Menu Close

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review

Replay Value:
Overall Rating:
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Kojima Productions, Moby Dick Studio
Number Of Players:
Release Date:
September 1, 2015

Welcome to the new generation of video games.

In my mind, there are only two games thus far this generation that would fit my personal definition of “next-gen.” The first is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt but I was disappointed by its stunning lack of stability and I couldn’t ignore it. While the inherent concepts and scope registered as innovative and progressive, the implementation and execution left a lot to be desired. It’s fixed now (for the most part) but that doesn’t erase the first few months of the game’s existence. The biggest difference between that title and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain ? One just works beautifully , all the while awing us with its size, flexibility and raw power.

The Fox Engine somehow manages to capture Hideo Kojima’s massive vision without skipping a beat. This is one of those games that will fool you into thinking a sequence is a non-interactive cut-scene when in fact, it’s in-game action. Given the sheer size and everything that’s happening in such a large area, I’m endlessly impressed when playing: There are no frame rate hitches, the load times aren’t intrusive at all, and everything, from the immaculate and inspired character depiction to the unbelievable environmental detail, shines. It’s a visual tour de force, a masterful combination of ambitious design, painstakingly crafted lines and shadows, and rock solid technical prowess. Just amazing.

The sound is almost as incredible and trust me when I say, a decent set of headphones is mandatory if you wish to enjoy the full MGSV experience. Every little sound washes over you with realistic and engaging clarity; from the bullets that just miss tearing into your skin to the ambient background noises that bring this world to life. And while I’m well aware of the community’s outcry when they learned David Hayter wouldn’t be reprising his role as the iconic Snake, Kiefer Sutherland is no slouch. First, he’s an extremely accomplished actor in his own right and second, well…as much as I’ve always loved Hayter, Sutherland’s voice really is a perfect fit. I think his performance has a bit more authenticity and dimension as well. And of course, the score is sweeping, majestic and flawlessly produced.