Impression: Metal Gear Solid 5

As it turns out, Metal Gear Solid 5: the Phantom Fulton is a lot of fun. Like, a lot lot.

The proper tone is set from the very beginning:

I've been playing 12 hours and I still don't know who's ass that is.

I’ve been playing 12 hours and I still don’t know who’s ass that is.

Like, it’s funny, right? But even crazier is when you think about A) who would come up with this, B) who would allow this to occur, and C) am I actually seeing this? I guess it’s tame in comparison to that one Raiden section in MGS2, but still! This is the sort of esoteric goofiness that is so endearing of Japanese videogames, and the Metal Gear Solid series specifically.

Also, holy shit, 60 FPS on super-max settings. My recently-acquired 970 is smoking this game so hard, it can apparently bump the resolution higher than my monitor can support, and then downscale it to 1080p to cram in more shinies.

Here is a picture of me kidnapping a puppy:

Seems to have recovered from the tranq dart I shot at her face.

Seems to have recovered from the tranq dart I shot at her face.

Analyzing my own experience playing this game has also been amusing. The MGS series has always had this weird dichotomy in which it gave you 30 weapons to play around with, but made you feel bad for using anything other than the tranq gun in every scenario. Now in MGS 5, they give you the same plethora of guns and frequently tell you to go nuts. Grenade launcher by the 5th mission? Go for it.

In spite of getting the OK for GTA-levels of mayhem though, I’m playing this game like Tenchu.

But if I kill them, I can't break their spirit and brainwash them to join my army...

But if I kill them, I can’t break their spirit and brainwash them to join my army…

It’s pretty clever design, I must say. Because while it is certainly worlds easier just sniping everyone from a million miles away, pretty much the entire reward structure of the game encourages sneaking and getting up close and personal. Since you are rebuilding Mother Base, you want to keep the place as fully stocked with brainwashed troops as possible. So instead of killing them, you can knock them out with tranq guns to the face and Fulton them out. But if you managed to sneak up on someone, you can interrogate them into putting resources and other goodies on your map, including diamonds which represent enough currency to make up ~10% of a research upgrade. Once you get the info, you are free to kill them or knock them out at your discretion.

I really do enjoy this sort of design tension, as it is all carrot and no stick. In a hurry? Blow them up. Want to actually play a stealth game? Go ahead and have all the rewards.

Best score I've gotten thus far.

Best score I’ve gotten thus far.

In any case, no doubt you will be hearing more about this game in the following week(s).

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Posted on September 4, 2015, in Impressions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Impression: Metal Gear Solid 5.

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