Oh man, can’t believe I missed this thread, because, oof, have I wanted to complain about the majority of the introduction to MSG:V to someone who can just not read a post and ignore my ranting.
The intro to MGSV is, for lack of wanting a better word, terrible.
Alternating between twenty or thirty cutscenes, and five second required interactions, it demands you pay attention.
Pay attention to what, you might ask? A boring stay in a hospital. It would, if unaltered the first time you see it, potentially reveal some really cool stuff to come, but it doesn’t. Look up. Instead, it offers you none of the critical information it’s demanding you pay attention to. Press space. Once you aren’t bedridden, crawl, injured, on the floor. Slowly. Hold W. You knock stuff over, you fall, over and over again. Watch this cutscene. Hold W. Is the game going to be like this, I wonder? Is recovery going to be a part of progression in this game perhaps? Hold W. Oops, I fell on that trashcan I couldn’t avoid because A and D don’t seem to care yet. Hold W. Watch this cutscene.
It feels like it’s meant to be some kind of tutorial, maybe? It spent five minutes on the W key, I can’t wait to get into the game mechanics, as someone for whom this is my first metal gear. I wonder how stealth works, I’m taking note of characters being introduced or re-introduced in case they ma- Oh, no, they killed him. Hold W. The bad guys will probably matter later. Watch this cutscene.
Oh, I can move perfectly fine now. I guess recovery won’t be a thing. I just had to crawl because, uh, promotional material I guess? Follow the butt. The butt will guide me to the game. Watch this cutscene. Oh cool! Stealth mechanics, now I’m getting taught something I don’t know about the game. I can’t move? No, I can’t move. So it’s impossible to fail, or test stealth here? Watch this cutscene. Hold W.
They keep removing my ability to control the game. Why won’t you let me- Someone grabs my leg. Watch this cutscene. As frustration raises, the game has done the impossible, I’m LONGING for the ability to hold W. Come on, if you’re going to make me- Watch this cutscene.
Oh, I can move again. Hold W. Watch this cutscene.
After fifteen or twenty minutes, I’m handed a gun. Most of the UI has been explained. Most of the controls are simple enough. I think I can do this, although I still have no sense of how stealth works, and I’ve been told absolutely nothing about the story that the doctor didn’t tell me in the first ten seconds. I’m war man. People want war man dead.
At least I know the game is going to be tonally brutal as hell. They made me watch point blank executions. They made me crawl through piles of bodies, hide in them. I watched civilians get murdered for no reason, and this game is going to be rough. The one thing the tutorial taught me must be tone, if not story, or mechanics, surely this was a tonal introduction.
Cut to 15 minutes later sending unconscious people and animals to space with balloons, laughing my ass off.
That intro is one of very few things in games that drives me up the wall. I loved MGS:V on a whole, but every single time I play through that introduction, the angrier I get about how awful, pointless, and disconnected from the game it felt. It constantly swaps between cutscenes, in-character cutscenes I do not control, and short control required sections, sometimes with short bursts of robbing me, without warning, of my ability to control.
Tedious. That was the better word I didn’t want to look for. It was not informative. It was not instructional. It was not entertaining. It was tedious. Just let me watch a cutscene. Or just let me hold W. Micro-bursts of both for that long remains my most hated section in any game I’ve played, even if it’s a game that I absolutely adore as a whole.
I’m sure people would argue, and perhaps it’s less an issue of gamification of a game, and more, a bad mix of gamification? I think if you had control the whole tutorial, it would have felt fine. If you watched a cutscene that whole intro, it would have felt fine. It was just so long, and slow, and unskippable, and accomplished so close to nothing it’s almost shocking.