Haven Review: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

First up is our disclaimer.  We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.KWell as you are reading this, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has probably been out for a few weeks. The reason why I’ve waited to write this is so I can be sure of facts presented in my review. 2015-09-27_00003This is the last Metal Gear Solid game we will ever see from Hideo Kojima or at all, seeing as how Konami is getting out of the triple-A game business and focusing solely on the gambling industry. The story takes place soon after Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and has a pre-story called Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. You follow the hero, Venom Snake as he awakes from a nine year coma, only to find everyone still wanting him dead. As you’re helped to escape your hospital room, you meet up with old allies and enemies to form your new Mother Base and military power called “Diamond Dogs”.2015-09-02_00005

Soon after, you set out on a mission to seek revenge for the comrades you’ve lost. The story is mission-based, much like Peace Walker, and you must complete missions to get closer to your goal of seeking revenge on Skull Face. If you want the full story however, you need to complete all secondary objectives, since much of the story isn’t told directly to you. You also have to collect and listen to various tapes to help uncover the entire story. This process is pretty tedious, as some secondary objectives are fairly hard to complete if you don’t know what you’re doing.2015-09-06_00001

I’ve noticed quite a lot of issues throughout the game, such as how easy it is to cheat and that Konami seems to care very little for its “Forward Operating Base” (FOB) online playing mode. Instead of monitoring sessions for misbehavior, they ask that players email them with the user name of the offender in question. However if you are playing on the PC platform this gets a lot harder, since it’s tied to Steam. Also, players can freely change their user name, which makes it even harder to stop. It can even get to the point where a player can develop a nuclear weapon to use online, and thanks to cheats players can have a virtually unlimited number of nukes. This would make the lustrous hidden scene almost impossible to view, since every player in the entire world would have to disarm all their nuclear weapons.2015-09-04_00001

Apart from the issues with the online mode, there’s a lot of fun to be had; many have stated that it’s a very forgiving stealth game. It also often pokes fun at previous Metal Gear Solid games in various ways. You can hide in a latrine, for instance and play the sound effects of a soldier having stomach issues to make others leave the area.

Throughout play, there are various things you can do to blend in or even outwit the enemy. You can stick an image of an opposing soldier onto a cardboard box and walk alongside them; your adversaries completely oblivious to your amazing stealth tactics. Even if you do get caught, you can easily hide and soldiers will stop looking for you after a while, making it easier to continue.2015-09-06_00002

Another change to the series is that they stopped using the ration system, which in all honesty I really liked. Health regenerates automatically now, making it easier for newcomers to get into the Metal Gear Solid franchise.

Truth be told I really enjoyed playing through this Metal Gear Solid game, despite a few bugs and Konami rushing the production near the end (not to mention leaving out a crucial mission important to the series’ depth and story). Overall, the good outweighs the bad. However it’s tragic that the story will never be complete, and that Konami seems uninterested in fixing the aforementioned online issues.Is it worth picking up when you get a chance? I totally think so, and I look forward to breaking into your base, stealing your shit, and blowing up everything else.

-Daniel Clatworthy- MGSV