– Tom Heath
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has dropped, and I’ve been playing it like a damn fiddle. My first session involved confusion, clumsiness, awe and a gorgeously grotesque virtual bottom; and now I venture off to the greater game at hand. But a word to the wise: things may get a little…saucy…
My name is Tom Heath, and this is my Metal Gear Solid V diary…
I left you guys hanging last time, having just arrived at Mother Base (or at least, the beginnings of a new Mother Base). Though entirely comprised of a platform standing in the middle of the ocean, Mother Base was a sight to behold. The structure glistening in the sun, the calm waves, and the soldiers waiting to greet Snake all sold the beautiful dream: I am king in here!
But aside from all that, all the cool gadgets (like the Fulton Recovery System, more on that in a minute), logistics abilities and the potential to research crazy new inventions like the trademarked Metal Gear Solid cardboard box, there was one other realisation I had regarding Mother Base and Snake’s/my new private army.
It is made up entirely of subs, and I am their dom…
How did I learn of my subordinates’ desire for kinky pleasure? Naturally, by a little “horsing around”. You see, there’s a new kind of interrogation mechanic in Phantom Pain that involves grabbing an enemy from behind and tenderly (roughly) pulling them into a firm embrace (choke-hold). From there, you place a knife at their throat and demand they spill their collective beans about various goodies hidden around the game’s map. You can then decide whether or not to kill them, knock them out or let them go.
Sounds innocent enough right? Totally. But then I was encouraged to “interrogate” my soldiers patrolling Mother Base, for perhaps they may reveal the hidden locations of resources to be used for buying upgrades. I put this suggestion to the test and promptly man-handled my nearest comrade into choke-hold and demanded, again at knife point, he speak up.
His reply: “Harder, Boss!”
To say I was surprised would be an understatement. Maybe he was trying to teach me to be a better interrogator? Should I be pressing him harder? I asked him again.
“Boss!” he replied.
OK, clearly I was misreading this situation. I released him from my grip, where he promptly spun around and saluted me, proclaiming: “It was an honour to be held in your iron grip, Boss!”
This wasn’t just an isolated incident, nearly every other soldier I interrogated/stimulated on Mother Base gave me some kind of praise for fondling them. Which begs the question: what the hell are Kaz and Ocelot doing to all the troops I capture in the field?!
I had already been wondering how they so efficiently, in Ocelot’s words, “persuaded” these guys I’d been Fulton Recovering (a kind of balloon that can airlift people/objects out of enemy territory) to join my cause and be loyal to me beyond all reason, but now they’re also kinky S&M fiends!
But hey, I guess as long as the work is getting done they can be in to whatever they want.
Anyway, between these gallivants to Mother Base, I have been infiltrating the Afghan desert, kicking ass and taking names. And while the want to tell the guards I’ve just snuck past that they’ve been duped is still there, I have found a new pleasure: blaring music out of my support helicopter.
Yes, this mechanic was already shown off in earlier trailers, but you haven’t lived until you’ve used in person. Not only is it awesome to be playing some sweet tunes while travelling, it is even better to call in an airstrike as a distraction while you sneak into a compound and for it to be punctuated by your signature mix approaching on the horizon. Just, wow.
On a final note, the story still hasn’t grasped me yet and makes Phantom Pain feel like the least “Metal Gear” Metal Gear game in the whole series. While that’s been a great thing in terms of gameplay, the minimalist storytelling, lack of cutscenes/codec calls (that are replaced by audio tapes that are under-signposted, in my opinion) and Snake NOT SEEMING TO BE ABLE TO FIND HIS TONGUE WHEN HE OUGHT TO, leaves a lot to be desired. Each mission is appearing as a contained objective and not related to an overarching whole, bar a few vague sequences.
I know I’m still in early days plot wise, but I’ve also sunk nearly 12 hours into the game, so I thought things would have been chugging along nicely by now. Now that I understand the way the narrative is presented perhaps my feelings will change. We shall see.
Anyway, I better get going, I hear there’s a sniper out there gunning for me…