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How To Play Metal Gear Solid V Like A Professional

Metal Gear Solid V is finally here, and by all accounts, Hideo
Kojima has delivered another
. His greatest accomplishment, however, is providing me with the
opportunity to write another masterpiece of my own, once again providing
hapless players with my priceless insight.

I've written so many of these invaluable features that I
can't even work links to my previous articles into a natural sentence anymore (instead
just go read: SkyrimFar
Cry 3
, Tomb
Last of Us
, Dark
Souls II
, and Borderlands:
). However, if you're new, here's what you need to know: I love sharing my professional gaming
skills with regular, non-gifted players like you. Why? Because even though
being an exceptionally skilled gamer is rewarding in its own right, helping
less fortunate players improve their skills is even more rewarding. I don't know why it feels so good to help you –
it's probably just because I'm a really kind and awesome person. Regardless,
I've funneled my incredible wisdom into the following guide to help you play
Metal Gear Solid V like a Professional Gamer – i.e. the elite few who are so
good at games, we actually get paid to play them.

For each entry I describe a common situation in MGS V, and
how an amateur gamer might respond to it. If this description sounds familiar,
don't worry – the vast majority of players are just as bad as you are!

Following each amateur entry is a pro description, which
outlines how I personally handled the same situation. Make sure to study them
closely and try to replicate them in your own game – doing so will bring you
one step closer to playing like a professional.

Situation: Months
before The Phantom Pain's release, you decide to play through the Ground Zeroes
prologue to catch up on the story.
How an amateur
handles it:
Play through the relatively short main mission, then complete a
few optional side quests and challenges to unlock bonus content in MGS V.
How a pro handles it:
Start Ground Zeroes an hour before you plan to go to bed, because it's a
short game anyway, right? Watch in confusion as the opening cutscene introduces
a bunch of characters you've never seen before because the only Metal Gear game
you played was MGS 2, even though it's supposedly not a "real" MGS game because
it starred that blond guy everyone hates. Fall asleep halfway through
the opening cutscene because holy crap is it long. Wake up at 3:00AM and go to
bed, then put the game back on your shelf the next day.

Situation: Launch
day of MGS V is finally here!
How an amateur
handles it:
Watch a quick video recap of Ground Zeroes on YouTube because
you beat that game months ago, then dive right in.
How a pro handles it:
Figure you should finally play through Ground Zeroes. Re-watch the lengthy
opening cutscene, while almost nodding off again. Contemplate the odds of you
having narcolepsy, then rejoice when the game finally gives you control of
Snake. Immediately walk backwards off a ledge overlooking the ocean, then
unwittingly press the drop button and fall to your doom. Restart the mission
while hoping that won't be part of the data that The Phantom Pain imports.

Situation: After
playing through The Phantom Pain's prologue, you find yourself in the middle of
How an amateur
handles it:
Pull up your map and find the shortest route to your current
objective, then ride D-Horse to said objective.
How a pro handles it:
Blindly run towards the objective without looking at the map because you've
got a marker right there in the environment that even counts down your distance
to it. Then run right into a giant canyon wall, hindering your progress. Walk
around the wall looking for a way up, continually sliding down gentle inclines
and inspecting cracks that you can't actually climb up even though you played
through a crack-climbing tutorial earlier. Finally pull up your map to see
you've been wandering the wrong way the whole time. Call in D-Horse and ride
him in the opposite direction for what feels like forever, then pull over to a
quiet spot to check your map again. Once you get your bearings, exit the menu
to see a massive bear walking toward straight toward you. Pull out your
tranquilizer pistol and shoot it in the face 10 times only to see that it could
care less about your feathery little darts. Try to run away as he charges, then
get knocked off of D-Horse with one swipe of his massive bear paw. Get up and
run back to your horse, then tackle him to the ground because you accidentally
pressed the dive button instead of the interact button. Patiently wait for
D-Horse to get up while the bear swipes you again, this time critically
injuring you. Impotently try to bandage your wound while the bear mauls you to
death, then respawn all the way back in the canyon you initially got lost in. Pretty good.

Situation: You're
in the middle of an enemy-occupied fort, and the one guard you want to extract
is within eyesight of several other enemies.
How an amateur
handles it:
Create a series of diversions to lure the guard someplace
private, then incapacitate him and carry him to a secluded location for
How a pro handles it:
Obsessively sneak back and forth between hiding spots in the fort because it's
loaded with guards and you can't decide who to take down first. Continue
looming around the target until a sandstorm rolls up. Contemplate the odds of
you being able to sneak in, grab the guard, and get out before the storm ends,
knowing that every second you hesitate makes your success that much unlikelier.
Finally decide to throw caution to the wind; ambush the guard, choke him out
from behind, attach a fulton balloon to him, then run back and dive behind
cover in one suave, continuous motion. Listen to the soothing voice of the
iDroid lady tell you that your extraction failed, because of course you can't fulton a guy during a sandstorm. Take comfort
in the fact that at least the sandstorm prevented anyone else from seeing what
an idiot you are.

Coming Up Next: How to
properly rescue prisoners… – The Feed

[Update] Konami Patches Metal Gear Solid V Quiet Bug On All Platforms, Server Problems Persists

Update #2: Konami reports that all five platforms have now been patched. Unfortunately, server problems still persist.

As of this writing, Xbox One gamers are likely to experience FOB problems and menu sluggishness while connected online. Additionally, Konami has yet to restore full functionality to the FOB mode.

Update #1 (September 17, 2015 at 5:37 p.m.): Konami has updated its post with new information. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on PS3 has now been patched to squash the game-breaking bug. 

Original Story (September 14, 2015, at 7:29 a.m.):

After announcing that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain shipped with a game-breaking, save-corrupting bug last week, we have good news. Konami has patched the offending problem on two platforms.

Those playing PlayStation 4 and PC are in the clear on this one. The patch is undergoing final testing on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 and will likely be available soon.

The error was triggered by bringing Quiet on one of two missions as your buddy. While Konami did put a finer point on it and offer a way to avoid the problem, this patch eradicates it completely.

Unfortunately, Konami continues to have intermittent server problems. The company's website is currently reporting issues with both current-gen platforms.

Online connectivity problems permeate the single-player experience, resulting in sluggish menus. These hangups can leave players stuck on the iDroid screen during a mission, which can impede stealthiness. Taking your game offline immediately remedies the problem.

We'll update when Konami sounds the all-clear on the other three platforms.

[Source: Konami]


Our Take
This was a quick turnaround on the patch, but I'm still surprised that this made it into final retail code. I'm also dismayed at the online issues. While the impact is minimal (and easily fixed) right now if you ignore Konami having to restrict the FOB mode, I have little faith in Metal Gear Online's performance when it arrives. – The Feed

Metal Gear Solid V’s D-Dog Intro Is A Lot Weirder With Ocelot’s Crotch

Metal Gear Solid V is a
great game
, but there's no game that can't be made better by mods. The PC
community is hard at work manipulating Kojima's latest masterpiece, and the
results are…weird.

The video below comes from Facebook user ED-E,
and shows what happens when you replace D-Dog's puppy model with a full-grown
Ocelot. It just so happens that the character model defaults to crotch level,
which makes his playful nuzzling of Big Boss all the more awkward. A similar mod video hit earlier this year, when YouTube user tmacc posted a video of Ground Zeroes' lengthy intro, with the guard dogs replaced by human soldiers. However, the results weren't nearly as hilarious as this:

(Please visit the site to view this media)

That said, Tactical
Modding Operations
ups the ante by showing us what some of Quiet's ridiculously
scenes would look like if they starred Ocelot as well.

[Source: Facebook,
YouTube (1), (2), Quiet
videos via Polygon] – The Feed

Here’s A 60-Second Recap Of The Events Leading Up To Metal Gear Solid V

Metal Gear Solid has always had such a zany story that it’s sometimes easy to get lost in what’s actually happening. Fear not, here’s a recap of all the important events leading up to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

The historians at Lore in the Minute! break down Snake's story in the following video. For a more detailed breakdown of the game's lore, check out our own recap of the important people and places in the series.

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed

Editor Showdown: Debating Metal Gear Solid V

We just got back from a long weekend, and both Andrew Reiner and I spent much of the that time playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It's been a polarizing release, with some old-school fans decrying the game's open-world direction and lack of a traditional narrative. As it turns out, Reiner and I see the game differently, as well. I decided to try to get into his head a little bit and get him to articulate his biggest beefs.

Jeff: I couldn’t help but notice your flurry of Metal Gear Solid V tweets this weekend. It doesn’t seem as though you’re having a great time with the game so far. Would you say that’s accurate?

Reiner: I’m having a good time with it, but I wouldn’t say I’m enjoying it in the same way I have other Metal Gear Solid titles. The Phantom Pain is a departure for the series. Sure, it is built on the series’ tentpoles of stealth and technology, but applying those concepts to an open world dramatically changes the experience. Many of my tweets were in reference to how different it is.

Jeff: I think that’s why I love it so much. Joe and I were talking about it this morning, and I think moving the action to an open world was a long time coming. When you move the action outside into large spaces, the old routine of having guards walk on predetermined paths doesn’t work anymore. I love sizing up an area, figuring out how best to approach it, and then having the tools I need to get away unharmed if something goes wrong. It seemed like you want more old-school stealth.

Reiner: I agree that the open world gives players different avenues to tackle the stealth scenarios, but the randomization in enemy formations takes away from the intensity and randomization in the encounter design. I feel all too often the best strategy is to sneak behind a rock, wait for an enemy to turn his back to you, grab him, strangle him to sleep, then attach a balloon to him. I’ve done this over and over again in locations that all look the same, and in many cases use the same architecture. My favorite stealth moment in the game so far is a predetermined or scripted encounter in the Prologue, where Snake must evade two troopers by ducking beneath hospital curtains.

Jeff: Your point here is what inspired me to bother you about Metal Gear in the first place. I don’t understand what you’re looking for, ultimately. Do you want the guards to be placed in particular locations, and follow specific routes? Does that seem more intense?

Reiner: I would like to see a little of both, actually. The open-world setting doesn’t have much variety in terrain or the structures within it. The enemy placement is almost always the same within each base or city. There’s a guy behind a sandbag, another up in a tower, a couple under a tent. I feel like I’m running into the same scenarios over and over again. Maybe that’s just the luck of the draw tied to the randomization. Right now, there doesn’t seem to be much variety in the enemies or formations, just the way I can approach them. – The Feed

Catch Up On Our Mad Max, Metal Gear Solid V, Super Mario Maker, And Until Dawn Videos

Labor Day is the last hurrah of summer, which means you might be dragged away from your console or PC. Never fear! Even if you can’t play, we have your game fix right here.

We’ve rounded up our recent videos from recent and upcoming games. Check out our romps through Mad Max, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Until Dawn, and Super Mario Maker. 

Mad Max

Our Test Chamber featuring Mad Max gives you the basics of life in the Wasteland.

We spent seven hours streaming Mad Max and Metal Gear Solid V. Don’t worry if you missed it, the archive is available here.

Metal Gear Solid V

Metal Gear Solid V deviates from its predecessors' format. Take a look at life in Big Boss’ open world in the Test Chamber.

A good leader knows that you need to take time to celebrate the little things. Watch a very Metal Gear birthday celebration (note: easter egg spoiler).

Super Mario Maker

We played two hours of Super Mario Maker. Get a good look at what you can expect this Friday.

Our own Kyle Hilliard created a number of levels for Super Mario Maker. Watch Joe Juba and Jeff Marchiafava critique Kyle’s creativity across eight levels.

Until Dawn

We played all of Until Dawn with our viewers helping us make the choices. Find out how many of our teenage victims survived right here.


We’re playing all of the original Shenmue. Catch up with the first 13 hours of the Dreamcast classic. – The Feed

Readers Pick A Winner In The Metal Gear’s D-Horse Vs. Witcher’s Roach Battle

Yesterday we asked readers to pick between what will likely be 2015's most prominent video game horses – Roach and D-Horse. Here are the results.

The winner was pretty clear – D-Horse is our reader's preferred mode of animal transportation in 2015. It may be because most players are currently playing The Phantom Pain so D-Horse is on their mind. It might also be because D-Horse can poop on command. I think the main reason, though, that many picked D-Horse over Roach, is because he has unlimited stamina. Roach tires after a period of time.

Many readers ignored the premise of the argument and decided to pick other well-known horses. One said Agro from Shadow of the Colossus, three folks said Epona from Ocarina of Time, and Shadowmere from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and any horse in Red Dead Redemption got four votes each. One commenter did call out a specific Red Dead Redemption breed. John Marston wrote, "The Kentucky Sadler," which is the fastes breed of horse in Red Dead Redemption.

Many were unsure, ultimately not casting a vote, but providing some interesting commentary about the argument.

KokoriPlayer wrote regarding the who would win in a race question, "D-Horse has infinite stamina so Roach had better win fast. Roach wins the sprint but D-Horse takes the marathon." colonelsanders backed up that idea writing, "It depends. If it's a straight path, Roach will
win. But if you have to make any turns or sudden movements, Roach is
outta' luck!

ulfstarstrider wrote, "If it is a race from altitude to the ground, Roach wins, since he doesn't have a parachute to slow him down." – The Feed

Reader Discussion: Who Would Win In A Race? Witcher’s Roach Or Metal Gear’s D-Horse?

It's the most important and compelling question of 2015.

Two open-world games featuring two warriors, each with an injury around their eye, and each with a horse. Which one is faster? Which one is better? Which one has a better name?

I haven't played enough of either to make a final decision, but I will point out that D-Horse is a horse that can parachute into the battlefield. Just make sure you keep that in mind while deliberating. – The Feed

Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray Shows Metal Gear Solid V’s Apparently Cut “Episode 51″

If you've finished Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain already, odds are that you have a couple questions about the resolution of a particular plot thread. It turns out that Kojima Productions has answers for you…but those answers didn't make it into the final version of the game.

Included in the Collector's Edition of the game (which also comes with a weird hand) is a Blu-Ray disc with behind-the-scenes features. One of those features is a look at "Episode 51," a mission that apparently takes place after all of the other events in the game. I won't go into details here since they involve late-game spoilers for The Phantom Pain, but if you're interested, you can watch the (spoiler-filled) video from YouTube user Inzaa to see the 18-minute sequence.

Considering that the feature includes voice work from characters like Big Boss and Miller, along with partly finished cutscenes, this content was likely initially intended to be part of the core Phantom Pain experience, but it obviously did not make the final cut. 

[Source: NeoGAF]

Our Take
This sequence resolves a major lingering plot thread that remained conspicuously unaddressed during the main game. On one hand, I'm angry that such important information didn't make it into the game considering how little story-based content is in The Phantom Pain in the first place. On the other hand, I'm glad that Kojima Productions found a way to release this somehow – even in non-playable form – to answer my questions about what happened after the final credits rolled. – The Feed

Watch Us Play Seven Hours Of Mad Max And Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

We live streamed seven hours of video games on Tuesday covering this week's big releases – Mad Max and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The archive is now online for viewing.

We started our stream with some Mad Max with Jeff Cork and I playing through the game's first 3.5 hours. You can click here to jump right to the start of the stream.

After spending plenty of time in the open-world wasteland with our pal Chumbucket, we switched over to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. You can skip to the 3:29:14 minute mark below, or click here  to skip straight to the journey of Venom Snake with Joe Juba and Ben Reeves.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For our review of Mad Max, head here. For our review of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, head here. – The Feed