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[Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Printable Version

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[Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Ren Fujin - 04-06-2014 05:07 PM

Hey guys.
I could go and write about how I'm a long time fan of the series, having played every game on release since MGS1 to try and give myself credibility, but instead I'll cut right down to the chase :
I do feel a bit disappointed by GZ gameplay wise. It's a good game, don't get me wrong, but as the next installment in the series I think it's a shame it seems KojiPro decided to take a few aspects of the gameplay and either downgraded them, or straight up made it worse.
What I've always enjoyed about MGS is the fact each next game actually built upon the gameplay mechanics introduced in the previous' (except for very specific and self contained aspects like food in MGS3), always moving forward and refining the formula.
I hold no grudge against PW having a slightly downgraded gameplay since it was a handheld title.
However, I'm having a harder time accepting GZ isn't at least on par with MGS4. Some of the new mechanics and additions are awesome, but I think it's a shame it's often detrimental to other, well grounded and justified gameplay elements that literally defined the series up to that point.

Here's my analysis (merely a personal one, I don't intend on forcing my opinion as the absolute truth on the matter) of the gameplay of Metal Gear Solid V : Ground Zeroes, based on a whole week spent playing the game intensively, regarding the improvements and fixes it needs, in my opinion.

Please be warned, this is a pretty long read.
I wouldn't expect those who aren't really concerned about the gameplay to go through it. But those who actually do care about it, I'd recommend having a look at it, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it. Maybe we can discuss about it here afterhand.

Improvement
No change
Step back

1. Character movement

• Walk / Crouch

The gameplay is quite deep regarding moving the character about.
It's possible to move at different speeds when standing - there's 3 of them, each one causing a level of noise ranging from silent to noisy as speed increases.

[Image: walk01.gif] [Image: walk02.gif] [Image: walk03.gif]

Same regarding the crouching position, and it's definitely possible to sneak up on guards and surprise them whether you're doing it walking or crouch walking, the only difference between the two statuses (walk/crouch) being how visible the character is.

[Image: crab01.gif] [Image: crab02.gif] [Image: crab03.gif]

I wouldn't change a thing about this, it's all good - probably because these mechanics remain untouched from what the previous game did well in that regard (MGS4).

• Crawl

This is where we notice a difference for the first time regarding what the character can do when crawling : Only one moving speed is available, and it matches the slowest walking/crouch walking speed regarding noise levels.

[Image: crawl.gif]

MGS4 had 2 movement speeds for crawling - the 2nd one was very slow, and the character behaved like a snake :

[Image: crawl_snake.gif]

Although in each case noise levels were about the same, the true difference was about how visible the character was. Regular crawling speed would cause dust puffs for instance, and enemies in SP or other players in MGO could easily spot that.

I don't consider the removal of the snake crawl a real loss, since in MGSV the character remains quite hard to spot when crawling.

Worth noting MGSV introduces a cool detail when it comes to crawling stairs. It's actually impossible to do it in steep stairs :

[Image: stairscrawl_mgsv01.gif] [Image: stairscrawl_mgsv02.gif]

A fun, much more realistic take on it.

The very clever mechanics dealing with going from
standing > crouching
crouching > lying down
crouching > standing
crouching > lying down
were kept, and thank god for that :
You only need to either tap or hold the X button to accurately perform the various transitions to each position.

[Image: stand_crouch.gif] [Image: stand_crawl.gif]

Wise decision KojiPro. If it's not broken, don't fix it.

• Sprinting

A new addition in MGSV. The character can now sprint quite fast (with no time constraints), but will be much more visible and cause lots of noise by doing so, compared to any other positions.

[Image: sprint.gif]

A very good addition in my opinion, it allows for much more mobility in firefights and alert phases. Of course, this remains a risky manoeuver which will surely cause the doom of careless, impatient players. Use with moderation. Is set to clicking the left analog stick (Default L3). Player gains in speed what they lose in handling (changing directions being much less responsive while sprinting), and also has to take into account time the character takes to come to a full stop, which with how much noise and visibility occur versus how fast you can move when sprinting make it a well balanced move, in my opinion.
Unfortunately, this can be broken since the player can somehow exploit the crouch button to cancel the end of the sprint animation, effectively allowing them to come at a full stop almost instantly :

[Image: sprint_stop.gif] [Image: sprint_stopcrouch.gif]

... an issue caused (in my opinion) by the fact the dive button is now seperate from the crouch button (I'll talk about that in detail in the next section).
Interesting note : It actually isn't necessary to stand back up when crouching or crawling to sprint, which helps make the transitions between any position to sprint very fluid. A very good and positive addition on how moving the character feels to the player.

• Dive

Is now performed through a dedicated button ( by default), as opposed to its predecessor which was set to the crouch/stand back up/crawl button.

[Image: dive.gif]

This move is meant to replace the dive roll (a recurring move from MGS2). The character performs a forward dive to the ground, and will transition to the crawl position if no button is pressed, or to the crouch position if X is pressed. To go into walking, just hold the analog stick.

[Image: dive_crouch.gif] [Image: dive_crawl.gif]

On a pure gameplay stand point, the properties of this new move compared to its predecessor didn't change much. The new dive has as much range, and it's still possible to ram enemies by diving into them.

[Image: diveintoenemy.gif]

So it's just aesthetics, except for one thing :
The new version of the move doesn't allow the character to go above small obstacles, unlike its predecessor :

[Image: diverollmgs4.gif] [Image: diverollmgs4_02.gif]

Personally, I believe deciding to set this move to a dedicated button wasn't necessarily needed, for two reasons :
First, it wasted a button which could be used to fix other glaring control scheme issues (such as carrying NPCs).
Secondly, it gave birth to a game breaking exploit to go around the balanced cons to sprinting (since you now use X to cancel and break sprint)

• Fluidity of the animations

Another good point for MGSV : Character animation is a definite step up compared to the previous games, there are transitions between a lot of different positions, so the pace of the game and how you can move the character feel much less stiff than before, whether you stand back up from crawling, or when doing u-turns.
Great attention to detail from KojiPro in this field.
The only issue I could see regarding this is some players might feel a sort of input lag, due to the numerous transition animations between each move.

• Laying on back or belly

In MGS4, from a crawling position you could either switch to laying either on your back or belly, and crawl from there. This was done using . On a practical stand point, this brought little advantage, except being able to aim to a wider variety of angles when the character was lying on his back.
In MGSV, these mechanics are still around, but performed differently : The character will lie on his belly when crawling, and it isn't possible to manually switch. Instead, character position will dynamically change depending on where you're aiming at (except for the sniper rifle for some reason). Players wanting the character to crawl on his back will have to keep aiming a weapon to a specific direction, and the game will revert to on belly crawling as soon as no weapon is being aimed.

[Image: onback01.gif] [Image: onback02.gif] [Image: onback03.gif]

In my opinion this change isn't much of an issue, MGSV just made the control scheme a bit simpler, and the pros of each position were kept. Nice going KojiPro, is this specific case, less is actually more !

• Sticking to walls and vertical surfaces

A big change was made regarding wall hugging.
In MGS1, MGS2 and MGS3, it was done by holding the analog stick toward an obstacle, and the character would stop hugging as soon as the stick was released.
In MGS4, wall hugging was done using , and the character would keep at it as long as the button wasn't pressed once again, which allowed for precise control over it, minimizing missteps.

[Image: wallhugmgs4.gif]

In MGSV, a new system was implemented :
The character will automatically stick to walls when close enough, with no further input from the player. The distance required for it to kick in is a bit ... blurry, though.
Personally, I'm completely against the new system, as it's not accurate enough, and doesn't give the player as much control as the previous schemes (whether it's MGS1/2/3's or MGS4's). The end result is the character will often stick to walls when not needed, or stop hugging a wall when you're in a situation where you're so close to how far a guard can see you'll get spotted just for moving away from a wall slightly. Which is definitely a frustrating experience to players.
Here's an example from one of my runs - I wanted to stop wall hugging to quickly move toward the AA gun while still keeping close to the wall so a guard located off screen to the right wouldn't spot me, but I lost a lot of time because the character kept wall hugging (since I wanted to remain close to the wall still).

[Image: qe1.gif]

I strongly believe the game needs to go back to how this worked in MGS4 so this kind of thing no longer occurs, and also to provide the player with total control over this move, which is a core element to the gameplay, and something the player ends up using a lot.
Don't try to fix what's not broken !


• Ground roll

Introduced in MGS4, this move allows the character to perform a lateral, continuous roll from the crawling position. Was done with while tilting the left analog stick left or right.

[Image: roll.gif]

Very useful to quickly move about while keeping close to the ground, as a means to minimize character visibility to enemy eyes.
This move still exists in MGSV. It's performed by clicking the left stick (L3) and pushing it left or right, while also keeping the aim button held (L2), when the character is lying down.
The input got a little more complex, but the move is still there, and still provides the same advantages. It's all good.

• Side jump

In MGS4, it was possible to perform a quick jump/roll to the side while aiming. It was done using the left analog stick and the aim button, while tapping X (dive button at the time, which made sense).

[Image: sideways_roll_mgo04.gif]

A handy move in a firefight, allowing the player to remain ready to shoot right after it if the aim button was held.
This move had another cool use, since you could use it to quickly jump to a lower level seemlessly.

[Image: sidewaysrollmgo02.gif]

Unfortunately, this move was removed for MGSV.
You still get some kind of alternative if you get creative enough, though. You could use the new dive and do it to the side, but you'll have to go back to aim yourself, and you'll be forced into lying down.

[Image: sidwaysroll_alternative02.gif]

A move which will surely be missed by players who like to have quick and dynamic evasive movements during firefights.

• Back step

A move linked to the one mentionned previously.
In MGS4, you could perform a back step/jump without having to turn around beforehand, by pushing X and the left analog stick when aiming.

[Image: backstep03.gif]

Handy move to avoid melee attacks, while keeping the ability to retaliate on the fly.
This move was dropped in MGSV.

• Lean while aiming

In MGS4, you could also lean left or right while aiming, by using the D-pad. This could only be done in FPS mode, though.
This move was great to go around the slowness of third person corner aiming (which was kinda useless at the time because of it). Some would also use it as dodge when caught in an open area (or to perform questionnable dance steps at the end of a MGO game, but that's another story ...).

This move no longer exists in MGSV.
However, I do not believe this move is needed that much, as long as another type of dodge remains, like the side roll for instance ... but this one got cut too :/
In my opinion, one of these moves needs to be brought back, so players have at least one evasive manoeuver at their disposal in a firefight.

• Jump forward (contextual)

In MGSV, the character can now perform a forward leap, to grab a ledge for instance. Done with when sprinting (L3).

[Image: jump.gif]

This didn't exist in previous games, and it's a welcomed addition, although it's contextual : The character can't simply jump forward from the ground, and it can only be done by sprinting toward the edge of something.

• Climb (contextual)

Another new feature in MGSV, the character can also climb not so high surfaces, such as barriers or small buildings. This move is done through the button when close enough.

[Image: climb.gif]

Likewise, it's also possible to climb small obstacles.

[Image: climb02.gif]

Note : It's possible to hold the button in advance while nearing an obstacle so the character performs the move when close enough. A nice little mechanic which definitely helps to keep character movement fluid and seemless.
The only down side of the climbing mechanics to me is the character will pull himself up automatically on roofs for instance, which could be a problem if there's an enemy up there. In my opinion, the best would be to have the character go into hanging, and let the player decide if they want to pull themselves up or not by pressing , like in MGS4 :

[Image: pullup.gif]

• Hanging and moving alongside edges

[Image: alongedge.gif]

It's still possible to hang alongside edges and move about, something that's been around since MGS2.
Nothing new.

• Edge hanging from a crouching/crawling position

MGS4 also allowed the character to go into hanging from a ledge by getting close to it and using , through a cool (but really slow) dedicated animation.
Although this move was removed in MGSV, it's still possible to do it manually by slowly getting into contact with a ledge, and the character will hang instead of falling.

[Image: climbdown.gif]

• Ladder climbing

Ever since MGS1, it's possible to climb ladders up or down, and that's still the case in MGSV.
A small subtlety from MGS4 was lost however - back then you could control how fast the character would climb, either quickly but noisy, or slowly and silently. Only one speed is available in MGSV : Fast and silent.

[Image: ladder_mgsv.gif]

One could think this actually is an improvement, since you get the best of both worlds.
Personally, I believe the way it worked in MGS4 was much more interesting, since the player had to make a choice and risk getting heard by choosing to do it fast. Which also made sense with the walk / crouch walk mechanics.

2. Actions

• Wall knock

[Image: knock.gif] [Image: knock02.gif]

An iconic move to many, which existed since MGS1. It allowed the player to disturb guard patrols and attract them toward the character. Was done with R1 (CQC button) in MGS4.
This move was lost in MGSV. A popular counter argument consists in saying you can still throw empty magazines (which come in infinite quantities in MGSV) instead.
Personally, I think both of these actions didn't fullfill the same role in many players' game plan, since many would use knocking to attract enemies, and magazines to distract them away.
In MGSV, the contextual action button () having no use when hugging a wall, I strongly believe knocking could have been kept. I also think it would be quite possible to balance out knocking and magazines on a strict gameplay stand point by tweaking their sound properties : Knocking could cause much louder noise, but this would be balanced out but the fact it can't be directed, unlike magazines you can throw wherever you want and have them cause much less noise (so using them effectively would require the player to have accurate throwing).

• Corner peek

A move that's been around since MGS2, and is still up and kicking in MGSV. It's now done by clicking the right analog stick (R3), and what the character will do is contextual :
If done from the corner of an obstacle, it's a corner peek.

[Image: peek.gif]

When done from the middle of a chest high wall, the character will instead peek above it.

[Image: peek02.gif]

In MGSV, the camera will also zoom in and tag enemies within the current field of view.
This mechanic was quite legitimate in the previous games, since it gave the player a much wider field of vision compared to the one available from simply hugging a wall (which was much more limited and akin to a dead angle). The camera would lean to the side to negate the dead angle effect and the player could see what they could not actually see before.

[Image: peek_mgs4.gif]

In MGSV, although corner peek is still around, it feels a bit less handy, since it doesn't change the angle of vision much (apart from zooming in), and there's nothing the player could see they couldn't from just wall hugging.
I'd be for reducing the player field of vision from wall hugging to make corner peek actually useful, just like in previous MGS games.

• Corner aim

Ever since MGS2, the character can aim from corners, while keeping the ability to seemlessly go back into hiding when the player stops aiming.
In MGS4, this move was very slow, and thus had limited use in combat situation. As a result, most experienced players would rather move alongside walls while aiming, without resorting to wall hugging beforehand.
MGSV brings a well overdue improvement to this mechanic : It's now much faster, whether you're aiming or getting back into cover. At last it's possible to actually use this move effectively in firefights, and that's really nice.

[Image: aim_fast.gif]

Major props to KojiPro for fixing this game mechanic which was in dire need for improvement and paled in comparison to other games with TPS elements (Resident Evil from 5 onwards, Gears Of War or Uncharted for instance.)

• Shoulder camera switch

Ever since MGS4, players can switch the shoulder camera to left or right in third person aim, by clicking the right analog stick (R3).
A really nice feature, which gives the player better visibility depending on where they're placed (it's for instance much better to go for a right shoulder camera when close to a wall located to the left of character). Actually a real luxury, since this kind of feature doesn't always come with the territory in some TPS games (Gears Of War comes to mind).

[Image: aim_left.gif] [Image: aim_right.gif]

Good news, this is still in MGSV. Phew !

3. Offensive actions

• Close Quarters Combat (CQC)

"Snake, try to remember the basics of CQC."

The Boss would be proud. In MGSV, Snake is as efficient as ever in this field, and CQC related gameplay feels smooth and powerful regarding what the player can do.
Most moves are done through R2, and take into account several factors, such as whether a directional input is performed, or where the characters are located.
Snake can throw or slam enemies to the ground from a standing position,

[Image: 6h.gif]

as well as from the crouching position, and two different slams can be performed, depending if you're doing it from the front or the back.

[Image: bt_6h.gif] [Image: bt_4h.gif]

Pummel is also back, in a much more violent fashion.

[Image: ppp.gif]

You also get contextual throws, which means Snake can either throw an enemy to a wall, or crush them into it if done from a corner.

[Image: wallslam.gif] [Image: cqcwall.gif]

All CQC attacks will knock enemies down with no exception, which is quite different from previous games (MGS3 and MGS4). Depending on the attack causing the K.O, its lengh will vary, from only a short while for slams or throws to a much longer duration for the punch pummel. K.O time can drastically change in the case of contextual throws, though.

The throw combo system from MGS : Peace Walker is also still in. Players can chain CQC throws if their soon to be victims are close enough to each other through a QTE that requires R2 to be pressed at the right time. Or you could just mash it...

[Image: qte.gif]

Snake can also still grab an enemy, and from this move multiple actions can be performed.

[Image: hold.gif]

You could throw or slam the enemy (forward or back),

[Image: holdslam.gif] [Image: holdslam_back.gif]

... choke them out into K.O,

[Image: choke.gif] [Image: choke02.gif]

There are only 2 chokes in MGSV, whereas MGS4 had a third one, the "ground choke". You could have your character lay the enemy on the ground and choke them from a sitting position.

[Image: ground_choke.gif]

A cool move when you had to perform a choke in populated areas while keeping character visibility as low as possible.
This move no longer exists in MGSV.

Snake can also stab, interrogate or take hostage.

The interrogation mechanics from MGS3 are kept intact - Snake can squeeze information out of a captured enemy by menacing them with his knife.
Note : Unlike MGS3, enemy lines aren't actually voiced - they just growl and subtitles will be displayed depending on the information (which is a shame in my opinion, especially coming from a next-gen game).

[Image: holdq.gif]

Options are chosen using the right analog stick while holding L1 (radio button). Three options are available : Obtain information on hidden items scattered around the area, or plot related info. It's also possible to urge the enemy to call for help, something that's introduced for the first time in MGSV.

Snake can also hold the enemy hostage and use any side arm at his disposal, which can in turn create interesting situations if there's another enemy close by.

[Image: hostage.gif]

They will hesitate to shoot at Snake and will instead try to go for melee attacks, which can give the player an opportunity to dispose of them through a well placed shot.

An advanced form of disarm also makes its debut in MGSV :
Players can disarm enemies by pushing the aim button (L2) while performing the punch pummel (R2 tap).

[Image: disarm.gif]

Snake will then get ahold of the enemy's weapon and automatically put them in hold up if the player holds the aim button.
Note : Snake will drop the weapon once the player stops aiming, as to keep his inventory clear of any change.

CQC is back with a vengeance in MGSV, and it's richer than ever, much more visually appealing while keeping efficient gameplay wise. Some really nice work from the devs, at last The Boss's teachings come to life beautifully through the hands of her favourite apprentice.

• Hold up

Snake can still perform hold ups if the player aims a weapon at an unsuspecting enemy outside of alert phases. From there, the enemy will be completely neutralized and will remain so until Snake gets spotted later on.

[Image: holdup.gif] [Image: holdupq.gif]

Options similar to those available from a CQC hold are available, along with the possibility to order the enemy to lie on the ground and remain that way.

No particular evolution regarding this mechanic.

• Knife

Ever since MGS3, Snake can use his knife to perform lethal, melee attacks and this was given further mechanics in MGS4 through the stun knife, which allowed non lethal, electrical knife melee attacks.

[Image: knife.gif]

Although the stun knife not returning isn't necessarily an issue since all CQC attacks now put enemies straight to K.O, the ability to actually use knife attacks on enemies out of reach to regular CQC attacks might definitely hinder players' melee possibilities.

[Image: knife02.gif]

• Carry

Ever since MGS2, Snake can move the bodies of knocked out or dead enemies around, and this remained untouched all the way to MGS4.

[Image: carry01_mgs4.gif] [Image: carry03_mgs4.gif]

In MGSV this mechanic gets an overhaul : Snake can now carry NPCs (soldiers or POWs) on his back.

[Image: carry01_mgsv.gif] [Image: carry02_mgsv.gif]

In my opinion, this is much better than before, since Snake retains the same speed as he would walking or running when carrying NPCs, unlike the previous games where doing so was very slow.
However, I believe assigning carrying to the same button as weapon pickup (hold O) is a mistake, as it creates room for clunky gameplay when there's a weapon lying down next to a knocked out enemy they wish to carry, which isn't user friendly at all.
A fix would be to set weapon or enemy pickup to another button, such as the dive button () if it wasn't already given a needless dedicated one (as suggested in • Dive), or even .

• Hide in some environmental assets

Ever since MGS2, players could interact with some parts of the nearby environment - such as lockers to hide themselves or stash in enemy bodies.

[Image: locker.gif] [Image: dumper.gif]

This mechanic no longer exists in MGSV. However, since this could be due to the fact the areas depicted in MGSV : Ground Zeroes simply lack such assets, this may make a return in MGSV : The Phantom Pain.

In MGSV : Ground Zeroes, it's nonetheless possible to hide in the back of enemy trucks.

[Image: truck_hide.gif]

• Dealing with player damage

Another big overhaul in MGSV.
The life bar (introduced in MGS1) and the stamina bar (introduced in MGS3) were removed, and from now on player damage will be displayed through bloody effects on the screen. Health will get back up if the player keeps clear for a short period.
Once the character sustained enough damage, players also get a prompt to use a first aid spray to heal by pressing , but character control is then lost for a few seconds to the end of the animation.

[Image: spray.gif]

In my opinion, this change probably comes from wanting to give the gameplay a more dynamic (and more modern ?) feel, but one of its cons is the player can't accurately pinpoint how much damage was dealt to the character (bloody effects are definitely less accurate than a gauge).

I also feel sorry about the disappearance of the stamina gauge and the mechanics that used to tie into it :

3. Stun mechanics

In MGS3, moreso in MGS4, the stamina gauge was at the core of the gameplay, as much as the life gauge.

• Shaking while aiming

Depending on the state of the stamina gauge, the character would struggle to keep a steady aim, so players had to keep their stamina up to remain efficient in battle.

• Getting K.O'ed or sleeping

Once the life gauge was reduced to zero, the character would either get knocked out or put to sleep (depending on the type of attack sustained - melee attacks such as chokes or CQC strikes, or anesthesic rounds).
Some enemies could use melee attacks or chokes (such as the FROGS in MGS4). In MGO, all players had access to CQC and non lethal weaponry (Mk2, Mosin Nagant ...).

Once the character got knocked out or put to sleep, players had to waggle the analog stick(s) to fill the stamina gauge back up and allow the character to wake up.

[Image: stun_mgs4.gif]

It was also possible to get visual cues on the state of an enemy stamina gauge (MGS4) or another player's (MGO) through small stars (in the case of K.O) or small "zzz" (in the case of sleep) above their head, and their number would decrease as the life gauge filled back up.

[Image: zzz_mgs4.gif]

This type of visual cue doesn't exist anymore in MGSV.
A knocked out enemy won't display visual cues, and sleeping enemies always display 3 "ZZZ" (and this is only if the display setting "markers" is enabled in the game options), which doesn't really help players about how soon they will wake up.

[Image: zzz_mgsv.gif]

• Waking someone up

Snake (or player controlled characters in MGO) could also wake others up by patting. This was done by crouching near a knocked out or sleeping character and tapping or holding .

[Image: wakeup.gif] [Image: wakeup02.gif]

It was also possible to get the same result by performing multiple kicks, which is actually still possible in MGSV (characters will however wake up after only one kick, in accordance with the lack of stamina gauge).

[Image: wakeupkick.gif]

Nevertheless, I believe the loss of the previously mentionned move (patting) is a shame, since it allowed players to wake other characters up while keeping in a crouched position, thus negating character visibility or keeping protected by the environment (such as chest high walls).

Although I'll reserve further judgement on the return of the stamina gauge (since there's currently no enemy able to knock down or put Snake to sleep in MGSV : Ground Zeroes), I still believe the lack of visual cues is detrimental to the stun gameplay.

4. Vehicles

Snake can now drive around a wide variety of vehicles.
In MGSV : Ground Zeroes, only jeeps, trucks and APCs are available.

[Image: truck.gif] [Image: jeep.gif] [Image: apc.gif]

Vehicle gameplay is as simple as it could get : One button to accelerate, one to brake/got back, and direction is managed through the left analog stick.
L1 is used to fire the APC turret.

Each vehicle grants the character various degrees of visibility :
Completely hidden to enemy eyes when driving an APC, Snake will however get easily spotted when driving jeeps, and the truck offers limited visibility in close range.

5. The GUI

• The iDroid

Snake gets to bring around a small high tech device labelled "iDroid" which the player can bring up anytime by pressing the Start button.
Through the iDroid, many informations can be accessed (such as the map and cassette tapes) along with other external game mechanics, such as the helicopter. "This is Morpho !"

[Image: idroid.gif]

Use of the iDroid is handled in real time, which means players should keep in mind the character will remain vulnerable in the mean time.
It's however quite possible to move around while consulting the map through the iDroid, which is nice to the people struggling to find their way around the game zone.

• Enemy presence

New feature in MGSV, players can choose to enable the display of "enemy presence" through the game options.
Which translates ingame as a small circular marker pointing in the direction of any suspicious enemy having "almost" spotted the character.

[Image: enemypresence.gif]

This type of visual cue is a welcomed addition to aid players having difficulties to accurately pinpoint enemy threat.
Since this feature can be disabled, it shouldn't hinder the experience of players who would rather rely on their sight and hearing exclusively.

• Enemy marking

Players can also tag NPCs (soldiers or POWs) while keeping them in their sights through Snake's binoculars.
From then, tagged NPCs will be displayed on the map (available through the iDroid) as small red dots for enemies, green ones for friendlies, and (only if the display feature "markers" in enabled through the game options) on the ingame screen as glowing silouhettes even when obscured by environmental elements. The distance that seperates the NPC from Snake is also displayed.

[Image: markers.gif] [Image: makers_map.gif]

This feature (which could probably be considered a modern (?) replacement to the Soliton Radar or the Solid Eye from the previous games) is quite a handy one to casual players having a hard time spotting and remembering NPC positions as they progress through the game area.
Players more interested in a challenging experience being able to disable tagged NPC display (although it will remain in effect in the iDroid map), I think this feature shouldn't be an issue to neither party.

• Inventory

Inventory mechanics from the previous games were also discared to make room for one that limits the number of weapons Snake can carry to 3 (one side arm, one rifle and one heavy weapon, although you can still go for one assault rifle and one sniper rifle) and 4 secondary weapon types (such as grenades or proximity mines).
The whole thing is done by using the D-pad :

[Image: inventory01.gif]

Hold a direction to manually select weapons and items with the right analog stick.

[Image: inventory02.gif]

Tapping a direction will equip the weapon from the selected slot.
Tapping twice will equip the next weapon from that same slot.
Personally, I think the new inventory works as well as the previous one, and having the weapons the character is carrying actually displayed on the character model is quite enjoyable, while also being much more realistic.

• Game over screen

[Image: gameover.gif]

Miller won't scream "Snaaaaaaaake !" at the game over screen. This is an outrage, and I believe mister Kojima should feel ashamed for not including it. This is a deal breaker right here.

• Reflex Mode

An all new feature in MGSV. As soon as Snake gets spotted by an enemy, the game enters slow motion, except for the player, who can in return use the chance to neutralize enemies aware of Snake's presence before they can sound the alert.

[Image: reflex.gif]

A concept that's definitely going to divide the player base, depending on their expectations on how accessible the game should be.
Personally, since Reflex Mode can be disabled, I believe this should be an issue to no player, regardless on what they expect their experience with the game should be.
However, I get the feeling the introduction of Reflex Mode into the game design of MGSV had quite a negative impact on the way guards go into alert, since they don't seem to need radio contact to get the whole area on alert. Which is definitely a step down from the previous games to me.

____________________________________________

Thank you for reading, guys. I hope you found this informative.
Now onto the discussing.
What's your opinion on the way MGSV handles gameplay ?
What do you enjoy ?
What would you improve/fix/remove ?
Please avoid quoting this whole post, it could be quite problematic ...

Would be nice if we ever got a chance at making ourselves heard by KojiPro, but I wouldn't hold my breath.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Nike Schneider - 04-06-2014 05:11 PM

Huh, I didn't even know we had an image limit. I just bumped it up if you wanted to try posting it again. Regardless, I'll give it a read in the next few days.

EDIT: It wasn't as long as I thought it would be. Pretty much agree with everything, a few of which I covered in my latest editorial as well. Only thing is this:

Quote:Ever since MGS2, players could interact with some parts of the nearby environment - such as lockers to hide themselves or stash in enemy bodies. [...] However, since this could be due to the fact the areas depicted in MGSV : Ground Zeroes simply lack such assets, this may make a return in MGSV : The Phantom Pain.

There were several dumpsters and portable toilets in Camp Omega.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Ren Fujin - 04-06-2014 05:41 PM

Thanks for reading Punished Singh Smile
I remember reading your article a few days ago, Awesome read to me, pretty much spot on regarding many points I agree with.

If there was a way to go around the image limit I would definitely post the whole thing here, as I intended at first.
Edit :
Managed to do it while going back and editing. Dunno what you did, but thanks for allowing it !

You're right about the dumpsters in Camp Omega.
It's just wishful thinking on my part hoping TPP might still bring back that mechanic ... but somehow I doubt it.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - DarthCaligula - 04-06-2014 06:43 PM

But you can't hide in the dumpsters, right? I never can.
Now I feel kind of embarrassed. I play with some default things on, like the tags enemies, the cue if someone senses you (I can kind of explain this as Big Boss's instincts. There are certain senses that people actually have that get lost in games, and I can kind of reason this as being a stand in for that), I keep the reflex on as well. But like you said, it doesn't make sense for the guards to go back to the MGS1 and before style of once they see you, instant alert. It was a great introduction in MGS2 to have the guards carry radios and have to call in for support, and then in MGS3 there were only certain soldiers with radio equipment (I can't remember how it worked in MGS4. They all carried radios like in MGS2? I didn't play that game as much, so I don't remember). I should probably start turning them off one by one to really get the experience as it should be.
And thanks for the tips on CQC, I didn't realize just what I could do. Also, I had no idea about the sprinting and then jumping from rooftop to rooftop. I thought that I just had to be at a certain place on the building to jump to the next one.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Ren Fujin - 04-06-2014 06:53 PM

Thank you for reading, DarthCaligula Smile

(04-06-2014 06:43 PM)DarthCaligula Wrote:  But like you said, it doesn't make sense for the guards to go back to the MGS1 and before style of once they see you, instant alert. It was a great introduction in MGS2 to have the guards carry radios and have to call in for support, and then in MGS3 there were only certain soldiers with radio equipment (I can't remember how it worked in MGS4. They all carried radios like in MGS2? I didn't play that game as much, so I don't remember).

Guards went back to being psychics in MGS4 ... but you could argue it was because of the plot (since they are supposed to be linked to SOP and see whatever the other guards see). Made sense.
But it definitely doesn't in MGSV ... should have brought back the radio mechanics from MGS2/3.
I've been playing the game without Reflex, and although you can still prevent a guard from alerting the others by neutralizing him before he shouts "contact !" (with good reflexes and aiming), I still believe it's dumb the whole base gets on alert with just a single guard shouting. At least have it so only nearby guards get alerted.
The radio mechanics were nice - you could destroy the radio of a guard while approaching him so he couldn't call for help if you fucked up, or destroy one radio, take another guard hostage and watch as his friend would struggle with the broken radio ... lots of fun could be had, and it had the benefit of being much more realistic.

... I'm sure they got rid of this mechanic to legitimize the presence of Reflex Mode. Still unfair to players wanting to play without it.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - FRANKASTER - 04-06-2014 08:08 PM

the thing that fucking annoys me is that inmediatly after a guard gives you the "!" every single soldier to ever exist in the mission area rushes at your location at cyborg raiden speeds and you're getting shot from every direction... I can get if a dude screams and another soldier comes to see what the hells going on and then that due calls for backup, or the guard that spotted you gets behind cover and calls his buddies.. but in les than a fraction of a second everyone and their aunts know exactly where you are and the bullets rain in your ass...
Its pretty punishing for people that want to turn off the reflex mode, almost as cheap as armstrong's boss fight... we never needed slowmo before


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Solidsuitlarry - 04-06-2014 08:12 PM

Maybe Kojima's trying to tie MGS5's alert status into that of MG1&2.

Or maybe he got tired of y'all bitching about how easy sneaking was from MGS3- onwards.

Nah it's just a major step backwards after a long time of the series leading the way in enemy AI.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - DarthCaligula - 04-06-2014 08:33 PM

Sometimes I think that the enemy AI is pretty good, while other times they do some really stupid things that make no sense. The first time I played, I got caught this one time, so I ran into a little weapons storage building, and the enemy shot at the door like crazy. So I was keeping close to the door, ready to grab a guy when he came in and use him as cover as I shot the other guys, but instead all they did was shoot the door a bunch, then they somehow forgot I went in there and did a search and lost me. I have a friend who was playing yesterday, doing really stupid stuff, and I can't believe the things he got away with. One time he was in the camp where Chico is held and was fighting a bunch of guys, and then he was behind some boxes with some bushes and I think he got knocked over with a grenade. So then they start shooting him, and for some reason they lose track of him, despite the fact that he was just lying in the same spot! It made no sense. I think he did get caught again though when they started searching the area.
I still think that the best enemy AI was in MGS2. It's really impressive watching the Gurlukovich guys in action, but I think that the reason they worked so well is because they were programmed to act certain ways for each room or something, but from then on the areas became much more open, so the AI was changed to have them programmed to search in certain general ways or something. The clearing exercises in MGS2 are awesome. One time I played through with stealth camo, firing my gun off in places just so they would come search the area and so I could watch the clearing exercises. It was really cool seeing how they did it.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Nike Schneider - 04-06-2014 08:57 PM

Have you sent this to Konami, Kojima, and/or Ken yet?


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Solidsuitlarry - 04-06-2014 09:16 PM

(04-06-2014 08:33 PM)DarthCaligula Wrote:  Sometimes I think that the enemy AI is pretty good, while other times they do some really stupid things that make no sense. The first time I played, I got caught this one time, so I ran into a little weapons storage building, and the enemy shot at the door like crazy. So I was keeping close to the door, ready to grab a guy when he came in and use him as cover as I shot the other guys, but instead all they did was shoot the door a bunch, then they somehow forgot I went in there and did a search and lost me. I have a friend who was playing yesterday, doing really stupid stuff, and I can't believe the things he got away with. One time he was in the camp where Chico is held and was fighting a bunch of guys, and then he was behind some boxes with some bushes and I think he got knocked over with a grenade. So then they start shooting him, and for some reason they lose track of him, despite the fact that he was just lying in the same spot! It made no sense. I think he did get caught again though when they started searching the area.
I still think that the best enemy AI was in MGS2. It's really impressive watching the Gurlukovich guys in action, but I think that the reason they worked so well is because they were programmed to act certain ways for each room or something, but from then on the areas became much more open, so the AI was changed to have them programmed to search in certain general ways or something. The clearing exercises in MGS2 are awesome. One time I played through with stealth camo, firing my gun off in places just so they would come search the area and so I could watch the clearing exercises. It was really cool seeing how they did it.


Totally agree on MGS2 having the best AI and the reasons you stated why. People act like moving away from the room to room nature of the previous games is such an obvious thing as if the games should have never been like that in the first.

But it's like having the free camera as opposed to the set angles (so you lose a lot of the impact of certain scenes), it means something else has to suffer as a result.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Daggamuffin - 04-06-2014 09:27 PM

The way I see the alert system here is that they really don't need radios. As soon as one guard goes on alert status, he starts shooting. Being that it's only guards and prisoners in the base, if a shot is fired, something is wrong, which would logically alert everyone within earshot (i.e. the entire base).

I'm curious to see how it works in TPP though. With varying weather effects and whatnot. Like, if there's a heavy thunderstorm and you're sniping, if you time it just right during a thunder clap, will the shot still alert enemies?


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Mexican Sting - 04-07-2014 12:52 AM

I agree about the alert phases, big time. The way it currently works makes sense, when you factor in reflex mode, but take that away and it isn't balanced at all. What makes it worse is that we get rewarded points for not using reflex mode.

Really, it would be more balanced if the game just followed more real world logic. I.E., there's a range of hearing for each guard, and if they hear a gunshot or another guard yell within that range, they investigate, or radio before the alert phase can start.

Another thing that I'm not sure the folks over at KojiPro really planned for... is that actual accidents can occur. There should be a way for the game to keep track of, not just that an enemy is injured, but who/what injured it.

Case in point: one time I was sneaking near the road, completely hidden, when I witnessed a guy in a jeep straight up commit vehicular manslaughter on another guard who was walking in the road. The driver got out, inspected the body and then called in an alert phase because he "found a dead body."

Funny as fuck, but definitely showed off some problems with the A.I. I've also seen guards inspect random noises that just kind of occur on their own, when say a car or guard knocks something over.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Ex-President - 04-07-2014 01:32 AM

Excellent review. I agree with most of it except maybe the wall sticking and hanging mechanics which I thought worked well.
A really enjoyable read. I agree that KojiPro needs to see this.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - Mexican Sting - 04-07-2014 04:02 AM

Oh, god, one other complaint. Snake should NEVER switch positions higher without explicit player input. There's been a couple times when I've stood up and been spotted when I didn't do anything except move the stick. He does it when you crouch and hit a wall automatically, too.


RE: [Gameplay] The Good, the Bad - Discussion/Suggestions - UpSideDownGRUNT - 04-07-2014 05:53 AM

IMO the wall sticking does need to be altered maybe not to the point where you need to press Y/triangle but at least so you have actual control over it, auto wall stealth is one thing I despised in TR 2013 and I hate to see it in MGSV since it proves for very finicky gameplay when you're trying to either enter or exit wall stealth.

Another problem I have is crawling in a duct, Snake doesn't always crawl straight in, sometimes he'll just crouch or the crawl won't register and he'll just walk over duct rather than getting in and I'm hold A every time that needs a serious fix.

Also rolling, either the sticks on all my 360 controllers are messed up or the rolling feature doesn't work as advertised on the Xbox 360 version, I lay down aim and click left stick and hold left or right and 8/10 times Snake just likes there and does not roll.