The Phantom Pain’s open-world shift is a massive risk for Metal Gear Solid, but it pays off

Gaetano Prestia of MMGN writes: Prior to the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, I’d played the game for almost two hours at various events. Each time the hosts would give us a rundown of the basics and then essentially let us roam free to do whatever we wanted, however we wanted. Here’s a little insight into video game preview events: that sort of flexibility and freedom is rare. In hindsight, it certainly suited the style and design of The Phantom Pain, a game that loudly distances itself from the linearity and at-times overbearing narrative drive of its predecessors.

Since the game’s release I’ve put in roughly 20 hours, and find myself a mere 12 percent through. Reflecting upon my many mindless playthroughs of the game so far, it had me thinking about the game’s place within the open-world genre. Does an open-world suit Metal Gear Solid, and is The Phantom Pain really among the genre’s best?

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bixxel1137d ago

Not the best way, though.

WitWolfy1137d ago (Edited 1137d ago )

Fanboys will be fanboys... The open world gimmick gets old fast... Whats the point on having such a LARGE map if most of it is just empty deserts with outposts every square kilometer? Then to make things worse some of the LZ's are up to 2 KM from its mission objective forcing you to fight through the same outposts over and over AGAIN!

Open world should have places and objects the player can interact with.. Not re-capture the same outposts or/and bases indefinitely until the end of time...

LightofDarkness1137d ago (Edited 1137d ago )

If you want to land closer to your objectives you need to take out the anti-air radar within. You can practically drop on the doorstep of any base/outpost once you've done that. And I like the way it's laid out. It feels very alive, despite being a desert. Everything has a physicality or presence to it. Little things like being able to look off in the distance and actually see Quiet with her sights trained on someone, or the trucks of guards making their rounds all the way around the map, transporting prisoners and such. It actually feels more alive to me than the Witcher 3's open world.

And because of the AI and its reactive nature, each playthrough of a camp feels different and still feels dangerous. I like how it forces you to switch up tactics, which in turn keeps the game feeling fresh even after 40 hours or more.

DoctorFry1136d ago

"It actually feels more alive to me than Witcher 3's open world."

Just... stop. We all know that's not true. The game's open-world has like no substance. It was just a way for Kojima to spice up the series, using it as a backbone to approach and infiltrate bases more seamlessly.

It's a good game, I'll give it that, but to say that its open-world is more lively than The Witcher's is something even the biggest MGS fans would hesitate to say.

LightofDarkness1136d ago

"Just... stop. We all know that's not true."

Oh wow, I didn't realise you and the rest of the Council of Definitive and Only Opinons (that's the "we all", right?) had issued a decree. Pardon me, your majesty. I did not wish for my lips to profane against your divine will.

You'd better get the word out though, don't want any one else committing heresy unnecessarily.

And for the record, I'm not a big MGS fan, nor a big open world game fan. I find The Witcher 3 lost me after about 40 hours. If it didn't lose you, good for you. And perhaps you could try not coming off like a pompous a** and deliver your opinions/discussion points with a bit of respect, and perhaps a lot less supposition and "opinion=fact" garbage.

WellyUK1136d ago

How in anyway is MGSV open world more alive than Witcher 3? How?

MGSV open world consists of a few towns(with no civilians), a few animals and outposts. I'm sorry but compared to Witcher 3's open world it's laughable.

Witcher 3 has Towns and cities that are full of NPC's chatting away, animals roaming around, monsters wandering around, Points of interest every where, great visuals/vistas (Way better than MGSV except from the fps on console).

That doesn't mean that MGSV is a bad game coz it isn't it's a very good game but it's open world is bland, uninteresting and full of repetitive side ops and missions.

As DoctorFry says only a MGS fan would say that MGSV has a better open world than Witcher 3, heck it barely has a better open world than Mad Max which is a barren wasteland...

Inzo1136d ago

Did it really pay off? think about it, its on par with MGS4 in terms of sales but it is released on 5 platforms, MGS4 was exclusive to the PS3 so I ask the question again did it really pay off?

snake-OO1136d ago (Edited 1136d ago )

I don't think he was referencing game sales as pay off but rather gameplay mechanics. And in that regards it certainly payed off. I'm 50 hours in and still not bored where as other open world games have been abandoned by me because of bad open world structure.

snake-OO1136d ago (Edited 1136d ago )

And when it comes to sales I think its too early to judge. You can't compare it to ps3. Different times have different people. just like a friend of mine who back then bought mgs4 day 1 but this time decided to wait till he gets a ps4 before getting mgs5 . I could be same with a lot of people.
But also all released numbers have been for retail version, is anyone counting digital? if you remember, mgs4 never got released digitally back in 2008.

WitWolfy1136d ago (Edited 1136d ago )

I dont think it paid off at ALL.. For a $80 000 000 game I cant see where it was spent..

-Def not on the 1-3 minute cut scenes..
-Def not on the lazy 1 to 3 minute cassette tape conversations.
-Def not on the length of the campaign.
-Def not on the VAs.
-Def not on the sound track.
-Def not on advertising.
-Def not on product placements.


We all know if it wasnt for the repetitive side ops and ALMOST identical mission ops. This game can probably be finished in 10-12 hours hours... MAX!

I cant get myself to play this game for more than 45 minutes at a time.. Feels like I keep on doing the same crap.. OVER and OVER again...

Heck even Kojima gave players tips on how to make the game not seem as repetitive in a article not too long ago! By listening to tapes or walking around in mother base.

The only time it felt like a real MGS game was in the prologue.

Der_Kommandant1136d ago

It definitely feels different from other Metal Gears, but +50 hours in the game i can't stop playing it and that's of course a good sign.

DivineAssault 1136d ago

It took stealth games to a whole new level again!

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