Reviewing games isn’t something I do on this blog often, mostly due to the fact I don’t buy a lot of new games. Additionally there’s the issue of beating the game which in this case can take a while. So while this might not be a full review of Hideo Kojima’s final chapter and magna opus Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, this is a review from the near ending I’m currently at. Let’s hope in kids.
Phantom Pain opens up nine years after the events of Ground Zeroes with Snake, aka Big Boss, waking up from a coma. After finding out he’s lost his hand and parts of his memory, Boss takes weeks trying to recover fully, but before he can finish a group of supernatural soldiers attack the hospital he’s hiding in.
With the help of another patient and Revoler Ocelot, he gets away. He then pulls his focus to finding his former comrade “Kaz” Miller. With Miller, Ocelot and Big Boss working together they reform their private military group with no country of origin, known as the Diamond Dogs. While the Dogs take jobs from private clients their focus is on finding the Cipher agent Skull Face who attacked them nine years before.
Phantom Pain plays better then Ground Zeroes before it. Kojima and his team seemingly tweaked the controls to feel more fluid and as a result the player feels like they have a wider range of controls on the legendary soldier. From moving from cover to cover to CQCing and enemy it’s really easy to life out you action movie fantasies.
The game drops the player into several open world locations and allows them the freedom of moving from major story mission to side ops as they please. During missions and in free roaming Snake is accompanied by one of several buddies. These range from a horse to travel distances faster, a sniper to watch your back during some sneaking missions, a dog to help you track and distract enemies and a mech.
While the four all have their own strengths I quickly found that really only the Diamond Dog and the sniper Quiet were most useful as they were able to get enemies to focus on something other then the guy stealing their shipping containers.
When he’s not on the battlefield, Boss will be at his armies home, Outer Heaven. In order to supply and patrol the base Snake is able to Fulton out soldiers, cars, tanks, animals and raw materials. While these acts will take up your money it’s kind of addicting. I’d end up just knocking a few people out before ransacking the base. It’s also equally fun to sneak up on a tank filled with soldier inside and remove them from the battlefield before they know what’s happened.
Once solders are taken away they can be turned to your side and placed into different teams. Each of these teams can effect elements of the game such as what weapons and tech you can make or how effective certain things, like Fulton extractions are.
While Phantom Pain is a lot of fun there are still a few issues that really cause it to bog down. One of which is the games large tech curve when it comes to getting to the better gear. In order to get the better gear you need to sink a lot of time into finding talented people in each field and then wait for the gear to be developed. That being said, that’s a small issue. Add on top of that, some of your soldiers getting sick and having to leave the team and developing something like a silenced gun for Quiet can take way longer then it probably should.
However, the real issue is the games reliance on a terrible server. Like most modern games, Phantom Pain has to connect to a server own by the games publisher. This normally allows the game to run smoother and connect with other gamers. This time the server does two things; slow every menu down and crash. While the idea of playing offline is something that I enjoy, it was annoying to see that even after all these months of controversies with the games development, that something like connecting to a server would be the most taxing thing in the game.
That being said, Phantom Pain is such an amazing game. It has such scale that it’s easy to lost in the mix. This game snuck into my house and stole 40+ hours of my life and I’m just now reaching it’s conclusion. After that I still have countless side ops and equipment to make. It’s a game that I will be played for months to come.
From running through the deserts to steal a truck or saving a group of child soldiers from an African battlefield the game Phantom Pain so far from boring. Even if your not a Metal Gear this is an amazing game that you’ll love sinking your time into.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami. This review is based upon Playstation 4 version.