Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain review

Kojima's eagerly-awaited MGS swansong is a genuine game-changer

The news that Hideo Kojima was leaving Konami came as a blow to gamers around the world – but if this really is his final Metal Gear Solid game then he couldn't have come up with a better way to bow out. Make no mistake about it …The Phantom Pain is an exceptional gaming experience that is sure to be sitting at the top of most 'Game of the Year' lists when 2015 draws to a close.

Cherry-picking the best elements from the previous instalments in the series (including the PSP's underrated …Peace Walker) and adding plenty of new features, …The Phantom Pain gives gamers an emergent open-world Afghanistan for Snake to sneak his way around. A varied playground of death and destruction, the game gives players a free hand in how they approach each mission, and keeps you on your toes by constantly adapting to repeated strategies – you can't stick to one tried and tested methodology. Add to that a thrilling story, astonishing graphics, awesome sound design (including Kiefer Sutherland's superb voicework) and you have an electrifying title. And that's before you experience the joys of Snake's new equine chum…

Konami, Xbox One/Xbox 360/PS4/PS3/PC, £50 Approx