Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience Released

If you’re one of those “I’ll wait for the Game of the Year Edition” types, good news: a new stealth game called Metal Gear Solid V [official site] has just become available to you, and I think you really might like it. Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience has arrived on PC, packing both the small, directed MGS V: Ground Zeroes and the sprawling open-world MGS V: The Phantom Pain along with the multiplayer Metal Gear Online and all their DLC. That’s a respectable slab of sneaking for £25! For all its flaws, I still really like MGS V – and you might too, you ol’ GotYhead you.

Let’s pretend you’ve ignored Metal Gear Solid V until now, waiting for the GotY. It’s a sandbox stealth game about a superspy mercenary and his wacky mates who live in a secret offshore clubhouse. Ground Zeroes is a short prologue, set around one single military base, with one core story mission then a load of other missions which also happen to be set there. GZ leads into The Phantom Pain, a huge, sprawling, open-world sandbox about building a new clubhouse and stopping some shady black ops shenanigans while getting revenge on the people who blew up your last clubhouse. Here’s Wot We Thought of Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain.

I remember MGS V fondly. I haven’t even finished The Phantom Pain yet, as I stopped after one of the several story beats which felt like a good-enough end. It keeps on going and doesn’t do enough interesting with that. But! The sandbox world and its emergent antics are great fun. It’s a fascinating playground with some great toys. The story collapses and at times would struggle to outwit a sack of rocks but looking over screenshots today reminded me how much I came to like some of those people (and creatures). TPP also gave me a new appreciation for Ground Zeroes, for its focus on one big single intricate base and the improvisation required when you can’t teleport all enemy troops away and call in supply drops.

The ‘Definitive Experience’ name is a little odd considering it doesn’t fix or expand upon anything, it doesn’t complete and add those cut unfinished missions, or any of that. It’s messy but it’s some quality stealth – especially for the price.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience is £24.99/29,99€/$39.99 on Steam. The DLC is mostly fluff and I’m sure GZ and TPP have been cheaper on sale but hey, this is still good as a new base package.

This is likely the last Metal Gear we’ll see from series mastermind Hideo Kojima, as he’s parted ways with Metal Gear owners Konami in less-than-friendly circumstances. He’s gone off to start his own new studio and impregnate Norman Reedus, while Konami are turning MGS V into a zombie game with Metal Gear Survive.


  1. Zankman says:

    Does this version fix Quiet?

    • Henke says:

      Yes, she’s loud now. Keeps shouting everything at the top of her lungs. People still call her “Quiet”, but now it’s ironic.

    • zarthrag says:

      If you’re referring to her embarrassing lack of clothes: yes, there’s an outfit that covers her up so well you’d accuse her of being a quaker.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      My first thought too. Quiet is literally the one and only reason I will never buy this game.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Quiet has been so blown out of proportion. Her character design reeks of sexism yes but beyond that she is an intersting character with an actual back story. Christ, even Leigh Alexander in a podcast admitted that she likes her. She’s no worse than The Witcher games with Ciri’s always undone blouse or the fact that two of its main female characters are introduced to you naked for no reason. Or you know, cards.

      • keefybabe says:

        Except those women have actual character and some of those are using nudity as a power play, and not because “Japan guy says I breathe through my skin now”. Quiets character is as deep as those paragraphs next to page 3 models in the sun and serves the same purpose. You have as meaningful and deep a relationship with quiet as you do with the dog.except you don’t want to shag the dog… hopefully.

        The lack of clothing is only part of the problem with quiet.

        • Otterley says:

          It’s a mighty fine dog. Just sayin’…

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Did you play/finish Quiet’s storyline?

          I’m not saying there aren’t problems but to me it seems like everyone decided ahead of time that they were going to hate this character and by the looks of it most people never even finished her storyline.

          The Witcher’s characters might have more dialogue but that doesn’t mean they’re anything more than a vending machine to drop nice coins into until a fuck comes out.

        • Emeraude says:

          Quiet isn’t a particularly well written character, but she’s probably the most heroic character in a cast and story that is written to be a 9 year old’s dream of what war is (Big Boss is the best soldier there is – he’s the best at playing hide and seek, and he has the most awesome treehouse; well in our case sea house). That should give her some points.

          But even then: she’s a character about the power of sex on a social level and how it makes people uncomfortable (other girls can exist on the magical treehouse, but only as long as they’re “one of the boys”, as soon as there’s a hint of sexuality, they have cooties and must be segregated) and, however convoluted the justification, she doesn’t have a choice about it.

          As I put it in a conversation recently, the great fear for men is that they don’t exist beside their production power (or to paraphrase Erich Maria Remarque “you think it’s love, and they’re only really interested in the food you bring”; any man that tries to play the games of seduction to be desired in and off himself instead of using secondary markers of his production power will be mocked as a fag, or metrosexual to use the more polite euphemism); the great fear for women is that of being nothing but a fuckhole with womb attached (pardon my French). Quiet is an interesting vehicle for expression of that fear that walks a thin line between the textual and the metatextual.

          However much I don’t like the character, it’s not really because of innate sexism, and she certainly hits an interesting nerve. Ironically in no small part by provoking in the audience similar reactions to the ones she produces in-game.

          It always saddens me how modern (by opposition to the classics, I guess) so called feminists have high-jacked the discourse to the point that sexual and sexy seem to be almost automatically equated to sexist. It’s like conservatives are wearing the desiccated husk of what once was feminism. That’s how it all too often feels to me at least.
          You’d think that characters that are instrumental in – to me – the most insidious side of the othering of women, the iconofication, would be pointed at more often (say the Empress in Dishonored, or The Boss really), but it’s not them that seem to be of interest. Making me think that, at its core modern feminism is used as a tool to get around fear of sex about as much as it’s driven by an actual desire for social equity.

    • Distec says:

      But there’s a whole 20 people who refuse to buy this game because of Quiet! How could Konami fathom leaving all this money at the table, honestly?

      • Otterley says:

        Ah, but have you considered the Dunkelziffer?. It could be up to twice as many

  2. mrentropy5 says:

    I nearly stopped playing when I found out I had to remove all my game controllers from my computer or MGS:V wouldn’t work right.

    Then I nearly stopped playing during the opening when I thought I had purchased “Hospital Bed Simulator” by mistake. When I found out you could skip the cut scenes I nearly stopped playing when I crawled forward a few feet, stumbled, then lost control of the character for a while for another ‘cut scene’ type deal. Then I nearly stopped playing after that happened too many times.

    I stuck with it, though, and started doing the first mission thing. Got as far as rescuing someone and tried to get away from the area only to find out that my extraction helicopter couldn’t land because of some kind of gas on the ground. It turns out that helicopters, giant upside fans that whip dirt and debris around when they get close to the ground, can’t disperse a gas. So it flew about a hundred miles away. I tried riding a horse through a group of S&M latex clad zombie things that hopped around like fleas and killed me. That’s when I finally did stop playing.

    • CMaster says:

      Sadly, after that it really does get much, much better. (Especially once you unlock the stealth suit).

      However, it is sad that you have to play through that godawful opening mission at the hospital for about an hour. Twice.

    • Pravin Lal's Nuclear Arsenal says:

      I love stealth games (Thief 2 is still my favourite game of all times) but I never approached the Metal Gear series after…2? The one that starts on a boat. I found the verbosity and earnest silliness of the series intrusive. Now, V is praised by everyone for being a good stealth toy box and I might play it now that the GOTY edition is out, but mrentropy’s comment is a bit of an alarm bell. So, my question is: how long would I have to suffer before it opens up and gets better?

      • Sizeable Dirk says:

        About 90 minutes and it’s open’ish world with direction for a couple of hours then it drops everything as long as you want to faf around with side stuff until you choose to progress some and repeat.

        I’ve spent probably 20 hours with it and haven’t started main mission 4 or 5 or whatever it’s on.

        (I spent 100 hours on my first Snake Eater playthrough and probably 150 before completing Peace Walker’s so my MGS time frames *might* be a bit padded compared to normal peoples’).

      • welverin says:

        I put about three hundred hours into the game, I think. hard to be sure exactly how much time with some pause time in there and running the game continuously to get the last couple of achievements, Steam says 382, and I’m pretty I was at 300 before I started idling for nuke research.

        Soooo, even if you don’t faff about as much as I did there’s still plenty of play time to be had to make that initial hour or two quite negligible by comparison.

    • Sizeable Dirk says:

      Falling nanomachine wizard rocks did it.

    • Improper says:

      No offense (actually, a bit of offense), but I don’t know what you expected. MGS isn’t exactly an obscure series and anyone making a cursory Google search would find most of its games are pretty heavy on cutscenes and bizarre story elements, with level & game mechanics designed with that in mind.
      Plus it’s like the 5th game in the main series, though it’s not by any means a bad starting point nor is the game demanding you to know any of the lore beforehand.

      • zarthrag says:

        This. It’s like picking up the latest saint’s row, and complaining about the craziness. There were…indicators you’ve clearly ignored.

        MGS is an acquired taste, and the start of the game is absolutely “guided” for awhile.

        That said, as a fan of the series, I thought the intro was awesome – from a technical standpoint – it’s the biggest indoor-area in the game (according to my rather completionist playthrough, so far – 169 hrs, mission 42). I was hoping for more places like it.

      • poliovaccine says:

        Yeah I fully appreciate when there’s someone actually trying to do something different, even unique. I also find suspension of disbelief far easier in a game than in other mediums, given the obvious deathless simulation of it all. I like when stories basically take advantage of that fact.

        Besides, games that play at realism are sometimes even harder for me to immerse in, because they come across as more obviously fake. They establish more rules of their world for themselves to later break.

        I’m not exactly a big series loyalist here, mainly because I have never really been a console gamer, and also missed the boat on MGS when it was new. But I appreciate the story here for being as fantastical as it is ambitious. I don’t like when I can reduce what I’m seeing to a formula of genre standards or prior influences. I do like when a story isn’t afraid to be ridiculous. If I wanted to take this all that seriously I would have joined the actual military.

      • mrentropy5 says:

        I didn’t go in not knowing anything about it as I had read reviews and have, at least, played MGS 4. It just took a very long time to get to the game portion. Steams says I’ve played MGS:V for 2 hours but I’d swear it was a lot more than that.

        I don’t know anything about the story, past or present, because I skip over it and don’t think it’s relevant to the rest of the game, anyway. I was very curious about the flaming sky-whale, but I don’t think that’s explained anywhere.

        At some point I will remove all the accessories from my computer that stops MGS:V from playing and get through the rest of it. And I’ll probably enjoy it because that’s the kind of thing that happens.

        As a for instance, Zarthrag mentioned Saint’s Row. I avoided SR for a very long time. Actually, I ignored it rather than avoided it. But I was bored one day and the most recent one was dirt cheap on Steam so I bought it. And I enjoyed the Hell out of it. So much so, that I picked up Gat Out Of Hell and all the previous ones. I played ’em all.

        Actually…. I think I’ll start re-playing it this weekend.

  3. Abacus says:

    I only got around to playing this game almost a full year after it came out and I can’t say I was taken by it. The writing was honest to god awful with some of the worst dialogue and over the top voice acting I have ever heard in a game. I thought the open world playground was impressive but without a compelling story thread to keep me playing and with the knowledge that if I wanted to finish it I would have to invest a LOT of time into a story I didn’t care about, I was quick to uninstall it.

    I like to rewatch the trailers every now and then. Some of the best trailers I’ve ever seen for a game. And it may be sacrilege to say but I’m actually interested in seeing what happens to the series without Kojima. Bioshock 2 was the only Bioshock that didn’t have Ken Levine on board and that ended up being my favourite in the series so I’m quite open to seeing what happens. I don’t really buy into the Jim Sterling hate boner for Konami, probably because I’ve had so few dealings with them.

    • darkath says:

      Spoiler Alert :

      MGS without Kojima = a dumb zombie game called Metal Gear Rising, it does not bodes well at all.
      Bioshock without Ken Levine was still in the hand of a decent company that knew how to make games. Konami on the other hand is first and foremost a Pachinko business, that happened, by chance, to make a few good games thanks to that one man and his team.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Survive is the zombie game. Rising is the really good but not really a Metal Gear game made by Platinum which has more in common with Devil May Cry type games.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Oakreef says:

    To really get the definitive MGS5 experience install cheat engine and give yourself infinite cash so you don’t have to grind for bullshit

    • zarthrag says:

      Can cheat-engine make the game a bit harder? I keep wishing for the Russians to fix (or better yet, move) their radar installations. Get heavy-handed with re-enforcements, and actually give a real hunt/chase when I retreat.

      • welverin says:

        You can make things harder on your own, by turning certain things off and limiting what equipment you use. Admittedly it doesn’t affect enemy placement or AI, but it’s something.

        Of course there’s always the FOB stuff.

  5. Raoul Duke says:

    One of the best games of the last decade, in my opinion. It has a lovely way of starting quite narrow and then opening up… and up… and up…

    Fun gameplay with plenty of variety and extreme levels of player choice. Very nice graphics. Loads of personality. And significantly less rubbish characters/cutscenes compared to the previous game.

    That said I wouldn’t personally bother to get this package. Ground Zeroes doesn’t add much and the DLC is total trash. Just get the base game on sale.

  6. AutonomyLost says:

    I wonder if this version definitively denies players 21:9 support as well?

    I began playing the game on a TV, moved to ultra-wide in the middle of it, and couldn’t go back. I managed to fix it a couple of different times via a hexadecimal edit, but each time there’s been any kind of update or patch to the game, it gets reset to a 16:9 hard lock. Add to that there’s UI wonkiness associated with the hex fix, necessitating yet another/different fix, and it just proves too agitating to continue keeping up. As to why the game didn’t ship with UW support, I’ll never know. It’s a damn shame, as I love the game.

  7. anHorse says:

    “Definitive” is a bit of a laugh when there’s clearly a whole act missing somewhere

  8. Evil Pancakes says:

    I can honestly say that MGSV was both one of my favourite and most disappointing game of 2015.
    My favourite because the gameplay is just damn near perfect. I had my doubts about an open world stealth game, but damn does it work well. There’s so much freedom to how you appraoch each mission. You can not only choose to go stealth, lethal or anything in between, but there’s near endless ways play each style.
    Most disappointing because story wise the game is just so incredibly sub-par compared to the others. Each MGS game is incredibly silly story wise. But the games do it each in such a strangely brilliant and creative way, with some of the most memorable boss fights in all of gaming. And none of that is present in MGSV.
    Still definitely worth playing only for the core gameplay loop, just don’t bother thinking about the plot too much.

  9. gbrading says:

    They’ve priced it sensibly; if you’ve never bought the game before it’s no differently priced than the base game. This should hopefully get a fair discount at the Christmas Steam sale, then I’ll pick it up.

  10. spaced says:

    Sooooo tired of hearing people complain about story/dialogue/voicing in this game. If you don’t get it, you don’t know the series very well. It’s a trademark of the series. If you want the same old ball-numbingly boring stuff, every other military shooter or splinter cell game would be happy to have you.

    That said, I’d almost recommend Ground Zeroes more. I replayed it for months until phantom pain was released, and I found it to be a more faithful recreation of the vibe of earlier MGS games. The Phantom Pain takes things in its own direction, but the elements of GZ are so focused that it just sucked me in and I couldn’t stop playing.

  11. Synesthesia says:

    It’s such a shame what konami did to Kojima’s last MGS. Makes me sad just thinking about it. The game ends so abruptly, with so many filler missions popping up, it’s obvious production was forced to stop before the game was finished. And the first act was so wonderful, too. I wonder what plans he had. Fuck konami.

  12. kud13 says:

    Something to wishlist on Steam then.

    Is Konami ever going to do a series remaster on PC for those of us who never had a console to play the previous Metal Gear games on?

    I’ve often heard the series being praised as having the most complex story in gaming (for me that title currently belongs to Legacy of Kain, out of everything I ever played), but I’ve never had a chance to play them before now.

    • Sizeable Dirk says:

      Probably not because the Konami executives hate their games division.
      MGS1 (called “Metal Gear Solid: Integral” on PC) including the VR challenge missions disc and MGS2: Substance were ported back in the day so that’s something at least.

      MGS2 is the worst/best for mindf-ing, pretentious, convoluted and interpretation-masturbatory story even compared to overly pretentious post-modern film snob fappery.

      • zarthrag says:

        Yeah, hopes of a Metal Gear remake prolly died when Kojima left, too.

    • Feeesh says:

      Closest thing you’re probably going to get is emulating Twin Snakes with Dolphin.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      I wish they would, but I doubt they ever will. But yes, every single game in the series bar MGS4 can be obtained and/or emulated near-flawlessly on PC in some form (admittedly Peace Walker would be the PSP version with half-assed third-person camera control rather than the PS3 HD port). They’re pretty easy to obtain legitimately, too – 2 and 3 in particular can be picked up for next to nothing these days if you settle for the original releases, which are still perfectly good games even without all the extras in Substance/Subsistence.

  13. SableKeech says:

    I got this and W3 at the same time and there is only one winner for me – MGS5 didn’t fair so well for me.

  14. CartonofMilk says:

    I’m surprised you’re allowed to criticize MGS V without getting torn apart. I know that never worked well for me. I dared criticize the ridiculous bottleneck “open” world map that is the afghanistan map (the african one is much much better though), the fact that doing side missions had you clearing out the same areas again…and again…and again… (that afghan map airfield, i think i was sent there at least 6 or 7 times for different missions) that the boss fights were super repetitive boring affairs, that the plot was completely uninteresting with not one redeeming character to hold your interest (not its biggest flaw mind you, i don’t care that much for story in games, theyre generally all generic and unimaginative anyway), that Quiet was disgusting and could only have been created by the mind of a stupid drooling nerdy teenage boy, that the running animation was hokey, that the vehicles physics and handling was BS, that sleep darting enemies was OP, that extracting every single enemy soldier worth a damn was very repetitive and stupid (they all joined you no questions asked apparently) and that the shootings mechanics were awkward and kinda terrible if you somehow effed up and had to find yourself in a shootout situation. I had i’m sure more legit criticisms but i forget what they were now.

    All that being said i did have SOME moments in MGSV, but it’s a 7 at best. A decent but flawed game to spend time on while waiting for something better to come out.

    Also i couldn’t help but think while playing it that Far cry 4 is better in pretty much every aspect. The stealth is better. The shooting is better. The emergent gameplay is better. the map is 100x better, and while doing all the side stuff is repetitive, not ONCE do you have to basically do the same thing in the exact same place twice. In MGSV, you clear the same outpost 50 times. In FC4, you clear every outpost only once. The game is still about as long to finish. And damn, even FC4’s weak story is (somewhat) better.

    How then was MGSV a GOTY but not FC4? (not that i necessarily think it should have been) Maybe the fact that Ubisoft are sorta (often fairly) reviled by a good segment of the gaming population while (for some reason) Kojima is revered?

    I killed sanhelehturopsusienfb (with cheats because f*** boss fights) and then didn’t bother with the remaining missions. ooh but didn’t i want to know what happens to the characters and and..and the story!!?!? let me think….hmm… no. I hadn’t played a metal gear game since the first one (actually no, since the second US-only one but let’s not count that one) in something like 1988 (a classic) and going by MGSV i’m gonna go on a limb and say Kojima might possibly be one of the most overrated game designer in history? Probably Metal Gear Solid was great for its time but i cannot see how people can make excuses for MGSV or not see its glaring flaws. The only reason i could think of is fandom.

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      The running animation was motion captured, how can it be hokey?

      Anyway, I don’t get where you’re finding these rabid MGSV fans that will rip you to shreds for criticising it. I have played every single MGS game several times and I still have a great many misgivings about the story, and with the game’s execution in general. In fact, I’d put money on you not being able to find a single fan who didn’t find this game both cathartically amazing and crushingly disappointing.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        To be fair to the OP and his/her rant, trust me, there really are plenty of MGS enthusiasts out there who won’t hear a word said against Kojima’s talents as a storyteller. But yeah, there’s plenty of more discerning consumers, too. I’m no hardcore fan, but I’ve finished 2, finished 3, and beat 4 multiple times – at the same time I could quite happily write a book on how terrible great swathes of all them were. I can totally see why people call 3 one of the greatest videogames ever made – I’d also count The Boss as one of the worst, most insultingly stupid fictional characters in any creative medium I’ve ever come across (far more so than Quiet, for all her obvious flaws). The idea you can’t criticise Kojima anywhere on the internet without being pounced on, or that people can’t see the series’ pros and cons, is nonsense.

    • Hellraiserzlo says:

      Far Cry 4, just like Far Cry 3, was a map clearing ocd game with rhythmic point and click sequences.

      • Otterley says:

        Far Cry 4 was such a weird game. Some really nice scenery that I would have really enjoyed exploring. But any time I moved – legs heavy with honey badgers – there was always something going on. Karma-ridden firefights round the corner, couriers & convoys causing traffic jams just up the road, everyone shouting “Eagle, eagle!”. It was the noisiest place ever!

        Had to turn to GTA V for some chill time – in the city

    • death_au says:

      I will admit I’m an MGS fan, but I haven’t come here to defend any of your criticisms. But the best thing about the game is the engine. I don’t know exactly what it is, but something about moving around that world, observing routines and looking for openings, the variety of tools available to you, picking off guards without their mates noticing… It all just felt so good. It was a great sandbox just to play in, story be damned.
      That’s why I’m actually tentatively looking forward to Survive, because even as a MGS fan I’m looking forward not so much to spending more time in that world, but more time with that engine and those game mechanics that were so satisfying to me.

    • CptPlanet says:

      I have to say, MGS is my favourite IP in entertainment history. The characters, the story, the art, the way the scenes are directed (with a few exceptions), it just clicks for me. Admittedly, it’s not always about Kojima. The soundtrack in the series is my absolute favourite in gaming. Yoji Shinkawa, an artist for the series has become one of my all time favourites; is also known as the man behind the series concept art.

  15. YogSo says:

    It’s a sandbox stealth game about a superspy mercenary and his wacky mates who live in a secret offshore clubhouse.

    That’s a nice description, but I prefer this one coined by Serenegoose in a forum thread:

    “Recruitment manager for an offshore oil company with a balloon fetish goes on a wacky road trip to get the gang back together, inflicts their best of the 80s mixtape on the audience the whole time.”


  16. Psychomorph says:


  17. Nauallis says:

    Is this the one with the action-packed waterboarding?

  18. Pink Gregory says:

    I implore anyone that’s going to play this to disable markers and reflex mode.

    • Nauallis says:

      What is reflex mode?

      • Pink Gregory says:

        It’s that thingy that makes everything slow-motion whenever you’re spotted sneaking.

        I can see why people would maybe want to use it, but it makes the game a bit trivial, especially in conjunction with the tranquiliser pistol.