Just when you thought we had exhausted all possible superlatives in relation to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Hideo Kojima unleashes a fresh, new age multiplayer format to completely turn the tables once more. There’s nothing like rubbing salt into the wounds of your competitors. Although, have you ever experienced an online multiplayer that actually rewards you for not killing the enemy? No? me neither. So check this out!
Even though this title already consists of some online aspects in regards to FOB missions and the infiltration of other players Motherbases, this update has provided a cutting edge PVP approach, detailed enough to suit almost every type of gamer. To emphasise this new addition, the update is accompanied with a brand new title screen and main menu, invoking the idea of it being a completely separate title to the main campaign, sharing zero links.
To begin, you are greeted with a player customisation screen, which takes the shape and model of your previously created avatar at the start of the campaign. In typical online fashion, you are given the choice of 3 classes, promoting you to establish which one best suits your gameplay style. These consist of a ‘Scout’, an ‘Enforcer’ and an ‘Infiltrator’. (Which, to us seasoned gamers, essentially means standard, heavy and light). Your judgement inevitably determines the weaponry, armour and skills you unlock during your development via levelling up in an XP based system. However, don’t fear too much, if you do not like your chosen class, you are able to create a new player after level 7 or so…. Not that I did that or anything …. Each class comprises of “COD” style load outs, which you can remodel to your liking, to suit whatever style or approach you desire for the oncoming match type.
I placed a cuddly toy on the floor of my base to hypnotise oncoming enemies…
A great aspect to this title is the introduction of the “Freeplay” map, which is exactly what it says on the tin. The player is given their own, unique jungle base, filled with multiple targets and challenging terrain to ensure that they are able to fully experiment and tweak their personal load outs before putting them to the real test. I really wish other games had this form of independence and solace… My kill death ratio might have actually been impressive for once. “This map is why I’m doing terribly” and “He’s blatantly hacking” we’re my catchphrases for a few years ….
Currently, players only have access to three separate match types. ‘Bounty Hunter’, ‘Comm Control’ and ‘Cloak and Dagger’. More will be released in due time.
‘Bounty Hunter’ is a ‘ticket’ based team death match. The concept is simple, deplete the enemy ticket count to zero. Each kill adds 1 bounty to your head and takes one away from the enemy total.
ARE YOU READY FOR THE TWIST??!!
If you decide to Fulton an enemy instead, not only does it provide you with some infectious humour, but it also adds the enemies bounty onto your ticket total, as well as deplete the enemies. So in theory, a tactically well timed Fulton can be much more effective than just shooting everybody, easily turning the tide. However, I will warn you, being fultoned yourself, is worse than being tea bagged…. Trust me :’(
‘Comm Control’ is a war based form of headquarters. Very basic and true to history. Attack and defend, you know the drill guys.however, is a little different. In this mode, the attacking team are only provided with non-lethal weapons, accompanied with the task of capturing an enemy disc and transporting it to a designated extraction point! So, in other words, it’s an espionage form of capture the flag… Which I could have said earlier, but my description here gives it the emphasis it deserves.
Matches can be searched for during Freeplay mode, which is a good way of keeping busy while the server connects.
The character progression is incredibly detailed. Almost every action you take is rewarded with experience or punished with a big minus to your score card. For example, in the space of one minute, I performed a cracking headshot (100 + 150xp), I placed a cuddly toy on the floor of my base to hypnotise oncoming enemies, levelled up and accidentally committed suicide ( -300xp ) while escaping an enemy Fulton extraction. Bizarre huh? Yet, weirdly brilliant.
There aren’t many maps at the moment, but from what is provided, we are given an open world terrain of a good size, filled with many places to camp, snipe, set us traps or just go Arnie out of Terminator 2 on their asses. This might sound daunting for a newcomer, but its very difficult to get lost within them, making everybody feel up to the task.
Overall, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Metal Gear Online is still very fresh, showing elements of this just being a taster of what’s to come in future updates. But from what I’ve played so far, it’s very impressive and not what I expected, at all. With a combination of good character progression, detailed maps, easy customisation and the surprise element of that literally anything can happen, has not only made this addition an exciting prospect, but an incredibly welcome one.
Goodbye social life…