Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Let's destroy this Metal Gear

Solid Snake's story ended seven years ago, in number four. Together with her, they drew a line under all the storylines in the near future, answering all the questions in the very confusing narrative of the series. Some characters found the long-awaited peace, others set off to conquer new horizons, but the bottom line is that everything was resolved: dramatic, logical, without unnecessary hints.

The creators of The Phantom Pain did not continue the already finished story, but brought us back to the Cold War, when a soldier with the callsign Naked Snake decided to create his own army, which would serve as a refuge for the military, rejected by the government of their countries. This happened when he was already known as Big Boss, but had not yet founded the Outer Heaven base.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

“Yes, boy, it's a box. You found an ordinary cardboard box. Well, you never know, the wind blew from somewhere. Go where you went, there is nothing suspicious here. "

The plot of the Metal Gear saga is so ambitious and difficult, even in the sense of who is fighting for what and what goals they actually pursue, that it will not be possible to summarize at least the basics, so if you are interested in one of the most iconic games of our time, take a look on YouTube about stories of the series and a short retelling of events. There is no other way, honestly.

For those who started reading this story, but still do not understand why they are doing this, I will note only a couple of points. Metal Gears are huge battle robots, weapons of the future, which Naked Snake (Big Boss) and his clone son Solid oppose in almost all parts of the series. Chronologically, the game continues the events of the portable offshoot Peace Walker and the more recent Ground Zeroes.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Towards the end of the game, we will often be opposed by various equipment, including these units with a discreet name, which I call "metal girders".

At the end of the prehistory to the fifth part, if you remember, everything ended badly: the base of "Army without Borders" was attacked by the mysterious organization "Cipher", led by a certain Skull, and Snake was seriously injured in a helicopter crash. The main character wakes up in a small hospital in Cyprus, and, as it turns out later, after nine years of being in a coma.

The legendary fighter will not be allowed to recover in a comfortable environment, because it turns out that he has become an enemy for almost the whole world, and the clearing team is already on the doorstep. Even if I wanted to spoil the events of the prologue, it would hardly be possible, because the story is presented in the corporate style of Kojima, where nothing is clear at first. I will only note that the hero escapes not without the help of old friends.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

At first, you can't understand whether everything around you is hallucinations caused by brain trauma, or whether this nightmare is actually happening.

After a rich introduction, Snake finds out that he was at a broken trough: the former base was completely destroyed by the Cypher, and the few survivors after that attack scattered around the world, going deep underground. The only chance to resist ill-wishers and to avenge the lost years of life is to equip a new shelter, return old soldiers to the ranks and recruit new ones.

The development of the main base as part of the Diamond Dogs organization and is devoted, if not all, then a large part of The Phantom Pain. Some sorties do not move the plot anywhere at all, but are only aimed at attracting a specialist to the headquarters or making money to research new types of equipment and weapons, and this is not only about side missions, but also the lion's share of the main ones.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

There are secret missions in the story missions. It's nice to rescue a prisoner or evacuate a rare eared vulture, and then find out that this was what had to be done.

Lovers of Hideo's directorial talent, I have something to both please and upset. On the one hand, the game has everything for which the players loved the previous parts of Metal Gear so much (except for talking about the codec, perhaps), on the other hand, you can grow old, trying to get to all this, because "housekeeping" is a compulsory occupation: once you may simply not be allowed on a mission until you properly pump the base.

Another controversial moment of enormous duration. To just run ahead and not look back, having scored on most of the side errands, you will need fifty hours, and a thoughtful passage will take three times more. And this is commendable ... it would be, but not all missions rotate the gears of the plot, and the gameplay at the same time often rolls into a routine.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Given the fact that this is not the set of the sequel to "Pacific Rim", Snake must find out - is he as good at running, as hiding and shooting?

If we compare the narrative of The Phantom Pain with its predecessors, then it is not as confusing as in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and not as dramatic as in Metal Gear Solid 4: of the Patriots, and indeed, the plot here turned out to be surprise unambiguous: there are pronounced villains, there are obviously positive characters, although the ending will still present a few surprises.

However, this is by no means a drawback. We already know the fate of the Boss, how the stories of his confidants, Miller and Ocelot will end, so it remains to thank the creators of the game for not restarting the series, coming up with something new in defiance of the old for the sake of awful twists, but only told about a previously unknown period of time , complementing the biographies of the cult characters for the series.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Anarchy soldiers

Thirteen years ago, a wonderful real-time tactic came out - one of those games that received the Masterpiece mark without any questions or reasoning at all. In it, we controlled a small detachment, secretly made our way to enemy positions, stole supplies, mined roads and captured military equipment, if possible eliminating all resistance without losses on our own side.

Between operations, they whiled away time at the base, where it was possible to heal the wounded, repair equipment and barter new weapons, shells, supplies and even vehicles. All the accumulated goodness passed into the next missions, which prompted a very careful and thoughtful passage.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

A good mark does not depend on the number of attempts or on the method of passing. The S rating can also be obtained for the bloody massacre of everyone who falls under the distribution.

The fifth Metal Gear Solid offers the same possibilities, and sometimes even more, only with a third-person view, which in itself allows you to squeal with joy. We have access to huge open spaces with outposts and bases of varying degrees of security, which can be penetrated in a variety of ways, from any direction, using various means, tactics and techniques.

You will say that everything cannot be so good. Yes, it cannot. Snake's arsenal depends on the level of base development, which means that the first third of the game, wanting to play a pacifist, you will crawl on your belly, hide in cardboard boxes, stun enemies with a melee capture or tranquilizers from a pistol with a perishable silencer. It would not be scary and boring if the number of captured outposts and bases in the game did not go to dozens, or even hundreds, even if we do not take into account the side missions.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Standing on a hill and covering the sandy valley with a gaze, one just wants to gallop off into the distance shouting "Move, Roach!"

But the most controversial innovation of The Phantom Pain was the open world. Firstly, it is excessively large and empty, occupied by mountains and deserts, where apart from enemy fortifications there is nothing interesting at all. Secondly, it is not very open either: the story missions are limited to the "task fulfillment zone", and they are sometimes drawn in such a way that you have no room for maneuver.

In the free exploration mode, where you can complete side quests, there are no artificial restrictions, and the world itself, apart from the main base of Diamond Dogs in the Seychelles, consists of two large zones - Afghanistan and Africa. Taking into account the fact that between the key points we only do what we run or ride a horse, it would be better if the developers invested not in the scale of the environment, but in filling it.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Oops, screenshot from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Oh, no, we were just thrown into the local African jungle.

As you progress through the game, Snake has more ways of waging war, and at the same time, his interest in even a banal cleanup of the base increases. C4 charges appeared? We will undermine the communications center with their help so that the enemy cannot request reinforcements. Tranquilizer rifle available? Let us put the entire enemy garrison to sleep at a distance (the main thing is to change position after each shot, not allowing ourselves to be detected).

It's nice that the game pushes you to constantly invent new tactics as enemies adapt to your fighting style. If you often eliminate opponents with shots to the head, they will start wearing helmets, and if your style is to sneak into the base under cover of night (the game has a change of time of day), the enemy will figure out to arm himself with a flashlight and even a night vision device.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Soldiers react differently to every suspicious action. But the dialogues between colleagues are often repeated, and you will have time to learn them almost by heart.

Artificial intelligence is generally one of the main assets of Metal Gear Solid V. Such quick-witted enemies have not yet been, probably, in any game with an emphasis on stealth. They notice the hero about seventy meters away, inform colleagues on the walkie-talkie when they find something suspicious, hear the sounds of explosions or shots, they can shoot a cardboard box if Snake moved in it.

Sometimes the virtual brains of enemies still fail, but these are rare cases that undoubtedly happen, but not so often that they become the norm. For example, once I grabbed a soldier by the neck and was already beginning to strangle him, when suddenly a second passed by stealthily, stopping a couple of meters, where the Boss was supposedly seen for the last time. He paid for his blindness, of course.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

It is strange that no one accused the developers of intolerance, because according to my observations, black soldiers in Africa are dull more often than Russians in Afghanistan.

Let's return to the topic of innovations in the genre. The Fulton evacuation system turned everything upside down. Now there is no need to hide the bodies of sleeping and stunned enemies, fearing that one day they will wake up: they attached a small parachute to them and sent them into the heavens with a swift dash, where they were picked up at a great height by a cargo plane and taken to the base, and there they were recruited into Diamond Dogs ...

The funny thing is that you can "fulton" everything that is not nailed to the floor: stationary weapons, wild animals, prisoners, vehicles and armored vehicles. Just imagine: you sneak up on a heavy tank and, in a couple of clicks, quietly airmail it to your base! His crew will be surprised, eh? There is only one drawback of this system: the ability to evacuate equipment does not appear immediately.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Briefly about how much free time Snake has.

Another notable innovation is the teammates. Initially, only a horse is available from them, but later we will be able to call a dog and even a girl - a sniper Silent, and not the one you probably thought of. Each has its own set of skills: a horse simplifies movement over long distances, and a faithful dog can smell and mark enemies, local animals and medicinal plants on the map.

Teamwork strengthens Snake's bond with his companion, allowing him to issue new commands. In the case of the Silent One, loyalty also allows her to upgrade her equipment. A map in the form of a sniper rifle with a silencer, shooting tranquilizers, the enemy will simply have nothing to cover.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

My home is my castle

The boss has always been an excellent operative, carrying out other people's orders, but now he has become a commander, and he is responsible for the welfare of the Diamond Dogs organization and its huge military base located in the middle of the Indian Ocean. From now on, this is a new house, and it needs to be developed and protected so that it does not repeat the fate of its predecessor, who perished in the abyss of endless waters nine years ago.

The main base is a station of truly monstrous proportions, and its full study will take from several hours to a day, depending on the number of platforms built. You can always return to this place after the assignment to take a shower, listen to the gossip of recruits, practice shooting and feel a certain pride when you are saluted when you meet.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

The main base is so large that it is possible to move by car between its sections. All buildings can also be painted pink.

The headquarters is controlled remotely using a portable iDroid device. This contraption not only serves Snake as a tactical map, quest log and mp3 player, but also allows him to give orders for the construction of new platforms, the development and improvement of weapons, equipment and various gadgets.

You can order inventions right while lying in the bushes next to a vigilant detachment of enemy sentries - for an additional fee, you will be limited to an urgent reset of resources, and if you aim well, choosing a delivery place, the package will knock out a gaping warrior (honest physics, yes). You can also request supplies, call in shelling or air support, but this has a bad effect on the rating, so if you want to complete all tasks for the top five (rating S), learn to do without the help of the headquarters.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Through iDroid, you can listen not only to important messages, but also to music, if you do not forget to steal cassettes from militant camps.

The most dreary, but to some extent, and exciting activity associated with the development of the base is recruiting personnel. You are already familiar with its principle (fist -> head -> parachute -> y-and-and-and-and-and!), But besides this, it is also important to understand who will benefit by strengthening the team with valuable skills, and who will become a burden , decomposing the atmosphere in the team and provoking colleagues into a fight.

Recruits are automatically distributed between departments (support, reconnaissance, and others) in relation to their abilities, which increases the level of the unit and allows you to order new developments, call the same shelling, display resources and the estimated location of enemies on the map. People can also be shuffled manually to get to the desired improvement faster, but this is usually not necessary.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Missions can be completed not only by Snake, but also by Diamond Dogs operators, using their special skills. This one, for example, evacuates equipment more efficiently.

At first, you don't have to bother with selection: there are plenty of places, there are not enough hands, so even yesterday's recruits will do, but soon the base will overflow, and resources for timely expansion will not be enough. In order not to waste time filtering out unworthy ones, immediately look at the skill level of the fighters, especially since the improved binoculars allow you to do this.

Some soldiers have unique skills. Usually, such a fighter just gives a small increase to the level of the department if he is put to work "in his specialty", but for others, talents do open up access to special functions. For example, you cannot evacuate heavy equipment until you recruit logistics, and you need an interpreter to interrogate foreign soldiers.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

The first rule when entering enemy territory is to mark all enemies with binoculars so that no one is later taken by surprise.

Among others, the combat department stands out. After its arrangement, you will be able to send recruits to external assignments, whether it be protecting an important person, sabotage or banal collection of herbs. As a reward for this, you will receive money, resources, and sometimes even recruits, but you should make sure that the mission is feasible, otherwise someone from the squad runs the risk of not returning home alive.

In general, there are no problems with finances and raw materials in the game, even if you do not zealous on the front of unnecessary tasks, and it is almost impossible to go bankrupt, driving the organization into debt. Perhaps this question will become more acute when the network component gains momentum, but so far the ability to attack the bases of other players is either disabled, or just few people have gotten to it.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


It is difficult for such a project to make a fair verdict, having examined it at a frantic pace in just one week. In The Phantom Pain, you can play hundreds of hours, and then be surprised to find out that a cardboard box gets wet and falls apart during a pouring rain, or find Easter eggs that refer to characters from the past and the future, who will drastically change the very mood and perception of what is happening.

The game turned out to be ambiguous. During the passage, I managed to fall in love with her for unprecedented freedom and abundance of opportunities, and to hate for a huge number of missions of the same type, where, even during the main plot, under different pretexts, it was proposed to re-clean the same places. But one thing is clear: this is a new word in the genre and Metal Gear Solid V should definitely not be missed by anyone.

video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Verdict: Hideo Kojima's most ambitious project would have been better if it were not so ambitious, and yet the Japanese genius failed in only one thing - to leave indifferent to the game.