Risks pay off in the long run

"Metal Gear," a member of video gaming's old guard, has been telling a continuous story the whole time — a major strength and a strange weakness all at once. Invested fans adore the narrative as much as the tactical espionage action, but the sprawling story intimidates newcomers. "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain" (Konami, PlayStation 4) puts the saga of Big Boss and his sons in the background, emphasizing dynamic gameplay and a player-directed approach to progression. The original "Metal Gear" was a top-down, screen-by-screen stealth title. Compared with the massive and ambitious world of "Phantom Pain," it's hard to believe both games are products of the same creative mind. A series can't survive this long without evolving, and the exceptional "Phantom Pain" is a testament to the importance of taking risks.

Joe juba, Game Informer