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The Phantom Pain is such a great game man.

This game never ceases to be fun and always gives you new ways to do cool shit. Infiltrating as Big Boss never gets old. In fact, you only get better. And your equipment simplifies things in such a way that few games ever utilize equipment upgrade mechanisms.

When I first started the game up I thought, ugh, I really hate deserts and the whole middle east theme because it's just so depressing. But I pushed on despite it and I've had enormous fun here. I haven't had this much since friggin playing Metal Gear rising, which is a completely different kind of game altogether.

But The Phantom Pain executes so effectively at the thing that makes games games: gameplay. The story is negligible. When I started playing I heard people say the story was terrible. It's not. Its just not the typical storytelling we see in the west. There's lots of slo-mo in the cut scenes and it dos get a bit eye roll inducing and sometimes it's just hilarious. But the game at least tries. Valiantly at that. The cassette tapes are a great touch. I dont like long cut scenes at all and to be able to just put on a series of tapes from the gang at motherbase, jus talking and conducting the operational affairs of Diamond Dogs is is immersing. The staff and development component is one that is never cheap. You have to earn every upgrade in this game. You have to earn good staff members. And as such the grind of looting and extracting doesn't feel cheap at all. You will grind in this game. Sometimes you get cool shit too late in the game in my opinion. But when you finally get it, you know you have earned it.

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The soundtrack is varied and beautiful. Standout tracks like Behind The Drapery, Love Deterrence, Riding A Pale White Horse, songs from the 80s, etc, the soundtrack is full of good music. But again, you're gonna have to find music for yourself if you want it. Hearing an outpost blaring a radio is a welcomed thing for me as I can further add to my music collection. The game makes grinding so fun.

Fun fact, on my birthday I was playing the game and was sent to motherbase only to get a welcome surprise – my motherbase buddies held me a cute birthday party, with a cake and all that good stuff. It was such an endearing little gesture that low key, it was the best part of my birthday(that's probably not a good thing? IDK).

The shooting, the stealth, the graphics, everything here just clicks. I really can't believe how good of a game it is at times. I have over 300 hours at this point. Having companions also makes the game more endearing. There are some really cool details about your buddies too if you observe them. Like DD, who panics when you get a support delivery from the air. You are incentivised to hang out with them more because you get more perks if you do because your bond grows stronger.

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In all, my summary of the game is this: this is one of the few games that makes grinding really fun because the gameplay is just that good. And it doesn't need to do anything more than it does already. It's a well balanced game if there was one. The difficulty at times will keep you attentive. Beating your own score will keep you on that perfectionist trail. Someone said this game plays like a really old school game and you know what, I agree.

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