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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Metal Gear Online PC Review - 8/10

Metal Gear Online is a free update added with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I've played a few of the game modes and have a pretty decent grasp on what the whole game is, or at the very least enough to feel I can give you a sensible review on it.
I'd like to get it out of the way, first off, that I'm not a person who enjoys playing online with others. Battlefield 3 was probably about my last online shooter I played seriously and it was only so-so for me. That's not to say I think the whole genre is awful or I'd never play it, just saying I would never purposely buy a game that was wholly focused on multiplayer combat without a reason.

The Good:
If you've played The Phantom Pain, you'll pretty much feel right at home. The problem I find with most online games is they tend to differ drastically from the base game. Big Boss, in The Phantom Pain, moves quickly and is extremely agile despite being such a beefy person. While you're not as fast as a car, you're pretty damn fast and all of the controls have a pretty decent time from response to actual action. In lay-men's terms, if I were to press the X button my prompt would almost immediately go through with no visible delay. The same can be said for the online mode. Fighting other players feels like fighting other enemies in the world, albeit more challenging since its an actual person and not a computer fighting against you. My point is, the online mode isn't too far from the game you previously purchased.
I think I've played about three different modes. A standard deathmatch, a defend/espionage mode and the last one I admittedly forget. While this does seem very basic in terms of other games, there's a nice Metal Gear twist to them. In the deathmatch, its a standard ticket base game, by which I mean that there's a set amount of times a team can respawn before they are out of the game. In the base game one of the main features is capturing enemy soldiers via a Fulton system where you balloon them away. Doing this in online allows you to gain more tickets while taking away the other team's. Other players can also shoot down a person who is about to be Fultoned, so there's sort of a balance to it. The defense/espionage mode tasks your team with either defending or capturing some datadisks from the other team. This mode has no respawns, so death is permanent for the match. The defending team has the advantage of lethal weapons while the attackers have to use non lethal. Just about every game mode utilized the base game in some way which I thought was great. Use the materials you have at hand and your game feels a lot more complete, at least in my opinion.

The Bad:
Alright, so you know how most matches have their own smaller details and features? Like you can opt to kick out another player if they're just doing nothing? Ya, I never saw that here. Maybe it was just an option for the host but I was stuck with a player who did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING the entire game. It came to the point where I actually blocked them on Steam, hoping that they would be kicked out. Unfortunately that wasn't the case. Every single time, this person sat at the beginning doing nothing. They made themselves an easy kill to where some matches ended up in every other person waiting for a whole 8 minutes for the timer to run out or beginning the other team just to run to our base and kill the dumb ass. Every. Single. Match this happened. Every. Single. Time I was forced to be in a team with this jackass. I really wish I could remember their Steam name so I could plaster it somewhere as a beware sign. It was clear what this person was doing. Simply leaving their game on so they could accrue experience points without having to do anything.
In most online games there's sort of an unlock system. In The Old Republic, you gain items, experience and even part of a small achievement system that is in the game. In Battlefield, you unlock better weapons and gear to outfit your character to make them as lethal as possible. Ya, there wasn't that here. So there's three classes. Your standard sniper, stealth and heavy character. You'll be stuck with the first character you made at the beginning of the base game until you reach about lvl 6. As far as I can tell, you have no choice as to what you equip for weapons other than a standard beginning of the match screen. In the base game, you have a massive amount of weapons to choose from at your leisure. While I understand that if you have a class specifically for snipers that would kind of ruin it if you let everyone have a sniper, but the idea that I can't do anything is just baffling. As far as I can see there's no weapon customization, no real loadout other than a sort of perk system that is extremely limited if I'm being generous and the gear you can equip is cosmetic at best. Gear can be purchased using those MB coins you got before or by earning money in game... except they don't tell you how exactly to ear that money. In fact, I don't even remember a little screen after a match telling me how much I won. I played at least 10 consecutive games in a row. Before, I had 50 GP to spend. When I was done, I had 150 GP. So, by that logic, every single game nets you about 10 GP for completion. The most expensive, cosmetic, items I've seen are about 3000. Using this, you will have to play about three hundred matches. No. Not for me.
As a final bit of advice, you do decide to play this, don't randomly match make. This was my first blunder. When I did this, I was trapped in a room with one other person just waiting for a standard death match to begin. After about ten minutes, the game seemed it was about to start. Then the other player left and I was stuck in this room. FOREVER. Alright, so not forever, but there's actually no way to quit out once you're in the standard 'looking at the teams' screen. I stayed in here for about ten more minutes frantically pressing every single button til I just got furious and Alt + F4-ed. This game doesn't seem like it was meant to be an online game. There's few thought into the minute details that a lot of us take for granted and it really shows sometimes. I played this on PC where an Alt + F4 option is available. My brother recently bought the game and I have no idea how his experience would be were he to play it.

Alright, so this isn't all that bad, but its definitely not something I would purchase on it's own. The game comes free with The Phantom Pain so there's really no bad side considering that Phantom Pain is already a great game. Its like if someone came up to you with a prime rib steak at a five star restaurant and offered you some bland sauce on the side. Ultimately the sauce will do nothing to the steak and if you don't like it you can either not use it or scrape it off for the steak that was there before. Play it or don't.

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