I agree that it is unlike Chaos Theory, but the Ground Zeroes (paid prequel demo thing) is the worthy successor to Chaos Theory that Ubisoft failed to make all these years.
Phantom Pain (the main part of 5) is, I would still disagree with any suggestion that it’s not special like Chaos Theory, but it is hugely ‘unlike’ Chaos Theory.
Chaos Theory was a series of interconnected Cardboard boxes with links between then, often strictly linear, Phantom Pain has those areas, and when it does them they are pathetic compared to Chaos Theory, no verticality, no alternative ingress no interconnectedness, nothing here compares to Panama Bank, except perhaps the standalone Ground Zeroes.
But that isn’t where Phantom Pain thrives, Phantom Pain is the arcade version of Arma without a stick up its butt, its that level of Battlefield Bad Company 2 where you drop off your friends across a huge desert to triangulate a signal extrapolated to a whole game it’s the wide range of toys of an open world game with the deftness of touch of a stealth game.
You can play it in the old school way where no one dies and you don’t leave a trace, or you can start levels in a Godsdamn tank and monster truck derby the opposition and a dozen other styles besides.
It’s majestic, and has 2 potentially brilliant multi-player options which are completely separate and share the skillset of the base game.
GTG busy will finish later
There is much obvious by it’s absence, the nearest thing to civilians is the animal life, which I’ll be fair does add flavor, there is little by way of limitations, whether implied or actual, you are only rated meaningfully by your score and that has a dozen routes, and along with your abductions are your only motivation.
Here’s the sticking point, you don’t need any of the stuff, sure an RPG and some C4 would be super but honestly, the more you unlock the easier the game gets, later on you unlock a thermoptic camouflage that recharges and can keep you invisible at a full charge for 3 minutes, reduced to only a predator shimmer stealth is trivial, thankfully the game reprimands some toys with a capped rating, you cannot get the converted S Rank if you use helicopters, artillery or the aforementioned camo gear and much besides.
But there is so much you can use and get the S rank, even tanks, it’s all about self control, can you resist the toys.