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Title: First Impression - Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (XBOX 360)
Author: Speed ontheBeat
Rating 5 of 5 Des:
(SLIGHT SPOILERS) As you know, I'm a pretty big gamer. However, becsuse I'd rather my kids be flier than the rest of them, no W...
(SLIGHT SPOILERS)

As you know, I'm a pretty big gamer. However, becsuse I'd rather my kids be flier than the rest of them, no Wale, I've stuck, practically religiously, with my 360. So, when Konami announced that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain would release on every console, I was ecstatic. While I've never been that into the Metal Gear series, I've always appreciated its mythos, its ability to send up classic total espionage action (hehe) while still being dead-serious, and its action set pieces.

After a lengthy download, which was still not as bad as Destiny, I got into the game. Now, I've only played a few episodes. But, what I've seen thus far is nothing short of astounding. Players get to play as "Punished" Snake, voiced by Kiefer Sutherland, in a series of events that lead to the original Metal Gear game, at least in terms of chronological order. Boss has been out of commission in a coma for close to a decade and, when he comes to, has to choose a new face to avoid detection.

But, before we get all Face/Off, the doctor who's supposed to do the operation gets gutted in front of our eyes. There have been games that feature cutscenes and missions where characters die and you can't do anything. What made this opening stand out from, say, Call of Duty 4 or the "No Russian" mission is this: you literally can't do a damn thing other than look around. You can't move for most of the prologue, aside from stumbling around trying to get the hell out of a crumbling hospital in the most Metal Gear Solid way possible (you'll see it) and a few nods up and down. When that doctor and his nurse are killed, I wanted revenge. But, I had to save my own skin. I had to temper my anger and focus on surviving to fight the war, versus trying to win every battle.

That's what, for me, is setting Phantom Pain apart from a lot of games in its field, and just many games in general. The character through which you enact justice through, he's flawed, physically and psychologically. He's not a superhero, or even a super human. Thus far, he's had to rely more on his own skills than some deus ex machina. If the game can keep this up, I'll be looking forward to playing it through its conclusion.

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