The RPS Verdict – METAL GEAR SOLID V

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain [official site] is our Game of the Month for September, but why has this traditionally non-PC series infiltrated our chests and Fulton’d our hearts? Alice, Adam, Alec and a Graham gathered to discuss stealth, balloons, dogs in eye-patches, making enemy grunts feel alive and accidental kill-sprees.

No plot spoilers here, but if you still hope to go into the game entirely blind, be warned that we do discuss some of the game’s systems and mechanics in some detail.

Alec: What colour is your helicopter? Mine is pink. Always pink.

Graham: Mine would have been pink, but I didn’t want to be accused of copying you. So I’ve gone for a purple.

Adam: Also purple. Similar reasons. We are clearly cut from the same cloth. Music? I waver between The Cure and Thomas Dolby because This Charming Man does not seem to be available.

Alec: I’m still Kim Wilde (and in the game) because I had to have four days off from MGSV to be ill, visit family and unwisely attend a music festival with a toddler. I don’t think I’ve had such acute separation anxiety from a game since the heyday of WoW.

Graham: I’m using A-ha’s Take On Me, but I’m on the verge of switching over to some custom music. I’m enjoying collecting the tapes as a sub-objective of each mission, but none of the music I’ve collected fits with the time it takes a helicopter to land or take-off. I need something that hits the chorus, refrain or whatever-the-good-bit-is-called immediately, not as the chopper blinks out of existence on the map.

Alice: The first verse of Love Will Tear Us Apart kicks in right as my (funky dazzle camouflaged) helicopter lifts up and away, leaving me alone on the battlefield with my dog. I don’t like dogs and not in video games, but I do love my stealth dog. I’m saving up to buy him a stun gun.

Alec: I’ve been too busy hoovering up men and rough diamonds to progress far through the main missions, so D-Dog is still a puppy. I think I’ll cry when he’s all grown up and wants to go eat men’s throats instead of just roll around the helipad with me.

Adam: Before release, I thought the hoovering up of men and animals – the whole Fulton balloon extraction bit – was going to be a funny little gimmick. What I love about the game more than anything is that some parts are both funny little gimmick and Essential Mechanic That Underpins The Entire Structure of The Game. At the same time. Hardly anything is wasted – all these little parts are either making you think, making you laugh or doing both at the same time, with all manner of knock-on effects and consequences.

Alec: The fultoning is the unification of core mechanics and gotta catch ‘em all metagame that stuff like AssCreed and Far Cry ¾ shoots for but never quite achieves. It’s entirely in service of your central behaviour – learning to be a better sneak. You’re rewarded for it, and you self-better, and you get these absurdly dramatic moments where you’re ballooning a guy into the skies just before his mate turns around. We talked last year about how Shadow of Mordor’s Nemesis system was maybe the best – urgh – innovation in a mainstream game, but hadn’t quite reached its potential. This is 2015’s, but it has. I will never tire of it, I think.

Graham: I like that such a silly system makes your enemies more human than they otherwise would be. That the systems of the game fold together so neatly is great, but in a stealth game, I want the AI I’m fighting against to feel like more than cannon fodder or obstacles. Giving them value means the no-kill tactics I normally employ make more sense than in most games than in most games, too.

Alec: I loudly called my helicopter a naughty word for a lady’s ladyparts because it gunned down a dude who was chasing me. The senseless waste. The barbarism.

Alice: Fulton balloons are egging you on. “You could just snatch the prisoner and leave but… oh, look, over there on the other side of the base – an expert engineer. Bet it’d be nice to have him around Mother Base. OH LOOK someone spotted him dangling a balloon and now they’ve launched flares and oh deary me you’re in quite the pickle now aren’t you!”

Adam: I love the flares. They’re another example of how the game manages to provide enemy soldiers with agency and something like humanity. Rather than just deviating from a route and then doing the “must have been rats” thing that I expect in a stealth game, they attempt to get to the source of the disturbance. Their attitude is very much “that was almost certainly not a fucking rat”, so they talk to each other, they use radios, they send out search parties and they fire flares that can flip the entire situation on its head.

Alec: There’re lovely little moments in their chatter. There was one base where I disabled the comms system first, so they can’t talk to other bases, which they mention anxiously as they start combing around for who did it. Then later on, as they realise most of their mates have disappeared, they send panicked radio messages out anyway, knowing it doesn’t work but desperate for reinforcements to help save them from Ballooning Batman.

Anything anyone isn’t digging about this, lest this piece be an unabashed love-in?

Alice: I mean. It’s all a load of old tosh, isn’t it? But I adore that. SKULL FACE. METAL GEAR. Names with even more Ss than my mission ranks. I’d be fascinated to hear if folks who haven’t stayed on top of Metal Gear over the years make of the story/care about it/want to. (I have and it’s so daft and I adore it.)

Adam: I wish the story was dafter. Or not daft at all. It falls somewhere in the middle for me – I like doing silly military outings and I like seeing flaming whales and whatnot, but it’s not quite working for me. When it focuses on a specific character for a while, with Quiet, I think it’s mindnumbingly bad, but when it’s doing the broader strokes, I enjoy myself. But since the first hour, it’s mostly been noplotnoplotnoplotnoplotnoplotsomeplotnoplotnoplot.

Alec: Again, my extended break and focus on hoovering means I haven’t progressed that far in the main missions, so there have been almost no cutscenes since the intro. But I live in fear that one day soon my return to Mother Base won’t just involve an adorable short clip of Red Hands McFloppy-Hair talking about D-Dog growing up and instead I’ll have to try to understand something, or care about someone who isn’t an animal or a man I can attach a balloon to. I have very little familiarity with MGS plots to date, though I did a little research when I started playing, but I’m very open to treating it all as simply daft, rather than resolving any lingering questions. I don’t know yet if that’ll prove liberating or mean I have even less patience for its clumsy noodling.

Graham: I think I’ve done 13 missions now and I like that there’s only been one real cutscene in the open world during all that time. Especially since that cutscene was the introduction of an unwelcome scripted action sequence at the end of an otherwise great infiltration mission. But I am finding myself wishing that there was more story back at Mother Base. I return there every so often to maintain morale, drive between my many platforms, and the very brief chatter upon arrival with Ocelot is fine, but I wish he was then present in that world when the cutscene ended so I could go find and talk to him more. Even if it was only to the extent that information about Side Ops was delivered by someone in-person instead of over the radio. Otherwise it’s a tad lonely, even now that I’ve finally gained a grown-up D-Dog.

Alec: Yeah, Mother Base is the biggest disappointment for me. I feel so compelled to return there after every mission or side op (or hoovering bonzana) and though I love that I have this big pink oil rig all of my own, there’s nothing to do other than push my chaps around and maybe do some AssCreedy diamond hunting. I know the base is unfinished but, well, does it have to feel quite so unfinished? It’s empty, a ghost ship. (Though I guess this may change later?) And do all those men really share that one shower?

Graham: That said, I know I’m nitpicking. The open world stealth is great and it’s meta-mechanics for progression are best in class. It feels greedy to want it to be Mass Effect as well – and given what story is there, or at least what I’ve heard about it, maybe it’s for the best that Kojima focused his attention elsewhere.

Adam: What I find most strange about the whole fact that we’re writing this and that the game is so damn good is that it feels as if it sprang fully-formed into being. As this immersive stealth sim. It’s a series that’s heading toward its thirtieth birthday but even the cleverness of Snake Eater didn’t suggest something like this was ever going to come out of it. Not to me, at any rate. It feels like this ridiculously accomplished and experimental expression of what stealth games can be, and if it hadn’t been for Ground Zeroes it would have caught me completely by surprise. Did anyone here expect it?

Alec: Only because of Ground Zeroes. I spent the last 15 years convinced I hated MGS, primarily because I bounced so hard off the first few hours in MGS 2 when it came out on PC that there was no way I’d chance forty quid on the others once I had a PS2/3. But Ground Zeroes made me pay attention, realise that I’d been looking to the same places again and again for my stealth games, and that I’d really benefit from seeing another angle on it. I am, nonetheless, really taken aback by how rarely it gets in my face – that I wasn’t expecting. Most of the plot/shuddup and listen stuff that drove me spare in those bits of MGS2 seems to have been squirreled away into optional audio logs, so it feels like the bulk of the development attention has gone into the game proper rather than the hallucinogenic meta-fantasy.

Alice: Actually, before we get too far: should we be clear about how much we’ve all seen? I known none of us have completed it, and I’m not sure how much it’ll change as I get further in. I’m about a dozen main missions in and about as many Side Ops, and have got the gang together but Quiet won’t come with me just yet. I want to, if I can get her a tranq gun. ANYWAY, you all?

Graham: I think I’ve done 12 or 13 story missions – to the point where I’ve run out, for now – but only half as many side ops. That means that I’ve got Diamond Dog but have only heard rumours of Quiet, and my Mother Base is about 6 platforms in size. I feel like it’s beginning to pivot in a new direction even at this stage, though, to something perhaps sillier and with more options, and I feel like I’m ready for it after some 15 hours of what’s been lovely but quite austere stealth.

Adam: I’m at 31 in story missions and have had to throw myself into run ‘n’ gun mode for a while now because I am apparently not good at some types of stealth. Far enough in that I’m confident in saying that it manages to introduce enough variations and new elements that I could happily go for another 30 missions right now. Fun fact: I haven’t got a single S rank.

Alec: I have done five missions and seven side-ops, and a few times I’ve just dropped into the main map to noodle around hoovering up men and loot. D-Dog is still a puppy, I live in fear of the day Boobie Girl arrives, and I currently have three new base platforms. I haven’t done better than a B on any mission because I’m a bit reckless with the ol’ choke’n’fulton whenever I see someone with a decent skill, but I have almost never actually killed anyone. Quite fond of my rubber bullets machine gun for when things go to shit.

Adam: I like that – as far as I’ve been able to work out without doing any actual calculations – the punishment to mission score comes from getting hit rather than resorting to violence. I think it’s possible to get a good ranking using a sniper rifle and snapping a few necks, as long as you don’t end up taking a few bullets in the process. Goes along with the whole design providing freedom of approach. That said, I am the person without an S ranking so maybe my kill-happy ways are actually limiting my score. Yes. That may be the case.

And I just had to look up a mission to check which one it was. Nobody has done mission 18 yet, which makes me sad because it fucked me over good and proper and I want to know if anyone found a way to do it without feeling like a blundering arse.

Alice: Oh, if I may double back for a second (forgot to Fulton a jeep), I actually do dig that most missions are mercenary work. Yeah, sometimes I save the world, but mostly I’m trying to keep the lights on and get my dog a stun gun. And I like that Side Ops slip into story too – some, at least. One particular strand especially. I’m hesitating… have you found the secret of the Medical strut yet? By and large it’s systemic spoilers I worry about in this game, but a few story bits are a good kick in the teeth too.

Adam: Yeah, I’ve done the Medical strut (which sounds like a forbidden dance move). I like that there are slices of story hidden around the place – it’s like, sometimes you find a rough diamond, sometimes you find a medicinal herb. Sometimes you find an entire subplot. But I like finding the subplots more than I actually like the subplots. Maybe because I’m not particularly invested in the characters but I don’t care all that much about what they’re doing and saying. And this is coming from someone who liked that big ol’ intro! Oh, AND Metal Gear Solid 2. I like it when Metal Gear goes weird and melodramatic, a lot of the stuff in Phantom Pain feels melodramatic without the weird. Or bad weird. Boring weird.

Alec: Is this a medical strut?

Adam: Garth Marenghi’s Mother Base would be a heck of a show. Somebody mod Matt Berry into every game over screen yelling “BOSS? BOSS? BOSS!?!?” or “are you quite alright?” immediately.

On the next page: lethality versus non-lethality, differences to Western-made stealth games, S-ranks and nasal hair.

44 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    Ah, the Medical Platform.
    One of my buddies at work is playing as well, but hasn’t explored his medical platform, and I’m dying to talk to somebody and share my “WTF?!?”.

    Myself, I triggered the Quiet mission whilst bumbling around the map. My total mission count up to that point had been 7, but that mission is 11. I love that this kind of thing can happen.

    While I S-ranked the Quiet mission first time, I want to try it again as I reckon I might be able to complete it without firing a shot. Stationary targets are just begging to have a supply drop land on their heads.

    • MadJax says:

      I encountered her at the exact same time as you mentioned above, whilst on my way to do a Side-op! And after farting about for close to 30 mins trying to tranq her with the starting pistol, I tried the supply drop method, slowly watched those yellow number go down, and bang as it hit 2 she jumped back a pace, letting the box break harmlessly on the floor :) For all I heard about that being a viable method, I was impressed she managed to dodge it (Honestly, how can you not, it’s a box falling from the sky VERY slowly…)

      • Dale Winton says:

        Spoilers lads. Also you know what annoys me about RPS ? When you click a link it does not open the link in a new tab.

      • lucasdigital says:

        MadJax, my solution to the “she’s just jumping out of the way” problem was to pop my head above cover, repeatedly, as the supply drop completes. She’s was too focused on taking her shot to look up.

      • Shadow says:

        The box doesn’t fall all that slowly. But honestly, how many of you would see or even expect a crate falling from the sky, directly on top of your head?

        Aside from the fact the angle would blindside anyone who isn’t purposefully looking that way, it’s substantially harder to realize something you haven’t remotely considered could happen to you.

        That said, given it takes more than one crate to do the job, the odd thing is that she can fall for it twice.

    • lucasdigital says:

      I love this game. I never took any notice of any of the earlier MGS games, mainly they just passed me by and that whole manga vibe doesn’t drew in the way it did 20 years ago. The unstructured open world nature of the game has thrown me somewhat. I’ve 18-hours in but only 9% complete. I think that I was so in love with crawling around those Afghan mountain passes that I forgot to do any Motherbase building or listen to many tapes. I have a puppy, a mute nearly-naked sniper who wants to tag along on missions, but can’t. I also stumbled on Mission 7 as I made my way to the factory for a side-op. It took me many attempts, chiefly because I was convinced that I’d be able to sneak up on Quiet with the old tranq pistol. I actually did climb up the tower and was able to stare at her cheek for about 2 seconds before she pulled her matter-decoherence acrobatics. I resisted offers of the chicken hat and finally got my first S mission rank thanks to some trusty supply drop artillery. Anyway, I’m now hoovering up soldiers with abandon, in the hope that I can get some of the more interesting upgrades.

      • welverin says:

        completion percentage has a lot more to it than missions and side-ops you’ve done, so don’t use that as a guide to how far along you are.

        Steam says I have played for thirty hours (there’s pause time in there), I just completed mission six and all the side-ops I have available and the last percentage I remember is five (though that could have been a while ago.

  2. shagen454 says:

    Having a lot of fun with this, it’s different! I feel like GTA V and Witcher 3 I CONSUMED, but this is a game that I am able to savor. Each mission is nerve-wracking, takes much planning and time so after an hour I’m fairly exhausted and either play a side mission or watch an episode of Narcos.

    But, when the game hits, it is so awesome and so intense. For instance, I was at an airport, loaded with enemies, they had already seen me and I was getting to my objective. But, I retrieved the wrong person but I had already called down the helicopter to pick me close by. The enemies helicopter was slowly looking in my last known location, but when my helicopter came it – it took out the enemy helicopter. It was such a relief and completely unexpected. Made it a lot easier to go back in to the building and get the right guy. Watching the group tactics is fairly amazing as well. Sometimes the best thing to do is get spotted and have all of the enemies rush off in the direction allowing you to easily get to your objective.

  3. shagen454 says:

    But, one thing that can be very annoying – is if you leave the mission objective area by accident, well – have fun restarting the last mission from scratch. There will be messages, but if you’re in the heat of the moment it’s easy to be paying more attention to your environment than ops info coming in. There really should be a screen that stops you “you are about to forfeit the mission” “OK” or “cancel”.

  4. renner says:

    Few things are as satisfying as sending a tank into the sky on a balloon. Also, little tip for quick extraction: when you Fulton the cargo containers, you can hold the Fulton button a second time to grab on and ride it into the sky.

    Adult D-Dog is a GREAT companion, perfect for night time infiltration. I got a good chuckle out of the first time I told him to kill a guy– you have to equip him with a knife first, and when you give the command there’s a little *shink* noise like he’s taking the knife out. Love those silly little touches.

    ALSO I didn’t even realize until I saw the screenshot at the top of page 2 that (minor SPOILER maybe?) the lady who tries to choke you during the prologue and subsequently gets set on fire IS Quiet. I don’t know if it’s a spoiler, like maybe Kojima hopes you forget her face and it’s this big reveal later, but it seems weird that Snake doesn’t recognize her or say anything about it.

    • colw00t says:

      Big Boss doesn’t have much to say in this one, at all. It’s actually kind of frustrating. I miss Chatty Boss asking how everything tastes.

      Also, guys, S Ranks are not hard. Just move quickly and efficiently, they’re mostly based on time.

    • hungrycookpot says:

      He IS taking the knife out, if you watch him when you give the command, he reaches back and grabs the knife in his mouth and then uses it to stab the enemy.

  5. KenTWOu says:

    To wrap up then, our review called this the best stealth game ever made.

    Nope, your reivew called it the best stealth-action game ever made. And that’s very important.

    • Shadow says:

      Frankly, the only competitor I can think of for the best stealth ever title, as in one which encourages stealth and makes it meaningful as opposed to a simple prelude to the action, is Invisible Inc. But that’s an entirely different genre and a particular take on the subject at hand.

      • welverin says:

        Uh, Thief?

      • KenTWOu says:

        I don’t know which stealth game is the best one. Frankly, I don’t care. My point is MGSV is a stealth-action game. And, by the way, it doesn’t encourage stealth, you don’t need to be 100% stealthy to get S-rank, you need to be very, very fast. Anyway, IMO stealth encouragement doesn’t really matter, strong focus on deep stealth mechanics does: visibility or sound meter, sound propagation, floor surfaces… MGSV focuses both on stealth and action, because it was made for a wider audience, its action is a viable tactic, its stealth isn’t deep enough. That’s OK for an open world infiltration sim, that’s enough to be arguably the best stealth-action game, but that’s not enough to be the best stealth game, to give the best, the deepest stealth experience.

  6. merbert says:

    I think this is one of the most significant lines I’ve ever read in terms of a games critique;

    “The way it all fits together is astonishing though, to the point that I’ve given up on second-guessing reactions. I just assume things will work in a logical, credible, legible way when I experiment with them. And more often than not, they bloody well do.”

    That is just phenomenal.

    It suggests that, AT LAST, a game has been designed with a degree of sophistication that assumes the user will apply an equivalent degree of logic to a gaming environment as they would in a real world scenario, and that the logic or expectant outcome will be as anticipated?!!

    Fan-fucking-tastic!

    The future is now!

    Where’s my Hoverboard Hideo?!

    • Shadow says:

      Most definitely.

      For all its craziness, MGSV is paradoxically more logical than many games as far as its mechanics go. If standard logic dictates something should be possible, it generally is.

      Priceless. This kind of game design is long overdue.

    • Premium User Badge

      Henke says:

      Totally. The game is full of “I wonder if this’ll work?” moments, which are utterly delightful when it turns out they actually do. For example when trying to sneak onto a truck that was heading into a fortified base, I parked my horse in the middle of the road and then hid behind some rocks. When the truck came they passed right by me without noticing anything, but then they had to break for the horse and honk their horn and shout at it to get out of the way. In the meanwhile I snuck up behind and crawled into the back. Then the truck drove right into the base, taking me with it. I was so happy when that worked out just as I had planned. :)

      • Premium User Badge

        Mungrul says:

        I used and abused D-Horse for that mission to stop the Russian fighting vehicles. Just left him in the middle of the road, waited for them to honk their horns, then ran behind them and Fultoned them.
        Absolutely spiffing.

        • lucasdigital says:

          I accidentally discovered that “block the convoy” ploy when my carelessly left D-Horse blocked a supply truck. I only thought about repeating the tactic after I’d made a dogs dinner of it — not I didn’t take D-Dog, I carefully laid the plastic explosive on the route but as the tanks rolled past I accidentally planted another explosive instead of detonating the first. I ended up chasing after the convoy on foot with my missile launcher. Took them all out but ended up having to hide in the dumpster in the mountain village.

  7. Bobtree says:

    At 80+ hours and nearing the end of the story now, I think evaluations like this and the flurry of 10/10 reviews are a bit premature. I may well have overdosed though. TPP has some great stealth and action, but also structural and pacing problems, and a tiresome amount of filler, and then there’s the plot. I certainly got hooked and enjoyed much of it, but I don’t yet know where my overall feelings will settle.

    I did manage to stealth the end of Mission 18, out of necessity in fact, but it probably took me a dozen attempts.

  8. yan spaceman says:

    My helicopter arrives to Gary Numan’s “Cars” at the moment, which is quite effective, though I shall probably go for something by Throbbing Gristle when shit gets real, as they say.

    • dysomniak says:

      Like Graham I got frustrated with the difficulty of finding an in-game tape that would start where I wanted to so (like Adam wanted) I added “This Charming Man” which worked well. Then I switched to “Stand and Deliver,” because I’m a dandy highwayman.

      I refuse to add custom music that isn’t period accurate.

      • dysomniak says:

        Oh inbetween those two I was using “Handsome Devil” which if you want a Smiths song on your chopper (from the two period appropriate albums) is my top pick.

  9. LennyLeonardo says:

    I love this game so much. It’s like the flipping Twin Peaks of games. I keep thinking “How is this so GOOD?!?” It makes no sense.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Also, my base logo has a purple chicken and the words “Ultra Horse” on it.

  10. Endsville says:

    Yay, I’m not alone in seeing Far Cry 2 in this game. The way I keep saying it to a friend is that in addition to this being the most fun entry in my favourite video game series ever, it’s also surprised me by feeling like the successor to one of my individual favourite games ever, Far Cry 2, which is really cool. They couldn’t be more different games taken overall of course – but playing TPP has definitely reminded me of playing Far Cry 2 on numerous occasions.

  11. Universal Quitter says:

    I went with the Zebra pattern helicopter, and added in the ending guitar lead section of Stairway to Heaven for riding into battle: link to youtu.be

    But my oil rig is pink as fuck.

    • Rikstam says:

      Once you get the legendary gunsmith to your mother base, you can even customise your guns and make them pink or purple or whatever!

  12. patatha says:

    Okay, I want you to know that I actually STOPPED in the middle of reading this article, REGISTERED so I could comment in reply to this:
    “I’d be fascinated to hear if folks who haven’t stayed on top of Metal Gear over the years make of the story/care about it/want to. (I have and it’s so daft and I adore it.)
    Adam: I wish the story was dafter.”

    I’m am avid middle aged gamer that has never picked up on the Metal Gear titles.. I mean, I played some part of one of them.. .once.. I think. I remember thinking “this is daft.” But now.. I’m only now into the first few missions, but the opening sequence.. DAFTER THAN MONKEY!@#!@#!

    I mean, seriously, this is like a Japanese anime mash up of GI-Joe and spaghetti westerns.. and I love it. I love it for all its surreal meaningless overwraught drama. I love it for the bizarre super power telepath space zombie mega soldier whack. I love it for the “OH GOD, WHY DID THAT JUST EXPLODE”

  13. Emton says:

    The Worth A Buy guy ripped this game to pieces link to youtube.com

    • aleander says:

      Wow, that guy ripped his vocal chords to pieces. I mean, it’s hilarious, with him starting by a long-winded rant about that first, ignores how many newcomers are loving this game, and two, goes into how he loved U2 as a child but then hated it because he’s totes adult now (ding ding ding), then moves on to complaining how long-winded the introduction is. Also, that he can’t turn down the music.

      The irony is strong with this one.

      • Emton says:

        Well I mean that’s his review so I don’t know why anyone else’s opinion should factor into the assessment. I guess people want to rate MGS according to MGS’s own standard.

        • aleander says:

          Well, he started with a long-winded review of other people’s opinion. That was actually the main reason I found it so jarring — he made a sweeping assumption about people who love the game. He’s free to hate it, but calling other people’s enjoyment of the game “hysteria” is nuts. And yeah, we might not remember it 10 years down the line, but right now, people are enjoying it.

  14. axfelix says:

    I do wish you’d all play the third game. The rest I can take or leave.

  15. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Shame that I’ve played MGS Peace Walker just recently, and Fulton collect-a-thon just doesn’t seem like it will be as novel the second time around.
    And the previous handheld Metal Gear had you DRAG the captives on your own back out of the level, if you can believe it.

  16. Flavorfish says:

    The balance between stealth and action is so lopsided that the stealth feels totally and utterly decorative. Unfortunately, the division between stealth and combat also feels very binary and leaves little room to weave between the two gamestates.

    I’m also not sure if the stealth is even a step forward on many of the basic stealth mechanics pioneered by MGS3 and Splinter Cell Chaos Theory a decade ago. In some ways, (such as how the phased radio alerts of MGS3 has been simplified to work better with slow motion reflex mode), the stealth feels like it has made an enormous step backwards.

    Great game? Sure.
    Great stealth game? I don’t think so.

  17. woodsey says:

    I’m about 30 hours in and it’s starting to wear thin. There’s a plot going on between missions but it’s literally just a shitty voice actor saying, “oh my, it seems that that evil PMC that we already know is behind everything is behind even more stuff.”

    Whilst I appreciate the purity of the open world(s) and the absence of icons, the worlds themselves are deathly dull and flat affairs. The bases themselves are interesting, but I’ve never been more disappointed than when I was sent to the same exact place twice a few missions apart.

    The mechanics themselves are very enjoyable, and that should more than make up for the other stuff, but they’re hampered by stupid encounters with super zombie soldiers that no one in their right mind would give a shit about.

    • woodsey says:

      Oh, and it does that Far Cry 2 thing where there’s cliff faces all over the place and you can’t get up any of them, even ones that are in the middle of the map.

  18. Chaz says:

    So if you’ve never played an MGS game in your life, ignore the story and just get on with the fun?

    • aleander says:

      Nonono. In Soviet Afghanistan, the story ignores you.

      /me grabs his coat.

    • UncleLou says:

      Yes. I’ve played MGS2 years ago, didn’t get it at the time, don’t remember a thing. That doesn’t keep me from adoring MGSV, and it does even feel at least a little bit self-contained. I don’t really mind that I don’t know who most of the people are.