I kinda hate open world games. I really do. While I can awe at the technical marvel that goes into creating a vast living world sometimes there’s just too damn much to do. Maybe it’s my inner-submissive coming out or maybe it’s because I was raised on JRPGs and platformers, who knows? Titles like Grand Theft Auto I find amusing for short bursts of destructive fun but I always end up getting bored, losing track of what I’m supposed to be doing, and finally just moving on to something else. As fun as sandboxes are I like my games with at least a semblance of structure. It’s for this reason that I had some concerns for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which will be turning the cinematic stealth series into a vast open world affair.
After playing the game’s opening act, Ground Zeroes, earlier this year I felt slightly more comfortable with the changes but still wasn’t completely sold. The new gameplay elements worked well enough for a two-hour segment set in an enclosed area, but what about an entire game set in a much bigger world?
Watching the live-gameplay demo Konami brought to E3 (literally the only game they brought, housed in a massive stark white box, how’s that for confidence?) put many of my fears to rest, sold me on the open world design, and cemented Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as my game of show.