Konami has issued a new update for Metal Gear Solid V, ahead of today’s launch of Metal Gear Online – and it adds more microtransactions to the game.
The latest round of microtransactions allows you to insure your FOB (Forward Operating Base) for real money. Labelled “FOB Insurance Service”, players who choose to pay real money will be compensated for all goods lost via invading players, though there’s a limit on how long the insurance lasts for. Once the term of the “policy” has expired, you’ll need to purchase it again in order to be covered.
In Metal Gear Solid V, the game requires you to build an initial FOB as part of the story, triggered around halfway through the game. After construction, players are able to invade the FOBs of other players, who can then retaliate and stage invasions of their own. You can build more than one FOB, but these need to be paid for by spending Mother Base Coins – a form of virtual currency that can either be purchased for real money, or earned (very slowly) via daily login bonuses. The cost of a second (and any subsequent) FOBs equates to around $12/ £8.
They don’t come cheap, in other words – though after the mandatory story mission, you can completely disregard the FOB side of the game, if you so choose.
It should be noted that the new insurance “service” doesn’t prevent invading players from looting your base – it simply provides you with a replacement copy of anything that’s lost, meaning that invading players still stand to benefit from invasions.
Not everything is covered, however. Staff members in the brig won’t be replaced if lost, nor will wounded soldiers extracted from the Medbay. Oh, and if you have a Nuclear Weapon stolen, tough luck: they won’t be replaced, either.
The insurance policy isn’t the only thing to be added to the game by the hefty (960mb) update, however. A number of new items and weapons have been added to the game, along with new Event FOB Missions. FOB Event Missions play out similarly to regular FOB invasions, except for the fact that you’ll be invading an AI-controlled base created by the developers. Whereas invading other players opens you up to retaliation (by revealing your base’s location to the player you just invaded), you don’t need to worry about retaliation from these events – making them a less risky way of grabbing more goods, staff and money.
I was rather fond of Metal Gear Solid V, awarding it 10/10 when I reviewed it shortly after release. Despite the game’s shortcomings, particularly with the game’s narrative, Kojima’s final Metal Gear Solid game feels like the culmination of two decades’ worth of iteration and is well worth the investment.
“Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a roaring tour-de-force of a game,” I wrote in my Metal Gear Solid V review. “As a stealth game it’s without peer: a stunning technical and gameplay achievement, one that’s confident enough to simply provide you with plenty of tools and grant you the freedom to experiment and find your own way through. After so many Metal Gear games where you always felt the director’s hand pushing you along, the sudden freedom you’re granted after the opening sequence is exhilarating. Very few developers would be brave enough to step back and let the player dictate their experience to such a degree; the fact that it’s Hideo Kojima setting a new gold standard for emergence in a video game is almost impossible to believe.”