This may be one of the most difficult reviews of my career and for good reason. I have been a fan of Metal Gear since the beginning and there isn't a lot of people that can say that. Back in the late 80's the idea of a stealth game like Metal Gear was pretty much unheard of. We didn't have access to the internet like we do today so there was no getting help on the fly. We did have strategy guides, but it wasn't nearly as indepth as it now and it wasn't as simple as just running to a GameStop to pick one up and thats if there even a guide written to cover the game you're playing. If things got really tough there was a 1-900 tip line Gamers could call to get help with the level or area they were stuck, but of course it costed money each minute you were on the phone. None of it really mattered though, if players didn't grasp the idea that this wasn't like every other game you've played, you may as well not played at all.
Games back then were simpler, but Metal Gear wasn't close to simple and has continued to stand out from the others to this day. Its hard for me to belive that The Phantom Pain is expected to be final entry into the series, but if its going to end I can honestly say Hideo Kojima provided me with one of the best expereinces I've had in Gaming. As I prepare to give my thoughts on MGS5: The Phantom Pain, I just want to remind evreryone that Hideo Kojima is the genious behind Metal Gear, not its publisher Konami. The fate of Mr. Kojima's fututre in video games is still in the air, but as a long time fan I'd like to thank him for all he has done for the gaming industry. We look forward to hearing about your future endeavors.
Lets move onto the review! The Phantom Pain is worth every penny spent, providing a compelling storyline that keeps you craving for more and over 100 side missions to boot, there is well over 100 hundred hours of gameplay. Thats around .55 cents (USD) per hour just playing through once so content is plentiful. While many people will say graphics aren't everything, it doesn't hurt to have a nice display. Well The Phantom Pain definitly delivers in that department. MGS 5 offers what is arguably the most gorgous graphics this generaltion on console. with stunning lanndscapes and details galore, its hard to believe its actul gameplay at times. Controls are fluid and blend well with games mechanics. More often than not when switching from titles it takes a moment to adjust to the controlls of the game and The Phantom Pain makes the afjustment easy.
This game has so much going on that its difficult to mention it all without bringing in the spoilers, but we're going to run down the list of features without giving away the storyline. This review is really meant to jhelp players decide if its in their interest to purchase it, but it doesn't anyone any good to have all the details ahead of time.
Customization, horses to ride, even puppies Which I'm still wrapping my head around) have been included in The Phantom Pain. My favorite feature is absolutetly hillarious to me though. If you choose to play the game on easy mode, you will be forced to wear a chicken hat through the game. I don't actully know if you wear it through the entire game on that mode, but even its only for a short while, it makes me laugh as I wonder how many people actully upped the difficulty because they were taunted by said hat. The horse riding was awesome an addition, while some may overlook it as a feature that doesn't matter, it actully draws you into the story a little more. As far as a puppy goes, well lets just say it doesn't matter how tough Snake is, we've all got a little room in our hearts for puppies. Well... most of us do anyway.
The stealth and combat are a great mix in MGS5 and thats no real surprise, when some games use stealth its becomes slow and boring at times, when MGS does it, its as exciting as full blown combat. If you're sneaking around and get spotted, its easy to switch to combat as Snake is prepared for any situation. Keep in mind as you battle things out, enemies will adapt to your tactics so its a good idea to switch things up a bit, but theres always a way to win the fight. On that note, you're on your own on how you choose to finish the enemy off, but there are certain things you'll need to figure out on your own in order to move forward.
The world is huge and never gets old to look at the scenery, if you're not interested in watching cinemtatics or credits for that matter, you can skip them all. I persoanlly enjoy the cut scenes, but when on a second playthrough I don't neccisarily need to watch them all agin. Being to complete the game and play again without consuming the extra time is a great benefit to many of Gamers and even to those in their first play through. All in all it's no wonder Metal Gear is getting such high praises in other reviews. This is one of the most solid titles in gaming history and that even feels like an undertsatement. As I said in the beginning this is a difficult review for me and its even more difficult not share the storand spoil it, but I will say if you're even remotely considering this title, take a leap of faith. This is one game we will look back on in 10-20 years and still be raving about the genious of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.