This isn’t a video game. MGSV is a colossal interactive mood board that offers a thrilling and powerful conclusion to Director Hideo Kojima’s epic saga. No other saga so seamlessly weaves together a narrative comprising themes as varied as the morality of war, ethics of science, duplicity of international relations, plight of child soldiers, and honour on the battlefield.
The series has been raising the bar in stealth gameplay for nearly two decades now and MGSV is no exception. As Big Boss, you can sneak past an enemy outpost by hanging off the side of your horse, or dive into tall grass to avoid a Soviet gunship’s searchlight.
If you are spotted, the game enters a Matrix-style slow-mo Reflex Mode, where you have about three seconds to neutralise the enemy who’s seen you, or else deal with the cavalry, which may include attack choppers, tanks and snipers. If you prefer a noisy approach, there’s a vast arsenal to pick from, which includes no less than four types of RPG. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
However, patience and subtlety are more rewarding than a heavy-hitting approach. You will benefit in the long run by employing non-lethal methods.
Big Boss is not only on a mission to beat the bad guys; he’s also building Mother Base, an expandable offshore oil platform in the Seychelles where you can develop weapons, costumes and battlefield gear in an R&D unit, dispatch soldiers to various conflicts around the globe, train, and even knock out the guards, who then get up and say
“Thanks Boss”. To do this, you can use a Fulton extraction system to pick up: unconscious enemies, turrets, material containers, tanks and even sheep. Everything boosts your stats.
Trouble in paradise
There are some flaws, the main one being the tenuous reasoning for super sniper Quiet being so scantily clad, and the story may be a bit confusing to those not well versed in the Metal Gear universe. However, the plethora of in-game audio tapes will help, as will YouTube walkthroughs.
We’ll hold your hand with a simple walkthrough for this side mission to extract — kidnap — an enemy
1. Seek a high vantage point. Using the INT-SCOPE, mark everything you can see: the target, other soldiers, armoured vehicles, snipers, turrets and so on. If possible, move to another position to cover all angles — and prevent any nasty surprises.
2. When using the BURKOV TP tranquillizer pistol, note that you only get an instant knock-out with a headshot. Otherwise the soldier will still walk around, potentially collapsing in front of others, who will wake him. Watch for the slight sway when aiming.
3. Once he is unconscious, make sure to carefully observe the target’s surroundings. Is there a chance someone might discover him before you can reach? Will your Fulton balloon be spotted? Is there a chopper around? Your iDroid will warn of unseen dangers.
4. Make sure the target is in an open space and in view of the sky. After transferring him to Mother Base via Fulton, check the Staff Management menu on your iDroid. Based on his rankings, assign the member to the section that can use him best.
5. Mother Base is an offshore plant that hosts Diamond Dogs, Big Boss’s mercenary army. It features an Intel, Medical, Combat, R&D, Base Development and Command unit. Every person, material or object you extract opens new possibilities.
Top 4 MGS Boss Battles
- Psycho Mantis (MGS)
The fourth wall collapses as Mantis takes over your controller. “From the moment we’re thrown into this world, we’re fated to bring each other nothing but pain and misery.” Cheery guy.
- Rex vs Ray (MGS4)
You pilot the original Metal Gear Rex in a battle against Ocelot in the Ray. On Shadow Moses Island. Brings nothing to the story, but a dream battle Kojima threw in purely for the fans.
- Liquid Ocelot (MGS4)
A three-stage fist fight where you take on three personas: Liquid Snake (MGS), Liquid Ocelot (MGS2) and a young Ocelot (MGS3). The health bar changes to reflect each game’s.
- The Boss (MGS3)
A fight as tough as it is emotional, what begins as a sniper exchange moves closer and closer to become a hand-to-hand battle. The cutscene after may bring a tear…