10 Ways Hideo Kojima Should Have Made Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain
How to bring Solid Snake back for the greatest David Hayter cameo of all time.
Of all the games that fans look at and ponder on why certain things happened or didn't pan out the way they thought, MGS V is right at the top of the pile. Releasing amidst tumultuous times, original series creator Hideo Kojima had to unite his team under one vision for the sake of completing the most expensive and experimental instalment yet; one that was inevitably hampered by parent company Konami falling apart around him.
It resulted in a game that's easily the best-playing Metal Gear by quite a considerable margin, but one that takes a number of creative risks with plot and character elements that ultimately, don't completely pay off. Some aspects we'll get into were just plain unfinished, with pivotal scenes showed in trailers that the team literally ran out of time pulling together.
The Phantom Pain is still one of the greatest games of all time and an entry I ranked as the third best in the entire canon, but there are many things that should've gone another way, starting with...
10. Establish Skull Face As A Terrifying Villain
There's so much wasted potential in the Skull Face character. Introduced mysteriously in Ground Zeroes, all of us assumed his charred face was indicative of Kojima revealing he was a previously established character - possibly Volgin, or even Major Zero.
In reality, it was revealed he was an agent for Zero who'd grown to despise Big Boss, someone who was forever helping 'build the legend' of the perfect soldier, but was never getting any of the credit. We learned that he'd always been present across Boss' rise to dominance in the likes of Peace Walker, cleaning up after him, even killing for him to get across the notion that the former Naked Snake was indeed some powerful, reputable force on the battlefield.
However, almost none of this was brought up or used effectively. The long car ride you have with him where he dictates his 'evil plan' and mostly stares you down, has no buildup in terms of motivation or Boss dealing with the fact there's been someone watching over him this whole time.
We were too preoccupied in wondering how the hell he was controlling a skyscraper-sized mech that could drop in from space to worry about anything else, and that was a misstep. Even if players hadn't completed Ground Zeroes and didn't know about the horrific rape scenes that Skull Face forces Paz and Chico to partake in, that side of his character should've surfaced as an additional motivation to see him brought to justice.
Ask yourself: Based entirely on what's in cutscenes and essential dialogue from The Phantom Pain, what is Skull Face's character, and why is he the bad guy?