Okay, bear with me. I’m gonna get a lot of hate for this one, but I have to say it. I’ve played through the first “part” of MGS V. I fought the big metal gear. I was not impressed.
Sahelanthropus (By the way, is a terrible name, I think Kojima just wanted to make it nigh impossible to Google pictures/clips/information about it.) is basically like a giant soldier. And on paper, it’s cool. The first time you’re introduced to it, there’s a great deal of tension involved. It’s one of those moments in gaming that sticks with you. And for that, it’s almost worth the purchase price. However, the fight is missing (or includes bad things/tropes) a few key something’s i’m going to list here. Spoilers follow.
- There’s no banter. Sahelanthropus is effectively unmanned, though controlled by mini-mantis (Unconfirmed by me, Haven’t gotten to chapter 2 or whatnot) There’s nothing short of saving your own ass that’s motivating you to complete it. Miller says it would basically turn the world into a nuclear controlled war, but as we’ve seen in previous entries, that’s already come to pass. Give me a smart-ass remark every few minutes. Give me something to defy. Christ, why couldn’t it have been Skull Face in there? I would’ve liked to take the bastard on in full capacity.
- While there’s a bit of tension involved in actually fighting it, It’s power levels are grossly unbalanced. You’re either swiftly dodging his machine guns which either don’t hit or do minimal damage, or you’re one-shotted by a giant laser beam. There’s not a whole lot of wiggle room.
- Having a giant mech in an open world means a whole lot of running. I fought the Skulls on horseback with a grenade launcher. Fuck that. This is supposed to be covert action, and I find myself needing to play cowboys and indians with military hardware to get by. That’s bullshit. You can’t tell me that A giant mech can find me (Who’s 20 times smaller) wriggling around in the dirt or behind cover. I should be able to lose him for awhile at least. And don’t say it’s got heat vision. Because you should be ashamed if you do.
- Having back-up brings a sense of camaraderie with Mom-base, like all that effort building your ranks is cool, but it takes away the david vs. goliath sensibility of these fights. My first time out, I couldn’t figure out how to get a decent shot off, so I didn’t for the first 15 minutes or so. Helicopter and buddy effectively managed to whittle it down to almost half its health. That’s not okay.
- It has a health bar. Why does it have a health bar. The man on fire didn’t have a health bar. The soldiers don’t have health bars. The only ones that did were quiet and the skulls. and you didn’t need it for quiet, but the skulls are sort of a different story. It just took me a bit out of the moment of hyper-realism in this game. Nope, nevermind, I take that back, at least sort of.
- Why am I forced to shoot a child. I am not okay with shooting a child.
- The game insists that quick-draw wins the fight. If i’m equipped with a rocket launcher, it’s a pain in the ass drawing my side-arm in time with reflex mode.
- I supposedly bring down the giant mech by “myself”, but after the 40 minutes of credits, Huey brings it to Mom-base, and it’s still functional. Fuck you, game. I blew that thing up.
That’s a lot of things.
So you’re probably asking why it’s a bad thing for everybody?
Well, for one, you’re being asked to do too much. Sure, you’re a legendary soldier. But think about how much a rocket launcher weighs. Think about the last time you ran for miles, if ever. Now run with said rocket launcher, and shoot at a moving target, reloading every few seconds or minutes. Yeah, not very fun. This is a similar feeling I had while playing this boss fight. It’s essentially difficult without keeping it fun. I might be in the minority here, but i’m playing this for two reasons. Fun, and storyline. I was not having fun with this fight. It was mostly frustrating, and there was such little payoff in the end, that it felt like a cop-out. Which it sort of was. Kojima was pissed with Konami. I get that in spades. Kojima was probably pissed at the fanbase as well. I get that too. But these games... aren’t cheap. Especially in other countries. And this game sold, and will continue to sell, a massive amount of copies. And that’s terrifying, because it just enforces the idea to devs and producers that they can have shitty, anti-climactic moments like these that aren’t fun, and just frustrates the player, and that’ll become even more of a norm.