I knew I was in for a treat when Metal Gear Solid V introduced me to its R&D mechanic by asking me to research state-of-the-art cardboard box technology.

Boxes of course are nothing new in the world of Metal Gear. Many of us have used boxes to sneak around for years now, and more unusual usages, like wolf repellent boxes, have gone down in MGS history. Somehow, though, Metal Gear Solid V makes boxes even more awesome than before. In fact, in the 20+ hours I’ve with with the game, an unexpected moment with the box has transformed into my most memorable encounter with the enemy by far:

[Footage taken from a livestream, hence the comments on the sidebar]

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Since then, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the box. I use it everywhere, even when I probably shouldn’t. Even getting caught is a joy, because it gives me an excuse become a murderous Jack-In-The-Box. There’s nothing quite like going into reflex mode, popping out of the box, and dealing with an enemy—and then just disappearing back into the box once more.

I particularly love putting on posters and messing with the guards:

Each poster has a unique usage. The bikini model one, for example, makes guards salivate over you. The soldier one, meanwhile, makes enemies think that you’re an ally. Both are great ways of maintaining stealth while being aggressive, which I appreciate.

I’m wearing the cardboard box so much, I’ve started assessing the terrain for its sledding potential. I don’t think I’m alone in that, either. I’ve noticed that some Metal Gear Solid players are actively trying to find the best sledding routes within the game:

[Source: LemonFizz Kidd]

[Source: Matthew Ayres]

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Even the reactions to the box are great.

“A cardboard box is moving!,” the guard cries into his walkie talkie.

“Please advise!”

“This is CP. Knock it off. Out,” his superiors respond.

Some people, like Iron Pineapple, are even finding rather evil uses for the box:

So not only is the box practical—you can use it to hide, or to do stuff like fast traveling—it’s also damned hilarious. Even the way the game uses supply drop boxes is funny:

[Source: my personal YouTube channel.]

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All of this has come together to cement the box as my favorite item in Metal Gear Solid V. Nothing else comes close.


Contact the author at patricia@kotaku.com.