Shortly after the release of this game, the developers launched the competitive multiplayer modes, Forward Operating Bases and Metal Gear Online. Even with both modes being exhilarating, nothing has been able to compare to the campaign play of this current installment of the Metal Gear Solid legacy, The Phantom Pain.
Forward Operating Bases
This game has created an engulfing experience for its players, and after a certain point in the story mode, options appear to build the Forward Operating Base (FOB). Just like the mother base, players are able to instill their FOB with unique platforms, stations, and staff members. The main reason for creating your FOB and investing the time into it is the increase in resources you can receive, not to mention the weapons and technology research boost.
However, the FOB option does indeed come with a catch. You face the danger of other players infiltrating and thieving your precious resources. There are some ways of defending yourself from such incidents, though. The idea was increasingly exciting in the beginning, but after progression through the play-out, this became quite obnoxious, creating an illusion of the hassles of building FOBs.
On the other hand, invading others is lots of fun, and successfully maneuvering stealthily through someone’s defense lines and stealing their supplies from their FOBs proved to be more entertaining than a handful of campaign missions.
Investing in your FOB unlocks the PF battles, which is a PVP background play that tests your defenses and can award some needed points to invest into more resources and staff. This encourages players to invest time into strengthening their defenses, which in all honesty is not that big of a deal if you want to prevent the theft of what you have built up to begin with.
Offering your first FOB for free, you are given the option to build additional bases at the expense of the in-game currency known as Mother Base coin. Konami, being the crafty company they are, gives a small amount of coin each day as reward for logging in and playing for a bit. For the spoiled individuals without patience, you are able to spend real money for MB Coin.
MB coin is also used for decreasing the waiting time involved with building or upgrading your base and aspects of the FOB. This was a method of profit developed in “free-to-play mobile” games, which Konami has instilled into the full-price game, The Phantom Pain. Another reason to have MB coin, and a more useful one, is the FOB insurance that started to be sold after the release of the game.
Metal Gear Online
From the Phantom Pain’s main menu, you can access Metal Gear Online. This option is built around three competitive game modes: Cloak and Dagger, Comms Control, and Bounty Hunter.
With Bounty Hunter being an overcomplicated version of team deathmatch, it utilizes a Fulton System with regard to scoring. With each team starting off with a set number of tickets, the goal of each team is to eliminate the other team to collect more tickets. However, the more eliminations the players get, the more bounties they receive on their heads. The reward for killing said targets increases, and having a bounty on your head proves to make you a bit of a liability. The stealth-based focus of MGS doesn’t blend well with this mode, as many do not utilize this game mode as anything other than a team deathmatch / kill confirmed type format.
However, for a game mode that truly brings the idea of stealth into actuality, Cloak and Dagger is the pure vision of this. This mode plays off of Metal Gear’s greatest strength, and incorporates it into a team-based strategy “capture the flag” type of game. One side is armed to the nines with heavy lethals, the other team has no lethal weapons, but instead some active camouflage that makes them nearly invisible. The goal is to sneak past the lethal team to retrieve a pair of data discs, switching sides mid-match.
Then there is the least favored mode, Comms Control, which just focuses on players attempting to control a set of three capture points.
While it seems that the focus on Konami’s post-launch support for Metal Gear Online surrounds paid cosmetic upgrades, there are only 5 multiplayer maps to choose from, three accessible characters to play, and an expansive load of unlockables for each character class. However, it just feels like they have invested more time in selling squid hats than in actually putting forth the effort to ensure a future for MGO with modes or maps.