This short post will contain endgame story spoilers for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but goddamnit I am irrational internet fanboy level angry about this.
If you don’t want the game spoiled, read no further.
Seriously, major spoilers.
This is your last chance.
You have been warned.
Okay, let’s go.
I like to think I’m somewhat of an authority on Metal Gear’s crazy 28 year story. As I detailed in an earlier post, I’ve grown up with Metal Gear. It’s my favourite video game series of all time, and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an absolute blast to play, but these pesky patches are doing a real number on it, aren’t they?
First of all, once the reviews were all out and everybody had had their say, Konami decided to patch in FOB insurance which lets you spend real life money on insuring your FOB and the resources stored there, effectively breaking any balance or economy FOB mode had.
Very sneaky, Konami. Very sneaky.
I was willing to forgive this though (Forgive Konami? More fool me) because I never really got into the FOB section of the game. Having a couple of hours of progression stolen from me by some dick in a different timezone sounded frustrating, and more importantly, not fun.
Hey, maybe the insurance is for people like me who just wanted to focus on the single player campaign and the achievements/trophies without being fucked with?
Here’s an easier and cheaper solution: Offline mode.
What I can’t forgive, however, is Metal Gear Solid V‘s latest patch.
It has all of the usual technical and balancing blah blah blah stuff which I’m not going to get into here because a) it’s boring and I don’t care and b) it is totally overshadowed by patching in a way to reverse a major plot point.
Are you fucking kidding me?
If you’ve finished Metal Gear Solid V, you’ll know that after Mission 45: A Quiet Exit (Fuck that mission by the way. Fuck it so hard.) Quiet leaves Diamond Dogs to go and, presumably, die in the desert somewhere. It’s a great story beat, and I enjoyed it far more than the awful ending that seems to come out of fucking nowhere in the next mission.
Afterwards, you can no longer use Quiet as a buddy. She is gone. You are supposed to miss her, which is pretty clear considering one of the main themes of the game is loss. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about “phantom pain:”
“Phantom limb pain is the feeling of pain in an absent limb or a portion of a limb. The pain sensation varies from individual to individual. Phantom limb sensation is the term given to any sensory phenomenon (except pain) which is felt at an absent limb or a portion of the limb.”
It’s this amazing bit of Kojima meta-narrative that really drives home that sense of loss, and it’s done really well. It’s probably my favourite cutscene of the three cutscenes the game has. Allowing you to play with Quiet for hours and hours only to take her away from you is a bold statement. Quiet is gone, and you can’t get her back. That’s it. It’s over.
Until last week, that is.
Great news everyone, you can now bring Quiet back, rendering her disappearance and apparent death completely irrelevant. Awesome!
To recruit Quiet again, you have to play Mission 11: Cloaked in Silence seven fucking times. Yes, seven. That sure sounds fun.
That’s not even the real problem, though. Why make a significant story statement just to reverse it three months later? I don’t get it. To quote Reddit user Jackenstein8098 from /r/metalgearsolid:
“There’s a reason you couldn’t save Aeris in Final Fantasy VII.”
And this is exactly my point. The reason characters die in fiction is to evoke an emotional response from the person consuming the story. It’s one of the few story points that Metal Gear Solid V nailed, and now it doesn’t matter. It was all for nought.
When I heard the news, I reached out to Konami for clarification on why this decision was made:
So far, no response.
I’ll let you know when they get back to me.