With the release of Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC), mastermind Hideo Kojima says goodbye to a series he’s steered since 1987’s Metal Gear. But while he’s going out on a high note — as you can see from my review of the game — I couldn’t help but think his departure might actually be a good thing. Here’s why.
With a wide open world full of story-driven missions, random encounters, and even plants to collect, the third-person stealth-action game Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC) plays like a sneaky version of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt if you swapped magic for machine guns. But while that might sound like a big departure to fans on this long-running series, what this really does is adapt the classic Metal Gear Solid formula to a engaging new setting, one that helps make this one of the most compelling games of the year.