Lucien’s Review: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid VThis game was a gift to me for my birthday, and I’ve been playing it like crazy ever since.  And…this game is awesome!  There is only one thing in this game that is holding it back from perfect – Metal Gear Solid.  Take away the series that this game is affiliated with, and you have one of the best, if not the best, stealth action games ever made.  Period.  This game gave me an experience unlike any I’ve had before, and I love it.  Which makes it so hard to accept that the biggest flaw in this game is the series its associated with.  The plot of this game is what’s wrong with it.  Rather, the plot of this game that has to do with Metal Gear Solid stuff.  You probably want me to explain.  Let me do that.

Never in my life have I had a game that made me feel more like a stealth mercenary than this one.  I’m telling you, it was so awesome going through Afghanistan during the 80’s and doing missions.  As a period piece, this game is so fucking cool!  There is a real sense of time with this game.  It feels like the 80’s.  Okay, except for the iDroid, but other than that, this feels like the 80’s.  When you listen to cassette tapes telling you about the political turbulence that was going on during this time period, that is just so awesome.  Made me wish that there was more!  The most fun I had in this game was feeling like it was a role play for being a paramilitary force working in that time period.  More ironic since it is the Soviets that you’re fighting against, to help Afghan military forces.  The other cool thing is that this game acknowledges that you are helping people who aren’t especially good, but since it is people fighting to defend their homes, it allies with your sense of honor.

Which brings me to another thing about this game – the Diamond Dogs.  I love this crew!  Sure, they do some unethical shit, like recruiting people who are clearly killers, along with child soldiers and smuggling arms and all sorts of dubious shit.  But since I am the kind of person who can see past that sort of thing, I really dig these people.  Plus, there is something so adorable about air-lifting a puppy out of a war zone, and having him become part of the team.  My little Diamond Dog.  So cute.  There are just so many personalities in this game, each one with their own baggage and what-have-you, but are all so fun to get to know.  It helps that their base is a floating island, which your progressively make better as time goes on.

But as I said, this game makes you feel like a stealth merc.  Some people play this game violently, but not me!  I am into the stealth all the way.  My missions always went on at night, because I am ninja, and don’t you fucking forget it!  Sneaking through an enemy base is such a great feeling.  Knowing that the idiots around you have no clue you’re there.  You’re a ghost, and this game makes sure you know it.  It also makes sure you know when you fucked up.  I never wore that stupid chicken hat.  Either I own this, or get owned.  Since the game isn’t especially charitable with checkpoints, if you have to restart, it can be a long trudge back to where you were.  Makes the boss fights that much more intense.

Which brings me to the problems with this game.  As said, the biggest thing holding this game back is the fact that it is connected to the Metal Gear franchise.  It shows that Hideo Kojima is a masterful game-maker.  I am so glad that he is on his own now, and hopefully can put his abundant talent to use in other areas.  I’d like to see his dedication to historical pieces like this used again, because I kid you not, listening to “Kids in America” while on a chopper to a mission is so cool!  But whenever the Metal Gear stuff came back, it was always annoying and took me out of the mood.  For a game that feels so authentic to history, to then have a sudden fire man with bullets in his skin or a chick who breathes who her skin and drinks through her skin show up, it just makes everything feel so flawed.  Some of those moments would be jumping the shark, were it not for the fact that you just accept how ridiculous Metal Gear games get.  We’ve seen the madness before, and we will again.  I kid you not, if it was just the historical elements in this game, it would be perfect.  This would be the most perfect stealth action game I have ever played.

But it isn’t.  However, this is a game that I recommend that everyone who loves the stealth genre play.  Never does it stop being fun.  Covertly making your way through desert, jungle, and other places is the coolest thing.  Brought to life by this game’s awesome visuals.  While it isn’t the most visually-stunning game I’ve ever played, it is still pretty good.  The voice acting is also pretty good, though did Kiefer Sutherland charge Konami per word with this game?  He has got to be the quietest protagonist in Metal Gear Solid history.  I get why.  For real, I do.  But I would have liked to hear more of him, because his voice acting is really good.

If you can look past the ridiculousness of some parts of this game, I guarantee that you are going to have an awesome time.  What am I saying, those who wanted to play this game already have.  But in case any of you are still on the fence, here is a nobody on WordPress telling you to do it.

Final Verdict
7 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

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