MGS5 was a gigantic hype machine that could never surpass itself, everyone had such wild expectations that the stunted experience by Konami’s meddling and the high-impact twist left as a farewell gift just added fuel to the fire, probably in the same way a lot of players are still irreversibly divorced from Metal Gear Solid 2’s bait-and-switch. Looking back to it, my mild distaste of the game largely subsided. For all the frustrating elements the game had, I still remember the incredible moments I had when I was in control and able to make my own unique experience.
What makes me realize how a great game it is are those moments where I ride into the sunset with my jeep and the song “Quiet Life” with the speakers on. It is such a good feeling that is quite unique to this game. To sit on your helicopter going to another part of your Mother Base while hearing the creaking of the metal and the sound of the waves crashing into your creation feels great. I was impressed at how Kojima Prod managed to make the Mother Base a beast on its own when you take the time to listen to it. There’s a sense of space that I felt very starkly in this game.
For all the lack of more story-driven, linear missions I remember spending a full hour trying to infiltrate the oil base carefully planning my moves. I wasn’t just infiltrating, I was to write the story of how I infiltrated and I knew it would be an unique one. I could be all serious, or I could be absolutely detached from the gravity of the situation by playing Take on Me at full blast while fultoning an unaware goat. In that sense, it was everything I wanted.
The game put a lot of value into random moments, and these are moments you so easily forget thinking back about the game. Listening to 80s pop music while crawling to avoid a giant mean bear next to your objective might not be the most exciting moment it has to offer, but a valuable part of the experience when you think back and say “I actually did that”.
ok I didn’t mean to do a long post but long story short there’s this “mundane moment” that is not the most memorable thing but the one I am most fond of when thinking back about the game and I feel like it enhanced the openness of its world compared to other games. It wasn’t just a show of fireworks littered with lulls, it was a setup where you were enticed to value the stillness of the in-between by making up your own experience but to a really great extent and I think not a lot of open-world games did that ?
What do you think ?