It’s the last game in the iconic series, and Hideo Kojima has done everything possible to not only ensure that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a masterpiece, but to create the first real title of the next-gen console era.
Back in 2014, gamers first got to sample the next chapter in the story of Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. Looking back now, what was presented in Ground Zeroes was not even the tip of the iceberg compared to the overall scope of what is experienced in The Phantom Pain.
In the end, Kojima has crafted a stunning masterpiece with a story that will never be forgotten along with a gameplay setup that may become the norm in military-themed and stealth genres for years to come.
Nine years after XOF attacked Mother Base and wiped out most of Militaires Sans Frontières, Big Boss (also known as Punished Snake) wakes from his coma at a military hospital in Cyprus. Several weeks after his return to the world, an assassin, a psychic, and XOF attack the hospital at once in the hopes of taking him out. Big Boss escapes the hospital, thanks to the help of a mysterious guardian named Ishmael and Revolver Ocelot.
Big Boss and Ocelot arrive in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan with the task of rescuing Kazuhira Miller. Once all three are reunited, they begin the task of rebuilding their mercenary army and seeking revenge against Cipher. This quest to stop Cipher and desire for revenge will take Snake across the battlefields of Soviet-occupied Afghanistan and with the war-torn region of the Zaire-Angola border.
Like previous titles in the series, gamers are immersed in a story that takes them on a quest for revenge. Once again, Big Boss will go up against a rogue gallery of memorable villains while meeting characters that gamers will be talking about for years to come.
Yet the story does have a few problems because of how it contradicts events told in previous games. And the twist ending created more unresolved issues. In the end, fans were left with more questions than answers, while the concept of a hero to villain story is absent.
Besides a memorable story and a collection of iconic characters, The Phantom Pain also features one of the best gameplay mechanisms of any game. It combined the best gameplay elements of Snake Eater, Guns of the Patriots, and Peace Walker.
Players are tossed into an open-world environment while being forced to use stealth and their limited resources to survive. Like previous games, one has to adapt to the environment to overpower the enemy forces. Yet be warned – over time the enemy will adapt to the players’ tactics, and they’ll start coming equipped with stronger body armor and night vision.
At the same time, players need to build up Diamond Dogs by collecting resources and gear, recruiting volunteers and expanding Mother Base. The better the mercenary army is, the better the player is able to overcome the many challenges they encounter.
A simple review Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain could not properly describe how majestic this game truly is. Compared to so many titles this year, Fallout 4 will be its only forseeable rival for the honor of being “Game of the Year.” If you haven’t already, you need to play this title in order to understand what a masterpiece it is for the gaming arts.
With a memorable story along with gameplay that pushes the series to a new high, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is truly the first real game of the Next-Gen consoles. Even though this may be the end of the series, Kojima has ensured it will be an ending that is memorable in the gaming world.
Final Score: 10/10
Disclaimer: The game used for this review was purchased at GameStop.