4 Entertaining Ways To Torture The AI In Metal Gear Solid
So the story of Metal Gear Solid V involves fire monsters, child soldiers, a deadly virus, and some justification for why the only female character spends all her time naked. The gameplay, on the other hand, involves more wonderfully ridiculous bullshit than you can shake a stick at. And I'm really good at shaking sticks.
I Invaded An Enemy Base Just By Dropping Boxes On People's Heads
Not to brag, but I've been killing people in video games since I was 8 years old. Sending a digital man screaming into oblivion just doesn't hold the thrill that it used to. For a while I was worried that this meant I was dead inside, but Metal Gear Solid V showed me that even though I can no longer get a boner from digital murder, I could still get some blood flow down there if I just embarrassed the hell out of people.
When you request a Supply Drop, a helicopter flies by and drops a big, heavy box of ammunition and balloons. Even though the box is attached to a parachute, it still hits the ground pretty hard. I found myself wondering what would happen if I dropped one of those boxes on a guard. Turns out it knocks them unconscious.
The best part of a game isn't the problems it gives you to solve -- it's the different ways it lets you solve them. Metal Gear Solid V isn't a great game because it's fulfilling some unquenched yearning to murder soviet soldiers in Afghanistan; it's a great game because I can knock that soldier out 17 different, highly inefficient ways. Then I can tie a balloon to his ankles and float him into fucking space.
Or however it is that a Fulton Recovery System works.
Oh, so nothing like in this game at all.
Every mission in Metal Gear Solid V is like the setup to a punchline that I get to tell with a rocket launcher, a bottle of wolf-bait, a bag full of magic balloons, and an endless bag of empty magazines. And speaking of endless empty magazines ...
I Toyed With All My Soldiers' Emotions, And It Was Great
After you knock out an enemy soldier in Afghanistan or Africa, you can tie a balloon to their ankle and float them up into the sky to be "extracted" by a helicopter. Then they are taught to love and fear you, Big Boss, with such devotion that you can do anything to them. Anything at all. But instead of abusing this authority I'd been given, I decided to try to make my Mother Base more of a wacky, prank-filled adventure town. It's good to keep my soldiers on their toes, both for training purposes and to make sure that Mother Base is a fun and unpredictable working environment:
Or by trying to bounce an empty magazine off one of their heads and on to someone else's head. They tolerate it endlessly, because I have made sure that they love me. They love me endlessly.
Not to spoil the video, but I succeeded. I succeeded at getting two heads in a row.
I know it seems like giving gamers any quantum of authority immediately turns them into psychotic tyrants, but that's an oversimplification. A lot of gamers will spend hours cultivating the perfect community in SimCity or treat their Pokemon battle-pets with more attentive kindness than they do their own family and significant others. It's easy for us to treat our video game friends respectfully if you provide some kind of consequence for abuse. If there are no consequences, however, then yeah -- we become tyrants. Metal Gear Solid V doesn't give me any consequences for being a psychotic asshole, provided I'm a psychotic asshole to the men in my brainwashed slave-army.
Then I decided to actually start playing this game for real. And I did that for exactly 35 minutes before I realized that ...
Guards Will Investigate Strange Noises Forever
Ever devoted to Mother Russia, soviet soldiers will let no mysterious clicking sound in the woods go uninvestigated. And ever the individualists, they won't bother any of their friends with news of the strange noise, since it's probably nothing. Hey -- what was that? Another strange noise! Better go investigate.
If you're one of those people who thinks that the future of video games is hyper-realistic artificial intelligence, then no offense, but you have an ugly soul and will die very lonely one day. The fun in video games is exploiting the patterns we've identified. We're the only free-thinking creatures in a world of mindless automatons. Which makes us their God. So you ask yourself: Will you be a benevolent deity, or will you throw endless empty rifle mags and confuse these poor fools into running in idiotic circles for all eternity?
If you equip the Sneak Suit, guards can't hear you when you're crouched down. And if you time your throws correctly, they'll never actually get a chance to call their buddies in and tell them about the strange noise they heard. Anyway, editing that last piece made me a little bit crazy so here's a bonus, extended ending.
The Depiction Of Sex In This Game Is Actually Psychotic
If you put a sticker of a sexy woman on a cardboard box, hide inside that cardboard box, and then run up to a guard like a naive trick-or-treater destined for a brutal and hilarious murder, that guard will drop his gun and start celebrating like they were just told that they get to go home from this shitty warzone where a one-eyed, one-armed demon man keeps torturing them by throwing empty gun mags and dropping boxes out of the sky. They celebrate even though, this can't be stressed enough, they are quite obviously looking at a picture of a woman. I am clearly a man in a box.
Clearly a man in a box.
I don't want to overstep my bounds as a doofy comedy writer and go all pop-psychology here, but I think Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has some unresolved issues with women. First, there's Quiet, the most prominent female character in the game, who wears nothing but a bra, panties, and ripped stockings for the stupidest reason in the world. You get to shower with her if you kill people good enough. Then there is the SKULLS sniper unit, which is all female and introduced by a shot that pans over each of their boobs.
That video isn't cropped or taken out of context or anything. In fact there was so much boobs that I wasn't able to fit it all in a single GIF. I thought about showing you more, but if I throw 17 moving images of bouncing butts and boobs at you I'm not really writing comedy anymore.
There's also this interview where Kojima explains that one of the characters, Otacon, is not heroic because "he's constantly getting rejected by women" (Snake, on the other hand, can't even take a simple helicopter ride without getting an erotic dance from his murder-buddy). One of the game's Easter eggs is a cassette tape recording of rape. And I don't want to make too big a thing of this, but he named Snake's headquarters "Mother Base."
Anyway. Weird, right? Too bad the best game I've played all year couldn't avoid being a creepy asshole to half of the world.
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