Tomorrow marks the launch of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Hideo Kojima’s latest masterpiece, at least judging by its early review scores. The game has amassed a close-to-flawless 95 on Metacritic, drawing perfect 10s from over a half dozen outlets, with more likely to come as the game is launched.
I previously wrote about how despite being well-received, I had trouble believing that in terms of pure sales, Metal Gear Solid 5 would be able to top Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Fallout 4 this year. But with that said, I’m more than convinced that The Phantom Pain is the most significant release of the fall for a few reasons.
The reviews are part of it, sure. Metal Gear Solid 5 attracting such high scores after a lengthy time away is reminiscent of what we usually see from franchises like The Elder Scrolls or Grand Theft Auto that take years and years to craft a game as close to perfect as the genre gets. But MGS5 is a unique case where the release of the game also signals the probable end of an era.
There’s been no escaping the drama that’s surrounded the production and release of Metal Gear Solid 5. Due to the game’s big budget and a number of other differences both public and private with Konami, Hideo Kojima has severed his ties with the publisher. Even though he’d previously stated MGS5 would be his last Metal Gear game, he also dropped out of Silent Hills during his feud with Konami, and the two seem unlikely to ever work together again.