“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” has finally arrived on Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. This is the latest and final “Metal Gear” game developed by Hideo Kojima, who left Konami over creative differences. There was a lot of hype for this game since the last installment, “Ground Zeroes,” was entertaining but very short and felt like a demo. Being Kojima’s last game in the series, he makes sure it goes out with a bang.
Taking place nine years after the events of “Ground Zeroes,” Punished “Venom” Snake, also known as “Big Boss,” wakes up from his coma and runs into Revolver Ocelot, who leads a new mercenary group called the “Diamond Dogs.” Snake helps Ocelot lead the Diamond Dogs as their adventures take them to Afghanistan and Africa to find the people responsible for destroying their old Mother Base. But Snake soon uncovers a plan by an organization known as “Cipher” to rebuild a deadlier Metal Gear and another plan that could threaten the lives of millions.
The gameplay in the game is excellent and immerses the player in the game. It is an open world game like “Ground Zeroes” but this time it’s much bigger, allowing players to explore the hills of Afghanistan and the wetlands of Africa. You can customize your loadout to your liking and spawn in either at dawn, dusk, or go in right away at the set time in the game. This adds variety on how you approach each mission and you will have to plan your approach very carefully or you will die a lot in this game.
In addition to the main missions there are side-ops, which involve having to rescue prisoners, retrieve blueprints or wipe out a tank unit. This adds more hours spent on the game and retrieve in-game currency to help spend on weapons and supply drops. The weather also changes randomly with sandstorms in Afghanistan, which is scary because you will not know what’s coming your way, and rain in Africa, which can muffle the sound of your footsteps while running.
A neat feature is you can bring a buddy alongside you to help you on your missions and side-ops. You start off with “D-Horse,” who acts as a ride to get you across missions faster. A mysterious sniper named “Quiet,” a woman with supernatural abilities who doesn’t speak, gets the job done as she can scout outposts and give you sniper support while infiltrating an outpost or base. But the best companion to bring is “D-Dog,” who can help you sniff out the location of enemies, hostages, weapons, vehicles and even medicinal plants, which is a great help in planning your approach.
Just like in “Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker,” you build your own Mother Base from scratch. You can recruit some soldiers while on missions by Fulton Extracting that involve parachuting them to the base and assigning them a position in a department that they’re good in. You can also expand the base by collecting resources out in the field, which the bigger the base the more upgrades you can get but you also have to swing by the base or else the staff morale will decrease. The online multiplayer mode will be available on Oct 6 and will be sure to keep people playing and joining missions of their own.
“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” has excellent gameplay, is highly addicting and is a must own for all gamers alike, making this a great sendoff to Kojima and the “Metal Gear” series. With the online mode coming soon this could be a contender for game of the year.