Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience - Xbox One

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience (Xbox One)
Also for: PS4
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Strategy: Stealth
Combat Game
Media: Blu-Ray Arcade origin:No
Developer: Kojima Productions Soft. Co.: Kojima Productions
Publishers: Konami (GB)
Released: 13 Oct 2016 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+
Connectivity: Live online enabled


Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

First up, setting the stage for The Phantom Pain, there's Ground Zeroes. As a prologue, it's a stripped down affair that offers a slick warm-up to the main event. It's not just in its size that it's a stripped back experience, however. Kojima Productions has pared things back to provide a lean, mean stealth machine. The trademark cutscenes are short and the boss battles are less elaborate, making for a more streamlined gaming experience.

Ground Zeroes follows a rescue mission that has players infiltrate a Cuban prison camp and sets off a chain of events that lead directly into MGS V: The Phantom Pain. There's a shift in tone from previous instalments. While high concept political machinations and triple-crossing agents are still very much in play, it's a darker, grittier game than previous titles in the series.

The biggest change, however, is the introduction of an open world for gamers to play in. This opens things up for a more cerebral approach or, if you prefer, the option to pile in guns blazing, whether the new Fox Engine is throwing up rain-soaked night-time or starkly-realised daytime.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

In many ways Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an advancement of game elements introduced in its predecessor, Ground Zeroes, but for many this will feel like a grander realisation of the series' ambitions.

Taking place nine years after the events of the last game, The Phantom Pain kicks off with Snake awakening from his injury-induced coma. There's a tutorial as players are brought up to speed with what's been going on, then it's time to get on with the business of the game - taking revenge for the attack on Mother Base nearly a decade ago.

The Phantom Pain builds on the open-world setting of the last game with a dusty Afghanistan, complete with majestic vierws, roaming wildlife, its own weather patterns and enemy bases waiting for infiltration. While elements of this open world design were present in Ground Zeroes, The Phantom Pain expands it and offers tactical freedom not seen in the game before.

While there's a wealth of infiltration, stealth and combat for series fans to dig into, Mother Base returns from Peace Walker to deepen the tactical side of the game. Serving as a hub, Mother Base offers up options ranging from crafting weapons to deploying mercenaries on missions to boost your income. It's something you'll want to do, too, because hard-won resources can be used to enhance and customise the base. It's important to have the base up to scratch, because it's a focal point for the new version of Metal Gear Online launched alongside The Phantom Pain.

The Phantom Pain is likely to be series creator Hideo Kojima's last work on the game, and it looks set to earn itself a place in gaming history.

Metal Gear Online

Last but not least is Metal Gear Online, which takes the familiar gameplay and aesthetic style of the Metal Gear Solid series and mixes it with a squad-based, competitive multiplayer structure. It introduces Tactical Team Operations and a class system that enriches the range of play on offer.