As Ground Zeroes dropped as the Xbox One Games with Gold this month, I was relieved that I was going to be able to play the glorified demo without paying £17.83 for it. I have never been a massive MGS fan and I’m pretty crap at stealth gameplay. However, if Phantom Pain is anything like this, that won’t be a problem. When I first heard about a fifth Metal Gear Solid game, I wasn’t excited, until I watched the gameplay demo. I don’t why but it really appealed to me. A few months later, I picked up the MGS HD collection for the 360 and I was terrible, the gameplay was weird and different and I just wasn’t a fan. That put me off of Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes. Yet, when I downloaded and played this, I was immediately put back on to it.

Batman: Arkham Knight being the last game I played before it, I was used to graphics being crisp and realistic. When I loaded this up, it didn’t take me long, not even past the menu, for me to realise I wouldn’t be disappointed. Actually, the look of the main mission (weather, time etc.) was very similar to that of Arkham Knight. The rain felt like it was hitting my face and each bullet was startling. The interiors echoed that of earlier games, feeling claustrophobic and putting you on edge each time the enemy went into alert status. If you thought the game would take place during the night, you would be wrong. The game also showcases it’s use of light make the relatively small map seem large and spacious.

It's good that Kiefer Sutherland has added variation to his CV.

It’s good that Kiefer Sutherland has added variation to his CV.

The story is complex, requiring you to have either played the previous games or flick through the handy backstory feature. I gathered that Chico, a recently promoted member of Mother Base, and Paz, a double agent, are being held at a black site. You, Big Boss, are tasked with finding them and breaking them out. Once they have escaped onto the chopper, Paz, who was unconsious, is revealed to have a bomb implanted in her, leading to one of the most cringily realistic cutscenes since Dead Space, you know which one eye mean. When you arrive at Mother Base, it is being invaded by enemy military, most likely that of Cipher. As Snake rescues Miller back onto the chopper, taking a good amount of enemy life with him, Miller is infuriated, almost assaulting the still unconsious Paz. When she wakes up, she tells Big Boss that she had another bomb implanted in her and leaps off of the airbourne chopper as it detonates, rendering Boss knocked out. When he awakes, he is stunned to find a hook in place of his left arm, explaining his robot arm in the Phantom Pain trailers.

The gameplay feels different to that of previous MGS games, taking on a more Splinter Cell feel, eliminating the confusing controls and even more confusing camera angles. The interrogation of miscellaneous soldiers reveals useful secrets about the map that you can use to your advantage. I know it’s possible to achieve full stealth awesomeness for people that aren’t absolutely dognuts at remaining full disclosure, however, I’m not one of those people. I’ll get halfway into a level and I would have a missed a soldier when I was tagging and it would all go tits up. When goes tits up, though, I get good. I thought I was doing good, I had completed the objectives, I had killed everybody and got out of there in good time. Then I saw my mission report. I can honestly say that once I got -3350 points for killing everyone and achieved a D grade and the bare minimum of unlocks, oh well.

I wonder who these belong to?

I wonder who these belong to?

So you finished the one main mission. What grade did you get? C? Do it again! This game won’t be complete until you get it right. It will be beat perfection out of you and you will take it and you will like it. You got S- grade on that one mission? Well here’s five other missions for you to do it on! One of which includes you saving Hideo Kojima! Got S- grades on all the side ops? Here’s a series of mentally demanding achievements for you to get on each of the missions! Suddenly a 6 hour game has turned into a 3 day project.

However, due to the fact that it is only six hours, don’t buy this game until it’s really cheap or download it now for free on Xbox Live Games with Gold unless you’re reading this in the future in which case, who died first? Vladimir Putin or Miley Cyrus?

72/100

Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations

Uncle Milo

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