Metal Gear Solid V is not a game you want to play without first consulting a guide on how to perform CQC (Close Quarters Combat). This is definitely a piece of advice I can readily give you, despite having only played the prologue and first chapter of the game. Unless of course, you want a mission grade below a "B" and you enjoy getting shot by very angry Soviet paratroopers.
Before we begin, here's some context: This is my first Metal Gear game. Previously - my knowledge of the game could be described as me trying to imitiate David Hayter's throat cancer voice saying, "MEHTUL GYUR!", and admittedly doing a piss poor job at it. Being the fifth and final entry of the Metal Gear series, I figured that this was obviously the best time to jump into an IP that already has more than a decade of lore, backstory and character development behind it.
The first chapter of the game is all about training you in reconnaissance and your spycraft. In the game, you are advised to scope out an elevated position that overlooks the place you are trying to infiltrate. Overall, this is a sound military strategy and embodies intelligence gathering on its most fundamental levels. However, I too am a student in the art of war, and I believe that out-of-the-box thinking is something attributed to the world's best military commanders. So my version of "recon" is more like, "I probably shouldn't be this close". Rather than ride all the way to the closest hill at 300 meters, I decided I'd sprint to about 60 meters away to the closest big boulder and dive into the prone position - looking more like a mole that is in a hurry to take a massive shit in the den. One of the interesting things about the game is that you need to bring out your binoculars in order to tag the enemy soldiers. Therefore, I brought out my binocs at 60 meters to tag them - which was not their intended use, as I could probably identify the nostril hairs of each Soviet paratrooper by that point.
My objective now is to liberate the outpost, which was guarded by more soldiers than I could heroically take down. Remember, this game is meant to be a title that encompasses tactical espionage action, meaning that you are rewarded by sneaking around undetected and using non-lethal takedowns, the reward is that you don't die and get a game over (which is arguably a really good motivator). Not knowing about CQC, which is the silent melee takedown (wasn't covered in the prologue tutorial, which I actually died in once), I proceeded to open fire on my first marked target that I crawled up to with my suppressed assault rifle. An interesting thing about people is that when you shoot them with a silenced weapon and don't kill them instantly with a headshot, they tend to yell out in pain as metal enters their body violently. Without skipping a beat, I spaghetti all over the place in a bout of panic, and instead of hitting shift to sprint away, I accidentally picked up the body of the guy I shot at close range. Somewhere in the scorched deserts in the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan - there is a lunatic commando who just shot a man with half a clip of ammunition, who then proceeded to carry the body of the slain on his back as his opponents are shooting at him.
After setting down the body, and actually hitting the right key to sprint - I found the closest rocky outcrop with sparse vegetation to dive into and lay prone like a corpse. At this point, you see the brilliant A.I of MGSV in action, they move out in perfect tactical spacing with proper form, posture and communication. In my mind, Snake would have had a throbbing masculine chubby at the sight of such excellent wartime conduct, but Snake is currently humping the hot sands of Afghanistan. The game informed me that the A.I was now entering a "Search pattern", and I squealed helplessly like a kid stuck in an elevator for the first time. Five of them approach the outcrop, one of them actually stayed behind to inspect the corpse the guy I just killed. Three of them peeled off in different directions from where I was last spotted, as the fourth hung back to kneel down to relay information back to the main base through his backpack radio. I can tell you now that it's been a really long time since I felt this terrified of being discovered in a video game. The only other game that could have matched this intense game of cat-and-mouse was that Modern Warfare mission where you play as a ghillie-suit sniper in Chernobyl.
One of the soldiers approach the rocky outcrop I was laying still in (I was in a facade of shrubbery). He is on the other side of the formation of rocks and he peels over slightly, and I held my breath in real life. It was dark now, so he brought out his flashlight and did a modest sweep over the rock formation, and I could see the soft yet menacing beam of light flash over Snake's corpse-like body. He exclaims something in Russian to his friends and two of them swiftly move to him, I had my item selection on grenade at this point - because there was no way I was going to die there, or if I was - I was going to take those guys out with me before reloading the checkpoint. They converse some more in Russian, and one of them scratches his head. After that, three of them go back to their two friends at the outpost and the game informed me that although I was not discovered, this outpost and neighbouring outposts were now on "Alert" status, because of the radio communications that one of the A.I soldiers made during the search operation.
I could feel my heartbeat in the lower echelons of my throat at that point, and my balmy hands then strained to retreat Snake away from the rocky outcrop, in order to replan his next course of action. After this fateful encounter, I would go on to be shot over 25 times, and be spotted over 30 - because I still didn't figure out how to do CQC using a keyboard. Nothing beats the sensation of playing some badass ninja commando, and it's even better if you are a clumsy one like I am. Can't wait to rock more MGSV in the coming days.