Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: The Kotaku Review

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: The Kotaku Review

There's a cutscene, late in Metal Gear Solid V, that's ostensibly serious but contains a musical interlude so awkward it sent me into giggle fits. A dozen missions later, there's a harrowing sequence that ranks among the best video game scenes I've ever played. If you don't know how to reconcile those two things, then, well, you probably haven't played Metal Gear Solid.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, a video game directed by popular Twitter influencer and film enthusiast Hideo Kojima, takes itself very seriously -- more seriously than any Metal Gear before it. Gone are the shlocky routines that characterised previous games in Kojima's longrunning series, which turned 28 -- 28! -- in July. Sure, you can make your horse poop, but that feels tame compared to the porn-lovers and pants-shitters of Metal Gears past. The Phantom Pain is often grave, filled with men yelling at one another about revenge and how they're all already demons.

It's not just the tone that's changed -- Metal Gear's musty mechanics and clunky tropes have also been massively overhauled. While it is still predominantly a game about sneaking into bases, knocking out guards, and occasionally fighting weird boss battles, The Phantom Pain feels modern, fresh, and resoundingly different than any of Kojima's other games.

For all that's changed, The Phantom Pain has one big thing in common with other Metal Gears: It is both profoundly stupid and incredibly provocative. As I watched the story unfold, I found myself constantly frustrated, yelling "no way" at my television every time I witnessed a preposterous plot twist (there are a couple) or listened to an inane conversation (there are many). Metal Gear is to dialogue as teenage goths are to poetry, and yet -- yet! -- there are moments in this game that sent shivers through my body, made all the more evocative by the fact that I was in control of the action. One particular late-game sequence is on par with the series' greatest moments, like Metal Gear Solid IV's microwave corridor. (If you haven't played Metal Gear Solid IV, well, take my word for it. It's a very dramatic microwave corridor.)

Metal Gear Solid V is the best Metal Gear yet, and has immediately become one of my favourite video games of the last few years. It's an impeccable stealth-action game, clearly inspired in all the right ways by modern series like Far Cry, and it's got a level of moment-to-moment joyfulness that kept me satisfied even when I was slogging through harder versions of levels I'd already beaten just to see the "true" ending. The pacing might be terrible, the dialogue incoherent, the character motivations incomprehensible, and the ending woefully unsatisfying, but Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is, really, an excellent video game.

Too bad it's not finished.

Metal Gear Solid V, which is set before Metal Gear Solids 1, 2, and 4 but after 3, stars a guy named Punished 'Venom' Snake, aka Big Boss, who's just woken up from a nine-year coma after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. Things you should know about Venom Snake: He's voiced by 24's Jack Bauer, he doesn't talk much, and there's a horn sticking out of his forehead. After about an hour of breathless cinematic tutorials set in a flaming hospital, Snake joins up with longtime series star Ocelot and his old buddy Kaz Miller for a summer camp reunion. They help forge a mercenary group called Diamond Dogs, because apparently Boss is really into David Bowie. Diamond Dogs, as Miller explains, is a spiritual successor to Big Boss's last mercenary group, Militaires Sans Frontières. This time, though, they're angrier. They want revenge on the people who put Snake in a coma. And they don't mind doing whatever it takes to get that revenge.

Once things get going, Phantom Pain's core rhythms start to reveal themselves. Like always, Snake must go on a series of solo missions to infiltrate enemy bases, take out guards, rescue prisoners, and assassinate targets, accompanied only by his gear and one of four buddies -- a horse, a robot, a dog, and a killer sniper named Quiet. (Quiet, a very good character who plays a pivotal role in the story, sports a sexy yet impractical outfit that's given a rather unsatisfying explanation. Considering Kojima's penchant for breaking the fourth wall, I almost wish they hadn't bothered, instead having her just turn to the camera and say, "Fuck it, we wanted to sell more copies.")

Snake's missions, as the savvy player will soon realise, all follow a certain pattern: First, you approach the enemy base, using your binoculars to scout and tag enemy soldiers. Then you decide how to execute. The appeal, and the thing that The Phantom Pain gets so right, is the freedom you're given to approach every objective however you want.

One operation tasked me with assassinating three Soviet commanders in a big, open camp. I climbed on my horse, pulled out a sniper rifle, and circled around the outskirts, shooting and ducking and shooting and ducking as my horse neighed gleefully all the way. Some important fights required some crafty use of Snake's most subtle weapon, the GROM rocket launcher. During other missions, I stuck to stealth, creeping behind enemy guards and interrogating them for tidbits of information. Other times I made liberal use of C-4 explosives, inflatable decoys, smoke grenades, cardboard boxes, and all of the other tools Snake has at his disposal.

Sometimes I did stuff like this:

Usually I snuck around. The best stealth games are like big puzzles, designed to be dismantled and solved through careful reconnaissance and action. It's there that Metal Gear Solid V is a resounding success. With the exception of a recurring group of irritating supersoldiers called the Skulls -- Kojima's worst creation -- every encounter is designed meticulously. Missions are full of hidden passages and helpful tools, ready to reward the curious and experimental player. Use an item too much and enemies will react; as I played through missions in the Angola-Zaire border region of Africa, for example, I nailed a lot of headshots and threw a lot of smoke grenades, which inevitably led the guards to start wearing helmets and gas masks. So I started using sniper rifles and C-4. Believe it or not a gas mask doesn't do very much to protect against a brick of C-4.

One of the core reasons Metal Gear Solid V feels so good to play is that it's exceptionally polished on a technical level. Not only does it look phenomenal -- seriously, whoever modelled and animated Snake deserves many raises -- it runs at a stable 60 frames-per-second on both PC and modern consoles, which makes everything feel extremely goddamned smooth. I love the way everything moves -- sometimes I'll spend minutes just zooming the camera around and climbing up ladders. If anyone ever tries to tell you that video-game framerates "don't matter", show them Metal Gear Solid V.

Most of The Phantom Pain's missions are crafted to be played and replayed in as many ways as possible, which is great, because the second chunk of the game, cheekily called Chapter Two, asks you to repeat a dozen missions with harder difficulty settings like "extreme" or "stealth only." That part is less great. It comes at a time when story events appear to be hitting an emotional crescendo, and it throws off the pacing, adding an unnecessary amount of padding to an already lengthy game. Granted, padding ain't the worst thing in the world when you're playing something as generally fun as Metal Gear Solid V, but the forced backtracking is disappointing nonetheless. At one point, even after I'd repeated a bunch of old missions, new story operations wouldn't appear for me until I ground through more side-ops and made in-game "time" pass.

Even without those extra challenges, Metal Gear Solid V can be tough. Really tough. There are no difficulty settings, so you can't just switch to easy when you're stuck on a boss. Fortunately, there are some built-in semi-cheat buttons. When I found myself getting bored or didn't feel like slamming my head against the wall over and over to get past a tough challenge, I just called in a helicopter to bombard enemy troops. Doing this will prevent the player from getting the highest possible mission rank, since it's basically cheating, but if you're feeling the effects of poor pacing and just want to get on with the story, blowing everything up isn't a bad move.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: The Kotaku Review

Options for aerial bombardment notwithstanding, Metal Gear Solid V rewards the player most for keeping enemy soldiers alive. Tranquillise or knock out a soldier in the field and you can attach a Fulton balloon to him, which will whisk him off to your base, where he'll be brainwashed into your private army. Through a clunky set of menus on Big Boss's "iDroid" device, you can observe and manage the staff of Diamond Dogs, studying their strengths and weaknesses and assigning them to different areas like Intel or R&D. The better Snake's staff, the easier it is to earn money, recruit new volunteers, and develop better gear. You can even swap out Snake for other soldiers in the field.

The staff-management part of The Phantom Pain is intricate, sometimes to a fault -- your mercenaries can fight amongst one another, gain morale when you visit, get sick and have to recover in the hospital, and even build their very own zoo. Paying tons of attention to this whole system isn't totally necessary, but it can get addictive, and as the game progresses, whatever emotional attachment you feel for Diamond Dogs is rewarded accordingly.

Assisting Snake on his quest for revenge against console exclusivity and 45-minute cutscenes are two familiar Metal Gear faces: the gruff, suddenly psychopathic Kaz Miller; and the inscrutable, always-been-psychopathic Revolver Ocelot, who has switched sides so many times over the course of the series it'd take an Excel file to figure out who he's actually working for. The rest of the cast is great, too: there's a spunky brat named Eli, a wise old gene expert called Code Talker, and a demonic villain with a cool voice but mediocre logical deduction skills. Other than Quiet, who wears a bikini and does not talk, the main cast features no women.

Codec conversations -- those radio conversations that would pop up every once in a while in older Metal Gears -- are gone, replaced by cassette tapes that you can play from anywhere. Most of these tapes are essential for catching up on Metal Gear history and supplementing the cutscenes, so it's useful that you can listen to them while doing other stuff. Unfortunately, they also lead to one of The Phantom Pain's most irritating quirks -- if someone starts talking to Snake, the tape keeps playing.. If you're on a mission and Ocelot or Miller starts chatting about objectives on your radio -- which happens all the time -- they will just talk over whatever cassette is on. It won't pause. This might sound like a minor problem, but it's actually a big pain in the arse, since there are hours of tapes to listen to, and you'll want to play them while sneaking around enemy bases, not just sitting around in your chopper.

It's a good thing those tapes exist. Not only do they offer colour and clarification, they give you a healthy dose of Snake's voice actor, Kiefer Sutherland, who is otherwise nearly silent to the point of awkwardness. His strange silence is particularly evident during some provocative late-game cutscenes, where his response to emotional events will often just be to look at people. One unintentionally hilarious scene involves a villain monologuing at Snake while he just stares, silent, for a solid ten minutes. He and Quiet make a good team.

Kiefer's jarring muteness aside, Kojima's style is all over this game, which is mostly a good thing. When the director's camera isn't creepily lingering over Quiet's boobs, it's zooming and whirling like a dervish, showing off grand spectacles in that flashy, stunning style that Kojima has perfected over the past few decades. Kojima's film obsession drives just about every scene: One boss is straight out of Pacific Rim; other moments borrow from war and horror films, from the frantic handheld camerawork of Saving Private Ryan to the fog-shrouded terror of Silent Hill. (Not a surprise, considering.) None of the cutscenes are as long as they have been in previous games -- the longest is probably 15 minutes or so -- but they are plentiful, and they're almost always great, even if they do take themselves a little too seriously.

Don't worry, though: This ain't Call of Duty. The Phantom Pain might aim for gravitas, but it's still a Metal Gear game, which means that one moment you might rescue child soldiers from a life of imprisonment and the next moment you might slide down a hill on a cardboard box. It means that, in between long discussions on heavy subjects like torture and the power of language, you'll stumble upon posters of anime girls making sexy poses.

It's really too bad this game isn't finished.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: The Kotaku Review

Metal Gear Solid V has two endings, both of which you can see in a single playthrough. Both are unsatisfying. The fates of major characters are left unresolved, the motivations of both villains and protagonists remain unclear, and there's very little closure for the Diamond Dogs and their leaders. A handful of endgame cassette tapes help clear up a few character connections, but some of the twists and turns will inevitably leave the audience with more questions than answers. (The key is not to think about them too much.) After the second ending, you might not even realise the story is over.

Not long after Metal Gear Solid V launched, fans discovered an unfinished cutscene that would have made for a far more satisfying conclusion but is not in the actual game. It's almost impossible to believe that they cut this; without it, an entire major plot thread is just left dangling there, unresolved in the most glaring fashion.

Right now, The Phantom Pain feels incomplete. It is incomplete. It's a stellar stealth game and a triumphant work in many ways, but it's also not the story it should have been, and that's disconcerting. The "phantom pain" in the title refers to the literal and metaphorical pain Snake feels in his missing arm, but it could just as easily refer to the lingering sense that the game, too, is missing a piece. What is that missing limb? Where am I feeling that pain, and how could the game have remedied it?

When I finally completed Metal Gear Solid V -- and I do mean finally, because it took me many dozens of hours to see it all -- I wasn't really sure how to feel. Here's a game with such impressive design and so many evocative moments; why is the story so damn unfulfilling? Why does it feel like there's so much missing? Why, even though I'd happily sing the praises of this excellent video game, am I stuck with the feeling that Kojima's fifth (and perhaps final) major Metal Gear Solid wasn't what it was meant to be?

Big Boss describes his mercenary group, Diamond Dogs, as an army without a nation. Metal Gear Solid V is a game without an ending. Yes, it's a triumphant piece of work, a game that emotionally resonated with me as much as anything I played this year. But that resonance happened in the moment, and without a proper climax, I can't shake the feeling that it didn't amount to much.

By all means, join the Diamond Dogs. Go to Afghanistan; go to Zaire; meet interesting people and shoot them with tranquilliser darts. Enjoy the smart mechanics and dumb dialogue and melodramatic cutscenes. Laugh at the incredibly sharp contrast between the game's best and worst moments. Spend dozens of hours creeping around enemy bases and enjoying the incredibly fun, fluid stealth-action in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. But know that Big Boss's latest story is incomplete. It leaves a sour taste. Then you turn on a cassette tape and shoot up enemy guards with an assault rifle to the tunes of Europe's 'The Final Countdown' and you remember that oh, OK, this video game is alright.


Comments

    Just finished the mission "Where Do The Bees Sleep", was the best yet. Hope there are more like it to come.
    Finally getting used to the controls and mechanics and it's a fantastic game so far.

      I hate the Skulls and the Mist platoon so very, very much. Good thing D-horse is reliable in getting me away from them when they appear.

    I didn't read the whole review because I'm still early in the game and want to avoid spoilers, but I'm loving the game. I wasn't originally going to get it, but reviews convinced me otherwise.

    The porn-loving and pants-shitting is still there, although maybe toned down a bit. I've found one "glamour model" poster (not sure if there are more), and a cassette tape recording of a soldier on the can (which unfortunately can't be set as helicopter music).

    Last edited 07/09/15 11:39 am

    I almost hope that after this they remake mgs again, while 2 and 3 are fine graphically 1 is a little jarring to go back and look at.

      Twin Snakes?

        Twin Snakes was done by another company and I'm pretty sure has major licensing issues. Hence why whenever we get a legacy collection etc, it's the original not the remake. It's a shame, I would love to see Konami release the Legacy Collection on steam with the Twin Snakes included and play through them all in "order".

        Also a side note - I'm only 11% of the way through MGS 5 (doing every side mission + doing them over and over again to get S on each mission) and I made the mistake of reading some articles about characters to try and refresh my memory on stuff we knew before this game came out and spoiled it for myself when I noticed something on a wiki page. My advice - DO NOT READ ANYTHING - as it was a MAJOR plot spoiler for myself. Still kicking myself now for doing it.

          Twin Snakes dev was Silicon Knights.

            Bingo, and I would love to see mgs brought to life on the fox engine.

    Has something been lost in translation with the name of this game? The Phantom Pain? Is the main character a malingerer? Does he suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome? What's the go here?

      In its literal sense it's referring to the documented experience of amputees still being able to feel their lost limbs. In this case, Snake has lost his most of his arm and your buddy Kaz has lost and arm and a leg and specifically refers to the sensation of phantom pain/limbs at the beginning of the game

      Last edited 07/09/15 12:54 pm

      It's the phenomena when an amputee thinks they have feeling (most of the time pain) in the limbs that were lopped off or otherwise lost.

      There are several characters that lose limbs, as well as what happened to MSF between ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain.

    Other than Quiet, who wears a bikini and does not talk, the main cast features no women.

    Kojima has been responsible for some of the strongest female characters in games. The Boss, revered as the greatest soldier who ever lived, and the leader of a team of similarly skilled elite warriors. A character who had a unique strength whilst also not falling victim to the "if a woman is strong she is like a man" cliche that happens so often in media and sometimes in real life. She had so many layers as a character and a truly compelling character arc. There's EVA, who outsmarted pretty much every other character in MGS3 and consistently proved her fighting prowess with goddamn motorcycle backflip kicks. Meryl, a realistic depiction of a strong female soldier in both attire and body shape, who is also positioned as a leader throughout her character arc. Not to mention the countless side female characters in the story who are well layered.

    Kojima's got no problem showing his appreciation of the female form, sure (often in a tasteless, leering way). But he's also one of the most accomplished game designers around at giving female characters the respect they deserve. And the games are all the better for it. He chose to represent mostly male characters this time around. Does this invalidate every other time up until now he's done it differently? Is the expectation that he always must include many female characters in his game? That sounds very problematic to me and like some sort of warped video game affirmative action.

    Maybe he took a once bitten, twice shy approach after the whole Paz in Ground Zeroes debacle. Where people seemed shocked and offended in an argument that sounded a lot like "What! Bad people do bad things?! I don't want to be offended by the things evil characters do!" So instead of filling his game with female characters, creating a figurative minefield in a game already filled with literal ones, he just decided on focusing on what nobody finds offensive; horrifying violence against men.

    --

    That aside, strong review. I definitely agree with the listening to the tapes thing, and I haven't finished it yet but i'm already annoyed by having to re-visit the missions i've already done. Maybe a "heroic / nightfall" approach or setting like in Destiny could have been used to create optional replayability.

    Last edited 07/09/15 12:54 pm

      And yet, despite being "some of the strongest female characters in games", both The Boss and Eva had to run around with their tits hanging out.

      Last edited 07/09/15 1:23 pm

        Hmm.

        http://static.giantbomb.com/uploads/original/11/118274/2543355-0010752358-raide.jpg

        Is sexualisation just never allowed, is that it? Can a character never be viewed in a sexualised manner like real world humans are every goddamn day, in the privacy of bedrooms or the covers of magazines and in music videos?

        Have you never had sex with a person? Have you never been aroused by the way a person looked, completely separate to their personality (which you may love as well)? Does your attraction to someone, does your desire to see their body, invalidate your respect for them as a person, or even a character? Of course not, lust is programmed into us as human beings, it's necessary for the species' survival.

        Why is this ok in real life with real human beings, but as soon as we're talking about a fake woman made of pixels, created by a man expressing his personal creative vision (as lewd as it may be), suddenly it doesn't matter how fleshed out they are as a person, only how fleshed out they are as a sexual object.

        "Despite being "some of the strongest female characters in games", both The Boss and Eva have exposed skin and therefore it's all for naught", is that it? Correct me if i've misinterpreted your argument, i'd hate to strawman you.

        Last edited 07/09/15 1:44 pm

          Looks like somebody's got a case of the Mondays. Firstly, mate, calm down. Secondly, I don't find cartoons or video games arousing. Good for you if you do. Neither The Boss nor Eva needed to have their tops unzipped all the way to be strong characters. It did nothing for their character arcs, or for the story Kojima was telling. Nevermind the practicality of it all (which seems to be a major issue with Quiet, why exactly a sniper in a war zone would ever feasibly wear a bikini, god knows).

            I do have a case of the Mondays, I'm avoiding an assignment that's due tomorrow haha. But i'm just so sick of this neo-puritanical attitude the internet has now. Every single review, article, discussion online has these sorts of comments thrown in there. The Witcher 3, set in a fictional medieval Europe, is too white, for example.

            I never claimed to find cartoons or video games arousing, but that does bring up an interesting point. Either we argue that video games, cartoons, digital depictions of women, men, anything truly ARE what they depict, in which case, it makes sense that the depiction of women in Kojima's universe act and look the way he finds appealing. That they are sexualised in the way we all sexualise the opposite gender (or whatever person on whichever spectrum you have devised for gender / sex / identity that you like), and accept objectification of women and men in media as a reflection of the species' desires. As I described above.

            OR we use the whole "this is not a pipe" approach or the ("I don't find cartoons or video games arousing" approach) and claim that anything represented in game isn't actually what it represents, just a representation of that. In which case, a bikini woman in a battle field who bends over non stop isn't problematic at all, it's not a woman, it's a collection of pixels arranged into a certain shape that reminds us of a thing we know. If you're not aroused by it and it's not a matter of personal sexual taste, then you're denying its sexualisation, and by extension, denying there's an issue with the depiction.

            Snake doesn't need a mullet to be a Secret Agent. Miller doesn't need sunglasses to operate a radio. Metal Gear doesn't need 2 legs to fire nukes. Ocelot doesn't need a red scarf to fire his guns real good. None of these are character design decisions that would be relevant in real life. But this isn't real life, it's a game and it's a heightened reality where things are made more interesting, more absurd, more sexualised even. Quiet doesn't need the bikini; although the reason why is explained in game, and you can't pick and choose which world building explanations "count" and which don't without the whole thing falling apart like a Bible-based argument.

            Last edited 07/09/15 3:11 pm

              How dare you sir. HOW DARE YOU!!!!

              Snakes mullet is the embodiment of the MGS Franchise. I posit to you there is nothing that symbolizes MGS more than business in the front, party at the back.

          'never allowed'

          It's good to see your strident defense of this exceptional situation.

            Well I think we live in a time, more now than ever before, that people who play games have real choice in. The amount of games i play now that sexualise characters these days are few and far between. 90% of games I play now have either sidestepped the gender issue completely with asexual, pixelated avatars or giant cars in a football dome, or have no sexualisation in them whatsoever, treating male and female created characters in largely the same way (to the detriment of story and characterisation, but hey, at least it's not "offensive", right?)

            My point with that statement is, will there ever be a time when a game director can make this creative choice and it not be seen as a problem, but instead an addition to the ever richer tapestry of video games today? There are all different kinds of books, films, tv shows, catering to different tastes. The Sex And The City movie had a literal slow motion full frontal shot of a man's penis while showering. Fifty Shades of Grey was a book that achieved mainstream success despite its content being almost entirely sexual and specifically fetishised. People didn't see these things as "a problem" they saw them for what they were, creative decisions.

            The thing is I actually agree with the fact that Quiet's appearance is ridiculous. However I know what I was getting into when I bought a Kojima game, and it's hardly a surprise nor out of character for these games. And I like that there is a game director out there who does exactly what he wants, rather than what the focus test results tell him.

            Games seem to be attached in a very mainstream way to this ridiculous notion that the players are allowed to demand the creators make changes for their personal tastes. It stopped being funny years ago.

              You may want to consider that your views are quite subjective. While it may seem empowering to call for free speech and unfettered freedom of expression, when you begin to see sexualised children or Nazi iconography then you tend to be prompted to choose where you feel comfortable drawing the line.

              Inevitably you WILL draw that line - everyone does. Claiming there is an objective standard is patently false.

              It's not 'ridiculous' - it's just that we now have more open discourse.

              And if you're going to call for the freedom of expression for creators, that applies to their fans as well, unless you feel like making an arbitrary demarcation that pretty much undermines the validity of your argument.

              tl;dr

              It's all down to opinion. Yours is not more valid than another's and vice versa.

                And we've reached the Godwin's Law point of the debate.

                I agree that my view is subjective when it comes to what is and isn't acceptable, definitely. I agree that the line has to be drawn, 100%. In fact I never said there was an objective standard, did I?

                My thing is now there's almost a Footloose-esque revulsion to any sort of sexualisation in all media now. There's a culture of outrage that could and has already led to sterilisation of creativity.

                And if you're going to call for the freedom of expression for creators, that applies to their fans as well, unless you feel like making an arbitrary demarcation that pretty much undermines the validity of your argument.

                I'm definitely willing to make that argument. Creators have freedom of expression. Their fans do too. They are more than welcome and in fact encouraged by me to make their own games with their own creative decisions if they dislike what Kojima is putting forward. So many creative people got their start from a combination of adoration and frustration towards their favourite medium.

                And I definitely think we should be having debates about what we like and dislike about games we play. But we've got to actually formulate arguments, not make statements like:

                Other than Quiet, who wears a bikini and does not talk, the main cast features no women.

                And then call it a day.

                That's my biggest issue with this, I know it's just a single line in a review and this might not be the place to say more, but I have seen countless articles about this character that basically equate to "bikini girl = bad" with no real discourse.

                (Also let's agree to stop using "tl;dr")

      Hmm, Meryl was pretty poorly written in MGS, not a great example. Her entire arc in that games is pretty much daddy issues and fixating on Snake as a romantic partner because he rescued her. She's better in 4, but still a bit strange.

      I don't think it hurts to highlight that V is a near total sausage fest and the one female character is a) mute and b) running around warzones in a bikini, and questioning that storytelling decision.

        Yeah I can't even remember her depiction in MGS 1 sorry, I played it years ago. But I remember she was a young, inexperienced character / woman, and her growth as a character into a leader is what is important. And that whole older man romantic partner angle isn't exactly too far removed from reality, you see it all the time.

        I definitely agree you can question it. But just stating that fact as if it's an argument or objectively representative of a problem without any further information isn't good enough. Make the argument, but just do it properly.

    I just finished listening to a couple of guards on Mother Base talking about how much they love the soft little pads on puppies feet.

    Damn I love this game.

    "Metal Gear Solid V, which is set before Metal Gear Solids 1, 2, and 4 but after 3, stars a guy named Punished ‘Venom’ Snake, aka Big Boss, who’s just woken up from a nine-year coma after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes"

    Ok, so, ive only ever played the very first game that came out on PS1.
    someone wanna throw me a bone as to weather its worth even jumping in to play the rest between one and now. after the statement above, im severely confused.

      Play Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Easily the best game in the series (including this one), and the very first game chronologically. See how you feel after that one.

    The storyline is pure garbage; you're literally missing nothing by not knowing what's going on.

    The gameplay is fun; dive in.

      MSG review perfection.

    Off topic: how the hell do I change my Kotaku avatar. I try to change it and it takes me to Gravatars.com. I've added a new avatar and set it as my current one, but Kotaku won't update it! I've just got the stupid generic Gravatars ones

    Sounds like GTA5, storyline was sort of all over the place and a bit meh. But fun overall,.

    Perhaps this game is moddable ? perhaps it will come to Linux? perhaps I will buy when its on sale? ....

    Last edited 07/09/15 7:11 pm

    Despite never having played a modern Metal Gear game, I am pretty interested in this one but will have to wait until I upgrade my consoles later in the year.
    It's pretty much one of the few games that has me considering the switch up just for the graphical superiority over the PS3 version.

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