Posted June 24, 2015 by Anthony in Feature

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Preview – E3 2015

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been a long time in the making, but it won’t be too long until we can don Snake’s trademark eye-patch again, with the game just a few short months away. At E3 2015, we were treated to a detailed presentation of Snake’s new command centre, Mother Base, and were also able to go very briefly hands-on with the stealth title.


Metal Gear Solid V takes an approach that blends the base-building elements from Peace Walker together with the usual stealth gameplay. Mother Base, Snake’s headquarters, is a important feature of The Phantom Pain, being critical to not only progressing the story but also upgrading gear and weapons. Throughout the game, players can utilise the Fulton system to airlift just about any item that isn’t hammered down back to Mother Base. Enemy soldiers, transport and even horses can be sent back to your headquarters to improve statistics, gear and grow Snake’s private army.

Players can scan enemies beforehand to assess what attributes they may bring to Mother Base. For instance, we viewed Snake spy a soldier fluent in Russian. Adding him to our headquarters meant that Snake could then understand foreign enemy conversations. In another segment, Snake hilariously fultoned back a small dog that can eventually becomes his canine companion – known as Diamond Dog – in later missions.


Mother Base essentially act’s as The Phantom Pain‘s central hub, from which you can activate missions, upgrade your command facilities, manage personnel and also raid other player’s bases in the game’s multiplayer mode. The better equipped your command centre is from all your Fulton collection activity, the more likely it is to survive an incursion from an enemy player.

From Mother Base, players can select their loadout before heading out on a mission, their AI buddy, such as Quiet or Diamond Dog, and the time of day. Their may be advantages to initiating a mission at night, for example, as enemies patrols may have decreased. We should note that players can also use Snake’s iDroid during the course of missions to change the time of day to their advantage.


The Phantom Pain‘s buddy system is entirely optional, but having a companion to call on during missions can bring several advantages. As we saw in a trailer earlier this year, having Quiet provide sniper support can increase Snake’s tactical options when infiltrating an enemy camp. Diamond Dog, conversely, can scout ahead and distract enemies for players.

Our hands-on session started in the Afghan desert, with a cutscene transitioning seamlessly into gameplay. Raging sandstorms are a common feature of the Afghanistan missions, limiting player sight to only a few meters ahead. Mother nature wasn’t too furious in our demo, and we rode a horse to our first enemy encampment. The Phantom Pain controls are robust and felt more precise than Ground Zeros, so taking the silent option was relatively straightforward. Before long, hugging walls to avoid detention and sneaking up on enemies was second nature. The best way of articulating my brief hands-on time is to convey that you quickly adapt to the game’s stealth mechanics, and that everything we have seen in trailers to date is an accurate depiction of The Phantom Pain‘s varied gameplay.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is scheduled for release on September 1 on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.


While not scouring the galaxy, Anthony is Editor and PR machine of Rocket Chainsaw.


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