Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Gameplay And Performance Review - Snake's Triumphant Return

Our Opinions & The Wrap Up

This is easily the most fun we've had with a Metal Gear game to date, though admittedly, I personally did not play MGS 4 Guns of Patriots. Such is the life of a strictly PC-gamer. But that's where Phantom Pain comes in. The title has made the jump from console to PC without coming off as a shallow console port. We feel this is a worthy PC title both visually and in terms of complexity and scope. There are also a host of in-game graphic settings to tweak--befitting a solid PC title. Likewise the choice to tread lightly on dialog and cut scenes has led to a more engaging and fun experience. Fortunately complete familiarity with the previous titles or their story is not required. This is very refreshing for the series. In previous iterations, the long-winded talking sessions detracted heavily from the immersion and added little of value to the lore. Phantom Pain seems more grounded and while it still seems heavily inspired by anime themes of science fiction and the super-natural, it’s all more cohesive with the rhetorical-fat trimmed.


The game is smart and we enjoy the continual challenge it presents. The open world aspect is more than welcomed and skillfully implemented with countless ways to complete a mission. Yet we never felt confused about what was going on--despite the overwhelming amount of moving elements in any given sortie. Few titles are as massive in scope and possibilities as Phantom Pain. But frankly it keeps things fresh. It seems near-impossible to see, do, brainwash, steal, extract and customize everything in the game on a single play-through. 


We do have a few gripes, however. The game's controls will take a bit of getting used to. Playing on PC I never saw a cursor, not once--which made cycling through menus or even navigating through game settings a chore without a controller. Gun fights were decidedly more entertaining with a mouse and keyboard as were the stints on your trusty horse. Driving and navigating menus, though, were best with a controller. Yet the incessant switching back and forth served to suspend our disbelief more than we wanted. We're also not fans of our dear-old protagonist, "Taciturn Snake" as I've come to call him, who is flat out boring in spots. With only few speaking parts, he's just a brooding grumpy-pants. Or is he? That's just it--we don't know. Regardless, he makes for a unappealing vehicle for which the story unfolds. 

I look annoyed and tattered but I could just be constipated. You'll never know.

Thankfully virtually every other aspect of Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain is spot on, exciting and engaging to play with increasing challenge, rich visual fidelity and wealth of varied armaments, gear, super spy gadgets and more to play. The open world dynamic has lead to countless hours of fun and variation and we're only 3/4th of the way through on our first play through.

Are you enjoying Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain? Let us know your favorite tactics, gear and base-building strategies in the comments.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

hothardware recommended

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