Daniel’s Game of the Year #9 – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Hideo Kojima’s swan song, completed over a near hundred hours from yours truly, felt incomplete. Don’t get me wrong; The Phantom Pain was an excellent departure from the true, headcanon Metal Gear Solid series, but it desperately needed story closure on a few levels. Just as things were getting good and we learned the truth about what it meant to be Big Boss, Venom Snake, Skull Face, Ocelot and Kaz Miller, the game’s pacing just…seemed to drag on.
Mind you, this came after dozens upon dozens of hours of traversing the punishing desert of Afghanistan and the humid heat of the African jungle, two settings that took the tactical stealth action approach of the series and flipped it on its head. Going out on missions with D-Dog, Quiet, D-Horse and others, recruiting talent for Mother Base and barely coming back in one piece was a thrilling time. With the world roughly 200 times bigger than that of Ground Zeroes, the number of options for going in and out, executing the task or how you play your character are unlimited.
It’s not perfect, but it’s an excellent game nonetheless.