Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain - Hands-On Preview

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain - Hands-On Preview

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's open world is ambitious, but does its episodic structure make it feel repetitive?

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I'm glad I'm getting the PC version of this because the DOF effects are infuriating. And modders have already figured out a way to mod the graphics settings above and beyond highest presets in Ground Zeroes and tweak and/or remove others.

The mission-based structure was one of my least favorite aspects of Peace Walker. Before that (and ignoring Portable Ops, as one should), the games did a pretty good job at linking the world and the story in a meaningful way. Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 are among my favorite games, and the fact that they packed so much content into such small areas was a large part of that. The Metroidvania-esque backtracking elements, minor though they were in the first game (and definitely pumped up with the struts' circular layout in the second), helped it feel like a place, not just a series of challenges.

I don't doubt that The Phantom Pain will be good. I loved Ground Zeroes, and if this game builds on what that did right, there's no room for the end result to be remotely un-fun. But the series has been moving farther and farther away from the structure that made the earlier games in the series classics, and it's been doing so for some time now. Peace Walker with its separate levels and missions, MGS4 with its acts... even MGS3 is rather averse to letting you revisit locations, instead pushing you forward to new areas.

One aspect of the game they've really talked up, and in fact a large part of the reason they're structuring it like this at all, is the fact that you can approach a base from any side, and infiltrate it however you want. That amount of freedom is certainly not a bad thing, but I don't feel like it's very Metal Gear. The corollary to this design is that it actively limits how tightly an area can be designed. Things like the Vulcan Raven fight from MGS1, the E.E. rescue in MGS2, and the Raikov disguise part in MGS3 are some of the more memorable pieces of gameplay from the franchise, and they simply don't make sense with this structure.

If they can still manage the sorts of setpiece-driven gameplay that made this series so special in the first place, the genuinely unique boss fights (NOT just waves of helicopters and soldiers like Peace Walker), the carefully- and deliberately-placed enemies, and the overall design style of "every moment should be memorable in some way", so that players can talk to each other and say things like "remember the part where you X", I will be happy to eat my words. But I would hate to have memorable moments sacrificed in the name of freedom; if I wanted freedom to the detriment of cohesion, I would be playing The Elder Scrolls instead of Metal Gear.

P.S. Thanks

P.P.S. But seriously, even if this game doesn't end up feeling remotely like Metal Gear, it still looks like it'll be good in its own way, and I'm still hella pumped.

Hooray, an article by Mitch not-from-Gamefront!
Good job Escapist, give him more jobs!!!! :)
James versus Games: Resurrection for instance...... :D

Can anybody explain just what the heck that thing on Snake's forehead is?

Shrapnel. Another reason why I'm glad I'll be getting the PC version. No way am I going to play the entire game with that shit sticking out of his head.

Adam Jensen:
Shrapnel. Another reason why I'm glad I'll be getting the PC version. No way am I going to play the entire game with that shit sticking out of his head.

I...thanks. Man, Kojima makes some strange design choices.

Frezzato:
Can anybody explain just what the heck that thing on Snake's forehead is?

Adam Jensen:
Shrapnel. Another reason why I'm glad I'll be getting the PC version. No way am I going to play the entire game with that shit sticking out of his head.

The Metal Gear Solid prequel titles take place in some kind of weird alternate universe in which strong AI, walking tanks, and robotic prosthesis have all been invented by the 70's, but for some odd reason they aren't medically advanced enough to remove a few stray bits of metal shrapnel cleanly embedded into the cranium.

I'm sure it'll be handwaved with the whole TV "if we remove blah blah brain damage blah blah", or something just as stupid. Or perhaps he'll be offered to have it removed, but will refuse the procedure and instead scream at Doktor to turn off his pain inhibitors.

Scrythe:

Frezzato:
Can anybody explain just what the heck that thing on Snake's forehead is?

Adam Jensen:
Shrapnel. Another reason why I'm glad I'll be getting the PC version. No way am I going to play the entire game with that shit sticking out of his head.

The Metal Gear Solid prequel titles take place in some kind of weird alternate universe in which strong AI, walking tanks, and robotic prosthesis have all been invented by the 70's, but for some odd reason they aren't medically advanced enough to remove a few stray bits of metal shrapnel cleanly embedded into the cranium.

I'm sure it'll be handwaved with the whole TV "if we remove blah blah brain damage blah blah", or something just as stupid. Or perhaps he'll be offered to have it removed, but will refuse the procedure and instead scream at Doktor to turn off his pain inhibitors.

It's obviously Sci-Fi, but I would point out that medical science doesn't necessarily march 1:1 with other scientific endevours.

Inventing an AI(if you're referring to Peacewalker, calling it a Strong AI seems rather generous), or bipedal robots doesn't mean that you could readily repair massive brain wounding if something went wrong during a surgery.

The promo art showing the shrapnel with the xray view of Snake would imply that it's a pretty good ways into the head, so it's not unreasonable to think that pulling it out is considered a less than ideal option if he's still functional as-is.

That, and the whole "The entire world seems pissed at us" thing, which would make it tricky to get someone qualified for brain surgery on hand to work on Snake.

Areloch:

Inventing an AI(if you're referring to Peacewalker, calling it a Strong AI seems rather generous)

If we're strictly talking about Peace Walker, then I would agree with you. However, the reason why I specifically called it "strong" AI is because it's heavily implied that those same AI pods (with the exception of the Mammal Pod, of course) were used for the creation of the Patriots AI network. So at the time of Peace Walker, the only real "strong" AI would probably be the Mammal Pod, but after the Patriots did whatever to make the AI network, you can see that by the time of MGS2, it's been able to perfectly emulate people well enough that Raiden didn't notice anything was up until scissors 61 and all that. By MGS4, they were perfectly capable of total global economic and information control.

Everything else about your post I totally agree with.

At least it should make a good let's play from Chip and Ironicus. I would hate the play MGS games but I love to watch them.

 

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