As we anxiously wait for that sweet September 1st release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, it’s easy to see that this stunning stealth-adventure video game will be the best MGS games to come out in the past decade. Usually at the end of each calendar year, the gaming industry selects the top-performing video games with the best “Wow-Factor.” After jumping up with glee after the initial announcement and wide-eyed to see the Metal Gear Online trailer at the 2014 The Game Awards; we are thoroughly convinced that MGS V is already going the top contender with the most Wow-Factor for the Game of the Year for 2015!
This will be Hideo Kojima’s last Metal Gear Solid game (And that’s okay)
The 51 year-old Vice President of Konami, Hideo Kojima has finally earned a long and permanent vacation from making Metal Gear games. When Hideo first created the original Metal Gear for NES back in 1987, he never would have imagined that this one modest video game would spawn a beloved game franchise spanning over decades. This challenging but entertaining stealth game would almost single-handedly create the video game stealth genre and change gamer perceptions that all games could only be about macho characters shooting wildly and side scrolling to the right side of the T.V. Screen.
Fast forward the clocks almost thirty years and thirty Metal Gear games later, arriving at Mr. Kojima who is very, very tired. Sure with much blood, sweat and tears, he moved up the ranks in Konami Digital Entertainment became the VP of a legendary Japanese developer while creating amazing cinematic video games but at what personal cost? In the past few years, Hideo has been promising fans that each Metal Gear would be his last game. This is not a marketing gimmick to get more pre-orders from dedicated fans, he genuinely wanted to be done with the series and move on to different projects. However, as a high ranking official in a company that only had a handful of successful video game franchises, he was obligated to continue making MG games in order to see his company stay ahead of the competition.
It seemed that earlier this year Mr. Kojima finally got his wish, when Konami unceremoniously removed his name from all current Kojima projects like MGSV and Silent Hills. After calming down frantic hardcore fans, Konami later released a press briefing stating that Hideo Kojima would be staying on board until the September release of MGSV. (In April, Konami has just recently added Kojima’s name back on to MGSV and Silent Hills.) This means that Hideo’s original vision for his last MGS game will go untarnished and keeps us firmly believing that whatever he has hidden up his long sleeves will keep us talking from September 1st and all the way to the online voting booth for the 2015 Game of the Year!
The (re)introduction of Metal Gear Online
As we celebrate the bittersweet announcement that Hideo Kojima will indeed be completing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, we also celebrate the return of a long lost mode to the last Kojima controlled Metal Gear game. Originally Metal Gear Online was an ambitious mode that pitted up to 16 players in a variety of online game types like deathmatch, team stealth, capture and rescue back on the PS2 and PS3. This online multiplayer was implemented in several games and eventually spawned an entirely online Metal Gear that was only available in Japan. (The servers were later taken down in 2012.)
Since then, MGS fans have been eagerly waiting to battle their friends and foes alike across the world as the Big Boss himself. Many of the online features shown to the public have included the ability to create/fortify custom mother bases, share resources with friends and invade other player’s mother bases. Of course after the MG Online trailer revealed last year, we also know that there will be stealthy yet chaotic objective based matchmaking with many weapons and wacky gadgets available for both sides of the conflict.
These conventional yet unconventional online multiplayer modes are exactly what Konami needs to push MGSV to competing with the other AAA video game titles like Halo 5: Guardians and the next Call of Duty. With the E-Sports scene becoming more and more mainstream, players crave competition between each other and any video games that don’t include online features are seen as half-finished and underwelming. From what gameplay we have seen so far within MGSV, it’s easy to believe that greatness could follow in the September online multiplayer launch.
Fans played Ground Zeros and made their voices heard
When we first heard that there was a prequel game being made before the events of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, we couldn’t contain ourselves. We knew that we would play that game until our eyes bled. What we weren’t expecting a presumed 2-hour “glorified demo” that had the internet starting flame wars lasting for weeks. Both sides of the fence had valid arguments, the more negative comments complained that the game was too short, new players had difficulty adapting and added alternate modes of the same map repeatedly to artificially extend the life of the game. The more satisfied consumer pointed out that challenging games are fun in their own way, people should be happy for the fact that we even got a prequel game and it was a great way to see the graphical differences between current and next gen consoles for the first time ever.
In an overt way, Konami made the right call to release Ground Zeroes as a smaller package that served their market research needs and still had the makings of a full-fledged video game. This small but powerful video game release did many things, such as show the real-time market interest in their upcoming video game, reveal bugs and glitches within their own custom game engine and even gave fans a chance to inform Konami on what they really want out of a MGSV game. We’ve also seen the plans from Konami to let us bring our save data from Ground Zeroes to Phantom Pain.
With a highly motivated director, inventive yet fun looking online multiplayer and a prequel that will smooth out all the wrinkles, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is shaping to be a major contender for the 2015 Game of the Year!
Do you think Metal Gear Solid V will be the GOTY? Let us know in the comments section below.