Angry Jedi wrote:Aside: I mentioned this on my blog the other day, but I have to say, everything I've heard about MGSV so far sounds like the exact opposite of what I want from an MGS game. Sandboxes and emergent narrative and whatnot are cool, but they're not the reason I come to MGS. I'm one of the people who enjoys Kojima's batshit "I'm makin' movies!" craziness, and while I'm sure there's some of that in Phantom Pain, it sounds an awful lot more like Splinter Cell than Metal Gear. I hate Splinter Cell.
I'll still try it when I'm done with replaying the earlier games, but I'm in no hurry while the hype train is in motion.
Honestly the level design feels even wider and more open than Splinter Cell. Phantom Pain so far is reminding me of Crysis 1, which I found to strike a great balance between hand-crafted levels and open-ended gameplay. To assume Phantom Pain is some kind of GTA/Elite thing that throws itself completely into the emergent dice rolls though is a bit wrong. When you start a main mission the game slices up an enclosed "zone" from the larger sandbox that turns out to be a fully hand-crafted "level." It's just that now those levels are crafted to allow players to figure out their own solutions.
But I get it. The way a lot of people are reacting to MGSV, it's starting to sound like "Metal Gear for people who don't like Metal Gear." I'm totally enjoying it, but not as a part of the Metal Gear saga, and I've been fine with that.
Have you played Portable Ops or Peace Walker at all? I think the biggest reason Phantom Pain is a huge shock to so many Metal Gear fans is because the last Metal Gear they played was MGS4, or even 3. Phantom Pain is the sequel to Peace Walker and Portable Ops. Those two games are where Kojima started developing the overall gameplay system you see here in Phantom Pain: the main ops and side ops (which are basically main quests and side quests), and most importantly the Mother Base system. I guess people just passed those off as spinoff games, many even not even knowing they're canonical and that Peace Walker's story is just as integral as any numbered game (because it originally was a numbered game). Nobody really accepted their format was the new face of Metal Gear. Looking back, games like MGS2 and MGS3 honestly feel like they're from another era to me, design-wise. So does the hype that surrounded them to be honest.
I went over this in my own blog, but the mega hype surrounding Phantom Pain perplexed me. Other than maybe the next console Zelda I'm not sure I'll ever feel that way about a major boxed Japanese product again. Since MGS4 came out in 2008 we've had the industry explode so far beyond the sphere of boxed console games with Minecraft or F2P or mobile, that franchises like Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil just don't feel as big in proportion anymore, even if they're selling as many copies as ever (or more). When people got hyped, I mean really hyped, for a new Resident Evil or Final Fantasy, PlayStation represented almost half of gaming worldwide, so those games felt like the biggest events in the entire culture. Now they just feel like all the other events. In the boxed console game space only Grand Theft Auto really carries that kind of weight anymore. Maybe Bethesda's games too since Skyrim sold like 30 million copies.