Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain tackles some truly disturbing subjects in its narrative. From dismemberment to child soldiers, this game will attempt to tackle the gritty actualities of war without being distasteful. I love this brutal attempt at tackling the realities that other war based games have chosen to ignore and it’s The Phantom Pain‘s sincerity that has kept me so excited for its release.
As time has progressed, though, The Phantom Pain has started to slip more into the typical absurdity the series has been known for. While previous instalments in the franchise managed to keep humour to a serviceable amount, The Phantom Pain seems to be unwary of the immaturity it attempts to create. The end result gives a stark contrast between gameplay and narrative direction.
“Gaming journalists are beginning to shun the immaturity of objectification, yet The Phantom Pain is stuck in a gaming generation of male exclusivity”
Being able to make your horse excrete on command was the first hint that The Phantom Pain may have lost its integrity. This gameplay mechanic, however, was revealed to be an intuitive way for you to takedown enemy vehicles, as the tyres can slip on the excrement which makes the car lose control. I then accepted the mechanic as the typical silliness that is related to the franchise.
Unfortunately, I lost respect for The Phantom Pain once it showed another gameplay option to essentially seduce enemies using a cut-out picture of a bikini model. The situation is supposed to be humorous but ends up making the narrative and gameplay feel completely disjointed. In a game that features characters that have been raped, encouraging objectification is completely inappropriate.
I am a huge fan of the Metal Gear Solid franchise and believe that many of its instalments are worthy of being classed as modern classics. Gaming journalists are beginning to shun the immaturity of objectification, yet The Phantom Pain is stuck in a gaming generation of male exclusivity. If The Phantom Pain wants to receive the same status it has to respect the sincerity of the topics it wishes to embrace.