This game takes place after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. After getting news that Paz and Chico were captured in a secret camp, Snake goes on a mission to save them from their captivity. Both of them are placed separately in a black site called Camp Omega, and Snake must use his resources to find them.
This game acts as a prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, so the story is understandably and disappointingly short. Only one new character is introduced in this game, which is Skull Face who will be the major villain in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. There are not enough exposure to like the characters in this game enough, as many of them have previously appeared in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker who have only brief appearance in this game.
It is also noted that this game has more darker tones compared to other Metal Gear games, such as rape, torture and many other darker themes. Many of the cassette tapes in the game also imply these darker implications in the recordings.
This game uses enhanced game controls from Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, as you can do crouch walking, interrogate enemies, knock enemies down with CQC, and many other actions. You can climb fences or obstacles, sprinting, and carry targets to your helicopter as well. The CQC feature is also enhanced in the game, as you can use it to knock down enemies, lure enemies to you as well as interrogating them. Interrogating enemies will give you good information in any of the game's mission, such as a target's location or a hole in their defenses.
This game has only one main Mission, with several unlockable Side Ops and Extra Ops upon completing the game. All of these missions take place in the same area, which is Camp Omega. Different missions have different objectives, such as safeguarding a VIP target, assassinating enemy targets, and others as well. Camp Omega is a very large area, and there are many ways to approach and exit in comparison to other locations from older Metal Gear Solid games.
Snake's weapons are set in default in the game, so you must explore the area to find any additional weapons for your equipment. You may also use vehicles to drive to escape from enemies or for faster travelling. Snake may have access to variety of weapons, such as a tranquiliser gun and explosives as well as items like binoculars to scan the area.
One new feature introduced in this game is called the Marking system. Marking allows you to mark enemies by examining them close with your binoculars or by aiming a gun at them. Unlike other games' Marking system, this game's Marking system allows you to see what the marked enemies doing indoors or outdoors. Stealth mechanics are also present in the game, as you can quickly sneak past by enemies if you lay low on the ground, quietly sneaking up to enemies and hold them up, as well as other actions.
Another new feature is called Reflex. Reflex mode slowdowns the time and allow you to shoot an enemy who spotted you to avoid any combat alarms. If you successfully do so, you can avoid fighting more enemies while the alarm is activated. However, activating Reflex mode anytime in a mission will not grant you bonus score for your final ranking, so it is advisable to do disable it if you are attempting to get S ranks on all missions.
Your ranking is affected by several factors, such as no detection, no alarms, fast completion time, and completing certain side objectives such as saving other prisoners.
Overall, this game has the finest game controls out of all Metal Gear Solid games. Simple and effective stealth mechanics, solid third person shooter view, improved overall controls, and many others. Enemy A.I. is also smart in this game, as they use their flashlight to spot you or bring buddies to search for any intruders. Unfortunately, this game does not have much gameplay content other than Side Ops and Extra Ops, so be aware of repetitiveness.
This game boasts excellent graphics, with amazing looking design of Camp Omega as well as great looking characters. Snake perhaps has one of his best appearance in this game, and the environment design look spectacular. The main Mission features perhaps one of the best lighting system on characters, as well as impressive rain animation. This game also has solid performance, with no framerate drops or screentearing presence throughout the game.
David Hayter did not reprise his role as Snake in this game as well as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which is a disappointment. Kiefer Sutherland is the replacement, and he did a good job on voicing Snake in this game. Other characters who previously appeared in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker however, retained their original voice actors. Skull Face's voice is menacing and bitter, which is good to me. Overall, the voice acting is good.
The soundtrack is pretty good, with lots of electronic styled action music playing in the game's battle scenes as well as orchestral themes.
This game has low to moderate replay value. You can attempt to get S ranks on the main Mission, Side Ops and Extra Ops on both difficulties, complete all Trials, collect every cassette tapes, and obtain all Trophies.
Despite the game's quality gameplay, the game content is simply lacking enough for players to enjoy it enough to appreciate Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. This game serves as a decent demo and prologue for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but I personally feel that this game should have been bundled along with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to have more cohesive and continuing story. Regardless, this game is worth a try in case you have not played Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Pros and Cons
- Interstesting story setup for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
- Solid overall gameplay.
- Best Metal Gear Solid game controls.
- Camp Omega is a clever area design.
- Multiple ways of completing your objectives.
- Attentive and clever enemy A.I.
- Amazing graphics.
- Good voice acting.
- Good soundtrack.
- Story is not long enough.
- Low game content.
- Possibly low replay value.
- Pricing issues.
- Snake's English voice actor replacement may not suit everyone's tastes.