My Favourite Games Of 2015: Metal Gear Solid V

Even by Hideo Kojima's standards, Metal Gear Solid V is weird.

Actually maybe weird is the wrong word. Disjointed. Inconsistent. All over the shop. Those are better.

Metal Gear Solid feels like a jigsaw puzzle that's missing a few pieces. And if you listen to rumours about the way Konami handled its release, and the scenes that were deleted from the final game, that actually might be a literal truth: Metal Gear Solid V wasn't quite the game Kojima wanted to release.

But that's okay. With that being said, Metal Gear Solid V's crowning achievement is this: despite the weirdness, despite the tonal inconsistencies, despite the fact its story is a convoluted mess — Metal Gear Solid V still works. It's still incredible. It's one of my top three gaming experiences of this year, in spite of how strange it is.

The reason is this: the core of Metal Gear Solid V is remarkably strong. It's as accessible as it's ever been but doesn't necessarily sacrifice the depth.

And as an open world game, Metal Gear Solid V is incredibly functional and almost perfectly malleable. The strength of MGS as a series has always been that flexibility of approach — allowing players to approach different situations from a number of different perspective. Allowing players to ask, 'would that work?' And then have it actually work.

Metal Gear Solid V takes that aspect of the series to a whole new level. And instead of forcing you to replay the same sections over and over again to experiment, Metal Gear Solid V just provides players a metric butt-tonne of missions with which to play with. It's almost overwhelming.

In fact if I had one complaint about Metal Gear Solid V (I actually have loads of complaints, but let's limit it to just one) it would be that it's almost too long. It's overwhelmingly stuffed with 'content', some of it probably too similar to other sections. I honestly believe that Metal Gear Solid V could have done with a bit less fluff and bit more meaningful missions. Missions that got to the point a little quicker.

Let's put it this way — 30 hours in and I had 20% completion rate. Who has time for this shit?

Honestly, if I didn't write about video games for a living, if I didn't feel the need to be across new releases, I'd probably be playing Metal Gear Solid V right this second. It would probably be the only game I played. It's that damn good. That core — that central core — is just perfect.

Oh and it has D-Dog. D-Dog is the best video game dog of all time.

Long live D-Dog.


Comments

    D-Dog doesn't live very long when you run over him with a tank. You monster.

    I hated it. I sunk 100 hrs into it and there was so much I still hadn't done. Too much. Way too much. This game was 80% filler.

    I ended up ebaying it off. Life is too short for games that don't respect your time like this. And forcing me to play tutorials for all the MP stuff. I don't want to MP on this game, let me choose damn it!

    I didn't even complete the story. Because it was rubbish and so poorly told. And I loved Guns of the Patriots. But hated this.

      You put 100hrs into something you hate?

        Yep. I liked it until the 60hr mark. Then it just turned into a grind.

          Dude I did exactly the same thing. I know exactly what you mean

          I'm not sure I enjoyed it. It was a pretty bland 60+ hrs from memory, peppered with mildly exciting moments.

          I got to 32 hours and turned it off. It just became the same thing over and over and over.

      The story isn't perfect but its not poorly told, its cool unlike you

        Hahaha really??? What are you, 12? Does mummy know you're on the net sweety?

        The story sucked, Killing off skullface with almost no exposition. A ridiculous threat ( the parasites). Almost no cut scenes which is anathema to a metal gear game. Snake having almost zero dialogue. Having to listen to hours of boring audio tapes to get the real story. It was extremely poor storytelling.

          That's all true but it was still cool, its obvious its unfinished and did you even get to the proper ending? Msg4 everyone complained about the cutscenes being too much although 5 needed more its not rubbish and its not poorly told. Your mum knows im on the net and i got her in that quiet cosplay doing rain dance slides

            Thanks for teaching mum that dance, it's been years since I've seen her so happy.

            No I didn't get to the proper ending. I unlocked one of the best assault rifles and I thought "all that work for THIS? It's EXACTLY the same???" and uninstalled. I wiki'd the ending. I've never done that before but after 100hrs, I was completely certain that I hated the game and I wasn't going to waste another second on it. I mean, even in an RPG, after that kind of time commitment you've done some amazing stuff. But in MGS I hadn't even touched the surface! But all the stuff that I hadn't done just seemed like make work, and more of the same. No thanks. Life is too short. It got enough of my time and will never get a second more.

              Exactly this. I played up until mission 17 or so and said fuck this... it's just so repetitive and the story goes absolutely nowhere. Witcher 3 FTW - least I knew what the fuck was going on there!

                Totally. I'm not super into the Witcher, but it's beautiful and it feels like stuff is happening whereas MGS is just doing the same damn thing over an over.

              I have a lot of time on my hands lmao

                Time to go back to school then! Tafe online U CAN DO IT!

                  Well I finished school/vce years ago.. but there's nothing wrong with tafe online, that's pretty fucking low.

                Huh? I go to tafe. Nothing wrong with it. Gives you skills and stuff. It's cool!

                And I graduated school in 97, so yeah, same boat. Finished a LOOOONG time ago. And now I'm back. I've been mistaken for a lecturer many times.

                  Fuck I started school then so there you go haha! Probably played enough metal gear to school me then, i eat my words. I went to tafe briefly for an apprenticeship and witnessed a 100 kilo woman rip a burnout in a vt commodore with kerser pumping out the subs, not sure if online provides that hilarity

                  And i guess msg5 does have a poor story as there is no kerser assassination

                Oh there are some pretty dumb ppl there, that's for sure. But I work at a university and there is still so much stupid around. I wish I had spare time. I bought GTA V yesterday and whilst DLing it thought "when the hell will I have time to play this???"

          I agree with everything you're saying, but for me, i still cant seem to put it down. I'm at about 135 Hours now and it's still my go to game at the moment.
          The story definitely feels unfinished, It looks like there were going to be more chapters after the skullface ending but then padded it out with with sneaking missions or Extreme difficulty replays.
          Still having said that, I still keep going back to it. Someone else wrote that it's not a metal gear game, I tend to agree. Its a great sneaking/stealth game with familiar characters.

      I didn't hate this, I actually managed to enjoy it despite everything Konami did to make it repetitive and mass market. You have a point, but I think hate is a strong word.

      So glad Kojima left Konami for Sony. However some elements of this game are breathtaking and I've never seen them done in that manner.

      How does it not respect your time?

        It expects you to perform the same tasks over and over again for a reward that's not worth it.

        I unlocked the best assault rifle in the game and thought "all that work for THIS?" and uninstalled. Was not worth the grind.

          did you ever try playing the other way?

    A sentiment myself and other people seem to share is that when you are having fun in MGS V then it is one of the most amazing games I have played, but when you aren't in those moments (and unfortunately that's more often than not) then it's a flawed game that has a lot of major problems. There is a fantastic core game in it though that I want to see pulled from the muck and mire then polished to a gleaming and resplendent diamond (dog).

    Last edited 17/12/15 5:18 pm

      Hit the nail on the head. No one can say their first five hours weren't awesome - choosing stealth vs noise; unlocking cool weapons etc. Then by the 25th hour you start wondering if you have been doing the same thing for the past 25 hours of gaming... the answer is yes. Yes you have,

    instead of forcing you to replay the same sections over and over again to experiment

    That's exactly what it does. Except they give a different mission number each time.

    I would've much rather they finished a cohesive linear story than a repetitive open-world mess. Especially considering it's:

    a) the game the closes the loop and ties it back to the other games in the series
    b) it's the last real MG game (it won't be the same with Kojima-san...)

    (I should point out that I didn't completely hate it, I more just disappointed at the "could've-been").

    I look back on it that mission 1-30 were the real game and everything afterwards was dlc. It's story might have been all over the place and only reared its head every 5 missions but it was still a hell of a lot of fun to play. I played it immediately after completing Witcher 3 and (hate me if you must) I think it was way more enjoyable. Having said that I did sink 200 hours into Witcher (50 hours of gwent) and only 100 into metal gear

    Oh and it has D-Dog. D-Dog is the best video game dog of all time.
    Long live D-Dog.

    It is known.

    "Arf arf!" *marks all enemies*
    "Goooood. Goood." *pats best game dog ever*

      He says "Good Dog, goood". It is Emperor Palpatine that says "Goood, gooood". :-P

        On PS4? He says 'good, good'. It's really weird.
        https://youtu.be/vWdRG5H_RKo?t=25

          Maybe it is both or maybe I am making up memories then. I was so sure of myself too. Maybe it is both?
          Maybe Venom Snake IS Palpatine? (cue X-files theme)

    Never been a huge metal gear fan but I've played 2 and 3, I really loved this game. Gameplay is king and it oozes cool, I don't think I've ever thought of a game as "cool" but this is it.

      Red & Gold. That art style oozes 70's original cool.

    I absolutely love this game. I picked it up on launch day and I'm still playing. I'm not sure of my total hours spent in game, but it has to be close to 200 if not more. I have finished the proper ending, but yet to finish the other ending. At the moment I'm going through completing the side quests really enjoying tackling them with different weapons loadouts and strategies.

    Even though I didn't quite catch on to the story, I did enjoy seeing what weirdness Kojima would throw in at the next cut scene and he didn't disappoint. Not getting fully involved in the story didn't limit my enjoyment of the game.

    For me, there is no other option for Game of the Year, even though Rocket League has stolen many many hours of my time.

    I just wish you could take Quiet and D-Dog out on missions together.

    Personally I think they should have scrapped the bulk of Afghanistan and started the game at Chapter 12 - Hellbound. The story and cut scenes really pick up once you switch over to Africa.

    Jesus christ, so many damn spoilers in these comments. I'm only 5% through dammit! Don't make me ruin Star Wars for you muppets!!!

      Dude, it's been out for months, and you're in an article about the why the game was Mark's game of the year. That's like jumping into a group of people who are discussing the game and yelling "don't spoil it for me!".

    Sigh, what a let down was MGS V. It should had focused more on the "real boss" story (really, the medic?) rather than the "Parasite" fan-fiction scenario.

    A great game, from gameplay perspective, but fails to deliver a finished story line.

    Last edited 25/12/15 10:16 am

    Good game, but after 62 hours and finishing mission 46 + most of the side missions I am well over it. Do not need to grind the rest.

    I love that screenshot of the doggy, he so happy ^o^

    Even by Hideo Kojima’s standards, Metal Gear Solid V is weird.

    because it's an unfinished shit?

      Your mother said the same of you and yet here you are.

    It's like they decided against recording a whole bunch of Snake dialogue/cutscenes that should have been there in order to avoid spending another million on Keifer.
    However, I hate to admit that that was probably intentional (as we don't like Konami for obvious reasons) - as on the flip side, Snake's withdrawn oral presence does a great job of selling the whole 'something doesn't seem quite right' gut feeling that you have throughout the whole game, which sets up the hiding-in-plain-sight twist at the end that fantastically repaints the adventure as 'The Ballad Of Venom Snake'.

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