Earlier this week several journalists attending the Metal Gear Solid V Preview Event got to talk about their impressions, sharing their enthusiasm with their readers. Now, it’s time for the European media outlets to let us know what they think. After having played the game extensively in the LA studio, they were allowed to tweet for one hour, after which the embargo until June 9 went up again.
Matthew Castle (Official Xbox Magazine)
So! Have spent 7 hours with The Phantom Pain. And here’s what I’m up to…
Current mission involves helping rebel militia by blowing up Soviet vehicles on route to suppress their activities. Really good example of ‘open world’ stealth as you have a large region in which to ambush the vehicles.
iDroid map tracks tanks’ journey, to help plan attack. Pumping manpower into Mother Base Intel team improves map details too. Mission recommended missiles, but I’ve not invested in those yet – going sneaky with C4 traps instead. Takes a lot of C4 to take out tanks – learn the hard way when I disable the wheels and the turret continues to pummel me. Also! Easy to run out of C4, so need to order supply drops. Feel like a real pro until I drop supply crate on Big Boss’ head.
Mission throws in bonus objectives – free a political prisoner being transported, or ambush an arms truck for rocket launcher. Snipe out truck driver (the weapon feels great, by the way) and steal his truck to reach distant tanks. But! Manage to drive tank off cliff. Guard below sees me, so game enters slow-mo reflex mode as I fall. Thelma and Louise moment.
Decide to stick to trusty D-Horse for future runs. Have upgraded its armour so now wears a riot shield on its face. Hardcore.
Tonally, this mission is played quite straight – but have no fear, the game does feature full-on Kojima madness, too. My favourite part? You can steal tapes of 80s pop songs and play them mid-mission as your own soundtrack. Blowing up tanks to The Man Who Sold the World is pretty spectacular. I also upgraded my iDroid so I can play music out loud [through the speakers] – not great for stealthy runs, but good for dramatic entrance.
Lastly, someone asked wether he thinks the game has the potential to be Game of the Year, to which he replied: “It’s properly amazing, yeah.”
Antonio Fucito (Multiplayer.it)
I’ve played Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Online for the first time for 10 hours, I’ll talk about one mission. I’ll tell you about the sixth mission, set in Afghanistan.
Before the mission it’s possible to select initial equipment, with two primary weapons, two secondary, gadgets. Also, Snake’s uniforms, the companion and his equipment (in this case, the horse).
When the mission starts, it’s presented like a film, with the cast, the important protagonists and the guest stars.
Besides accessing them from the helicopter and Mother Base, you can stay on the map and take on the missions and side missions in order.
I’m playing as Venom Snake, you will understand the reason why he is no longer Naked Snake at the beginning of the game. He is Big Boss, in any case.
As soon as you’re on the map, you’re joined by the horse, which controls with square to run and the analoge stick for direction. With x it’s possible to position yourself on the left or right side of the horse to avoid detection, and of course it’s possible to use weapons while riding.
With the touch pad, the lower left side uses the iDroid, and from here you can see the map, select markers (also multiple). But also ask support from Mother Base, call the helicopter, etc. With R1, you use the binoculars with multiple levels of zoom. It’s vital for marking enemies and getting an idea of what awaits you.
When the mission starts you can choose the hour of departure, night, 6 or 18.
In mission 6 you had to recover an particularly important missile launcher and there are various optional submissions.
The Afghan map seems to be decisively large, made up of sections but while flying it’s possible to explore it without exiting or loading. On your way to the destination there are always outposts to capture or materials to obtain. The materials are obviously for all the personalizing and upgrades in the game. For example, in mission 6 I’ve upgraded the Fulton system, now aside from persons I can also send heavier things to the base.
In the options it is possible to select from two control systems: FPS type or tactical type. […] I have chosen tactical, with R2 being CQC, with L2 + R2 aim and shoot, with x you go into crouch or lie on the ground. The primary and secondary weapons, the objects and the support gadgets you use with the d-pad. In the first two cases, two per button maximum.
There are many possible approaches, some parts I have done completely stealthy, others in combat, but these are harder. Playing stealth gives lots of satisfaction, because you manage to explore, hit your targets and recover objects in a clean way. It’s important to explore the outposts before your objective, there are blueprints, diamonds, cassette tapes to collect.
You can turn off auto-aim in the options, as well as Reflex Mode.
In mission 6 things were tougher since there’s an enemy helicopter. I have therefor started to run and hide in a valley, and at this point I came across a camp based in the rocks. After having eliminated almost everyone, I recovered the rocket launcher and called a helicopter, but when I came out it was foggy and the Skulls have appeared, aggressive enemies which I could only eliminate using the launcher. Very cool aesthetically and definitely part of the story, graphically the game is very fluent most of the time. The map and environments are much bigger than Ground Zeroes, improvements here and there, beautiful light sources. To me the code seems near finished, probably these 2,5 months are for polishing and testing the online.
Regarding Kojima, Konami said they will provide clarity soon. In the game however, he is present everywhere, from the titles to the posters. [This tweet has been deleted at Konami’s request]
Francesco Fossetti (ExtraEye.it)
I’ve played MGSV for 10 hours, impressive for its scale and inspiration. However, I can only talk about one mission today.
Tenth mission in Afghanistan. The environment is immeasurable, it really is stealth meets free roaming. The connection with Mother Base is very important. Before going into action, it’s better to develop the right equipment. Management of Mother Base is like an incredibly improved version of Peace Walker and Portable Ops.
The excellent stealth mechanics of Ground Zeroes feel very at home in the open world of The Phantom Pain.
Every mission comes with optional side ops, which can be discovered by interrogating guards and exploring the area.
It’s possible to develop an impressive number of weapons, including upgrades for the arm that work as perks.
The approach of missions can change a lot, depending on the hour of the day and the equipment. Great sense of freedom.
The stealth approach is encouraged a lot. If you’re discovered the alerts are dangerous and very long, and your score will be affected.
The missions are modular, with diverse objectives, in localized areas of the immense game map.
My current mission is to infiltrate a base and find Emmerich. But they tell me, there’s a sniper named Quiet!
You can really notice the level design in the most important missions. Always inspired, atmospheric, and extremely calculated.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is undoubtedly a game carrying Kojima’s signature. It’s full of his brilliant and genius ideas.
Work on the accompanying music is enormous. Positional audio, enveloping soundtrack that adapts to the pace of the game.
Binoculars are fundamental to study approach strategies and guards in outposts.
Depending on your actions you may lose heroism! Keeping a low profile is crucial for making a good impression.
The alternation between infiltration and action is very fast, the pace well maintained. Obviously it’s the stealth that gives more satisfaction.
Sometimes a sandstorm reduces visibility, making infiltration easier.
Before going on a mission you can choose a buddy! The horse or wolf?
There are secondary missions you can have Diamond Dogs members to complete [like Outer Ops in Peace Walker]
At three months before launch the code of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is clean. Smooth 60FPS except for a few cases.
Excellent in the technical department. The top is the management of light sources.
Some surface effects have less texture than Ground Zeroes. But with an environment that is 10 times bigger!
The super soldiers of the Skull squad are tough, they jump from every direction and seem very aggressive!
Came into conflict with Quiet among splendid ravines. Beautiful: a boss fight integrated into open world progression. Tension at the highest levels. Kojima has a passion for snipers.
He also answered some questions through Twitter:
Is it a technical improvement over GZ?
“Some texture effects are not as good, but environments immensely more wide!”
What is not as good?
“Just surface effects of certain textures, bump map type. But the code isn’t final!”
Was it the PS4 version? Is it at the level of the E3 trailer?
“PS4 version. I’d have to rewatch the trailer but the quality is really high!”
Does it run at 60FPS?
“All 60. Dips almost absent, really sporadic and mostly during cut scenes.”
How deep is the MB customization system?
“Very deep, well implemented even if initially not too intuitive. You can build bridges, place weapons and create divisions of soldiers with specific tasks who can help you during missions (recon, gadget development).”
Can you request an intervention of a squad of soldiers from Mother Base, or just support helicopters?
“For now support. Recon, supply drop, bombings.”
Has the ‘open’ approach to boss fights convinced you, or do you lose something?
“The first I have encountered! And it’s beautiful!”
The Arab Gamer
Okay, so I’m on a main mission where I need to acquire a weapon called “the honey bee” from the Russian army in Afghanistan.
There’s lots of different ways to approach the mission. For example I could storm in the base and go Rambo style or gain Intel. Gaining Intel I could find exactly where the weapon is kept and then figure a sneakier approach as opposed to running around.
I ran into some tanks. I need to take care of it. Looks like I’ll need to recruit some engineers to build a rocket. There’s so much to upgrade from idroid to your binoculars. I upgraded my binoculars to identify soldier skills from a distance. I then managed my staff properly to build better “herbal medicine” and rockets, because that’s how I roll.
I finally found the weapon and something incredible happened after (MGS fans will love this). Really wish I could tell you all. After finishing the mission all I could say is wow. It’s one of those games that people will keep playing for hours. The game doesn’t follow your conventional MGS formula. It’s new and fresh and I’m sure newcomers will love it.
The attention to detail is incredible: the day light effecting your vision, wild life, and 80s music. I freaking love this.
Samuel Hubner Casado
Last day @ Konami Los Angeles Studio. Got 30 minutes to tweet about the mission I’m on in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Game’s massive. And gorgeous. The mission I’m on, the 6th, reminded me of Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade in terms of locale. This sixth mission offers as much freedom and stuff to do as the entirety of Ground Zeroes. Truly GOTY material.
Arrived at a temple carved into a mountain on a horse that’s pimped with camo-armor. The moonlight makes me look like Zorro. I spent most of the 1st hour of the mission gathering medicinal plants and hunting birds. Yeah, you can do that. And it’s ace.
Fan of David Lynch? Yeah, you’ll enjoy playing what I’m playing now.
OK, one last thing: if a certain MGS1’s villain’s mindfuckery was your thing, then The Phantom Pain will be right up your alley.
Nacho Ortiz (MeriStation)
I’ve reached level 20 in Mother Base just to develop that Solid Snake infiltration suit [talking about the Sneaking Suit]. :’)
I’ve completed 12 primary missions and 6 secondary missions. Narrative is episodic like a TV show.
Big Boss’ prosthetic arm can be leveled up. You add duration to reflex, stun, a rocket, explosives or sonar.
The prologue, the attack of Cypher on the hospital and Big Boss and the escape is brutal: stress, confusion, surprises and astonishing graphics.
Until now, the most powerful weapon is some guided missile prototype: Honey Bee. It’s key in certain combat.
I can only select Snake to play right now. Is Ocelot playable? Quiet maybe? I don’t know yet what Kojima is saving for us. 😉
Yesterday I went crazy repeating missions and leaving unconscious enemies to recruit them with Fulton and level up Mother Base.
Álvaro Alonso (Hobby Consolas)
I’ve been sneaky, I’ve been Rambo, I’ve messed around with every weapon and gadget… And still I’m feeling like I am only scratching the surface.
World is gigantic, infinite options… And Big Boss is more Big Boss than ever.
In my last mission, a little puppy approached me, barking a lot. Now he is in MB and soon he will be a Diamond Dog.
Oh but not every puppy is adorable… A damn bear finished me faster than one says “lalilulelo”…
Official PlayStation Magazine UK
We have a very stealthy surprise for you. We’re currently at Konami LA playing MGSV and have 30 minutes to share our thoughts. Right now, we’re seven hours into the game and can talk about our current mission, which we’ll call ‘Mission 7’. Cryptic…
So, let’s talk Mission 7. Here’s an interesting fact – we’re doing this one AFTER mission 10. Goodbye linear mission orders. Our objective is to eliminate three Platoon commanders who are meeting in a small town surrounded by guards.
Our loadout includes a silenced AM MRS-4 assault rifle, a RENOV-ICKX sniper rifle, the WU S.Pistol for tranq darts, and C4… By the way, the loadout is totally our call. Want to take nowt but rockets (provided you’ve researched them?) and ‘nades? Sure!
So, three targets and total freedom on how to approach. One target is already at the location, but the other two are en route.
Thanks to our Intel team, their expected routes are on the iDroid map. So we pick our heli drop off point far to the south and plant some C4 in the expected path of one jeep. Boom, one target down, and the base infiltration gets a lot easier.
The action is so good that it’s always a temptation to go in loud. And there are gun emplacements everywhere to tempt you… But we’re old school, so we choose to be quiet. We picked the mission start time at night, so it’s dark. That gives us the edge.
TPP is ALL about gathering intel to press forward. By systematically interrogating guards we uncover the meeting room.
Every small town feels like classic MGS setup, with multiple infiltration points and routes.
OPM UK also answered some questions through Twitter:
How excited are you for the game?
Does it [non-linear missions] make the story hard to follow?
“Not really. Each mission has its own contained story but the overarching lore has its… moments. We’ll say no more!”
References to MGR or a hint that Raiden is in the game?
For your information I am on PS4 and my current mission consists of escaping a cave base with a rather special weapon.
It’s clear that the game is beautiful, there is still a bit of clipping and aliasing. It remains fluid and well done.
We are now playing MGSV at the MGSV Preview. First impressions: lots to do, deeply integrated Mother Base mechanic.
The opening sequence of MGSV alone is once again classic Kojima. Cinematically presented and quite a number of WTF moments.
The embargo ends on June 9th, and a week after, on June 16th, we’ll hear more about the media’s experiences with the new Metal Gear Online.
Big thanks to Raymondius for the Spanish translations!
Source: Matthew Castle Twitter, Matthew Pellett Twitter, Antonio Fucito Twitter, Francesco Fossetti Twitter, The Arab Gamer Twitter, Konami France, Nacho Ortiz Twitter, Álvaro Alonso Twitter, GamePro Germany Twitter, OPM UK Twitter, Panthaa Twitter, Yong