Metal Gear Solid V is a Side-Story to Rewrite a 1987 Game

Metal Gear Solid V is a Side-Story to Rewrite a 1987 Game

Nobody would accuse the Metal Gear Solid games of having stories that are easy to follow, but Metal Gear Solid V takes "dense" to a new, decades-spanning high.

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Haven't played MSG V, but this was very interesting none the less; thanks! :)

I feel as though this is a more streamlined but also less informative analysis similar to SuperBunnhop's on the matter.

There are a lot of holes in this game, from the mechanics not making sense in the context of the franchise (MGSV penalizes you for building a nuke and only allows for the true ending after you've decommissioned an unspecified number of nukes from other FOBs. Meanwhile PeaceWalker requires a nuke to be built for the true ending to be unlocked).

The game not only runs against the rest of the franchise mechanically, but also story wise. Problems arise such as Revolver Ocelot being completely different then in all his other appearances, and for some reason being friends with Big Boss despite the last time we'd seen them they where trying to kill each other, and the next time we see them they're trying to fight each other's conspiracies to control the world.

Add to that the fact the Venom twist is one everyone saw coming before the game even came out, the fact child soldiers can't be used (even though in both Portable Ops and PeaceWalker we see them), the game actively punishing you for not being a good hero and the fact the story is disjointed even by Metal Gear standards, and the end result is a game which fails to be the "missing link" of the series, telling a story no one wanted to hear, and unlike 4 it didn't have the closure to help, nor does it have an underlying message like 2 where the game gets better the more you think about it.

V is quite sad when you think about it, fans didn't get the game we wanted or where promised, and the Solid titles are ending on a particularly weak note. 2, 3 and 4 where all intended to be the final instalments, and all would have been better ones then V did. Though Kojima is gone, I honestly wouldn't mind an MGS VI being made to give the series an ending on a high note. Though then again I'd also like a second Metal Gear Rising. The setting is one I'd hate to see come to an end with this, the threat of metal gears, nanomachines and supernatural freaks is an ongoing one, and there's plenty of story potential for new games outside of the story of Big Boss and Solid Snake.

I guess it was really vague and could have been explained better but the mission in Metal Gear was supposed to be a suicide mission with Solid Snake being a rookie agent with no real experience. Big Boss was trying to show that he was not a real threat to the Patriots by pretending to cooperate with them in the operation. However his clone exceeded expectations and ended up killing his comrade. I don't think either Big Boss or Venom Snake were supposed to be bad guys, like The Boss they were the enemies of the big conspiracy so after their deaths everyone thought they were evil. Just an interpretation but it makes more sense that way.

Zontar:

V is quite sad when you think about it, fans didn't get the game we wanted or where promised, and the Solid titles are ending on a particularly weak note. 2, 3 and 4 where all intended to be the final instalments, and all would have been better ones then V did. Though Kojima is gone, I honestly wouldn't mind an MGS VI being made to give the series an ending on a high note. Though then again I'd also like a second Metal Gear Rising. The setting is one I'd hate to see come to an end with this, the threat of metal gears, nanomachines and supernatural freaks is an ongoing one, and there's plenty of story potential for new games outside of the story of Big Boss and Solid Snake.

On the other hand, new players, like me, who didn't really care about the overarching plot got a pretty great game thanks to the shift in focus from narrative to gameplay. I've tried playing MGS and MGS3 before but couldn't bare to get past the intro areas. I'm glad I finally get to actually enjoy playing one of these Metal Gear games.

It's just sort of hard to take the fans seriously being all dramatic about not getting what was promised to them when characters in the game are being dramatic about the same sort of thing in the game. I can't really tell if most of you guys are just playing along with the spirit of the game, or if you're legitimately upset about not getting to hear various characters explain what a phantom pain is for a few more hours.

In terms of actually getting to play the game MGSV is only really second to MGS1. It's utterly superb and really makes you do tactical recon especially in early missions.

My biggest complaint, real world persistent state doing stuff in the game seams to have no tangible effort rewards beyond what you get on mother base. The transition is jarring and the fact bases/outposts you've taken out are now back in enemy control is annoying. I can understand you loosing control of them to the enemy but you should have some way of doing so.

I also dislike the opening/closing credits at the start of every mission.

The story is poor though it has interesting elements but most of it is through tapes I don't feel like I'm controlling the protagonist of the story merely an observer to events unfolding. Despite the very movie-esque qualities of previous MGS game I still felt I was playing the lead character.

The gameplay is still top notch and it remains my second favourite game released this year behind The Witcher III but that's probably my game of the decade so far.

I always feel these attempts at figuring out the plot of MGS give Kojima way more credit than he deserves.

Actually hes pretty evil in metal gear 2 so not only does it not work it really doesnt work. In metal gear 2 he recruits child soldiers and gives a speech about how victims of the battlefield can be fed back into the battle as soldiers essentially creating a cold endless loop of war and tragedy. A literal lord of war. So its a bit mixed up you see.

Kojima is a pretty smart guy. He might be a programming genius. But he's a dumb writer. Absolutely fuckin' dreadful. And nowhere is that more obvious than in MGSV. The biggest disappointment of 2015 as far as I'm concerned.

Coruptin:

Zontar:

V is quite sad when you think about it, fans didn't get the game we wanted or where promised, and the Solid titles are ending on a particularly weak note. 2, 3 and 4 where all intended to be the final instalments, and all would have been better ones then V did. Though Kojima is gone, I honestly wouldn't mind an MGS VI being made to give the series an ending on a high note. Though then again I'd also like a second Metal Gear Rising. The setting is one I'd hate to see come to an end with this, the threat of metal gears, nanomachines and supernatural freaks is an ongoing one, and there's plenty of story potential for new games outside of the story of Big Boss and Solid Snake.

On the other hand, new players, like me, who didn't really care about the overarching plot got a pretty great game thanks to the shift in focus from narrative to gameplay. I've tried playing MGS and MGS3 before but couldn't bare to get past the intro areas. I'm glad I finally get to actually enjoy playing one of these Metal Gear games.

It's just sort of hard to take the fans seriously being all dramatic about not getting what was promised to them when characters in the game are being dramatic about the same sort of thing in the game. I can't really tell if most of you guys are just playing along with the spirit of the game, or if you're legitimately upset about not getting to hear various characters explain what a phantom pain is for a few more hours.

I'd say the game suffers from what I call "Supreme Commander Syndrome", where the last entry has changes that the established fanbase despise while new fans enjoy it. The only people I've seen given outstandingly positive reviews (outside of games journalists that no one trusts) are people who openly admit it's the first game in the series they've played.

I think what got most fans was two things: a massive reduction in the ammount of story in the game (plus the fact it literally stops half way through) and a removal of stealth as the core gameplay mechanic.

These two things define the Solid series. Long cutscenes that make one feel like they're in a movie have been a hallmark of the series since the opening of the first Metal Gear Solid. Say what you will about it being convoluted, but the Solid titles have always been a very narrative driven series, with half the enjoyment coming from trying to figure out what' happening (usually occurring just in time for the next instalment). MGS2 then went on to become a post-modern masterpiece which demonstrated such a piece of art could be created within the video game medium. MGS3 then went on to defy genre limitations by having a campy story that was also serious and straight faced, taken as such by both the characters and the audience (one thing that defines camp is the inability of this to happen). MGS4 then went on to be the big climax where everyone still alive from the previous 5 games (and some who where not) take part in the final battle to save the world.

MGS5, however, has you playing as a random guy not really connected to the series, taking revenge on a weak sauce villain and stopping the game half way through its story.

As for stealth, outside of the climax of MGS4 or the bass battles, if you where detected in the games then you'd either faith (if playing on European Extreme) or you'd need to hid. Anything else would only make things worst unless it was part of the story to force people to come. Stealth was a critical component of the game.

In MGS5, stealth is as important as not getting a perfect ending. To get the game completed, at least two of your three minimum runs through a mission have to disregard stealth altogether to sprint at full speed to get the objective done fast enough to get the mission completed under the arbitrary time limit. Add to that the game insentivising you to tranquillize everyone to kidnap them instead of trying to avoid them, and the more one thinks about it the less of a Solid game it sounds like.

At the end of the day the issue is that while it's a decent game, it's a terrible Solid game, and when it comes to fans it's clear which one is the subject that will be taken issue with.

Adam Jensen:
Kojima is a pretty smart guy. He might be a programming genius. But he's a dumb writer. Absolutely fuckin' dreadful. And nowhere is that more obvious than in MGSV. The biggest disappointment of 2015 as far as I'm concerned.

Indeed. To be honest I wouldn't mind someone else being hired to create an MGS6 to try and do what 3, 4 and 5 all did and explain things that make no sense from previous titles. After all, they said 2, 3 and 4 would all be the last one and then went on to make 5, so once Konami gets halfway competent leadership some day it could happen.

Writing notwithstanding (I thought MGSV had its moments), I thought it was a great game. It's weird that it managed to simultaneously be so disappointing at the same time, though. Honestly, was there a single important moment in the entire game that wasn't outright spoiled by the dozen or so trailers that hyped the game? I mean, even the Plot Twist was pretty much given away outright. Still, I was pretty hyped when I learned about it in game, because I thought it was gonna be the precursor to yet another mindblowing conclusion... but instead the game just snuffed out from there.

Even with the very unfortunately cut Chapter 3 (or rather, the rest of Chapter 2, if we want to be honest), there still would have been this massive hole left there. I can't help but feel that Kojima ultimately wanted 4 or 5 chapters, but had to stop because Konami.

The two Phantoms thing is pretty damned convoluted (well alluded to, but still), but I never got the feeling that it really added anything. Asides from explaining Big Boss' very improbable survival at the end of MG1, at least. What sucks the most is that it's the real Big Boss that got his ass kicked by an aerosol flamethrower.

Well, one Big Boss had a nuke. I just assumed Metal Gear was about going after that Big Boss because he thought nuclear deterrents were alright after seeing what Metal Gears can do. Plus a few years of insanity add to his rather busted logic. I don't know, I just enjoyed V, let me have it.

Zontar:
I feel as though this is a more streamlined but also less informative analysis similar to SuperBunnhop's on the matter.

The game not only runs against the rest of the franchise mechanically, but also story wise. Problems arise such as Revolver Ocelot being completely different then in all his other appearances, and for some reason being friends with Big Boss despite the last time we'd seen them they where trying to kill each other, and the next time we see them they're trying to fight each other's conspiracies to control the world.

That actually makes sense. Ocelot and Big Boss weren't trying to kill each other because they were personal enemies, it was because they were on different sides. Them fighting alongside each other now perfectly fits the themes of the story, /especially/ for Big Boss. Part of The Bosses speech was asking "Is there such a thing as an absolute, timeless enemy?" "Enemies change with the times."

Even then, Ocelot is never...really trying to kill you. It's mostly a ruse, given he's actually ADAM, it's why at the end when he boards the WiG, he plays roulette with blanks, just for fun and because his mission is complete; steal the legacy. Think about it, there's no situation in Snake Eater where the two of them are actually alone and he can reveal this information to BB. He even helps Snake fight Volgin and had promised The Boss to help Snake.

BB, Ocelot and EVA were all founding members of the patriots, but all three of them ended up being enemies to Zero, with Ocelot coming to respect BB greatly in between 3 and 5.

Even in 4, he's not working against BB, he's trying to fulfill BBs legacy, which is why he does all that insane stuff with the hypnotherapy to make the patriots not believe he's a threat to them. His entire plan in 4 is to achieve what he believes is what BB wants, a world of chaos without the patriots control, what Ocelot believes is "Outer Heaven".

Zontar:

Coruptin:

Zontar:

V is quite sad when you think about it, fans didn't get the game we wanted or where promised, and the Solid titles are ending on a particularly weak note. 2, 3 and 4 where all intended to be the final instalments, and all would have been better ones then V did. Though Kojima is gone, I honestly wouldn't mind an MGS VI being made to give the series an ending on a high note. Though then again I'd also like a second Metal Gear Rising. The setting is one I'd hate to see come to an end with this, the threat of metal gears, nanomachines and supernatural freaks is an ongoing one, and there's plenty of story potential for new games outside of the story of Big Boss and Solid Snake.

On the other hand, new players, like me, who didn't really care about the overarching plot got a pretty great game thanks to the shift in focus from narrative to gameplay. I've tried playing MGS and MGS3 before but couldn't bare to get past the intro areas. I'm glad I finally get to actually enjoy playing one of these Metal Gear games.

It's just sort of hard to take the fans seriously being all dramatic about not getting what was promised to them when characters in the game are being dramatic about the same sort of thing in the game. I can't really tell if most of you guys are just playing along with the spirit of the game, or if you're legitimately upset about not getting to hear various characters explain what a phantom pain is for a few more hours.

I'd say the game suffers from what I call "Supreme Commander Syndrome", where the last entry has changes that the established fanbase despise while new fans enjoy it. The only people I've seen given outstandingly positive reviews (outside of games journalists that no one trusts) are people who openly admit it's the first game in the series they've played.

I most certainly agree with this though.

Coruptin:

Zontar:

V is quite sad when you think about it, fans didn't get the game we wanted or where promised, and the Solid titles are ending on a particularly weak note. 2, 3 and 4 where all intended to be the final instalments, and all would have been better ones then V did. Though Kojima is gone, I honestly wouldn't mind an MGS VI being made to give the series an ending on a high note. Though then again I'd also like a second Metal Gear Rising. The setting is one I'd hate to see come to an end with this, the threat of metal gears, nanomachines and supernatural freaks is an ongoing one, and there's plenty of story potential for new games outside of the story of Big Boss and Solid Snake.

On the other hand, new players, like me, who didn't really care about the overarching plot got a pretty great game thanks to the shift in focus from narrative to gameplay. I've tried playing MGS and MGS3 before but couldn't bare to get past the intro areas. I'm glad I finally get to actually enjoy playing one of these Metal Gear games.

It's just sort of hard to take the fans seriously being all dramatic about not getting what was promised to them when characters in the game are being dramatic about the same sort of thing in the game. I can't really tell if most of you guys are just playing along with the spirit of the game, or if you're legitimately upset about not getting to hear various characters explain what a phantom pain is for a few more hours.

How would you feel if a series you loved got gutted for people it was never for in the first place and thus made it unpalatable for you?

Think about it, you're enjoying it specifically because it /isn't/ what the fans of the series loved about the series. Why are you glad you got to play a game in a series you never liked to begin with? It shouldn't /matter/ to you.

In fact, out of curiosity, did you buy it at launch? If so, why?

It's a shame we may never know how much of this story was jettisoned through production. So many aspects of it are simply left unexplored or underdeveloped, to the point where I wonder how different things might have been if things hadn't turned into such a mess...

The 2013 E3 trailer refers to the Skulls Unit as "Those Who Don't Exist". Ground Zeroes has tapes with tortured POWs who somehow can't "remember" what Skull Face looks like, and there was talk of a torturer who spoke Russian (and gee, who could that be). I kept waiting for that to come up anew, but it never did - nor did Chico's bizarre headphone jack, which is obviously related to the research at the Devil's House, but the specifics are so vague it only harms the story, not helps.

Was the Skulls Unit supposed to be a hallucination brought on by the parasitic mist? Was Skull Face just a "mask" worn by multiple characters,a memetic phantom like Liquid-Ocelot or Venom Snake himself? For that matter, once Quiet leaves you take down her photos, but not Huey - could Quiet herself have been a halucination at one point? Remember that Ocelot and Miller "Introduce" Paz, and we saw how that turned out...

Despite Strangelove's body being both a key item and a major plot point in Huey's story, we never get to see it, and the only mentions of it are off camera. Was this made up in the final stretch of production to leave Konami with no likable or surviving characters for them to bring back in the inevitable MGS6: Venom Snake vs Naked Snake? This explains why they turned Zero into a vegetable (no antagonist) and

If "Chapter 2: Race" had started when the game shifts to Africa, and "Chapter 3: Peace" started with Skull Face having been dealt with, that would have made a lot more sense. Despite Ocelot's talk of "Ethnic Cleansers", the actual impact and focus on the conflicts in Africa are downplayed to the point where the only time Apartheid and tribal warfare can be found are if you listen to the PF's from a distance (and the mission with the Viscount, if you actually do the side-objective of listening to every interrogation).

What of that amazing shot in the "Nuclear" trailer of Big Boss kneeling before a bunch of dead kids and roaring in agony, to say nothing of the shots of Boss looking positively heartbroken in front of a wall of fire? Maybe the latter was intended for Kingdom of the Flies, but the former seems like too important a sequence to leave out. You can argue that it's re-purposed assets,

And how can we forget Code Talker's warning ("Eyes on Kazuhira Miller")? The whole game has built up to this obvious conclusion that Miller - not Snake! - is "Ahab" in the quest for revenge against Cipher, but this event is triggered at completely random points, and - other that torturing Quiet, which is hardly out of line for any iteration of Outer Heaven - it amounts to nothing. I'd been ready for him to be the final boss of the game a year in advance after seeing how bat-shite they were going with him, but the Diamond Dogs just mumble to themselves about how he's starting to get over Skull Face, which seems like a contradiction to everything we're actually shown him doing.

I largely agree with Phil's point - MGSV is a "missing link" that, one major point aside, only raises further questions - but I get the sense that whatever happened behind the scenes at Konami, we're only seeing bits and pieces of what was planned. Maybe the reality of the 5 year(!) project schedule meant we'd never see the full game, but I've never been so desperate for an original script of something to leak. Odds are MGSV would have been a headache no matter what Kojima did, but there's just too many threads dangling here for me to accept that what we have has any solid meaning left.

Most games are compromised during development to one degree or another, but few are so clearly broken in half and scrambled out the door like this was. MGSV is half of an amazing game, and the fact that a combination of Kojima's firing and Konami's... well, I don't want to say "evil", but questionable respect to their own products ensures that we'll never see Chapter 3 and beyond fully realized. At this point, even releasing a free Kingdom of the Flies DLC wouldn't "fix" the game; the story is too fragmented to work in any meaningful capacity, and there's too many holes left by cut content and re-purposed elements to "click" into place in their current framework.

Pity. The gameplay is great and the Fox Engine is a marvel to behold. I liked the idea of bringing Big Boss back to face the man who destroyed MSF, and honestly, the reveal as to who "Venom" really is doesn't bother me; it's annoying, at worst, but doesn't contradict canon and actually fits into the larger idea of memes and reality being manipulated by the stories people tell more than the facts as they occur. This could have been every bit as amazing and affecting as Snake Eater, but instead it's a beautiful, incomprehensible train-wreck that means nothing because it can't even focus on a single theme long enough to make a point.

Also, the boss fights are frickin' pathetic. Hardly a strike against the themes and story of the game, just wanted to grumble about that one more time.

 

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