Incoherent rambling ahead, proceed with caution:
First, my plan to play this game all weekend was interrupted when the HDMI port on my Pro went bad. I ended up taking my wife’s standard PS4 instead, but I wasted a good bit of time trying to fix my Pro. Took it to a local repair shop and whatever they did to it was of no help. So, I’m still playing on a slim(not like it really matters, there’s very little different between the two consoles with most games).
That being said, I managed to put almost 20 hours in. It seems that I’m still not very far and there’s a lot more to see and do in terms of tools to acquire and schemes to come up with. For the first 10 hours or so, the game was indeed mostly walking. It is a little different here though, as traversal is much more focused than it is in other games. Obviously in most games, you run over various terrain easily and can jump over obstacles, and fall from great distances. You have to worry about everything here, and it’s mostly due to your cargo. You have a weight limit, and the more you carry, the more like Sam is to get off balance, and this is especially troublesome during sneaking, traversing rocky/uneven land, and during battles. A lot of things effect this further as well, if the wind is blowing it’ll affect your movement more if you’re carrying a heavy load, and it even affects your ability to sneak(enemies can see your cargo over the top of grass if you’ve stacked it too high).
When your carry weight is too high you want to balance yourself with the triggers, but this prevents you from doing other actions. There’s now been a couple times when I’ve been sneaking past BTs and went to hold my breath to prevent myself from being detected, but I couldn’t do it since Sam was using that arm to hold on to the cargo. Doing certain actions affects stamina the more you carry too, and when you run out of stamina, your endurance gauge starts to drain. Endurance is essentially the maximum amount of stamina you can have, so if you go past your maximum stamina and drain your endurance, it won’t recover as much until you rest again. This is pretty important to watch out for since you’ll be using stamina frequently during encounters, especially BTs.
Speaking of BTs, I don’t have a ton of notes about them yet, but I’ve learned a few things. The most obvious way to deal with them is the hematic grenades, they seem to get stunned for a few seconds and re-locate, giving you a chance to run by. Turns out, you can also use the grenades on the things that grab you(which is what happens when they spot you), and you can break away easily. However, walking through the radius of the grenade hurts BB and he can become KO’s pretty easily. When he’s KO’d you can’t scan the environment, which means no detecting BTs. Urinating on the BTs seems to stun them as well, but that’s harder to pull off. Haven’t had a chance to try the Bola gun either.
As for the mules, I was expecting a copy/paste of MGS5 but there’s some differences, and there’s a couple I actually really like. Most MGS players know how godlike the tranq gun is, the bola gun in this is sort of like that, but you have to do some more work for it. It binds the enemies but they break out of it after a minute or so(like KO states on extreme MGS2-4), and to make it take further effect you have to kick them while they’re on the ground. This makes it so you can’t just stand on a hill and snipe everyone like in MGS5, especially since the range of the bola gun seems very limited. So far I also have smoke grenades and cargo decoys, so some MGS staples, but haven’t used them much yet. Throwing a hematic grenade at the mules does work, I can’t tell if it simply just confuses them for a few seconds or what the effect is, but it’s bought me time on more than one occasion. When you get hit by a mule it damages your cargo and can even knock it off, if you’re running from a group of enemies and they hit you with their lightning rod things, you can lose your cargo and potentially have to run back into them. Simply getting away in a vehicle doesn’t always work either, as their lightning instantly disables any vehicle(so far) that it hits. Was also being cheeky and wanted to see how far I could push the “counter with the strand” tactic and the enemies were very quick to surround and go behind me, making it a pretty tough plan to carry out. And as seen in one of the trailers, you can smack mules with cargo if you’re carrying it in your hand, when I tried it I got a OHKO in, pretty nice.
This is certainly a weird game and one that I wasn’t sure if I would like, but I’m quite fascinated by it so far. Obviously I don’t love everything, the excessive menus and side quests that contain no enemies or obstacles at all are low points for me, but I’m definitely going to be playing more when I can and take as many notes as possible.