No matter how gamers feel about the criminally short (and potentially over-priced) Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, one thing was clear: Kojima’s follow-up, The Phantom Pain, could be something truly special. Ground Zeroes didn’t reveal much about the story, but it did show a revamped version of Metal Gear Solid’s combat that felt modern and dynamic. For all intents and purposes, Ground Zeroes laid the groundwork for the gameplay, and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain would follow behind with the story.
So, what’s the verdict on Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain? While Game Rant has yet to go hands-on with Kojima’s final franchise entry, several gaming sites have completed the experience. And below we have some choice quotes from those Metal Gear Solid 5 reviews that should only build to the growing pre-release hype. In fact, it sounds as if Kojima was able to craft something ambitious and satisfying, despite all of his problems with Konami.
Here is a sampling of the Metal Gear Solid reviews from around the web:
Destructoid (Chris Carter)
“Despite the fact that I hit a few snags along the way, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain feels like a simultaneous celebration of the series, and a decidedly new chapter. It’s equal parts tough and flashy, and it’s fitting that if this is Kojima’s last Metal Gear, he goes on a high note.”
IGN (Vince Ingenito)
“The Phantom Pain is the kind of game I thought would never exist – one where every minute gameplay detail has true purpose. Its lack of story focus is sure to be divisive for the Metal Gear faithful, but the resulting emphasis on my story, my tales of Espionage Action, easily make it my favorite in the series.”
Gamespot (Peter Brown)
“There has never been a game in the series with such depth to its gameplay, or so much volume in content. The best elements from the past games are here, and the new open-world gameplay adds more to love on top. When it comes to storytelling, there has never been a Metal Gear game that’s so consistent in tone, daring in subject matter, and so captivating in presentation. The Phantom Pain may be a contender for one of the best action games ever made, but is undoubtedly the best Metal Gear game there is.”
Game Informer (Joe Juba)
“A series can’t survive this long without evolving, and The Phantom Pain is a testament to the importance of taking risks. An open world, a customizable base, a variable mission structure – these are not traditional aspects of Metal Gear, but they are what makes The Phantom Pain such an exceptional game. The gameplay, storytelling, and protagonists in Metal Gear may shift with each new installment, but Kojima’s ability to surprise and enthrall gamers remains unchanged.”
Game Trailers (Ben Moore)
“…the Phantom Pain is excellent. It expands and enriches Metal Gear Solid without compromising the qualities that make the series so beloved. Despite the huge scope, hollywood talent, and technical flashiness, there’s a subtlety to the Phantom Pain that’s truly captured our hearts. Even now we’re still turning its events over and over again in our minds. So rarely do game stories demand so much consideration. Decades later, it’s incredible that Metal Gear can still captivate, inspire, and amaze. The Phantom Pain is another significant addition to an enduring legacy.”
Although the reviewers were unable to give Metal Gear Online the rigorous testing necessary of a connected multiplayer experience, it sounds as if the single player component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is the real deal. It’s hard to deny that there was some doubt that Kojima may have been affected by his conflict with Konami, but it sounds as if that was hardly an issue. More than anything, if Phantom Pain is as good as these reviewers say, Konami will likely regret not keeping Kojima around.