Zero Punctuation: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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Any major spoilers in this review?

Multiverseman:
Any major spoilers in this review?

Not really. Mostly just gameplay quirks and base management stuff.

I've never really followed this series, but this game doesn't look too bad. Maybe after a few inevitable patches and a good Steam sale I might give it a try.

J.McMillen:
I've never really followed this series, but this game doesn't look too bad. Maybe after a few inevitable patches and a good Steam sale I might give it a try.

Patching might not be neccessary, it actually runs surprisingly well on PC's. At least my PC. The price point is understandable though...

C117:

Patching might not be neccessary, it actually runs surprisingly well on PC's. At least my PC. The price point is understandable though...

Except for the possible game breaking bug of using Quiet as a buddy in missions 29 and 42.

superline51:

C117:

Patching might not be neccessary, it actually runs surprisingly well on PC's. At least my PC. The price point is understandable though...

Except for the possible game breaking bug of using Quiet as a buddy in missions 29 and 42.

As I said, after a few inevitable patches...

superline51:

C117:

Patching might not be neccessary, it actually runs surprisingly well on PC's. At least my PC. The price point is understandable though...

Except for the possible game breaking bug of using Quiet as a buddy in missions 29 and 42.

I never said it was perfect :P

Multiverseman:
Any major spoilers in this review?

Only that the last mission is to infiltrate the Mokani headquarters, save someone called Kodeo Hijima from there and blow the place up.

All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

I'd like to know this as well.

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

My take on Metal Gear series is that even if you've played all the games, it's kinda difficult to understand what's going on. The only possible way to enjoy them is to turn off your brain and just roll with it, never asking questions when something doesn't make sense. If you're not the sort of person who can do that . . . well, tough luck.

Soooo not a 10/10 then?

Yeah, I find it quite hard to distinguish between Ocelot and Not Ocelot during the briefings, cassette tapes, etc. That's one annoyance. But the rest is just great game!

And yes, you new people should be fine playing this. It's been a while since I picked up a MGS game, and it plays well as a stand alone. If you really want back story, you can listen to the audio tapes and the conversations in your base.

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

BrotherSurplice:

I'd like to know this as well.

Yes....and no. On it's own merits the game is excellent and worth playing. It has a stealth system which should set the bar for any stealth games to come. The game uses audio logs to give you the preceding story of Big Boss (Snake) but only /very/ lightly. On the one hand, the game has considerably less and smaller cut scenes than any other games in the series to the point of the same length of cut scenes as you'd have in an FPS game so the story isn't at the forefront this time.

However, you will miss out on a lot of the nitty gritty and reference material. Most characters know each other, will act accordingly and although the story is more or less self contained, reasons for doing things would seem unclear to someone who hasn't played the series before now and some things will just mean nothing. You will understand the story that is presented within the game, but it is part of a much larger story, which you wont.

I'd recommend picking up a copy of the MGS HD collection which will get you up to speed on Big Boss story (Snake Eater and Peace Walker which are excellent games). Its bound to be quite cheap now.

But I will say, it's the final and 7th entry in a series(Or 4th entry in Big Bosses part). Much like books or films, I question why you'd even attempt to jump onto something at the 7th installation, much less the final one.

Reminds me of a Warhammer 40k audio drama that was a growlly shouting match between a World Eater and a Flesh Tearer. Every other line was a scream of rage/denial and while one Marine spoke the other growled and snarled. It was very silly.

BrotherSurplice:

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

I'd like to know this as well.

I too would be interested in an answer to this. Metal Gear was never a series that I was terribly invested in, but this one looks interesting.

Also to the review, "Grim Growly Men Growling Grimly" made me chuckle. Well Done Yahtzee. :)

Good video, just one point to make, you don't actually have to go back the helicopter to start missions, you can start the missions and go to the start point while in free roam at anytime. Personally my only gripes with the game are from the lack of dialogue from Big Boss, you seriously couldn't get a few more lines out there from Sutherland? BB is almost as mute as Quiet. Not really a big fan of mute protaginists at all, especially one that is important to the overall story of the whole franchise as BB.

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

Well spoiler from the prologue to tell you the kind of story we're dealing with

I have been informed by long-time fans that this makes exactly as much sense in context

Enough with the dick jokes already, they're the white noise of comedy at the expense of MGS.

But what the fuck is with the loading times? Do the MENUS have to actually load like that?

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

Having done just about every major thing inside the weird world of MGS except end Peace Walker (My PSP died but I'm emulating it as we speak). My answer would be that the only building block that you are really missing is MGS3 as long as you play Ground Zeroes and to a lesser degree: Peace Walker.

Firstly: Story-wise, the series starts at MGS3 (Yes, that's a bit confusing and Kojima wanted to change the naming for 3 to fix that but Konami wouldn't let him). Secondly: It sets up a great deal of Big Boss' motivation for building his own PMC.

After MGS3 is Portable Ops, and Peace Walker specifically has Kaz tell Big Boss to "Fuggetaboutit" as it relates to the events there so think of that as just some pissing match between the Pentagon and CIA that Big Boss got involved in.

After PO is PO+ which is not story driven at all and is jut a refinement of PO's gameplay.

After PO+ is Peace Walker, which does have story elements that lead directly into Phantom Pain such as why Paz and Chico are relevant but the character dialog and audio tapes can catch you up on a great deal of that as well.

Gameplay-wise though: MGS5 is setup with some the least story of any major MGS so you can dive in and ignore the story if you want.

Cid Silverwing:
Enough with the dick jokes already, they're the white noise of comedy at the expense of MGS.

But what the fuck is with the loading times? Do the MENUS have to actually load like that?

Its the online connection that causes the delay, for some reason changing tabs in the menus sends data to the cloud or something, probably rankings and save data most likely. If you go offline the delay disappears completely.

BrotherSurplice:

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

I'd like to know this as well.

Yes and no. That is, to the same degree as everyone else. The plot is not exactly coherent.

I want some fucking story!

Jesus, it's gone from the movie-game of four, where it was a near 50/50 split to "why the fuck am I doing this and what the fox is going on!"

I have a flame guy, a psychomantis with orange hair, twitchy fuckers called skulls, a girl who is a lil incorporeal and a frenemy in the form of Ocelot! The only driving force is, get an army back, stop cipher/skull face ... but I seem to do is kidnap or eliminate peoples!

Secondly, like the video says, I have a billion and one guns to kill BUT only one gun to tranq and one gun to stun! (so far) and since, also mentioned in the video, the game requires you to fill up seats on the bus ... killing them isn't really an option. Stunning means you have a short time to fulton them but doing so in a stunned state is a lil noisy, so tranq them it is!

The problem then lies in a very low amount of ammo and a suppressor made from potato! So every 10 minutes I am calling ammo in just for my one gun and few extra balloons.

I wanted MGS4 part 2, shove exposition and story in my face

I just enjoy the story so much but in this game, it has been stripped away. I suppose it is to appease the masses, as MGS is famous for it's contrived story and wanted this game to be more accessible.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Watch Video

As the Metal Gear franchise is one of my favorites in all of gaming, perhaps #3 if not #2, I have to agree with Yahtzee - this game sort of wears you down with all of the base management. The base management is sort of at the center of the gameplay, since you're at a huge, almost insurmountable disadvantage if you don't choose to upgrade it, which periodically forces you into the field for long periods of time to tediously gather resources, and it's almost enough to make me want to stop playing it. Especially since some of those soldiers I recruit have the goddamn Troublemaker 'skill', which forces you to put diplomats in the same unit, lest fighting break out.

I wouldn't really be able to suggest anything better, it's fairly simple for the most part, it's just annoying how much tedium there is between managing the base, visiting the base, and a lack of cut-scenes don't help me feel less bored. I love the core gameplay, but the story moves entirely too slow and having to take a time-out to scout out soldiers to fill up your ranks makes me think an awful lot of Pokemon.

Not to mention I'm also sure I've had a pretty big plot twist figured out from the beginning... which is something that makes me very sad. Like the plot was almost of secondary importance in a goddamned Metal game, the series known for it's 45 minute long cut-scenes. Excise that and I feel like something is missing from this game. It's still good but I'm not loving it the way I'd hoped I would, which is sad considering that there is a very real possibility that this is the end for the franchise.

omega 616:
I want some fucking story!

Jesus, it's gone from the movie-game of four, where it was a near 50/50 split to "why the fuck am I doing this and what the fox is going on!"

I have a flame guy, a psychomantis with orange hair, twitchy fuckers called skulls, a girl who is a lil incorporeal and a frenemy in the form of Ocelot! The only driving force is, get an army back, stop cipher/skull face ... but I seem to do is kidnap or eliminate peoples!

Secondly, like the video says, I have a billion and one guns to kill BUT only one gun to tranq and one gun to stun! (so far) and since, also mentioned in the video, the game requires you to fill up seats on the bus ... killing them isn't really an option. Stunning means you have a short time to fulton them but doing so in a stunned state is a lil noisy, so tranq them it is!

The problem then lies in a very low amount of ammo and a suppressor made from potato! So every 10 minutes I am calling ammo in just for my one gun and few extra balloons.

I wanted MGS4 part 2, shove exposition and story in my face

I just enjoy the story so much but in this game, it has been stripped away. I suppose it is to appease the masses, as MGS is famous for it's contrived story and wanted this game to be more accessible.

Aaaand this is quite possibly the mindset that resulted in MGSV being a bit of a hot mess as far as Metal Gear games go. On the one side we have people like you who wanted an incredibly story based game and are happy as long as Psycho Mantis fucks with your mind, Ocelot twirls a revolver, a Metal Gear shows up, and you get to control punching someone in the face at some point. On the other side, you have also a significant part of the fanbase and not to mention almost every major reviewer universally panning MGS4 for being way too much cutscene, way too little gameplay. And those two factions were about equal in size. Which is why I think that Kojima went with the episodic/audiolog style of delivering story - executed right, it really would have been the best way to cater to both parties. And given more time, MGSV could have been the greatest game of this generation.

Unfortunately, before that could happen, Konami's CEO decided to go batshit insane and fire the project manager halfway through the project.

30 seconds to load a menu? Wow that is bad, probably due to Australia's weak internet access, as I have the 360 version and no menu has ever taken that long to load for me.

Also if you're in free roam mode you can actually select and start a mission without having to go back into the ACC.

Yahtzee does have a point about the characters voices being hard to tell apart though, half the time when I was listening to audio logs I honestly could not tell the difference between Ocelot and Miller, I would often forget which one was talking.

Also it is just me, or did Miller turn into a real dick in this game? He's constantly doubting Big Boss and trying to go behind his back to kill Quiet, I wanted to slap him across the face every time he complained about her.

superline51:

C117:

Patching might not be neccessary, it actually runs surprisingly well on PC's. At least my PC. The price point is understandable though...

Except for the possible game breaking bug of using Quiet as a buddy in missions 29 and 42.

I'm only on mission 16 at the moment, so it'll probably be patched by the time I even get that far.

omega 616:
I want some fucking story!

Jesus, it's gone from the movie-game of four, where it was a near 50/50 split to "why the fuck am I doing this and what the fox is going on!"

I have a flame guy, a psychomantis with orange hair, twitchy fuckers called skulls, a girl who is a lil incorporeal and a frenemy in the form of Ocelot! The only driving force is, get an army back, stop cipher/skull face ... but I seem to do is kidnap or eliminate peoples!

Secondly, like the video says, I have a billion and one guns to kill BUT only one gun to tranq and one gun to stun! (so far) and since, also mentioned in the video, the game requires you to fill up seats on the bus ... killing them isn't really an option. Stunning means you have a short time to fulton them but doing so in a stunned state is a lil noisy, so tranq them it is!

The problem then lies in a very low amount of ammo and a suppressor made from potato! So every 10 minutes I am calling ammo in just for my one gun and few extra balloons.

I wanted MGS4 part 2, shove exposition and story in my face

I just enjoy the story so much but in this game, it has been stripped away. I suppose it is to appease the masses, as MGS is famous for it's contrived story and wanted this game to be more accessible.

Actually you get like four guns(maybe more, i'm only on mission 16 so far) to stun people(the best weapon for stunning people is the Riot SMG, it's suppressor lasts for a fair amount of time and it's more efficient for stunning enemies then the tranq gun, since you don't have to reload after every single shot), I found empty magazines pretty useless myself, never found a use for one the whole game so far, so I feel it's a waste of an inventory slot(sleeping grenades are so much better)

Never played MGS4 myself due to never owning a PS3, so the lack of 20 minute long cutscenes didn't bother me too much(I did play MGS2 and 3 on the Vita, and I felt like some cutscenes dragged on way too fucking long)

I didn't start calling for more ammo until around mission 11 or so, and I didn't bother trying to extract too many people until I got the Riot SMG(And that tranq Sniper Rifle, whatever it's called).

I've never understood fanservice characters like Quiet in the MGS games. I haven't played any MGS game besides 3 and I honestly can't tell if the fanservice scenes I've seen from 4 and 5 are supposed to be creepy and unsettling and people just find them arousing anyway or they're actually supposed to be titillating and just end up being creepy.

Somebody posted the shower scene with all the dudes watching her on another website I frequent and all the comments were about how hot it was, but it seemed super creepy and made me really uncomfortable I couldn't even watch the whole video. I actually don't mind fanservice in other games, but the ones in MGS just weird me the fuck out.

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

It is a god damn game, why is it important if you understand the story? It is important to play good. And fuck, I have been playing for over 70 hours and am barely with 32% completion. You can fuck around and have fun all you want. As far the story goes, it has only confused everyone that has played the previous games even more. There is not much of it to begin with in this game.

I haven't played it yet, but based on some of the things I'm hearing, I think I would have preferred an animated movie.

Kaamos:
I've never understood fanservice characters like Quiet in the MGS games. I haven't played any MGS game besides 3 and I honestly can't tell if the fanservice scenes I've seen from 4 and 5 are supposed to be creepy and unsettling and people just find them arousing anyway or they're actually supposed to be titillating and just end up being creepy.

Somebody posted the shower scene with all the dudes watching her on another website I frequent and all the comments were about how hot it was, but it seemed super creepy and made me really uncomfortable I couldn't even watch the whole video. I actually don't mind fanservice in other games, but the ones in MGS just weird me the fuck out.

Some smartasses might wanna tell you how Kojima is trying to make you feel ashamed for getting a boner of her, because she basically

, but let's face the reality. Most of it is there for entertaining reasons and that is not evil. Human sexuality is not evil. And actually the Mother Base personnel are afraid of her, because she easily kicks everyone's ass and is to begin with introduced

I've never been able to get over the stupidity of Metal Gear. Even if the gameplay is awesome it's just so unbearably stupid I can't really enjoy it.

The thing is I can't help but feel the further into his career he got the more Kojima was trying to FORCE eccentricity instead of just being eccentric. The character Quiet is especially egregious as she just comes off as Kojima going "Pay attention to me!" Of course I also can't help that this is compounded by his recent insecurities and constant gushing of Western tech thus he tries to reconcile that by trying to also make them grim and gritty which just results in tonal shifts not by design but by incompetence. Overall, Kojima wasn't doing his best work anymore and the Phantom Pain really is just pointless.

ah4o0o:

Kaamos:
I've never understood fanservice characters like Quiet in the MGS games. I haven't played any MGS game besides 3 and I honestly can't tell if the fanservice scenes I've seen from 4 and 5 are supposed to be creepy and unsettling and people just find them arousing anyway or they're actually supposed to be titillating and just end up being creepy.

Somebody posted the shower scene with all the dudes watching her on another website I frequent and all the comments were about how hot it was, but it seemed super creepy and made me really uncomfortable I couldn't even watch the whole video. I actually don't mind fanservice in other games, but the ones in MGS just weird me the fuck out.

Some smartasses might wanna tell you how Kojima is trying to make you feel ashamed for getting a boner of her, because she basically

,

The game doesn't even stay consistent with its explanation as you can unlock a uniform to put on her later. At least her intro with the base and the jet set her up as an awesome sniper, the game's sparse story pretty much ruins that potential though with wasting a number of its sparse cutscenes on little more than cheesecake scenarios.

She gets some stuff late game, but overall she kind of detracts from any serious cutscene she's in as she isn't involved with the zany stuff really, so 90% of her appearances are paired with the much more down to earth Mother Base personnel, Ocelot, and Kaz. She would have fit in with the Mantis scenes, skullface and his overpowered metal gear, or the parasite unit, but on motherbase she just seems to make any scene she's in look sillier than it should be.

but let's face the reality. Most of it is there for entertaining reasons and that is not evil. Human sexuality is not evil. And actually the Mother Base personnel are afraid of her, because she easily kicks everyone's ass and is to begin with introduced

Honestly, after maxing out her bond meter I never bothered to use her again for story missions, she breaks the game more than D-Dog's mark enemies through walls ability. Once she gets a silenced sniper rifle she can easily solo entire bases, while amusing to have Snake sit behind a wall while Quiet eliminates everything around you without even raising an alarm, it kind of makes any mission that isn't in an enclosed area a snorefest. Even if you keep her passive, she will basically eliminate any enemy that spots you and puts you in reflex mode, the only time I ever use her anymore is when I'm trying to amass staff and resources I just send her ahead to an outpost and by the time I get there all the guards are either marked for me or already on the ground asleep.

As for her sexuality, it's not evil, it just comes across as largely dumb and unnecessary, it doesn't ruin the game, or even make me hate the character, but in an MGS with so few cutscenes and a story that feels disjointed and unfinished; I feel like her cheesecake scenes could have been better used to give her some more character, really, most of the main characters needed some more character building in general, Ocelot, Boss, and Kaz barely feel like the characters from all the other MGS games, especially Ocelot, one of the most persistent antagonists of the entire series should be more interesting than he is in this game.

ah4o0o:

Catasros:
All I'm really left wondering now is as follows: Is it possible to play play this game and understand what's going on if this is one's (read: "my") first venture into the MGS-games (disregarding Revengence) and would it be worth the pricetag?

It is a god damn game, why is it important if you understand the story? It is important to play good. And fuck, I have been playing for over 70 hours and am barely with 32% completion. You can fuck around and have fun all you want. As far the story goes, it has only confused everyone that has played the previous games even more. There is not much of it to begin with in this game.

You do realize that some people play games for the story, right? Especially in a series renown for having an intense focus on story. Games should be experienced and not watched, true, but I don't think it's unreasonable for someone to want to know if they'll be able to understand the story.

And the story in this game only confuses long-time fans because Kojima took liberties with the time-line and even admitted that he would.

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