quiet: Quiet is a sniper with superhuman abilities. You can equip her with lethal or non lethal weapons depending on how good your bond with her is. You can send her to an outpost to scope it out, and tell her to fire at a specific enemy, or to fire at will and cover you.
D-Dog (DD): DD will mark enemies as he walks with you. With him around you shouldn't have to worry about accidently running into an enemy. He can bark to distract enemies and you can sneak past. He can be equipped with a stun rod or a knife and you can order him to attack enemies.
D-Horse: D-Horse is incredibly useful if you are traveling long distances or exploring the map. The way the horse controls actually feels somewhat similar to Red Dead Redemption, which is a good thing.
D-Walker: D-Walker is essentially a mech that can be incredibly fun to use. He can be equipped with different types of weapons, and he can get you out of a tight situation.
Phantom Pain takes place some time in the 1980s, so it would have been a missed opportunity if they didn't add some great 80s music. You can find different cassette tapes spread out across the map, and many of those tapes will have music on them. The soundtrack is fantastic, it really adds to the experience being able to clear an outpost to the sound of Rebel Yell or Take On Me. If you are a fan of music from that era you will definitely appreciate it.
Overall Phantom Pain is a fantastic game for everybody to play. It is an amazing stealth game, but you can also play it like an action game if you choose. It is one of the greatest games of this generation. If you are a MGS fan you have to play this game, if you weren't previously a fan I can still recommend this game. The only real issue I had with the game was the story, but the gameplay is so good that it is still worth a purchase.
Product Release: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (US, 09/01/15)
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