Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review (Xbox One)

It’s finally here, one of the biggest and most hyped up titles of the current generation of gaming is finally being released! Metal Gear Solid V since it was announced was always going to be one to look forward too because of the critically acclaimed history of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Last year we was given a small taste of what was to come with Ground Zeroes which acted as a paid demo with story ties, and it left fans wanting more. Well I got more, and it’s simply amazing.

I was hooked in to Metal Gear Solid V as early as the prologue which in my opinion might be one of the best openings to a video game I’ve ever played. I don’t want to talk about it too much, as some who read this review might not have played the game so I don’t want to spoil this amazing introduction to an amazing video game. It didn’t feel like a Metal Gear Solid game at all, and crossing the horror genre line more than classic MGS we are all used to. It felt different but epically different. It had me confused, shocked, and most importantly of all, I wanted to play it even more. I was glued by the end of the prologue.

After that amazing prologue, you get to see finally see the big feature of Metal Gear Solid V and that is the massive open world. This is the first time ever that a MGS game has had an open world with the past games being both open, but linear at the same time. With MGS V you choose when you want to start the missions or you can just roam around and take in the open world goodness. It’s an interesting take on an open world because you don’t normally have an open world in setting like this with most open worlds being populated with buildings and light while in MGS V you are in Afghanistan for example which is full of mountains and the occasional and totally randomly generated sand storms.

The next big addition to Metal Gear Solid V is the Mother Base. The Mother Base is pretty much a hub for all thing outside of main missions, and also gives the player a chance to run their own team. You get to feel like you are running the base as you decide which member of staff goes in to which team or unit and you decide who you want to get rid off too. There are four teams that are at the Mother Base, each one has a level that can improved depending on the staff that you have in the four different teams. Each staff member has different grades in different categorises which can be as high as A++ or as low as F. Using these grades, you can decide which is the best unit to put this member of staff in.

The Mother Base is also were the Fulton system comes in to play. If you haven’t heard of the Fulton system before it is a balloon that Big Boss can use to airlift all kinds of resources from the battlefield including guards, weapons, and vehicles to name a few. The Fulton system isn’t always a guarantee, and some items being sent via the balloon might not always make it to the Mother Base with a percentage chance appearing before you choose whether to airlift the item or not.

Along with the Fulton system, the Mother Base also relies on Big Boss earning GMP points which is Metal Gear Solid V’s currency. GMP points can be spent on a range of different items that not only can help Big Boss on the battlefield but away from it too. Yes you read that right, you can use your GMP points to further the development of the Mother Base. Further developing platforms such as the command platform will give you a boost of the amount of staff you can have. Then you have the options to help you on the battlefield like new weapons and items, helicopter upgrades, and also new equipment for your buddies like armor for your horse.

Let me describe to you how one of my missions went in Metal Gear Solid V, just so you get a feel of how it is to play this game. I started with being able to choose when I wanted to start the mission, should I wait for the nights sky so my enemies have extra difficulty seeing me while also sacrificing my own ability to see as well as I would at the peak of an afternoon with the sun shining bright. I chose the night skies, scouted the area, and proceeded to stealth my way through the area except I kind of missed an enemy and was caught clearly.

A flare gun was fired in to the air which looked amazing yet threatening in the dark skies as I knew I was in big trouble. All stealth tactics were thrown at the window, and it rapidly turned in to a third person shooter. I imagine the MGS purists have the pitchforks out reading this right about now. I’m sorry! I made one but very costly mistake! From then on I felt on edge during missions as I felt at any moment a guard I missed would spot me, I can happily say it didn’t happen again… well not too many times if I have to be honest.

The great thing about this though is there are so many ways this could have actually played out. I could have been helped or hindered by an impromptu sandstorm, I could have been more precise with when I start to enter to the enemy base and wait for them to change shifts which leaves pockets of unguarded areas, I could have played using stealth all the way through with the option of being non lethal or not interacting with any enemy at all. There are so many different ways a mission in this game can play out that it was exciting to start each mission just to find out what the hell would happen next.

The Final Verdict 

Metal Gear Solid V has beaten all the other games so far as my favorite game of the year so far, and with such a competitive year it’s quite impressive but also expected due to the high standard of Metal Gear Solid games. There ended up being many reasons why I was left extremely impressed with the game with the gameplay being one of those reasons. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, but just a few hours after playing MGS V, I was hooked. If you haven’t already bought the game then go out and buy it right now, it’s just that good!

+The Mother Base system

+Gameplay with the stealth part of the gameplay standing out

+Plenty of content to keep you entertained for quite a long time

Final Score




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