I don’t use the word brilliant very often when describing a game. In the case of “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” I have to take the leap and say exactly that. This is based strictly on the epilogue of the game. Yea, the beginning of this game alone is brilliant.
The Metal Gear series is a strange beast with many heads on different video game consoles. From Nintendo Entertainment System to the current generation consoles. We have been taken on a long-woven story of bizarre tactical espionage that has taken a ton of games to tell. I am a life-long fan and have managed to play through them all.
Before I sat down and began Phantom Pain, I jumped onto YouTube and watched a fantastic summarization of all the games major plot points and characters. After I listened to about 45 minutes of story I was still a bit lost, but confident that I knew enough to jump in and start playing. I highly recommend watching some YouTube summarization's if you are someone who hasn't played the games recently.
Some spoilers may follow. I’m going to go over the epilogue of the game; if you don't want it spoiled for you skip to the “End Spoilers” mark.
Following the conclusion of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, Big Boss (BB) wakes up in a hospital bed to to the sound of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” playing on a nearby radio. A doctor comes in and informs BB that he has been in a coma for 9 years. Over the next few months BB regains some of his strength and memories. When he thinks BB is ready the doctor explains that, he must change your appearance because there are people after you. Before he gets any further he is taken out by an assassin wielding a fiber wire.
BB is saved by a man in a hospital gown whose face is covered completely in bandages, hiding his identity. Soldiers are piling into the building and murdering everyone that they see, to make matters worse BB is still weak from his 9 year coma and barely able to walk.
This part of the game is really intense and verges on having horror elements. It is very reminiscent of Silent Hill. BB is forced to hide amongst dead bodies, under beds and where ever else he can and watch as the troops slaughter an entire building of innocents.
To make matters worse, you are also being hunted by an unstoppable mysterious figure made completely out of fire and a floating specter wearing a gas mask who has telekinetic abilities. (Yes, I immediately thought of Psycho Mantis too.) These two wreak havoc on everything that they come into contact with. They are particularly interested in hunting down BB. These two guys end up (literally) tearing an entire town apart to hunt down BB and his mysterious bandaged friend. After some sneaking around, BB finally escapes the hospital in an ambulance, he is chased by the mysterious supernatural duo, who are hurling everything they can at the ambulance, eventually causing BB to wreck.
When BB comes to and pull himself out of the wreckage he is confronted by a fully armed helicopter. In true Metal Gear fashion a flaming whale jumps out of nowhere and crashes into a helicopter right before Ocelot shows up on horseback to save you.
Yea that wasn't a typo and I’m not having a stroke, I said a giant flaming fucking whale jumps out of nowhere and takes down a helicopter. If this was any other game that might be considered weird but since this is a Metal Gear game this makes total fucking sense.
Ocelot explains to you that he is now part of an organization called ‘The Diamond Dogs’ and that they are are trying to rebuild the army that they lost at Outer Heaven with your help.
Spoilers End here.
My jaw was wide open in wonder. I couldn't believe that, 1. this was only the prologue and, 2. that I had a full game still left to play and experience. I realized that the story had done something to me that I hadn’t experienced in a long time… It filled me with anticipation to play this game non-stop all the way through.
The next day at work was filled with anticipation of racing home to play again. It is magical and casts a spell that only a Metal Gear game could conjure. It is more than that though. This game is already the best in the series. I took notice, that if the entire game had just been the epilogue, I would have been happy. I cannot to soak in this full experience it should be fucking glorious