YMMV / Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


  • 8.8: Polygon criticizing The Phantom Pain for Quiet's sexualized outfit before the game was released, and before they had even given it a score, was met with umbrage as some fans feared the game would receive a lower score for featuring sexualized content.note  They ended up giving the game a 9/10.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper:
    • Quiet doesn't distinguish between regular enemies and skilled enemies that are side-ops recruitment targets. If you see that she has a blue circled "objective" soldier in her sights and you didn't give her tranquilizers, you'd better be quick to slam on the "Cease Cover" command or you'll automatically fail. She also doesn't distinguish between helmeted and non-helmeted enemies, and will always shoot the helmet off (unless she has the Sinful Butterfly equipped), even if a shot to the (unprotected) face is possible. While she will still take out the enemy with a second shot, she usually doesn't follow up fast enough to prevent the enemies from panicking and returning fire.
    • Ocelot will repeat the same "watch out for the helicopter/sniper" lines every time you almost get seen by one. Same with Miller, who will always repeat about destroying the enemies Anti-Air Radar, kidnapping a lower-ranking guy, or more. In addition, in every FOB mission, Ocelot will say, "[He'll] be looking forward to meeting the new recruits, boss" as Snake prepares to exit the chopper.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Sahelanthropus is significantly easier than sneaking into XOF's base to get up to it. Extreme!Sahelanthropus, however, earns the title of Final Boss.
    • Many fans feel that the boss battles (the majority of which were just The Skulls over and over) were lackluster. Especially in a series known for so many memorable bosses like Psycho Mantis' controller swap in 1, Vamps' freakyness in 2 or The Fury in 3 to name just a few examples.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The cardboard box was cut from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes for clashing with the mood of the game. In spite of The Phantom Pain being an even darker game, it was included again.
    • Originally, the PC version of The Phantom Pain was going to be released on September 15, 2015. This release date was moved up to September 1, the same date as the console versions.
    • There were concerns about the FOB mode being pay-to-play, but apparently, certain actions in single player can net players Mother Base coins to get started in addition to daily rewards.
    • The retconning in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots of Dr. Clark being a woman (Para-Medic) instead of a man as mentioned in the original Metal Gear Solid is brought up in one of Huey's audiotapes by him noting that because said character makes no public appearances and is so reclusive, Huey admits that his assumption that this Dr. Clark person is a man may not be accurate.
    • The revelation that Zero was more of a tragic villain could be seen as a saving throw to the way The Reveal about him founding the Patriots was handled in Metal Gear Solid 4.
    • Patch 1.06 allows players to reaquire Quiet after she leaves. However, in order to do so, you must beat episode 11 seven times.
    • In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Strangelove has a Bi the Way moment with Huey in the true ending, which could be seen as Cure Your Gays. Naturally, Unfortunate Implications were brought up. In Strangelove's dying message, her proclamation that Hal is hers and The Boss' son could be suggesting that she only saw Huey as friendly, genetically appropriate donor and never really saw him in a sexual way.
  • Award Snub: Meta-wise, no one was amused when Hideo Kojima wasn't allowed to appear at The Game Awards. Konami's excuse? Kojima can't go due to contractual reasons. To counter this, Kiefer Sutherland accepted his award in Kojima's honor and Stefanie Joosten did the same by singing "Quiet's Song" for him.
  • Awesome Music: Check out the series music page here - the game also has a pretty amazing collection of '80s music. Want to take on the Russian Army to "The Final Countdown" or "Take On Me"? Knock yourself out.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ishmael, a.k.a. the real Big Boss. Either he's a heroic master planner, who still cares for Venom Snake in his own way or a completely despicable coward, who ruins and manipulates an innocent soldier's life, and is a major hypocrite for using the same tactics that the Patriots use. How much responsibility he bears for this action is debatable, since he was in a coma while it happened and Zero and Ocelot had more direct hands in that endeavor.
    • Quiet. She's loved for her usefulness in battle, being a cool character, and having a genuinely tragic ending. On the other hand, some fans hate Quiet for her over-the-top Fanservice. Some are fine with it, some don't care about it at all, and there are those who love her as a character yet are critical of said fanservice. Given Kojima's track record, this may even be deliberate Fan Disservice.
  • Broken Base:
    • Regarding the re-casting of Snake in the English version:
      • Fans are divided over Kiefer Sutherland replacing David Hayter as the English voice of Big Boss. This was made worse when Hayter didn't reprise his role as Solid Snake for the Déjà Vu mission.
      • It didn't help that Hideo Kojima went out of the way to say that he thought Sutherland "raised the bar" for facial capture performances in video games, but he's considerably more divisive among the fanbase. Many of those that do like him still feel that the performances by the ensemble were more memorable. Ironically, despite being chosen for the role because he sounded and behaved like someone who is in their late forties, Sutherland is only three years older than David Hayter, who bears a greater resemblance to Big Boss.
      • The fact that he voices the medic, Ishmael, Classic Snake, and Raiden in addition to Big Boss doesn't particularly help either.
      • A subset of the fandom isn't incensed by the casting change (and instead points out that, like with Solid Snake and his "brothers", the voice differentiation in English as opposed to Akio Ohtsuka voicing the various Snakes aside of Liquid is one subtle way of showcasing how distinct each individual character is in personality and life history), but does feel that it should have at least been Hayter voicing Snake in Ground Zeroes, as it's set only a few months after Peace Walker whereas The Phantom Pain and its nine-year Time Skip (during which Snake suffered serious injuries that would justify it) would've made the switch in voice actors more stomachable and justifiable for some.
      • Following the release of Ground Zeroes itself, opinions on the change are less polarized, but are still all over the place. One camp thinks that the decision to replace Hayter was a mistake and that Sutherland's voice doesn't fit the character of Snake well, another camp thinks his performance was So Okay, It's Average and that Hayter still could have carried the performance in spite of Kojima's claim that Sutherland was better, yet another camp thinks that Sutherland was good in the game and acted on par with any of Hayter's performances, and the last group thinks that Sutherland was superior in every way possible and that Hayter was never good for the role to begin with.
    • Jim Piddock, Zero's English voice actor, didn't reprise his role due to a payment dispute. Zero's Japanese voice actor, Banjō Ginga, did reprise his role, however, which raised a few eyebrows.
    • The lack of a release date for The Phantom Pain divided the fandom into two camps: one who were sick of hearing no word and the other who didn't want The Phantom Pain to be rushed into an Obvious Beta release like a lot of big name titles in the last couple of years.
    • The new frankenguns are either a good thing, as they allow for huge customisation or a bad thing because it looks as if Ocelot's Weapon of Choice will change for this game.
    • The secret ending where it is revealed that the real Big Boss was off constructing Outer Heaven the entire time while you, Venom Snake, was Big Boss' body double that was also revealed to be the "Big Boss" Solid Snake killed in Metal Gear. This ending is seen by one camp as one of the greatest and most shocking plot twists Kojima has ever done, serving as the ultimate culmination of the series' Leaning on the Fourth Wall and its examination of the relationship between player and avatar. Others believe it's a catastrophic mess, a shameless retread of Metal Gear Solid 2, and retcons the entire series for no other reason than Kojima wanting a twist that nobody would see coming, which considering the massive amount of The Untwist that a large portion of the fanbase suffered, he failed at. To say that it's been divisive is to put it mildly.
    • The plot in general is also pretty divisive. While just about everyone says that the gameplay is fantastic people are divided over the story- is it a mess, and debateably the worst thing Kojima has ever done, or is it a powerful and emotional tour de force and a good conclusion for the franchise? Detractors claim that the story is unsatisfiying and fails to meet expectations or explore interesting areas, along with lackluster to bad voice acting, a lack of cutscenes and proper exposition, falls victim to just about every bad trope the plots of the series have had so far and a very unsatisfying conclusion that soils the game at the last minute. Some have even gone on to call Kojima a hack, and wish for him to never touch a game's story again. Those for the plot claim that it is a well acted and well done story with some good twists for the series, interesting developments, extremely well-explored themes, incredibly memorable and well done moments, some great characters and interactions, and a good resolution that sets up the story for future games.
    • The amount of cut content pertaining to the story. Those who didn't like the story point out how it seems like over half of the game's story beats were cut (notably, next to none of the footage from any of the pre-rendered trailers that were shown at E3 or other events, such as the child soldiers or Snake walking through the destroyed village, appears in the game), admit to feeling cheated at these scenes not being in the game, and are worried that Konami will try and sell the rest of the story through Downloadable Content. Others, such as the above camp that like the story as it is don't feel like the story suffers, although there are some that wish the scenes had made it into the game.
    • On another note, whether or not Konami putting their foot down in regards to the game's ballooning budget was justified. While many have expressed disdain toward the company's shift in policy overall, others have noted that the game was taking a lot of resources out of the company and that there was more than enough content in the game as it is - unfinished story aside.
    • Gameplay-wise, the Forward Operating Base systems for certain. If connected to the net around Missions 20-21, the game will force you to make an FOB despite the claims that the FOB mode is completely optional, which then automatically puts your men on there and can genuinely cost you your supplies and GMP if players manage to infiltrate it. Or just murder any of your men assigned to it. This can even happen while you're offline. However, if the player defends their own base, it's extremely easy to just bring a rocket launcher to blow away the attacker, and the defending player gets incredibly efficient respawns as well. If the online servers work properly to even let you defend your base in the first place, at least. Needless to say, a lot of players are already saying they want to keep the game in offline mode for a reason. You can disconnect the game from the server on the pause menu; the game will then ask you every time you load up Phantom Pain if you want to connect to the server and you're able to decline, which is the easy way of avoiding this if you're not interested in things like the goodies available from daily log-ins across the week of Tokyo Games Show, for instance.
    • The issue over Quiet's outfit, fanservice, and sexualization. Some fans call BS on the story's justification of it, some don't mind for obvious reasons, and others just want the whole issue to go away so they can enjoy the game.
  • Better Than Canon: The PC version of the game makes it possible to swap characters out for each other, often to hilarious results. One particular setup involves switching Quiet for Ocelot, and quite a few fans actually prefer this to the actual game setup because (Vocal Dissonance aside) Quiet comes off as a lot more animated and interesting and less of a Fetish Retardant, and Ocelot's close friendship and not exactly well-hidden romantic interest in Big Boss means it's not entirely out-of-character for him. As well as other more obvious reasons.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • Super talented soldier with a long distinguished career in the military? Check. Part of a top secret special forces unit which frequently stops terrorist operations which threaten the security of the free world? Check. Tragic past with lots of lost loved ones and comrades? Check. Has been screwed over by his government, which forces him to question how much loyalty it deserves from him and how far he has to go to ensure his nation operates the way it should? Check. Now are we describing Jack/Big Boss or Jack Bauer?
    • Big Boss/Punished Snake also shares a large number of similar traits with Homura Akemi from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, specifically her Rebellion incarnation. Both are physiologically scarred and tragic war veterans who, due to intense and repeated traumas inflicted upon them, decided to lash out and become villains. Furthermore, both of them make a speech proclaiming that they've become "Demons".
    • Some longtime fans of have noted that, with her combat harness, knife, gloves and boots, Quiet dresses somewhat like Vamp did after ditching his trench coat.
  • Continuity Lockout: Slightly less so, but quite a bit of background information later on in the game relates back to V's predecessor, Peace Walker, which can make it somewhat difficult for players who skipped that game to completely grasp the meaning. Especially the stuff surrounding the Hybrid Pod.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: This is seemingly averted with The Phantom Pain, which has gotten wide praise for its story despite being even darker than Ground Zeroes, probably because it mixes up the darkness with Kojima's trademark humour and some Black Comedy.
  • Demonic Spider:
    • The Skulls are fast, hit hard, have lots of HP (for reference, they can easily take a number of shots from D-Walkers minigun), can easily outmaneuver you, can easily rip apart vehicles, and simply cannot be taken head on unless you're packing some serious firepower or have a lot of support.
    • High-level security team members if you're trying to infiltrate another player's FOB. Security team members with rankings of B or A can spot you from a mile away, and they're very accurate with their weapons. To make life even more difficult, they also possess half a brain to turn anti-aircraft emplacements on you. Even worse, the highest security setting has them littered at almost every corner on platforms and attack in waves.
    • The missing soldiers from the old Mother Base that you must extract during side ops. They're difficult to sneak up on, they throw grenades you with pinpoint accuracy and have powerful melee attacks, and they'll run away from you faster than Venom Snake can sprint. Worse, the later ones will turn invisible after spotting you and when that happens, not even D-Dog can sniff them out.note  The best way to deal with these guys is usually to shoot them from afar with a sniper rifle that fires tranquilizer darts, but pulling off a headshot is difficult because they lurch and spasm unpredictably as they walk. Another easy method is equipping the cardboard box and walking in front of them. The soldiers immediately recognize Venom Snake and salute giving players the opportunity to Fulton them.
    • Gunships can be this if you don't have a rocket launcher or a nearby anti-aircraft emplacement, as they're difficult to shake off and can quickly shred you to pieces if you're not careful.
    • Heavily armored tanks which you'll often encounter in Side Ops can easily kill you in couple of hits and take a ridiculous amount of punishment(as many as five missiles from an upgraded FB launcher) to bring down.
  • Disappointing Last Level: Chapter 2 is a rehash of earlier levels in the game, except with some modifiers tacked on, and a few (really, really good) story missions in there. While the rehashes may seem fine, the real kicker is the modifiers: vastly increased enemy damage (as in, a single sniper shot will end you even if you're wearing battle dress armor), enemies with greater armor, no gear, and getting spotted once results in an instant game over. Several fans and reviewers are incredibly disappointed in that this is how the game becomes, even worse considering the non-rehash missions are some of the best in the game. The true ending of the game itself is actually revealed after playing a rehash of the Prologue. Make of that what you will.
  • Ear Worm: "You're face - to face - with the man who sold the world." The song will be stuck in your head, thanks in part to it's presence during the Controllable Helplessness of the opening.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Morpho and Pequod became hugely popular for being helping hands to Big Boss.
    • A generic soldier who comes with the codename "Flaming Buffalo". Reason being that she is one of the few, if not only, (female) soldiers with a natural S+ in combat.
  • Epileptic Trees: Given that this is a Metal Gear game, these were bound to spring up:
    • The New Coke theory. Hideo Kojima cast Sutherland as Snake. After a series of rather teasing tweets,note  Snake's previous voice actor David Hayter compares Sutherland to New Coke via Twitter. There has been a long-standing theory that the 1985 New Coke was a ruse to spur sales of Coke Classic.note  Therefore, Sutherland is New Coke, Hayter is Coke Classic, Kojima is using this to create buzz for the game and all three are in cahoots. On that note, Sutherland also said that there was a plot-related reason for the voice change, and that there would be "a secret that is actually really cool" in regards to the character. Cue renewed speculation on how David Hayter could potentially be making a cameo in The Phantom Pain. He doesn't. And the twist doesn't actually cover it because there's no evidence to suggest that Big Boss's true voice isn't still Sutherland.
    • There are also a number of off-the-wall theories that post-coma Snake isn't actually Big Boss, but really Gray Fox. Or Decoy Octopus. Or another clone. All wrong...though Decoy Octopus was close.
    • A number of the "new" characters invite a lot of speculation, racking up a lot of theories that they're younger versions of characters that appeared in other Metal Gear games. Specifically, Ishmael is believed to be either Gray Fox, Decoy Octopus, or Solidus Snake ( he's Big Boss in disguise), Quiet is believed to be Sniper Wolf's mother, a descendant of The End, or both ( she's neither, Eli is believed to be Liquid Snake ( he is), and the doctor was believed to be Kio Marv (he's a Mauve Shirt who gets a decent amount of screen time before being killed by Quiet).
    • Another popular-yet-gruesome theory (that started as a joke making fun of some of the Epileptic Trees being thrown about, but ironically became viewed as legitimate on its own) was that Quiet in The Phantom Pain was Chico, with a full-on sex change after his emasculation in Ground Zeroes. This all started with some suggestive content within Chico's tapes that imply that Chico was forced to rape Paz, while Skull Face not only watches, but ''encourages'' him - Paz helps out by encouraging him too. As Chico was still in puberty at the time, this nightmarish sex-ed lesson possibly scarred him. After witnessing the destruction of Mother Base and Snake falling into a coma as a result of the information he gave to Skull Face, along with Paz's death, Chico, suffering from severe trauma and survivor's guilt, cuts off his own tongue to never betray his comrades again, and undergoes full surgery while hiding his voice until his voice changes through therapy, until 9 years later he becomes Quiet in 1984, due to no longer wanting to live as a man after what he was forced to do and to try and keep Paz's memory alive. The fact that Quiet has a little too much of Paz's traits, The End's camo, who is implied to be the grandfather of Chico, and similar facial structure does not help. This theory was discredited by Stefanie Joosten, Quiet's voice and motion capture actress. It is officially shot down in-game since Chico died in the helicopter crash at the end of Ground Zeroes.
    • There's also the theory that the infamous head transplant story is actually a publicity stunt for this game. The doctor at the center of it, Sergio Canavero, looks and talks almost exactly like the doctor from the game's first trailer and that his project is named HEAVEN. His book even mentions cloning. It doesn't help that the same operation happened to Raiden between Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. The doctor himself has openly stated the procedure is a legitimate operation and not connected to the game at all, but it's still possible Kojima heard of the operation and decided to use it as a plot element in the game. Considering his reputation, it does seem bizarrely plausible to some people.
    • Perhaps the most extreme one is the "Day One Patch" theory circulating around 4chan. Many people speculate that the story in-game is incomplete, and that the rest of the story (cutscenes, events, missions and characters) are being held behind a patch so as to not spoil the entirety of the game when it inevitably gets leaked. Half true. There is a mission that isn't in the game in full, but it's unfinished and only seen as a bonus feature. Unfortunately, it's a major piece of the ending.
  • Evil Is Cool: As messed up, horrifying, and downright horrendous Skull Face is, he's still pretty cool. His western-influenced outfit doesn't help matters either.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Fans have been pretty accepting with the chemistry between Venom Snake and Quiet, in combat and out of combat.
  • Fanon: The Last Day in Outer Heaven fan- omic has been very well-received by fans of the franchise, and many have declared that it should be considered canon. The comic takes place at the end of the original Metal Gear. Venom Snake lies dying after his battle with Solid Snake, and he receives a transmission from Big Boss who thanks him for his service and "relieves" him of duty. At the end, Quiet shows up to welcome Venom Snake to the afterlife.
  • Fetish Retardant: A reaction from some players is that Quiet's fanservice is excessive to the point that it's no longer appealing, and becomes grotesque and unsexy or patronizing. The explanation given by the game (she's kept alive by parasites which breathe and drink through her skin) doesn't help because of how ridiculous it is, and often causes this reaction in and of itself. Fortunately, you can avoid a fair chunk of this by sticking her in her thoroughly-clothed XOF uniform, or the much more reasonably fanservicey Sniper Wolf outfit. Unfortunately, you don't get either of them until much later in the game where you get close to her Plotline Death.
  • Freud Was Right: Sahelanthropus continues the proud series tradition of placing weaponry in unfortunate locations.
  • Game Breaker: Has its own section on the Metal Gear page.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • In 1984, Venom Snake's new South African team is named the "Diamond Dogs". The reference to David Bowie is fairly obvious. What's less obvious is that the album, Diamond Dogs, was a (very loose) concept album based on Nineteen Eighty-Four, the dystopian novel that, like the Metal Gear series, is about eternal war and information control.
    • Jay Tavare, Code Talker's voice and facial capture actor, claims that his character speaks a complex dialect of Navajo. Navajo is one of the few languages in the world which does not contain etymology from any other language, and was thus ideal for intelligence agents during World War II, who were taught Navajo by natives in the Southwestern U.S. and used it to trade secrets. Guess what they were called?
    • The New Metal Gear's code name: Sahelanthropus. Can be seen as one due to it being named after an extinct hominine species thought to be a missing link between apes and men. This is a reference to it's ability to change from it's crouched, REX-like, form and it's humanoid bipedal form.
    • During Mission 43, one soldier proudly proclaims "I'm no snail!" before dying of parasite infection. While this might not make a lot of sense at first, those who are familiar with parasites may know that there's a certain kind of parasite that targets snails. The symptoms cause the snail to turn into a virus-carrying zombie, which is exactly what happens to the other Diamond Dogs.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • The Child Soldiers. On one hand, they're pointedly worse than normal enemies, being worse shots, having poorer awareness, and both tranqs and CQC will take them out faster and for longer. On the other hand, hitting them with a lethal attack AT ALL (even if it's accidental and only grazes them, or even if another enemy is the one who injures them,) results in an immediate Game Over. On top of that, they can't be Fultoned at all (without a special upgrade). Finally, while you do get a significant amount of Heroism for each one you extract, that's all you get out of it. These enemies show up frequently in the later parts of Africa and make clearing bases significantly harder.
    • To a lesser extent, Heavy Infantry. Though rare, they're covered from head to toe in thick armor that makes tranqs useless and gives them startling resistance to other weapons. Though they aren't any more resistant to CQC, taking them out from a distance is much harder, especially if you want to be stealthy, nonlethal, and there are more than one within sight of each other. Or? Use Rocket Punch.
    • Snipers are the bane of any stealth run's existence. Often positioned a good distance away from the outpost in question, they have unreal vision range and reactions. Players typically don't look that far out for enemy patrols and guards, and if one spots you, unless your aim is GODLY, Reflex Mode usually won't spare you from an alert. On top of that, their rifles HURT. Many players put a lot of priority on those sniper rifle dispatch missions if only so they won't have to deal with these guys so much.
    • When going loud, shotgunners. Absolute death if encountered at close range, they'll knock you flat on your ass while dealing a ton of damage, and they're startlingly-accurate even at a distance. They're no real threat if you take them out from a distance, but two or more of them closing in on you can be a death sentence if you're not wearing the Battle Dress.
    • In later missions, the enemies will start planting land mines in the areas surrounding their bases. While they're fairly easy to spot because they have glowing red lights, if you accidentally miss one you can look forward to the noise alerting every enemy in the base to your presence (not to mention the damage you'll receive from the explosion).
  • Good Bad Bugs:
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • "Age hasn't slowed you down one bit!" Cue the decade-long coma and the Controllable Helplessness that immediately follows it.
    • In Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Miller describes Big Boss as being a monster.note  One of the trailers shows him screaming that he's willing to provide the world with wetwork only for the purpose of profit and revenge, indicating that at that point he too was also a monster of some fashion.
    • The Easter egg that involves erasing certain Metal Gear logos takes on a new meaning as Kojima's departure from Konami. Not helping matters is the fact that his name has been removed off of several games, including The Phantom Pain.
    • Kojima leaving Konami following The Phantom Pain's released. It gives new meaning to "No Place for Hideo." In addition, as mentioned in Never Live It Down below, Kojima claimed he wouldn't be able to work in the gaming industry if the game wasn't a success considering its content. Fortunately, it actually was a success.
    • The in-game radio you can find that plays sound clips from P.T. is a bit like rubbing salt in the wound since it was cancelled. One wonders if it was put in the game before or after Konami and Kojima split.
    • The Huey / Strangelove romance subplot from Peace Walker becomes this after it's revealed that Huey murdered her after he tried to force a two-year-old Hal Emmerich to pilot Sahelanthropus and she criticized him for it.
    • The death of David Bowie, whose music influenced a great deal of the series and themes, only a few months after this game's release and thus the end of the series under Hideo Kojima's supervision.
  • He Really Can Act: After a divisive performance in Ground Zeroes, Kiefer Sutherland grew the beard and delivered a vastly improved performance in The Phantom Pain.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Slamming the enemy to the ground with a melee attack results in a sickening crunch that sounds like bones breaking.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This fan video. Who knew a-ha could be synonymous with Metal Gear?
    • The non-canonical game titled Snake's Revenge is this when you consider the plot of this game - "Snake's Revenge" would be an apt title to describe what Venom Snake is going for.
    • Even more hilarious is the trophy you can get in Metal Gear Solid 3: HD Edition for interrogating someone in CQC. The name of it? "Tell Me Where the Bomb Is".
    • Troy Baker is replacing the voice of a much-beloved villain in a popular franchise but is overshadowed by Internet Backdraft from the Player Character's voice getting replaced. Again.
    • The fact that the actor who exclaims "They played us like a damn fiddle!" also played a violin-playing character (well, a character who plays a bonesaw like a violin, but it counts).
    • In a radio conversation with Para-Medic, Snake reveals that vampires gives him nightmares. It makes you wonder what he would think if he knew he was voiced by one.
    • The shot of Big Boss on a motorcycle in the the GDC 2013 trailer was the first to reveal he'd obtain a cybernetic replacement hand. In the game itself, it is shown that he never actually lost a hand.
    • The discussion Miller and Code Talker have over what makes a good burger, and Miller's ultimate solution, make this Parks and Recreation gag even funnier, knowing Robin Atkin Downes is voicing the narrator.
    • This gender-flipped cosplay of Naked Snake. Posted two years prior, it now looks almost like an early cosplay of Quiet (and makes Kojima's comments about trolling cosplayers a little late to the party).
    • If you've seen 10 Cloverfield Lane and this game's unfinished mission 51, Eli's red HAZMAT suit looks very much like Michelle's.
    • Venom is actually not the first Snake to have a prosthetic hand. That would be Snake from Zero Escape.
  • Ho Yay: In standard series style.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • Try insinuating that Kiefer Sutherland is better as Snake, or that David Hayter was better. It'll surely end well. This seems to have gotten a little better since the release of the games, since there is more material on judging Sutherland's performance.
    • Konami's attempts to remove Kojima's name from the game and a number of Metal Gear titles following the announcement of his leaving Konami, not helped by their open announcement that they're immediately planning on making further Metal Gear titles without Kojima's input. While Kojima has announced his intent to leave the series behind several times over in the past, the manner in which he's been dumped is still sore for a number of fans. Ultimately, Konami succeeded in removing his name off of the cover of The Phantom Pain. This includes the Kojima Productions logo as well. This led to the fandom's backlash of posting Steam reviews of the phrase, "A Hideo Kojima Game."
    • GameTrailers's disclosure that Konami only allowed them to show "pre-approved" gameplay video for their review didn't sit very well. It's notable that GameTrailers usually had a policy of delaying their review for such restrictions in the past.
    • There is a deleted ending for the game, which details Venom's final encounter with Liquid. It was cut from the final version, leading many fans to conclude that the game had no ending at all. While the game does have a true ending (which is pretty divisive in and of itself), the structuring of the game's last levels do conceal it somewhat, leading fans to cry foul. The backdraft went From Bad to Worse when it turned out that there was an entire third chapter to the game planned, which got cut from the game apparently due to Executive Meddling from Konami.
    • Live in Antarctica? Bring up Quiet's outfit, doesn't matter if it for or against, just mention it. Boom, the flames will melt the polar icecaps.
  • It Was His Sled: Quiet dies. Plus, Venom Snake is the body double of Big Boss. Both plot twists have become pretty well known even by those who haven't played the game yet.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Skull Face. He's suffered just as much torment as he likes to dish out.
  • Love It or Hate It: A downplayed version. Either you think it's a masterpiece and a fantastic game, or it's a thoroughly disappointing and unfinished experience.
  • Love to Hate: Skull Face. His actions are so horrific and depraved, that many players want to play The Phantom Pain both to see more of him and then see him die horribly. Oh, do they get their wish…What's wrong? Was that too brutal for you?
  • Memetic Badass: Thanks to the ending canonically, the real Big Boss was beaten by an improvised flamethrower by Solid Snake, while his Phantom, Venom Snake's boss fight is most easily won by pumping him full of missiles. Because of this, some like to claim, jokingly or not, that Venom is way stronger than Big Boss and BB, by extension, is a major Memetic Loser.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Moe: Believe it or not, Tretij Rebenok is actually this to a portion of the fandom who find him more cute than scary. Even Kojima might feel a little like this, calling him Man-Chan in one tweet.
    • Paz the Idol, found on posters around Motherbase, intentionally invokes this. Not too hard to believe given that she's based on the actual Paz.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Huey. Not only did he help in the destruction of Mother Base, it's revealed in background tapes that he was willing to use his own son as a Child Soldier to pilot Sahelanthropus, and left his wife to die a Cruel and Unusual Death. In-game, he definitely crossed it by the time he attempted to have Mother Base destroyed a second time by unleashing the parasite on Diamond Dogs. Even worse is during the infamous quarantine mission, as you're forced to Mercy Kill your own staff due to the infection, Huey spends the entire time shouting condemnation and accusations at you over Codec, despite the entire outbreak being his fault.
    "Snake, how could you?! Those were your own men!" "You're nothing but a monster!"
    • In-Universe, the events of the game are retroactively revealed to be this for Big Boss himself, from the perspective of Miller. As for why, while Kaz was off on a mission and lost his arm and leg, making him useless as a soldier but believing he was still following Big Boss's vision for Outer Heaven, he was following a Body Double of Big Boss, Venom Snake, while the real Big Boss was off creating the nation of Outer Heaven without Miller having any input whatsoever. Big Boss essentially threw one of his best friends and closest allies under the bus and didn't even give him the decency of letting him know about it, with Miller having to hear about it second-hand. It's not hard to understand why the betrayed party cut all ties with the betrayer after that.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Why yes Ocelot, I do know that that's an enemy gunship hovering loudly overhead. And yes, I do know that one burst from its guns can cut a man in half. Wanna know how I know this? Because you give me the same spiel every time a gunship shows up!
      • Gee, Ocelot, thank you for telling me to get down and pointing out the enemy sniper! I only noticed him at all because he spotted me, triggered an Enemy Combat Alert, and now the entire enemy force is firing in my direction. But still, thanks for the heads up!
    • Quiet only has the one humming sound, which can get repetitive fast if you keep giving her a lot of orders.
    • Yes, Kaz, I'm going to extract him. You don't have to sound so snide about it. I'm doing a pacifist run and I don't really want to leave anyone lying around behind me, where they could get up and start shooting again. Besides, last time I left some poor sod tranquilized in the road, a truckload of enemy reinforcements came screaming up and ran him over.
    • For that matter, Kaz, I am not putting Code Talker in danger by not carrying him on my shoulders when I go into battle. With a tank. Stop telling me he's in danger because I put him in a spot where bullets aren't happening.
    • "Are you hurt? Try a little harder next time." will be the most annoying Kaz quote in the game if you play (and lose) FOB.
  • Narm:
    • The incredibly long and awkward jeep ride to Skull Face's real base in Chapter 30. Puncuated mostly by Skull Face getting awkwardly close to Venom Snake's face as he explains his master plan, Venom Snake saying nothing and looking as though he's desperately trying to ignore him, and a awkward silence that's broken by a grossly inappropriate use of "Sins of the Father".
      • In previous games this would have been one of the instances where the monologue was covered by montages of live-action footage and enhanced versions of Yoji Shinkawa's work; Solidus' climactic speech in Metal Gear Solid 2 is a good example of this. With the advanced FOX engine it's clear Kojima Productions were looking to get their money's worth out of developing it, but Skull Face's frequent and random gesturing - only occasionally appropriate to what he's talking about - just look really off, even when compared to say, Liquid Snake's trademark fist-clenching.
    • The amount of times the word 'phantom' is used (while not as excessive as say, 'nanomachines') gets rather silly at points, particularly when their are other words like, ghost or shade or spirit, that would have worked just as fine.
    • It's hard to take an enemy sniper seriously when their Russian codename is pronounced "Tee-hee."
  • Narm Charm: Skull Face usually comes off as a Soft-Spoken Sadist, but at times he tries to go Large Ham...emphasis being on "tries." His facial expression barely changes to match the tone of his voice, leading to him for instance belting the line up under Narm while wearing what can best be described as a look of amused boredom. While his varying levels of derp cost him a few intimidation points, he still manages to be an endearing and interesting villain.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Kojima stated that the issues in Metal Gear Solid V were so sensitive that he would no longer be able to continue working in gaming if he screwed it up. Considering what's in both Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, you can see where he's coming from. Thankfully, as far as the reception goes, the heavy subjects has been met with praise instead of controversy, for the most part.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Zero only shows up in the post game in a series of tapes called the Truth Records wherein he has several conversations with Paz, Skullface, Miller and a comatose Snake. Many fans consider these the best tapes in the entire game, as they contain some excellent voice acting, fantastic writing, memorable moments that really get across how smart Zero is, and redeem his character by showing that he wasn't an insane monster as demonstrated in MGS4, but a man whose creation got the best of him.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: The Phantom Pain is considered a crossfire victim within the Konami / Hideo Kojima controversy resulting with Kojima's departure from the company and the cancellation of Silent Hills. And that's just the tip of the iceberg...
  • Pandering to the Base: When the game was released, completing mission 45 would result in permanently losing Quiet as a buddy. You couldn't even use her when replaying missions you'd already completed. This generated controversy among players because many of them had spent a lot of money on weapons and outfits for Quiet, some of which only became available shortly before her departure. Plus, some missions are very difficult to complete even with Quiet as a companion. Without her, they're incredibly difficult. In response to the complaints, Konami gave players the ability to bring Quiet back as a buddy in the v1.06 patch by completing the mission "Cloaked in Silence" 7 times.
  • Player Punch:
    • Did you ignore the "Language" quirks that your soldiers have once you obtained one of every relevant language for your interrogations? Congratulations, your Kikongo-speaking personnel are now infected with trained parasites that will kill and spread upon hearing one of their trigger phrases! You will lose men until you get a specific specialist to treat the disease or wise up and quarantine the right men, and anyone who died because you didn't do either is on your hands.
    • An absolutely brutal one is featured during "Shining Lights, Even In Death": Venom Snake has to kill the infected squad members, including the squad Miller sent in, losing heroism and permanently deleting staff members from the roster. Nobody is clean from the infection in this episode, and their reactions range from committing suicide to shooting Venom in desperate self-defense. And the last room? You find the last soldiers huddled around a radio playing music desperately trying to figure out what to do. When they see you, they agree that they'll accept your decision no matter what it would be and they all stand to salute you even after you begin to execute them. And the final soldier that's not infected? Even he stops you at the end revealing to be actually infected anyway, also sacrificing himself for the greater good at your hands. Venom suffers from full-blown PTSD complete with demonic hallucinations by the end of the slaughter, most of which had to be manually performed by the player.
    • "A Quiet Exit" is a massive one only rivaled by the above. In it, you have to rescue Quiet from capture by the Russians, and after almost watching her get raped, she frees herself and kills all her guards. A huge battalion of soldiers and tanks show up and put up a huge fight, which ends up being one of the toughest in the whole game. After you win, you carry Quiet over to the LZ to hide from some soldiers as you wait for your extraction chopper to land. Unfortunately, Venom lives up to his name and is bitten by a poisonous snake and rendered unable to speak, and Quiet is forced to speak English for the first time in order to save his life, activating her English-strain parasites, which will kill her and cause her body to become a living pathogen. After help arrives, she leaves a tape for Snake and disappears, presumably to die in the desert, alone and never able to express her true feelings for Snake. After this mission, Quiet is no longer selectable for being a buddy, and you can't even develop gear for her. She isn't even able to be selected in replays of missions. From a story side this is sad due to Snake possibly reciprocating her feelings, and you won't be able to see Quiet in the chopper, which made it feel kinda homely. It's also painful from a gameplay perspective, as you're unable to select the buddy you've most likely be using most (considering for the mission to even appear, her bond has to be maxed out). Snake says nothing, but he and the player most likely feel the same thing: anguish. As if to drive the point home after this all happens, your photos of Quiet from the ACC also disappear, as did any traces of her at the containment cell on your Mother Base's Medical Platform. Not even music playing. And any cutscene that she appeared in previously, she's either absent or replaced with a generic Diamond Dogs soldier. The only traces the player (and Snake) have left are the tapes researching her and her final tape left behind, because the game after that point acts like you'd killed her in the first place and moved on.
  • Polished Port: Now that the game has been released, it can be confirmed that the PC port is exceptional in the same vein as Ground Zeroes.
  • The Scrappy: Eli. While his "boss fight" and character are generally interesting, he acts like nothing less than an obnoxious little shit the entire time you have him captive. The absolute worst though would be repeatedly inciting the Child Soldiers to rebel, ultimately culminating in them hijacking the captured Sahelanthropus along with a Diamond Dog chopper (and a pilot hostage, whom you never see again.) Granted, the far more detestable Huey allowed this to happen, but unlike Eli, Huey's intended to be hated. What makes it so bad is that, due to the cut content, there's no resolution for this; Eli and the kids run off with a giant mech and a hostage and are never mentioned again except for a brief blurb in the ending.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Reflex Mode can be seen as one by many players. In some cases, it's actually a hindrance to the player, if they want to try and escape. Fortunately, it can be disabled, giving the player bonus points upon the mission's completion.
      • Unfortunately, Reflex Mode is allowed during FOB missions at least until the Defender shows up which throws off the balance of that particular game mode.
    • The possibility of resources and recruited soldiers being stolen while the player isn't there can put Forward Operating Bases into this for some, especially seeing as if it happens in the middle of a single player mission, players who enter FOB mode to respond to an infiltration will lose all progress in the mission. Combine this with the wonky servers at launch and it's entirely plausible you can't defend your FOBs, or even invade players who invaded your FOBs. And unlike what was claimed, the game will force you to make an FOB some time into the story if you're connected to the online servers and after that point your FOB is up for invasions - even if offline.
      • The online components in general have been heavily criticized for their implementation into the game. Three factors are commonly cited as the main prpblems: FOBs for their unbalanced and unfair structure for the invaders, along with the aformentioned resource stealing- server times when connected to the online, lagging your iDroid (which can be a huge problem when in the middle of a mission)- and the very highly priced microtransactions.
    • After you complete Mission 45 Quiet becomes permanently unavailable to you, even for side ops. Needless to say, this gameplay decision is almost universally hated by players of the game.
      • Somewhat subverted after the November game update: replaying Mission 11 about seven times will give you a chance to get her back, with all her upgrades and items inttact.
  • Signature Scene: The now iconic scene of Venom rubbing ashes on his face, and the infamous Quarantine mission. Skull Face's Villainous Breakdown also seems to have struck a chord with fans, as well as Miller's infamous "fiddle" line. Quiet's death, the battle against Sahelanthropus and the ending are also well-remembered.
  • Special Effects Failure:
    • As amazing as the new engine is, limbs of fallen enemies clip into walls while in previous games, they would go into appropriate positions.
    • A minor one. The Marines, when reloading their rifles, will insert the new magazine, and then slap a bolt catch, as if it were a M-16 rifle (the rifle used by the Marines to this time). However, when Snake reloads the rifle, he racks the charging handle after loading in the new magazine, showing that the AM-69 doesn't use a bolt catch. This is probably because the motion capture actors were military, and they did their reflexive reload motion on a M-16 placeholder prop, due to the fact that the AM-69 is an entirely made up rifle.
    • During the scene where Quiet and Snake are frolicking in the rain, there's a brief moment where Quiet's right boob warps in an extremely unnatural way. See for yourself.
  • Spoiled by the Format: The fact that, on This Very Wiki, Venom Snake is on the game's Character Page shows that he isn't the real Big Boss, since each Character Page only deals with characters that debuted in each game.
  • Squick: Given the War Is Hell nature of the game, it's to be expected:
    • Diamond Horse can be commanded to defecate.
    • Snake rubbing the ashes of a cremated soldier onto his face.
    • Everything about the parasites. The absolute crowner has to go to the "Devil's House", which is a filthy, blood-soaked facility filled with infected patients lying on gurneys...with visible holes in their throats with earpieces forced inside. One of the victims begs you for death, only to expire from the parasites a few minutes later.
  • Surprisingly Improved Sequel: The Phantom Pain is generally viewed one of the best Metal Gear Solid titles since Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and a step over Metal Gear Solid 4.
  • That One Boss:
    • The game is sparse on boss fights due to its open world nature, but some of the ones here are particularly nasty, especially if you're not prepared. Mainly, the Skulls units that attack you head-on in Missions 6, 16, 28, and 29. The Skulls in general are bullet sponges, teleport around constantly, can eat your health up like nothing else with their machetes and machineguns, and can be utterly ruthless if you're not careful. And every one of these encounters has an Extreme variant that makes even your most powerful weapons be inefficient against them.
    • Quiet and female Skulls, too. They are difficult sniper battles where one hit will knock you on your ass and a second will easily finish you off, and even if you manage to mark them they can just change positions and throw off the marking to shoot you in the side. On Extreme, their rounds are generally one-hit kill without Battle Dress, and if they're aiming at your head, not even the Battle Dress will save you. Unless you bring a Tank or an armored vehicle with you.
  • That One Level:
    • Mission 9: Back Up Back Down is this if you're trying to complete all of the mission objectives(especially the one for extracting three tanks, given they will disappear if you don't get to them fast enough) or get an S rank, as it's the only mission in the game with absolutely NO checkpoints whatsoever due to being a Timed Mission.
    • Mission 18: Blood Runs Deep. The mission (sounds) simple: kill 6 soldiers marked on your V.I- hell, five of them are even together in one place! After killing the first, you move onto the final five... and find out that they're child soldiers. The mission then turns into a difficult and stressful Escort Mission as you guide your targets to the helicopter, dealing with a gunship, many enemies, and a lack of supplies. Have fun.
      • The stupidest thing about this mission is that it's possible to have the helicopter land at an LZ not more than 20 meters away, but the kids won't follow you up there, forcing you into a boring ass Escort Mission.
    • Mission 16 is also a huge pain. You have to follow a convoy and destroy its protective allies, then extract the truck. It's somewhat tough, but very doable if you take out the convoy protection (a tank and an apc) early with D-Walker or D-Horse and some C4 (or perhaps lots of rockets). However, when you go to the truck, you'll be attacked by the Skulls. And no, this isn't like their first encounter where you can easily outmaneuver and outrun them, this is a full on fight, which can be hard to deal with considering you just destroyed the two vehicles that would be useful in this situation. Oh, and the Skulls only attack when you approach the target vehicle, no matter where it might be. If you thought it would be a good idea to set up an ambush on its travel route so it would be isolated from the enemy bases, your plan immediately gets turned on it's head as you've now initiated the fight in an open field with little to no cover.
    • Mission 28 requires you to travel a long distance to the extraction point while carrying Code Talker on your shoulders. Oh, and you've also got dozens of enemy soldiers, armored vehicles, and even a helicopter gunship trying to get you. If Code Talker is killed during the escape, you fail the mission. This mission is difficult even if you've got Quiet giving you covering fire. Without her, it's maddeningly hard.
    • And then there's Mission 29, where after extracting Code Talker, your helicopter is shot down, and you're forced to protect Code Talker from a squad of Skulls (with new abilities) as well as dozens of zombie soldiers wandering the area that can grab and immobilize you if you're not careful. Fortunately, the Skulls don't target Code Talker, but if he takes any sort of damage, it's in an instant mission failure. Also, since there's the typical mist that accompanies the Skulls, your air support chopper is not available.
    • Missions 37, 42, and 48. They're Extreme versions of missions 16, 29, and 28, respectively. Did you enjoy fighting the Skulls in the convoy or airport? How about extracting Code Talker? Well, have fun doing it with all enemies (including the Skulls) having massively-inflated damage output and awareness!
      • This deserves elaboration. Mission 37 can at least be cheesed with the D-Walker Fulton Ballista, or at the very least, if you're careful and cunning, you can extract the truck without being detected by the Skulls and escape without a fight. 42 isn't so kind. In 42, or 37 if you triggered them, the Skulls become absolute terrors. Most of their attacks become a One-Hit Kill unless you don the Battle Dress, and even then, their exploding rocks will still take you out instantly (and have deceptive range; if you see one, or worse get knocked down by one popping up under you, you have about five seconds, less if they feel cruel, to get away before being faced with a Mission Failed screen.) On top of that, they become absolute Damage Sponge Bosses; small caliber guns won't even scratch them, heavy guns and explosives will dent them at best, and even the Brennan will do maybe a sliver of their health in damage.
      • Mission 48, meanwhile, opens with the rematch with the sniper Skulls. They make Extreme Quiet look like a joke; pop your head out for half-a-second without already having a shot lined up on one, and it's Mission Failed for you, even if you have Battle Dress. On top of that, they inherit their normal companions' bullet sponge properties; if you aren't using the Brennan, expect a tough slog where even a single mistake means starting over. Alternatively, you can just request a tank or an armored vehicle and bypass them all, or blow them up into smitherines. Once you finish that, then you get to extract Code Talker, which is nearly as challenging; hyper-aware enemies, almost all clad in riot suits or heavy armor and capable of shrugging off everything save CQC, Brennan shots, or explosives, and all armed with heavy weaponry that can kill you in a matter of seconds. Once you actually GET Code Talker, you'll have to make your way back to extraction past incoming reinforcements who are much more alert than they were in the base game; take a wrong turn and you're basically guaranteed to get into a firefight, in which you or Code Talker can easily be killed, unless you bypass the sniper boss battle completely or let one of the bosses live, in which case the reinforcements will become mindless zombies that you can just run away from without much of a problem.
    • Mission 45, Which turns out to be the last mission where you can use Quiet as a buddy, and the last story mission before the The Truth ending: Mission 46. You have to hold off 4 waves of attacks, each one getting harder, until you have tanks that have sniper like aim with their cannons and hardly any places to hide from them. Good luck beating this mission if you haven't been researching and developing more powerful rocket launchers than the standard Grom. And as if to tap off how dickishly hard this mission is, Quiet forces the Grom into your inventory over your back weapon slot. For a player who doesn't see this difficult battle coming, this means they're not only stuck with the weakest rocket launcher of the entire bunch, but will have extreme difficulty trying to safely call in a Loadout or Weapon supply drop without either being in the line of fire or Quiet being attacked instead. The only way to hope to avoid this annoyance is to have a powerful anti-tank back weapon going into the mission and then immediately pick it back up after the cutscene ends. And even worse, you can't even go back to the ACC to change your loadout; once you've entered the mission, you're stuck with what you've got unless you fulton yourself ontop of a container out of the mission zone to abandon it, but that's easier said than done during the maelstrom of tanks and gunfire.
  • That One Sidequest: The R&D platform's training practice is far and away the hardest of the lot with some of the targets in some very non-intuitive locations. And since many players will build an R&D platform first in order to unlock research projects, it's likely the first one they'll come across.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • A lot of people were unhappy that Snake's former voice actor, David Hayter, didn't get to have a last hurrah in Ground Zeroes - especially given that Snake had fewer lines of dialogue and that there are few scenes requiring motion-capture (which is why Kiefer Sutherland was hired). It's a particularly sore note considering that the unlockable Nostalgia Level was seen as a good place to at least re-use sound effects from the original games. Nor does Hayter voice the original Big Boss, a.k.a. Ishmael - even after the last plot twist. Furthermore, there's also a lot of complaints that David Hayter's replacement, Kiefer Sutherland, doesn't get to do a whole lot in terms of voice-acting, with Venom Snake staying silent in many scenes. While the lines Sutherland actually performed in The Phantom Pain were more positively-received than the lines in Ground Zeroes, many see his inclusion as a wasted opportunity due to a lack of cutscenes and a lack of dialogue from the character - which further fuels the part of the Broken Base that believes that Hayter didn't need to be replaced.
    • The fact that Snake can get music tapes is a fun feature, is it not? But why is all the music, regardless of where you get it, Western? 'She Blinded Me With Science' was never known in the Soviet Union, even among bootleggers. Instead of a prime opportunity to give the Colbert Bump to Soviet rock or a Mythology Gag about the many Japanese (and Western) songs adapted into Russian, the game seemingly panders to American gamers alone. Where's (extra appropriate since they're Hungarian)Omega? Mashina Vremeni? Alla Pugachova or Pesnyary? Not to mention how thematically appropriate the works of Viktor Tsoi would be for Venom Snake.
    • Despite numerous references to various literature, the game barely plays around with their themes. The only thing the game referenced from Moby-Dick is revenge, the character names, and the giant demonic whale.
    • Part of the reason that the end-game plot twist is so controversial among the fanbase is because many feel that it retroactively cheapens much of the impact of the story and made it feel like it added next-to-nothing on the backstory of Big Boss. Mission 45, "Shining Lights, Even in Death", is commonly cited as the most crucial plot point that is cheapened by the twist. It's the point where Big Boss fully becomes a demon, and it shows the sheer loyalty that the soldiers have for the man in spite of this... except you're not actually playing as Big Boss. The reason why the Radien twist worked in Metal Gear Solid 2 is that not only did it introduce a completely new character to the series, but other characters like Solid Snake still had their backstories developed further. With Metal Gear Solid V, it was advertised as the story of the path of Big Boss becoming the villain. But when you find out you were playing as a body double instead, you realize the game added nothing to the overall story of Big Boss and the only thing Venom Snake contributed to the mythos after the events in this game was being the "Big Boss" Solid Snake fought in Metal Gear.
  • Unfortunate Implications:
  • The Untwist:
    • Many fans already guessed that we weren't really playing as Big Boss in The Phantom Pain as far back as the first few trailers, and they were correct. Some assumed it was Gray Fox or Decoy Octopus, but it was eventually revealed to be the Medic in the helicopter from Ground Zeroes, which fans had also already guessed.
    • Much of the game has garnered this opinion. Theorists such as YongYea and groups on 4chan and Reddit alike pretty much guessed almost every major plot point and plotline in the game well before its release, even if a lot of the theories seemed like crackpot ones. One of the only real surprises was just how much of a pure jerkass Huey became after long passing the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Eli being Liquid. It'd be more subtle if not for the fact that the game actively beats you over the head with it, with his appearance, accent, quotes, and behavior all but making it obvious for players even lightly familiar with the Metal Gear Solid to identify him almost immediately.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The FOX Engine is perhaps one of the most advanced development platforms available to date, being composed of several novel state-of-the-art software tools and compatible with highly sensitive 3D scanning equipment. The primary aim of FOX is to achieve photorealistic visuals, and it comes damn close at times. And this can still run on seventh generation console hardware, in addition to eighth generation hardware. However, the visual effects became noticeably stunted between older trailers and more recent trailers, and the seventh generation graphics are somewhat blurry.note  Nevertheless, a major point in the engine's favor is that it allows said photorealistic visuals while still maintaining a solid 60 FPS (considering most would rather sacrifice optimum playability for pretty visuals).
    • Regardless of the platform, the both games are absolutely unbelievable to look at. The fact the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 can still run this game at a playable frame rate, on 9 and 10 year old hardware, respectively, is an amazing feat in optimization.
      • For comparison, albeit a completely different type of game, Warner Bros. Interactive could not develop Mortal Kombat X for the PS3 and Xbox 360 despite using the same engine as its predecessor, Unreal Engine 3, which was first released in 2004.
  • Win the Crowd:
    • James Horan's portrayal of Skull Face during the credits and interrogation tapes of Ground Zeroes have been met with fan approval, saying he sounds much better and utterly terrifying than in the earlier trailer. Furthermore, Sutherland's voice acting in The Phantom Pain has been heavily praised by critics and fans. It is seen as a vast improvement over his voice acting in Ground Zeroes, albeit with a complaint that Snake speaks less then before.note 
    • Time Winters seemed destined to be a Replacement Scrappy, especially given the very public payment dispute between Jim Piddock and Konami. However, after the game came out, Winters instantly won over the fanbase with his small but memorable and heartbreaking performance as Zero.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • Zigzagged with Kiefer Sutherland, who is doing the facial motion capture for Snake and is voicing him in the English version. A number of fans think that he's the right kind of actor to voice a character like Snake, but find his vocal performance to be rather flat (though his motion capture performance is more widely liked). On the other end of the spectrum, there are a number of other fans that are happy with the change - some citing David Hayter's performance in Peace Walker to be weaker than it was in Metal Gear Solid 4 and previous titles, and others simply accepting Sutherland as Big Boss so long as Hayter still voices Solid Snake. A number of fans are confused as to why, after playing the character for years, Hayter was switched out with a voice actor who had little knowledge of the series, and there are also fans that are annoyed that, given that Sutherland was hired to revitalize the series, Snake's Japanese voice actor isn't being changed for the same reason. Likewise, another portion of the fanbase is surprised that Richard Doyle, who voiced the elder Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 4, is also nowhere to be found in the game.
    • A portion of the audience eventually warmed up to Sutherland. However, a lot of people are upset that David Hayter didn't get to reprise his role for the Déjà Vu mission (especially considering a lot of the dialogue from that section is lifted from the original Metal Gear Solid, and they could have easily used archive sound clips), and even more people are outright baffled that Sutherland did the voice of Raiden instead of Quinton Flynn for Jamais Vu.
  • The Woobie: Practically every character in the game:
    • Both Paz and Chico after being tortured by Skull Face with the with the latter dying after a botched Heroic Sacrifice by the former.
    • Any of the POWs, who may have been subject to even worse torture.
    • Big Boss counts as well. Made more apparent, just how broken he looks at the end of Ground Zeroes.
    • Skull Face is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, given his horrific and incredibly traumatic backstory.
    • Quiet. There is a reason that she has on such revealing attire: in the prologue of The Phantom Pain, she was set on fire. Twice. If not for the parasites being put into her, she would have died. The parasites are what prevent her from speaking because they infected her lungs and voice box. Her breathing is now through her skin instead, so if she wears too much clothes, she'll suffocate.
    • This game retroactively made Otacon even more Woobie than in the original trilogy. Nothing makes him more pitiful than nearly being used to fuel a mecha Powered by a Forsaken Child by his own father at age 2. Not to mention the implications that the design of Metal Gear REX might be based on subconscious, half-forgotten memories of ST-84 Metal Gear/Metal Gear Sahelanthropus and what his own father was about to do to him.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain