Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is everything fans should love about a Metal Gear Game. Hideo Kojima has poured hour after hour of time into the Metal Gear franchise, and The Phantom Pain lives up to all of it's predecessors, and in some cases, far surpasses them. I will be avoiding the discussion of the story, and will review the multiplayer aspect in a separate review.
Metal Gear Solid as a franchise is well known for its completely out of order story and great stealth game play. The Phantom Pain carries on this tradition. I will not be discussing the story of the game in this review, but spoilers aside, the story is fulfilling, if not a little lacking compared to other Metal Gear Solid games. Cut-scenes transition beautifully into gameplay, but lack the same Impact as, lets say, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, for example.
Characters have the spotlight this time around, with familiar faces such as Revolver Ocelot, Miller, and Venom Snake, AKA Big Boss, having quite a lot of time to develop and form a more lasting impression. Some newcomers also appear, some of which can become companions. The sniper, Quiet, is my personal favorite, but others include D-Dog, D-Horse, and D-Walker.
Now, the most important thing about any game- the gameplay. If you played 2014's Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros, and you enjoyed it, you will adore this game. Every single aspect is improved. Metal Gear Solid is primarily a stealth game, and that is still the case here, but your opportunities are expanded immensely. Making a wonderful return from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is the Fulton Recovery System. Basically, its a hot air balloon in a box that can pick up all sorts of things and take them back to your base. Strapping C4 to a jeep, using the fulton on it, and blowing it up mid flight is one of the coolest looking, and feeling, things I have ever witnessed in a video game.
Being able to upgrade your camouflage, weapons, vehicles, and gadgets is a rewarding system, and also one that causes you to truly think about each mission you enter. "Will I need a rocket launcher for this mission, or do I just WANT a rocket launcher for this mission?" Is a question i found myself asking frequently. Your buddies also possess their own abilities, making who you want to take along a sometimes heartbreaking decision. "I love you, D-Dog, but I really need sniper fire for this mission..." "bark" "Don't you try and guilt trip me!"
All in all, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a masterful entry in the franchise, and an overall wonderful game in general. If you have not yet played Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, I recommend you grab a bag of your favorite snack, plop your butt in a couch, and dont move for 9 hours while you take in every single thing this game has to offer.