Eyes On: Metal Gear Solid V

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Last week at E3 we got to watch a demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

While I wouldn’t consider myself a “hardcore” fan of the series, I have enjoyed the time I’ve spent with the games- even if the story is a bit difficult to comprehend at times.

What I saw at E3 looked great, but most importantly it looked fun.

Read on for a summary of what we got to see!

The Phantom Pain will feature the story of Venom Snake, the leader of the Diamond Dogs and if the bit sticking out of his head is any indication- part unicorn.

In the demo we saw, Snake was embarking on his quest to rescue Kazuhira Miller. In order to do this, he needs to collect intel to get more information about where he’s being kept. We start out on a ridge near a small village occupied by the opposing force. Players can use Snake’s binoculars to mark targets that he scouts at a distance. Doing this gives you the benefit of knowing where these enemies are as you get into the area and start to sneak around by being able to track their movements though walls and buildings.

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Additionally, for those that want to plan the best route through an area, you can use Snake’s e-cig to pass the time. Enemies have patrols in The Phantom Pain and by fast forwarding, you’ll get a chance to see all of their patrol routes and plan accordingly.

Once Snaked moved into the area, he started knocking out bad guys by either shooting them in the head with his tranquilizer, or by distracting them and sneaking up from behind to catch them with their guard down. One of the new features of The Phantom Pain is the ability to call in supply drops. These can give Snake new weapons, ammo, or delivery the classic cardboard box to a location of the player’s choosing. In the demo, Snake ordered a delivery of a Card Board box. When given the choice of where the drop point would be, a point right above a guard was selected. The crate comes falling out of the sky and hits the guard, rendering him unconscious.

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The classic cardboard box has been upgraded for this installment, allowing players to pop out the top of the box in order to shoot at enemies. In the event that an enemy catches the box moving, Snake can also eject himself from the box and (assuming the enemy doesn’t see you) can sneak around to take out the guard while he’s distracted.

In many stealth games, hiding bodies can be a tedious, but nessecery chore. Metal Gear Solid V handles this wonderfully, taking away the tediousness of the task while also giving the player a larger benefit for doing so. Using a balloon recovery system, Snake can attach a balloon to many different objects in the environment. This will send those unconcious enemies into the air where they’ll be recovered and taken back to Mother Base where they’ll now work for you. You can then assign your new recruits to various tasks at the Mother Base via the main menu.

The Balloon Recovery also works for large cargo containers that might hold valuable materials, and vehicles such as jeeps. If Snake is ontop of one of these objects when using the recovery system, he too will be taken back to the base.

And of course, it wouldn’t be Metal Gear Solid if this system couldn’t be used for a laugh.

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And yes, the sheep will also appear at Mother Base.

Snake finally gets to the building containing the valuable information he was looking for when he realizes all of the enemies moving in on his position. By opening the menu, the player can set a randevous point to be picked up by a helicopter to be taken back to Mother Base as well as do other tasks such as ordering an air strike on a location. After selecting both of these options, Snake jumps out of the building, takes down a few enemies and commenderes a Jeep to get to the randevous point as the air strike behind him commences, taking out the enemies in the area. After arriving at the helicopter, Snake jumps in and gets to see the end result of his air strike on the area as he returns to Mother Base.

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In Metal Gear Solid V, the player can customize their Mother Base. By recruiting enemies from the field and by adding new platforms, each player will have a unique base to call their own. In the demo we were shown, we saw things like the cargo container we recovered earlier on, the jeep, the sheep and we even saw some AA guns that had been brought in previously. Adding these stationary weapons seem to come in handy because at the end of our demo, Mother Base was attacked and Snake got on a helicopter in order to start his plan of attack against the intruders.

What we got to see reminded me a lot of previous Metal Gear titles. I would look at previous titles and always think about the difficulties of sneaking around, and how much of a pain it can be to get caught. When I look at The Phantom Pain however, I see a game that looks fun. It gives the player a lot of new toys to play with and in doing so, makes the experience appear quite accessible for players of varying skill levels.