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5 Ways MGS V: The Phantom Pain is Like a City Builder

5 Ways MGS V: The Phantom Pain is Like a City Builder

Bear with me on this, because it might sound like nonsense, but I swear I’ll explain myself. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is almost exactly the same kind of game as mobile titles like The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Family Guy: The Quest For Stuff.

You don’t see it? I’ll break it down for you.

5: Premium Currency

This is what first made me think this way. I explained to my wife ‘MB Coins are like Clams or Donuts’, as she had played both mobile city builders, and understood the concept. After all, it’s not often that a AAA multiplatform release gets its own premium currency… The fact that it acts as a login bonus makes the comparison even more obvious, when you can use them to speed up construction.

tapped out donuts 0

The prices are even kinda similar...

4: Construction

You get to choose what to build, and when. When you develop items, construct new platforms, or upgrade existing ones, it takes a certain amount of time. It goes from minutes to hours the more you upgrade, and construction can be sped up with MB Coins. If this idea isn’t taken straight from Dungeon Keeper Mobile, I’ll eat a snack. The only difference is, you must be playing the game for the timers to go down, unless it’s a Forward Operating Base upgrade.

mgs5 fob building

Of course, this is more like upgrading in Springfield Heights...

3: Job Timers

Similarly, when you send people on missions the timers will only elapse if you happen to be playing. There is a list of other missions which do go down in real time, but those timers are much, much longer -- some of them are over three days. You might scoff at my comparing it to Tapped Out now that you know it’s three whole days, but in fact there is a similar timeframe required for a couple of things in that as well.

tapped out kang job

I just needed an excuse to put Kang in here

2: Events

Along with the update which brought Metal Gear Online to consoles (PC release pending), new Forward Operating Base Events were introduced. Rather than invading other players’ bases, which could lead to retaliation and loss of staff and all your stuff, you go to a purely game-generated FOB to invade. It’s not exactly the same thing as, say, the Septemberfest or Monorail events in the aforementioned mobile games, but they are only available for a limited amount of time and get you exclusive things.

comic con 1 preview quest for stuff

The Simpsons Tapped Out superhero event had nothing to do with this coming first...

1: Large Cast of Characters

At time of writing this, I have roughly 1,000 people aboard my Mother Base, and with upgrades there will be space for more. There are currently well over 150 characters in Tapped Out, including alternate costumes, and to fit them all in, the size of Springfield has increased. Each character has a different name and can do different jobs, and this isn’t even counting the Buddies you take out into the actual game.

facespace family guy quest for stuff

Now, all they need to add in are some decorations and the ability to restart from scratch, and it will be more city of a builder than a Metal Gear Solid game.

Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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Calmine - 10:06pm, 4th November 2015

Not nonsense at all! It's pretty much this. And it's a headache sometimes to keep track of GMP. Especially now considering they're charging insurance and you sort of get GMP taxed if your offline. Great concept and works fine in Peace Walker, but in this it's ruined by the hands of Konami...and you have pay for the Tuxedo now as well.