Metal Gear Solid V Review

Metal Gear Solid V is the latest in the series developed by Kojima Productions, and features a revenge story revolving around Snake and his comrades. In the very specific niche genre of stealth third person shooter games, Metal Gear Solid V is among the very best ever made. Stealth games are really difficult to pull off because they rely heavily on the intelligence and fairness of the AI you are hiding from, and Metal Gear Solid V does very well to make the game as fair and realistic as possible in its stealth aspects.

Gameplay

Snake is very easy to control, moving from standing, to crouching, to prone and moving in and out of cover. I have to say it bothered me throughout my entire play through that any kind of environmental features, such as rocks, are unavailable for cover. Meaning that snake cannot use these objects as “cover” he can only use perfectly flat objects like barriers and walls.

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There really isn’t much to say about the combat in a game like this. It is really hard to mess up a shooter style combat system. I must say though there is a good aspect of realism put into how the combat works. For instance some enemies will wear helmets, forcing you to shoot below the helmet in the face or neck to get a head shot. In fact over time the enemies will start to wear a lot of different gear to help them defend from your tactics like night vision goggles, full armor suites, and walker gear (which is a personal mech picture above).

The main draw of the gameplay in MGSV is the options and diversity available to the player when completeng a mission. The environment and maps present multiple ways to reach the objective, and the gameplay and combat provides options on how the player may choose to take out a target or complete an objection. Verdict 30/30

Visuals

The characters in MGSV have very realistic features and movements, in fact if you spend too much time out in the field of battle you develop blood stains and dirt stains on your face. If this happens you will need to head back to mother base to shower and clean off or a cut scene will play where Ocelot tells you how bad you smell and splash water on you. The faces and movement animations are good looking, however this was probably made easier by the fact most characters in the game never break from their deep stoic facial expressions

The landscape is huge and filled with lush shrubbery, leaving the player with an immersive field to complete missions in. However it often seems barren and empty. The only thing populating the environment are occasional guard outposts and military bases.

Clipping is rare and only takes place with environmental aspects like grass and guns hanging off of Snake. Verdict 20/20

Story

The Metal Gear series has a long and intricate story, however MGSV never makes any attempt to fill in new players to the franchise with the back story of all these characters. So because I was new to the franchise I was left questioning and guessing throughout the entire play through. The characters in the story are never truly introduced to the player, and I never felt like I really cared about them. We’re told that Snake is after Skull Face because he was behind the attack on mother base, however this is the only driving force throughout the entire plot, and it just doesn’t seem enough. I never really hated Skull Face, in part because I rarely even see him throughout the majority of the game. Lacks a certain likable quality, disappointing. Verdict 20/30

Online (optional)

The online is really going to hurt this game. Look as a reviewer I do my best to remain unbiased, but I have to be honest with everyone here: I’ve never been a huge fan of multiplayer games. Part of this is because it is very hard to get a multiplayer system that is balanced, fair and actually fun to play. A half-hearted multiplayer like this one is certainly none of these things. You’re told as a player that the multiplayer is suppose to be stealth based, but it seems that this presents itself more as a hide and snipe multiplayer. Now let’s be honest with ourselves here, the only real appeal to multiplayer is how fun and addicting it is, and MGSV has neither of these things. At some point near the end of the game it introduces another multiplayer aspect where in you can try to sneak onto another players’ mother base or FOB base, but this really doesn’t present anything the standard story mode doesn’t offer you. Huge disappointment.

What’s more the multiple is mostly dead by the time I’m writing this review, largely due to the fact that it was never interesting enough to developing any kind of lasting following in its fan base. Verdict 3/5

Immersion

I’ve touched on the immersion level of this game briefly under other topics, and it has faired relatively well under close scrutiny. Snake get’s dirty needs cleaning. The troops at mother base need morale, and Snake has to organize them to avoid having fights break out. In the beginning of the game you set a birthday for yourself, and the troops at mother base get you cake if you play on that day in real life.

The only negative critique of this I have is that the developers add a lot of dorky humor throughout the game, which often times lightens the mood in what would normally be a dismal mood to the game, but it also breaks you out of the immersion. It reminds you the game was developed by people who obviously didn’t take themselves too seriously, not that this is always a bad idea on a developers part, but it breaks you out of the immersive world you’re playing in and makes it so you can never truly get lost in the world of MGSV. Verdict 3/5

Glitches

With all the recent updates, glitches are extremely rare. This may be due in some small part to the fact that the actual content existing in the open world game is very minimal, but it also speaks to the amount of time and care the developers took in making the game.

Difficulty 

Moderate to high. If you plan on beating every mission the S rank difficulty, the game can become very hard. However is this really a good way to induce difficulty in a game? Well…sort of. On one hand it means the player never has to choose a set difficulty like ‘easy’ or ‘hard’ but on the other hand it means the game looses some of its appeal and entertainment factor when imposing a higher difficulty on the game. Bravo to Kojima for allowing the player to choose the difficulty in how they play, but it just wasn’t executed perfectly. Verdict 8/10

Final Notes (Bonus) -2

I really hate to see this “sandbox” trend continue for any longer. AAA titles are throwing this into their games in an attempt to earn the coveted “open world” description that fans are increasingly asking for, but they are putting no effort into actually making this happen. MGSV is a prime example of this. I can look for miles while riding in on my helicopter, and most of the time i can go and explore all those miles of land. But why? I won’t find anything interesting there, or really anywhere for that matter. This huge map is largely empty, thus eliminating any exploration from the gameplay.

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Multiplayer was a flunk. Story was a flunk. So what does this leave us with? Gameplay, and wow did they do one thing right. The stealth is great, easy to learn but hard to master. AI intelligence is higher than other stealth games I’ve played (looking at you Assassin’s Creed) and creates a fun sneaking mechanic. They ultimately failed to do everything right but this one thing, but if they were gonna do one thing right, it had to be gameplay. Well done. Well, sort of anyway.

Final Verdict 82/100

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