Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review Round-Up

Well here we are again, catching up on the game reviews from around the wonderful web, this time looking at the Hideo Kojima produced Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Likely to be his swan-song from the franchise that he created, Kojima has seemingly pushed the boundaries of what has gone before, and taken Konami’s crown jewel to the next level.

Our very own Tef has been hard at work on his review, and though he’s waiting until he has final release code and has finished the campaign before scoring it, he’s already been hugely taken by the freedom and tactical options open to players.

It certainly seems like critics have been immensely taken with it, with words like ‘masterpiece’ being bandied around.

IGN – 10/10

“There have certainly been sandbox action games that have given me a bigger world to roam, or more little icons to chase on my minimap, but none have pushed me to plan, adapt, and improvise the way this one does. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain doesn’t just respect my intelligence as a player, it expects it of me, putting it in league that few others occupy.”

Gamespot – 10/10

“There has never been a game in the series with such depth to its gameplay, or so much volume in content. The best elements from the past games are here, and the new open-world gameplay adds more to love on top. When it comes to storytelling, there has never been a Metal Gear game that’s so consistent in tone, daring in subject matter, and so captivating in presentation. The Phantom Pain may be a contender for one of the best action games ever made, but is undoubtedly the best Metal Gear game there is.”

Destructoid – 9/10

“Despite the fact that I hit a few snags along the way, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain feels like a simultaneous celebration of the series, and a decidedly new chapter. It’s equal parts tough and flashy, and it’s fitting that if this is Kojima’s last Metal Gear, he goes on a high note.”

Gametrailers – 9.3/10

“Despite the huge scope, hollywood talent, and technical flashiness, there’s a subtlety to the Phantom Pain that’s truly captured our hearts. Even now we’re still turning its events over and over again in our minds. So rarely do game stories demand so much consideration. Decades later, it’s incredible that Metal Gear can still captivate, inspire, and amaze. The Phantom Pain is another significant addition to an enduring legacy.”

Game Informer – 9.25/10

“A series can’t survive this long without evolving, and The Phantom Pain is a testament to the importance of taking risks. An open world, a customizable base, a variable mission structure – these are not traditional aspects of Metal Gear, but they are what makes The Phantom Pain such an exceptional game. The gameplay, storytelling, and protagonists in Metal Gear may shift with each new installment, but Kojima’s ability to surprise and enthrall gamers remains unchanged.”

Ars Technica UK – Buy It

“People expect their sequels to be bigger, better, and more complex than what has come before, while also demanding they stay true to what they know and love. Metal Gear Solid V is one of those rare occasions where a game threads the needle between those two somewhat contradictory expectations, to great effect.”

VideoGamer – Score Pending

“Its low points are few yet jarring, and while they come nowhere close to cancelling the highs – of which there are many – they nonetheless stick out. Still, I’m confident in calling Metal Gear Solid 5 the best game of the year, a vast undertaking where Kojima’s reach hasn’t exceeded his grasp, a game where a big story doesn’t happen to you. Instead, you happen to it, slowly but surely. You may be surprised who you end up becoming.”

God is a Geek – 10/10

“You would struggle to be disappointed by Metal Gear Solid V. Almost everything is close to perfect, and visually this is one of the most realistic games I have ever seen (especially the environments). The gameplay never gets old and there is so much choice that no two playthroughs will ever be the same. It isn’t only Metal Gear fans who should be interested in this, everyone should be interested in this whether you have played anything like it before or not. Quite simply, this isn’t just the best Metal Gear game, nor is it just the best stealth game, it is one of the best games ever made.”

Game Reactor – Review Impressions

“The real hero this time around, however, is the gameplay. Not only is there much more of it than in the notoriously cut-scene heavy Metal Gear Solid 4, but it feels more accessible, more varied and more interesting than in just about any previous instalment in the franchise. It’s a solid open world game, and if we could only get Snake to crack some jokes about bullfrogs some time during the remainder of the game, it might just be one of the best open world games this year.”

The Telegraph – 5/5

“MGSV is a tremendous piece of work and is one of the best anecdote generators I’ve ever played. Perhaps MGSV’s best quality is how in pulling gameplay to the foreground and letting much of the exposition remain optional, it opens it up to be enjoyed by people who have in the past been put off by its weirdness, serving as both the perfect entry point and a satisfying conclusion. MGSV takes the best of a great series and creates a series’ best in the process.”


  1. Holy shit, that’s probably some of the best review scores I’ve ever seen – very much looking forward to this, even though I probably won’t be starting it for a month after release – curse the backlog!

    And I’ll finally be able to redeem my Ground Zeroes DLC code thingy that I’ve been holding on to for about a year!

  2. Wow, there’s some incredibly high praise there, I’m even more excited for the game to drop through my letter box now! Sorry Tef, as much as I’m tempted to I can’t bring myself to read your review, you’re very good at spoiling nothing but I want the whole experience to be a surprise so I’ll be off to sit in my bunker for a week.

  3. Not a complete surprise given how brilliant Ground Zeroes was. Still, great to hear that MGS5 is consistent throughout.

  4. *Jibbers uncontrollably*
    Get in my life.

  5. Wow that’s great. I know I wouldn’t like it though, I’ve tried them a few times and just couldn’t get into it.

    And to think Konami let Kojima go now.

    • MGSV is very different to 1 through 4, as more of an open world combination of the ideas in Peace Walker on PSP/MGS Collection and Ground Zeroes’ sandbox.

      • This is true, but the fact still remains that if you aren’t particularly into stealth games (or stealthy-type play at times), this still likely won’t be for you. It’s come from a long line of stealth heritage & although it seems gameplay is now more open, there will still be times when stealth is required (especially if trophy hunting is your thing, as there are those pesky S ranks aren’t there?).

        This is why I have to take issue with the God is a Geek review, advising that everyone should be interested in this, when that likely isn’t the case. Granted, there may be points in the game that all would enjoy, but at points its surely going to boil down to sneaking past one thing or another & that simply isn’t for everyone.

      • The latest few can be played as third person military action games as well. I’m terrible at stealth, so my run through of MGS4 and Ground Zeros often devolved into gunfights.

        It sounds like the beauty of this one is you really can play it as you want, either skulking around collecting people like some sort of Dickenzien child-snatcher with the Fulton system, or rolling in with a tank, cigar chomping and gun-toting.

      • Ah, that’s fair enough I suppose. What always got on my tits was being discovered & having to start entire sections again just due to that – Although I suppose that’s less possible in an open world game. Guess it’s still left a bad taste in my mouth with regard to stealth–based games.

        This one’s definitely not for me though, as it’ll just bug me that they actually want you to go through without being seen (for the ‘complete’ experience) & that just isn’t happening with me. Best to avoid altogether.

      • Saying that it’s for everyone is just a hyperbolic statement to try and express how this game’s much broader scope and greater variety of potential gameplay mechanics will appeal to more than just the devout MGS fans. Obviously stealth is the better option, but as Nate said – and as I said if you fancy reading my preview and today’s pre-review article – you can go through a lot of the game guns ablaze.

      • Judging by the footage it would appear you can go through the game guns-out and tits-out (nearly). :-)

      • Possibly even arse-out with the occassional gung-ho bomb!

  6. There was a small slither of concern that all the goings on at Konami would impact this game. Thankfully those have not come to fruition as shown by some incredibly impressive scores there. I’ve just finished the Witcher 3 so I’m ready to sink loads of hours into the crazy would of Metal Gear.
    Cannot wait for next week.

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