Now I’m sure some of you are criticizing how the difference between good and great is enough to make an article and others are foaming at the mouth wondering how I dare critique Kojima-san. Maybe there is even a crowd not caring about this at all when Death Stranding is on the horizon. After all, it was pretty awesome how Hideo Kojima gave the middle finger to Konami by not only appearing at PlayStation’s 2016 E3 but revitalizing the Norman Reedus collaboration. Guillermo del Toro isn’t acting in any capacity like he was with P.T. but still a jab at the former employer all the same. Even so, when I look back at The Phantom Pain, I see a decent experience (regardless of how it was marred by Konami) but nowhere near the likes of Snake Eater or Guns of the Patriots. Let me explain why.
In an effort to not have my head ripped off immediately, I’ll go into what I liked about MGS5 and first off is the graphics. I may not have exclaimed how pretty they were like I did with Guns of the Patriots, (such a vast improvement over the PS2 days) but damn were they not impressive. Character design, environments, models, and effects were masterfully crafted. My own guilty pressure was everyone’s realistic hair. Don’t judge me! Although I expect some will comment about Quiet and her…*cough* appearance. The soundtrack was another pro for me. Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, and Daniel James all did a wonderful job at catching every moment in The Phantom Pain.
My favorite thing about the game is its actual gameplay. Like a cat following a laser beam I immediately went to all the markers on the map and toyed around with soldiers for hours. It was so much fun to clear out enemy outposts through a myriad of ways. I could go in guns blazing, tranquillize everyone, stick D-Dog on them, have Quiet send them into a panic, or sneak around unseen with the godly power of deciding who will die in front of their comrades while they do nothing to save them. Ok, I may have gotten a little dark with the gameplay but it was fun. It literally was up to your play style to determine how things would go down.
At this point we’ll skip ahead to when I’m thirty or more hours into the game. I start to notice the flaws and what ultimately would hold this game from being remembered like its predecessors. The story will be the first to receive my wrath. The characters like Quiet, teeny tiny Psycho Mantis, the Skulls, and Skull Face definitely made the plot more interesting when they were around. Sadly, it didn’t happen that often and what was left was tedious and monotonous plot developments.
Basically all the things that were being done to set up Venom Snake’s revenge were boring. It got to the point where I finished chapter 31 and didn’t want to play anymore in regards to the story. Which was both fortunate and unfortunate. I read up on how the proper ending was ruined by Konami meddling and how key plot points for the entire series took place. The Eli (aka Liquid Snake) going rogue with Sahelanthropus, Quiet’s plot twist of why she’s…well quiet, and the whole reason why Big Boss was voiced by Kiefer Sutherland and not David Hayter. Those sounded awesome to have witnessed but by that time I didn’t care.
My next complaints kind of tie in with each other. The maps may have been big but there was very little within them. Afghanistan pissed me off the most. Lots and lots of rock formations that served to only make your traveling difficult and to take up space. This was especially egregious in tandem with side quests. There were over one hundred and fifty total side missions. Naturally that didn’t go over to well with the lack of locations in each map. One destination marker would be the home of five to ten missions and that’s not including the story assignments. Needless to say, going to the same place over and over again in order to experience the entire game was draining. Not even the gameplay could rectify this situation.
‘But Kyle, you told us the gameplay was your favorite part?’ Alas, good citizen it was. It’s just that with a limited amount of options repetition takes its toll. By this moment I was thirty to fifty hours in and you can believe I did nearly everything the gameplay would allow me to do multiple times. Screwing around or clearing an area isn’t fun the umpteenth time. Your suggestion might be to go and play Metal Gear Online. Unfortunately, it suffered from a myriad of typical multiplayer issues and was nowhere near as fun as the previous MGO.
Keep in mind that this is all one man’s opinion. You can agree or disagree with it as you please. In fact, comment and let us know what are your thoughts on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Was it worth your time, or did you feel let down? Are you happy that the franchise is seemingly over, or do you want more nonsensical stories set in the same universe?