Overwatch healer. Dota 2 support. PAYDAY veteran. Silent Hill speedrunner. Hotline Miami mapper. The Witcher peace walker. Metal Gear Big Boss. ______________
Raiden, you seem to think that our plan is one of censorship. What we propose to do is not to control content, but to create context. The digital society furthers human flaws and selectively rewards development of convenient half-truths.
Just look at the strange juxtapositions of morality around you. Billions spent on new weapons in order to humanely murder other humans. Rights of criminals are given more respect than the privacy of their victims. Although there are people suffering in poverty, huge donations are made to protect endangered species. Everyone grows up being told the same thing. Be nice to other people. But beat out the competition! "You're special." "Believe in yourself and you will succeed." But it's obvious from the start that only a few can succeed...
You exercise your right to "freedom" and this is the result. All rhetoric to avoid conflict and protect each other from hurt. The untested truths spun by different interests continue to churn and accumulate in the sandbox of political correctness and value systems. Everyone withdraws into their own small gated community, afraid of a larger forum. They stay inside their little ponds, leaking whatever "truth" suits them into the growing cesspool of society at large. The different cardinal truths neither clash nor mesh. No one is invalidated, but nobody is right. Not even natural selection can take place here. The world is being engulfed in "truth."
And this is the way the world ends. Not with a bang, but a whimper. We're trying to stop that from happening. It is our responsibility as rulers. Just as in genetics, unnecessary information and memory must be filtered out to stimulate the evolution of the species. Who else could wade through the sea of garbage you people produce, retrieve valuable truths and even interpret their meaning for later generations?
I feel obliged to write a serious review of the final game of my favorite franchise ever. So here goes nothing.
METAL GEAR SOLID V: The Phantom Pain
The final chapter of the series so ever remarkable that may not have set the same mark as MGS4 did, in terms of finalizing the series, but it's a great game to pick up nonetheless, for veteran and new players alike.
New players will obviously be very confused at the very intro, because this is not your standard stealth-action game. No, it's not realistic. Yes, it has a lot of cutscenes. Yes, it's normal to be very much confused after finishing the game and not understanding what the ♥♥♥♥ just happened at all. Why, it's Metal Gear afterall. All Metal Gears followed a similar confusing pattern, and it's always been for the better. These games should be understood more as a work of art, allegories and metaphors rather than a generic "shoot the bad guys" game that the series likes to advertise itself as. So let's start with the actual review.
Both MGSV games run on Fox Engine. It's a new KojiPro-developed engine written for equalizing graphical fidelity and gameplay fluidity; and it does just that perfectly. For it's release, MGSV was said not to be the most graphically appealing game (compared to The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4), but I think it's not really the textures sharpness or the debris count that make this game what it's meant to be. MGSV's graphical focus was obviously shifted to cutscenes, where every scene looks absolutely amazing by showing an impressive amount of additional effects, particles, godrays, light shafts, etc. Visually, I'd say the game appeals different from person to person.
The Phantom Pain is, hands down, the best controlled game I ever played by far. I might be overexaggerating here, but Fox Engine made this game an absolute dream to control. Everything you input responds very smoothly, and of course, it's Metal Gear, so in terms of immersion, there's many things that will occur even though you wouldn't expect to see something like it in a videogame. There is not much to say here except to praise the general control system. New players might find stealthing a tad bit too difficult, so there is the Chicken Hat and Reflex Mode to help accomodate that. Won't lie, as a seasoned player I have to use them sometimes too. :P
There is a hidden mechanic that serves as a reminder that Metal Gear is an anti-war game. There is Demon System, which increases Snake's horn if he continues to perform immoral and unethic actions, such as murdering soldiers, prisoners or animals, building nuclear weapons, etc. Being very immoral will turn you into Demon Snake, where you will always be drawn with blood all over you, and your horn will become massive. In contrast, there are also Heroism points which retract your demon points, and they are achieved by doing morally acceptable actions, like rescuing prisoners and wild animals, and disarming nuclear weapons. This system has recieved mixed reception, but after playing every other Metal Gear game, this is a perfect addition to test your morals.
MGSV doesn't offer much from multiplayer. At one point in the story, you unlock your FOB (Forward Operating Base), which serves as your second Mother Base, so you could add more staff and challenge other players to try and infiltrate it. Likewise, you can infiltrate other player's bases and earn rewards. Players that build nukes become high-priority targets for peacekeeping players, because there is a rumor that an additional ending will unlock after every nuke has been dismantled. But remember, we are living in a proxy war without end. Remember that Peace Day never came.. Other than that, Metal Gear Online (3) is a free addition to the base game. It has a small community, but it's very fun to play when things get intense. And you can listen to other Metal Gear soundtracks! And play as Snake or Ocelot!!
Now, here is something that bothers me. MGSV's story was generally negated through many reviews, but I just think that there are many players who completely missed the point of this fantastic game. It's not even the worst Metal Gear, story wise! Kojima is known for not explaining everything to the players, and leaving them to discuss it with each other, to find the tiniest bits of details to fulfill the story of this criminally underrated game. I won't get too much into it because spoilers, but I'll explain the basics. You play as Venom Snake, also known as Big Boss, also known as The Legendary Mercenary. He's the father of a guy you may have heard of, Solid Snake. The game takes place 9 years after the events of Ground Zeroes (which is a prequel to Peace Walker, which is a sequel to Snake Eater), and takes place in 1984 in the Metal Gear universe (by this I mean there are reasons why are so many things so much more technologically advanced than what we really had in 1984. And keep in mind that MGS is a work of fiction afterall, not many things make sense and it's like that for a reason). Snake's private army, the MSF, has been destroyed in Ground Zeroes, and he reaches out to rescue his old friend, Kazuhira "Master" Miller, who was the commander of the MSF, to build a new base, away from govermental boundaries and free from any ideologies. A base like that is always referred to as "Outer Heaven" in the Metal Gear timeline. Snake and Kaz are driven by revenge, and vow to destroy anyone who was involved in the Fall of Motherbase. Prepare for amazingly crafted cutscenes, friendships, betryals, loves, hates and the feels.
Sound & Music
Unlike the rest of the series, the soundtrack of this game isn't really all that iconic, but every music byte is fantastic and fit their own themes and scenes perfectly. There are also many licensed songs from the 80s, which in my opinion was a big waste of money. The sound design is pretty good (heh) and playing with headphones will help you immerse yourself in a world where everyone wants you dead. The same world where you're the legend in the eyes of those whole live on a battlefield. The voice acting is... good. Honestly yeah, it's just good, not phenomenal, compared to Snake Eater or MGS4. Snake is voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, which has been a controversial change from the legendary David Hayter, but he did a great job as Venom. Not saying Hayter would have been any worse, but eh.
I don't even wanna discuss her honestly. I'm sure you've seen Quiet somewhere on the internet even if you're not familiar with the franchise. Let's not pretend that she's being well presented as a survivor of a terrible incident, because she's just being objectified. I'm very much against the argument that Kojima can't write women (*cough* The Boss *cough*), but her character was mostly just plain boring ♥♥♥♥.
Are you interested in the series? You might wanna play the other games first to understand the story better and be slightly less confused, and also for a very, very good experience. But you can just go with MGSV, though you won't understand many plot points, references and ideologies.