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#1 Posted by planetary (453 posts) -

I've, uh, got a friend, ok? Let's say he's a 40-something video game player that's been ignoring this series all these years. He doesn't know about snakes and bosses, liquids or solids, heavens or clones. But the MGS5 gameplay seems good, and the UPF and Quicklooks have been interesting, and he wants to play it.

Does the game give you all the backstory you need if you are coming to the franchise totally blind? ...Or does this friend of mine need to pursue some kind of MGS lore video on YouTube to get oriented? Can a person spend 1 hour of time learning enough to enjoy this game and know what the hell is going on?

My friend thanks you for the advice.

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#2 Posted by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

I see it as kinda like going to see the latest Marvel movie. If you went and saw Avengers having not seen the previous movies that led up to it, you're gonna miss out on a tonne of backstory and references, but then again it's still pretty self-contained enough to enjoy if you don't care or have enough time to watch all the previous movies. While I think the previous MGS main games (including Peace Walker) are pretty necessary in enjoying the series as a whole, for Phantom Pain you really only need to know the basic plot and main characters of MGS3 - Peace Walker, at least play Ground Zeroes and then Phantom Pain.

Phantom Pain won't give you all the backstory, but it will pretty much summarise the most important aspects (soldiers on Mother Base will talk about your legendary stories of how you became Big Boss, what happened before your coma at the start of Phantom Pain but I think that's basically it).

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#3 Posted by pandorasbox (329 posts) -

I'll be honest, MGSV is probably the best video game experience you'll ever have if you completely ignore the story beats. I wish i had zero previous knowledge of Metal Gear going into MGS5, because MGS5 fails to deliver on the story aspects.

The gameplay in V is SUPERB. You don't even really need to read up on the story arch. However, if you're desperate, there are some good youtube videos that summarize the story.

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#4 Edited by planetary (453 posts) -

@probablytuna: I liked the Avengers pretty ok, having seen none of the prior Marvel movies! I mean, uh, my friend says he did. ;-)

@pandorasbox: Thanks.

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#5 Posted by bushpusherr (1080 posts) -

I've, uh, got a friend, ok? Let's say he's a 40-something video game player that's been ignoring this series all these years. He doesn't know about snakes and bosses, liquids or solids, heavens or clones. But the MGS5 gameplay seems good, and the UPF and Quicklooks have been interesting, and he wants to play it.

Does the game give you all the backstory you need if you are coming to the franchise totally blind? ...Or does this friend of mine need to pursue some kind of MGS lore video on YouTube to get oriented? Can a person spend 1 hour of time learning enough to enjoy this game and know what the hell is going on?

My friend thanks you for the advice.

I see you are a premium member, have you just not had the interest or time to watch Metal Gear Scanlon?

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#6 Posted by project343 (2897 posts) -

Just watch Metal Gear Scanlon! :D

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#7 Posted by Ares42 (4343 posts) -

So here's a sorta similar question, how good is Ground Zeroes as a "taster" for seeing if I'd enjoy Phantom Pain ?

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#8 Edited by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -

@ares42 said:

So here's a sorta similar question, how good is Ground Zeroes as a "taster" for seeing if I'd enjoy Phantom Pain ?

It's very limited in comparison to Phantom Pain, but it does give a good idea of how MGSV plays. There are a ton of minor improvements just from Ground Zeroes to Phantom Pain, though, so don't go in expecting a complete 1:1 scenario.

Ground Zeroes is also just a ton of fun to play.

As far as OP is concerned: Watch Metal Gear Scanlon 1, play MGS2, play MGS3, watch Metal Gear Scanlon 4, play Peace Walker, play Ground Zeroes, play Phantom Pain.

There is absolutely no way in getting around it: you're jumping into a series that's been going for decades and fully expects its players to have been following the story since the first game in 1987. That first game that was only released in Japan.

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#9 Posted by cyberpocalypse (35 posts) -

Do you like over the top plot twists and mindfucks? If so the ending will have no impact on you without the context of the rest of the series.

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#10 Posted by SSully (5631 posts) -

With the way the story is laid on in this game (heavy early, medium every 10 hours or so), this is possibly the best MG game to just randomly jump into. Go for it, and please report back! I would love to hear a newbie's opinion on this game.

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#11 Edited by R3belD0gg (462 posts) -

I've also never played a Metal Gear game. I started watching Metal Gear Scanlon on the site but fell off half way through 2. I started watching MGScanlon again just before MGSV came out. I am actually watching the last few minutes of the last episode of MGScanlon 2 while I type this. I also did play Ground Zeroes, but only really did the main mission.

So far in MGSV, I'm enjoying the hell out of it. I'm sure I'm going to miss a lot of stuff, like a character you rescue early on that was apparently important but I don't know. Didn't effect my enjoyment of the game. As many people have already said, the gameplay is great in this game.

I do recommend watching Metal Gear Scanlon. It's really hard to keep up with because the series is so f'ing long, but seeing the game play out and having Dan to explain stuff out is the next best thing to playing it. I'm going to try to finish the series while I'm playing V.

Warning: Watching Metal Gear Scanlon may result in you hearing Dan's dumb fucking voice in your head the whole time you're playing MGSV. ;)

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#12 Posted by armaan8014 (6306 posts) -

I'm a newbie too! I'm enjoying the gameplay a lot and the story makes sense in a general way, but I'm unable to see why everyone's so hyped about it and why it's being called a perfect game that you could spend your life playing. The gameplay, infiltration etc is a ton of fun and gives satisfaction, but I do feel im missing out on something the others are enjoying.

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#13 Edited by BSw (391 posts) -

It's the same for me. I have no interest in playing the prior games and I stopped watching Metal Gear Scanlon somewhere during the second series as well, but since everybody is so raving about 5 and it does look like a ton of fun, I do want to try it. So it's good to hear the game works as a standalone. Still, maybe I should continue watching Drew play through 3 and 4, even though it might take me months to complete that.

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#14 Edited by planetary (453 posts) -

Found this lore summary by Aoife of EuroGamer.

Loading Video...

And I'm playing MGS5 now. I feel like I'm getting enough out of the experience; I'm recognizing some proper nouns and references while others are hopelessly over my head, but I'm grokking the main jist of the story and am enjoying the gameplay that is the main attraction of this game. My suggestion for others like me is to do ~1 hour of video watching / quick reading to get up to speed, then dive in.

Oh, also: do a YouTube search for "mgs5 tips" and watch a couple videos. The are some poorly explained UI bits, controls, and game features which any player should know about earlier on.

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#15 Edited by HatKing (7450 posts) -

A lot of material in MGSV is new to the series, so pretty much anybody is going to be going in cold on stuff like Skull Face or Diamond Dogs. People tend to blow the complication of MGS up to this sort of impenetrable thing, and it's just not. You could probably sum up the main arc in a paragraph or two. And you might be completely content to enjoy the series with just those main beats. There is a ton of other shit there too, if you're interested, but it's not imperative to get it.

I look at it like A Song of Ice and Fire or Lord of the Rings. Those are endlessly complicated fictions with characters and families that interact and have histories, but most of that stuff is peripheral. The main story arc could be summed up in relatively few words. I think it's just weird because the setting of MGS isn't one we typically associate with the complicated character interactions, histories, feuds, and terminology.

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#16 Edited by Mike (17993 posts) -

I haven't played a Metal Gear game since the NES days, and so far I think MGSV is one of the best games I've ever played, hands down. Whenever I am playing it I don't want to stop, and when I'm not playing it, all I want to do is go back and play some more.

I don't think it's necessary to have played the previous MGS games. I did watch some of Metal Gear Scanlon though, and I watched a quick recap of the story on YouTube. That probably wasn't even necessary, though.

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