For those who don’t know, famous (for this Dead Space 2 IGN review) games journalist Greg Miller (AKA “Game Over Greggy”) has somehow ($$$) earned exclusive early access to MGS V to make a Let’s Play before the game is released. Anyway, we at Push to Shout got our own EXCLUSIVE access to his leaked review of Metal Gear Solid V. What follows is Greg Miller’s complete (legitimate, real, actual, not fake*) review of Metal Gear Solid V:
Dead Space 2 Review
“Stealth has a new gold standard.”
By Greg Miller
Metal Gear Solid V is an amazing game. I’m going to write about its scary moments, cool kills, and how much I dig the main character’s internal struggle, but Metal Gear Solid V is about more than this. When I beat it for the first time, I sat on the couch with my heart racing and dissected the journey I had just taken. Then, I started my second playthrough, and when that was done, I jumped into a new game for the third time. Metal Gear Solid V is just that good.
It’s been nine years since the events of Ground Zeroes, but protagonist Big Boss still can’t catch a break. At the beginning of Metal Gear Solid V, he wakes in a hospital and finds the place is overwhelmed by mysterious special forces and images from his past. From the very first moment of the game, Snake’s fighting for his life.
This is where you come in. As Snake, you’ll pick up your tranq gun, don a sneaking suit and take the fight to the Patriots out to kill you. The overarching goal is to find and destroy the Patriots leader (known as Cipher) causing all of this, but the story that makes Metal Gear Solid V great is the internal war Snake’s fighting. Unlike Uncharted’s Nathan Drake who can kill a few hundred pirates and never seem worn down by it, Snake is totally ruined by the events of the previous games. He saw things no man should have to during his time in the jungles of the USSR, but it’s the fact that Snake’s mentor died by his hands after betraying her country that really haunts him.
Snake’s losing his mind in Metal Gear Solid V. The guilt is tearing his very sanity apart. That’s heavy stuff and it makes for a really engaging story. Snake doesn’t let anyone else in on the fact that he’s coming unglued, so as a player I get to see who he really is and the facade he presents to the other characters. Snake’s internal conversations and hallucinations are among my favorite parts of this game.
But I have lots of favorite parts to Metal Gear Solid V. Right behind Snake’s struggle on my list of cool stuff is the combat. It’s more satisfying than it was in Metal Gear Solid 3. Snake’s fast and light on his feet. You can hide in boxes in a jiff and pick up bodies for loot, grabbing things with your prosthetic arm is responsive, and mixing all of this together with the different weapons in the game is a blast. Tranquing a soldier, fultoning him, and using him to work in Mother Base is a thing of beauty that doesn’t get old.
The cast is fleshed out, but Snake steals the show.
Metal Gear Solid V is pretty much the best cinematic attraction ever. Kojima stripped out the stuff that slowed down the original game (backtracking, getting disoriented, etc.) and ended up with a fast-paced game that’s suspenseful and stupid at the same time. You’re allowed freedom of movement on your way from Point A to Point B, and soldiers pop out for you to CQC. I know that “open world” is a bad word in the video game industry, but the package is so well done here that I can’t knock Metal Gear Solid V for taking me on a very wild ride that’s marked by awesome moments, environments that range from a cheery POW camp to pitch black rooms, and sound that’s so well done I’d find myself trying to figure out if it was Psycho mantis or my dog rummaging in the living room. Toss in some new disturbing enemies and surprises I won’t ruin for you and you have a game that can feel like “the same old thing” at times but becomes much more than that as a whole.
I’ve already said that I’ve played the game over and over, so it’s important to point out that no ride needs to be the same. Metal Gear Solid V packs returning weapons such as the .22 Tranquilizer Gun as well as brand new items like the Bionic Arm and its Rocket Punch. Each of these weapons — along with your suit, binoculars and cigars — can be upgraded for maximum ass-kicking, and then the progress can be saved and carried over to your next playthrough. These options and rewards are what kept me wanting to come back. There are tons of new suits (with new bonuses) to unlock and I always wanted to see what my next pimped-out weapon could do.
My desire to jump back in really speaks to the shift in Snake’s perspective this time around. Some fans threw hissy fits when Kojima said that there’d be more action in Metal Gear Solid V, but it works and I love it. Snake feels like a badass here, and he should. He’s fought these commies before and he’s used these weapons before. The first game was a naked soldier tossed into hell. The second game is a guy who’s lost everything to these Patriots and really has nothing left to lose so hell yes he’ll put his life on the line and shoot an explosive barrel if it means killing seven baddies at once. Snake is stronger here and I feel stronger playing as him.
If you’re truly devoted like myself, there’s even a mode known as “Hard,” and it’s nothing less than sadistic. The enemies are at their toughest, the supplies are limited, there are no checkpoints, and if you die, you restart from your last save. Oh, and players will invade your FOB at any time. That’s crazy talk, but damn, do I want to do it.
As much fun as all that is, the “go here and do this” structure does hamper the overarching story. The part about Snake wrestling his demons is awesome, but the narrative driving the search for Cipher is a bit flat in comparison. Different characters are just popping up to tell you to go there and do that. I wouldn’t have a problem with this structure if it ended with Snake learning something or maturing as a protagonist, but we never get that moment where he takes charge of his own fate. He’s always being pushed somewhere by someone.
Another stumble is multiplayer. I’ve played all of the game’s five modes/maps, and none of them did anything for me. Players are broken into two teams: the attackers have an objective and the defenders are out to stop them at all costs. As an attacker, I’d run to an objective, hold out for as long as I could, and then get killed. As a defender, I’d hope my minimal amount of damage dealt killed a weaken opponent or set the kill up for a friend. The pacing and vague objectives really didn’t equate to fun. This isn’t want I want out of a Metal Gear Solid experience.
Luckily, as I hope I’ve already driven home, Metal Gear Solid V’s single-player is so good, you shouldn’t question picking this game up.
Multiplayer failed to thrill me.
Metal Gear Solid V is more than just an action game and it’s more than a survival horror game — it’s a game that tells a really personal story about a guy who has been seriously scarred by the events around him. That premise alone makes it interesting, but Kojima Productions melds it with rewarding combat, shocking enemies, and huge set pieces before tossing it into a world that’s truly dark and goofy. I didn’t find multiplayer that interesting and would’ve liked to have seen Snake stop being an errand boy, but none of that spoils what you’re getting here. The shocking moments, the gruesome deaths, and the fun of playing through this experience again and again are what I took away from this one.
Metal Gear Solid V is an excellent game, and it’s well worth your time and money.
VERY FUNNY GAMES RATINGS FOR Metal Gear Solid V (PS4)
The game’s dark and goofy. The internal Snake story is awesome. I could’ve done for a better driving force than that of Cipher.
The game is lit in a way that amplifies the atmosphere and Snake’s butt looks great. Some blocky blood and stiff animations, though.
Kiefer’s voice is good. The score is nearly perfect. The creaks of Mother Base and moans of Paz meld for maximum horniness.
Snake’s arsenal and adventure are fun but familiar. Improvements like a ration refill button and better CQC are welcome.
Lasting Appeal: 9.5
Multiplayer is nothing special, but the game is a bit more than 50 hours. Different suits, upgrades and difficulties kept me coming back.
(out of 10, not an average)
*This review is actually not real, sort of.