Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Jockney

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I *think* I just did the mission you are referring to.

Honey Bee?

Not quite! You're still a little earlier on. You'll know it when you play it. It has multiple parts and actually starts off as a completely different operation before pulling a bait and switch.

Just completed episode 20, btw. Creepy. As. Fuck.
 

Techno Natch

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What's the difference between the PS3 and PS4 versions? Is it just graphics?

I won't have PS4 for a long time I don't think.
 

Megaclyde

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Probably draw distance too, if that matters.
 

Stevencc

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Not quite! You're still a little earlier on. You'll know it when you play it. It has multiple parts and actually starts off as a completely different operation before pulling a bait and switch.

Just completed episode 20, btw. Creepy. As. Fuck.

Well that is exciting, because the mission I mentioned was jaw-droppingly good at times!
 

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Ocelot telling one of the base recruits that engraving a gun gives you no tactical advantage whatsoever.

:bow:
 

Jockney

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Ocelot telling one of the base recruits that engraving a gun gives you no tactical advantage whatsoever.

:bow:

Berates soldier for being flashy.

Twirls his guns around like Clint Eastwood on speed.
 

JoeJoeJoeJoe

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Would you recommend this game to someone who has never played a Metal Gear game before?
 

Jockney

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Would you recommend this game to someone who has never played a Metal Gear game before?

Oh, yes. This is easily the most accessible Metal Gear for newbies. Well, so far anyway.
 

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Side Op 152. What a fucking nightmare that was!
 

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Never played a Metal Gear.

Was really enjoying the first mission or so until these weird slow walking smoke monsters came completely out of left field and threw the tone of the game completely. It was so fucking jarring. It went from Splinter Cell to Resident Evil in like 2 seconds.

Solid stealth though, even though the horse is pissing annoying. Also weirdly I more frame rate dumps with my textures and model quality at high than at very high, which is just fucking odd :lol:
 

Jockney

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Episode 31, trolololololololololol.
 

RavenBish

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This game looks really repetitive, is it? All the gameplay stuff I've seen in just - sneak, tranquilise, Fulton, repeat.
 

Jockney

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This game looks really repetitive, is it? All the gameplay stuff I've seen in just - sneak, tranquilise, Fulton, repeat.

It's really up to you. I find the tranq and fulton methods are useful for a lot of missions, but then for some it just doesn't cut it. Having nearly completed the main quest line, what I like most about it in terms of gameplay is the amount of options I'm given to complete a given mission. Some missions even alter the narrative of the game depending on your actions.

Is it repetetive, then? Of course it is. Semi-episodic open world games in the vein of GTA and FC3 really can't avoid that criticism given their length and limitations on gameplay mechanics. The genre isn't my favourite, but I much prefer TPP over those others. It feels deeper and more purposeful. That's not to say that I don't have my own problems with the game, problems I'll probably elaborate on once I've done everything, and it isn't, like, my favourite game evar, or even my favourite Metal Gear, but from a design standpoint it feels like the rare game that respects my ability and intelligence.

It's really challenging without being artificially hard and the boss fights and more unconventional missions stick to the same principle of the rest of the game: i.e. you can progress in pretty much any manner you see fit. If you want to beat the boss via stealth, you can do that. Hell, you can even evade some bosses entirely.
 

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I've just completed mission 1. What on earth are the credits all about??!! Pretentious much!
 

Eski Boi

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Can someone tell me why this game is so good?

What's all the hype about?
 

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It does sound good, and I hate the games and think that the lad that makes them is an over ratted tosser. A few people have echo'd to me what has been said in here though that this is actually less like a the weird Metal Gear stuff that puts people like me off.
 

Jockney

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Well, I completed it this morning. Just have to wait for everybody else now, I suppose...
 
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Stevencc

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Well, I completed it this morning. Just have to wait for everybody else now, I suppose...

Without revealing too much, how did you find the ending? I'm nowhere near completing it (I've only finished the first eleven missions) but I've read that a lot of people were really disappointed with the conclusion of the game.
 

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I watched someone streaming the end game last night (too cheap to fork out full price for the game) and thought it was kinda unerwhelming due to the AI. Was trying not to follow the story so can't comment on that.
 

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Enemy AI's responsive as hell. A few bugs here and there, but can't say I've played another open-world stealth game/game with stealth elements that so often refused to let me off the hook.
 

Jockney

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Without revealing too much, how did you find the ending? I'm nowhere near completing it (I've only finished the first eleven missions) but I've read that a lot of people were really disappointed with the conclusion of the game.

Ambivalent, leaning towards disappointment. I'm fine with the concept of the twist at the end, less so with the execution. The mission itself is also a pisstake. Sheer fucking laziness. By all accounts they ran out of time and money. They cut a pretty important episode from the ending, too (you can watch it on Youtube).

The episode that wraps up Quiet's story is really quite something, though. Properly moving. Kojima fucked her up, but I think Stefanie Joosten saved that character from being absolutely terrible. Episode 45. Make sure you unlock that before completing episode 46. In fact, there are some real humdingers leading up to the final story episode. Especially a certain mission on motherbase, involving Snake, a pair of modified NVG's and lots and lots of blood. That mission make me feel fucking awful, like made me want to stop playing in the best worst way.
 
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Jockney

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Also, check out the door with the blue neon horizontal strip just above it in Medical for a secret cutscene with a fairly big plot twist. It's on the same deck as quiet's cell, a couple of levels above I think. You can do that now.
 

Cas

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Jockney, how long did it take you to beat the game?
 

Jockney

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Jockney, how long did it take you to beat the game?

65 hours, 22 mins to complete Chapter 2 and get the true ending. About 45 hours to complete Chapter 1, which encompasses the Skull Face storyline. Basically, you can complete the first four games and Peace Walker in the time that it takes to complete PP. I'm not neccesarily sure that's a good thing, though. The game definitely would have benefited from being tighter.

Cutting out stupid mistakes and leaving the game idle, I reckon I would have got the true ending in 50-60 hours. You've got to complete about 50 side ops, including all of the yellow marked story side-ops and all but the last three missions in the game to unlock the true ending. I'm not going to do the last three missions because, well, fuck that. You'll see when you get to that point, they're not worth the hassle. The main game is hard enough at times on its own. There are some missions that seriously made me question whether I'd be able to get past them, which hasn't happened to me in a long time.
 
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Stevencc

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Also, check out the door with the blue neon horizontal strip just above it in Medical for a secret cutscene with a fairly big plot twist. It's on the same deck as quiet's cell, a couple of levels above I think. You can do that now.

I did that part last night - it was cool but kind of lost on me because I never got round to playing the handheld games or Ground Zeroes.
 

Jockney

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Well, anyway, yeah, Phantom Pain. There are a lot of really fascinating and moving moments in this installment. It's definitely the darkest entry in the series and there are a few missions and scenes that are sort of masterful in the way that they're staged and executed. But the game is plagued by a really poor narrative structure. Kojima's obviously taken a lot of inspiration from GTA in the way that he's structured this story. It's very episodic, as befits open-world settings, and the cut-scenes are brief and sporadic. But it doesn't really work here. There are about fifty missions in total, but about 60-70% of them are complete filler: usually a variation of "extract this person", or "assassinate that person", before exfiltrating out of the hot zone by chopper. This means that narrative progression is often halted for hours and hours at a time while you complete objectives that have very little meaningful connection to the plot.

It's essentialy forced grinding and while there are some quite satisfying cut-scene pay-offs, the rewards are usually cassette tapes which are SO, SO TERRIBLY WRITTEN. Kojima is a poor writer, man, there is no getting around that. Great game designer, promising director, but my lord, he really needs to work with someone who knows what they're doing when it comes to actually developing narrative. Metal Gear games are typically convoluted, but never before have I been so fucking utterly confused by the series' story. This is mostly because, again, it's explained in audio logs that are so poorly-written and abstracted that the details don't seem to have any consequence: there isn't any visual stimulus informing what we're being told, so we're completely bereft of meaningful context. Everything's being told in the past tense, by another person. We barely get to experience any of it for ourselves. It's like the Patriots AI bollocks in MGS4, but at least in that one Drebin prepared a few Powerpoint slides that we could look at.

Gameplay is good, bordering on great, but hampered by repetition. As I said before, Main Ops are mostly a variation on 'extract/assassinate the target(s)'. This is something that didn't bother me as much at the time of my reply to Raven Bish's post, but gradually becomes more and more of a problem once you pass the halfway mark, and in particular once you complete Chapter 1 and are forced to re-do previous missions at a much harder difficulty in order to unlock new missions and progress the story (which, aside from two absolutely fantastic story missions, are again variations on the already established extract/assassinate formula). On the other hand, though, some of the boss fights are fantastic and pushed my skillset to the limit. It's satisfying to beat a boss, but it's even more satisfying to devise a plan that, if executed correctly, can bypass a fight altogether; I can't think of another game that lets me do that, or at least lets me do it as well. Similarly, the Fulton device is tons of fun and in most cases there are almost unlimited ways to complete an objective -- Kojima's game design treats the player's intelligence with the utmost respect, even if his writing doesn't.

I'm not entirely sure whether the game is bloated and loose owing to Kojima's tendencies towards ego and general self-indulgence, or whether the upheaval at Konami affected the game's development and the result was a game that is patently half-finished, but taken as a whole the Phantom Pain feels like something of a mis-step for the series. Not quite as big a mis-step as the creatively bankrupt Guns of the Patriots. It's an ambitious, honourable mis-step that doesn't quite work as a whole but is almost genius in individual moments. If properly cut down and edited, this game is potentially a masterpiece, but as is it feels like an over-reach.

Some additional thoughts. **MAJOR SPOILERS**

*The true ending: probably the most compelling argument in favour of the 'half-finished' theory. The big finale that wraps up the entire Metal Gear series is... completing the opening again, shot for shot, scene-for-scene. Not just the most appalling lack of originality, but fucking tedious. It has nowhere near the same impact the second time around.

*The Venom/Medic/Punished/Big Boss twist is pretty neat on the page, but poorly explained. Apparently Ocelot and Miller were in on it and the whole thing was Zero's idea? And Ocelot hypnotised himself so that even he believed that Venom was Big Boss? But then he meets Venom immediately after giving Big Boss his new identity, so when the fuck does he do that exactly? If you're a Metal Gear fan, past installments have already taught you to roll with this kind of shit, but this isn't just ludicrous it feels like self-parody.

*Troy Baker as Ocelot: well done for sucking all of the personality out of the most delightfully campy character in the series. There is so little to distinguish him from Miller, they might as well be the same person.

*Quiet: terrible character as written but given real life by Stefanie Joosten who did a really great job with the shit she got dumped with. I came to really care about her character, in spite of the really quite objectional way she's characterised in the game, and I was geniuinely almost moved to tears in her final mission. P.s. 'You will feel ashamed of your words and actions' what a load of fucking bullshit that turned out to be. You should feel ashamed of your fucking words and actions, Kojima, you fucking hack.

*The mission in Chapter 2 where you massacre the Medical team. Jesus Christ. That was a tough play.

*Fan service galore: Huey is back and he's a scumbag. Strangelove is Hal's mother. Huey murdered Strangelove. The Boss's AI exposes Huey's deeds. The Man on Fire is Volgin. Psycho Mantis and Liquid steal Metal Gear and head off into the jungle, foreshadowing the events of Shadow Moses. Codetalker developed the vocal cord parasites from The End's corpse. But no Solid Snake or Grey Fox, unfortunately.
 
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G.B

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Enemy AI's responsive as hell. A few bugs here and there, but can't say I've played another open-world stealth game/game with stealth elements that so often refused to let me off the hook.

Yeah, seems to be of a pretty awesome standard overall. But the mission I saw, and I'm now doubting it's the "real" ending, was about half an hour of the guy cheesing the shit out of the boss fight, abusing the AI.
 
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Jockney

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Yeah, seems to be of a pretty awesome standad overall. But the mission I saw, and I'm now doubting it's the "real" ending, was about half an hour of the guy cheesing the shit out of the boss fight, abusing the AI.

That's the
Metal Gear Sehalanthropus
fight, right? Yeah, that's the ending of Chapter 1, not the real ending. That fight is fucking hard. There are several missions, espesh after that, that are harder but that was the definitely the one that had me most tempted just to stop playing and watch the ending cutscenes on Youtube instead. I've heard of a few people cheesing that battle but I was never able to engineer an exploit, not for want of trying mind. In the end I got through after levelling up my weapons a whole bunch and just remaining persistent.
 

G.B

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That's the
Metal Gear Sehalanthropus
fight, right? Yeah, that's the ending of Chapter 1, not the real ending. That fight is fucking hard. There are several missions, espesh after that, that are harder but that was the definitely the one that had me most tempted just to stop playing and watch the ending cutscenes on Youtube instead. I've heard of a few people cheesing that battle but I was never able to engineer an exploit, not for want of trying mind. In the end I got through after levelling up my weapons a whole bunch and just remaining persistent.

Yeah, it is. It does look really difficult, and lenghty, tbf.

Dude just circled one of the large rocks for half an hour, stepping out to shoot rockets when he could. AI couldn't really do anything about it.


I need this game in my life, but for no more than 20 quid. Let's swap accounts for a few weeks when you finish up Steven :lol:
 

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Did you complete all the Side Ops, Jockney? I want to push on with the Main Ops, I've still only completed 14 of them, but I'm not sure if the Side Ops are still playable once the story is completed.

Also, what's this about having to re-do earlier missions on a harder difficulty? How many do you have to go through again? I was thinking of going through them again anyway to achieve all of the objectives and extract some of the specialist soldiers but if you have to do it anyway I might as well wait.
 

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