Metal Gear Solid 5: The Most Complete Metal Gear Ever

The 30-minute MGS5 E3 gameplay demo shows a game built from the ground up for next-gen: the most complete Metal Gear game ever made.

UPDATE: Hideo Kojima and friends revealed new Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain gameplay in a live stream. The demo was originally shown behind closed doors to members of the press at E3 2014. Fans saw a lot of stuff go get very excited about.

The demo was part a larger stream in which Kojima summarized his E3 2014 experience. The gameplay demo (1080p, 60 fps on the PS4) starts at about 40 minutes in:

After watching the gameplay demo, I must say that this looks like the most complete Metal Gear game ever made. More Peacewalker than MGS4, Snake is able to use the power of his Military Without Borders to accomplish his objectives. From providing supply drops to aerial strikes, Big Boss is never alone on the battlefield. And Boss is constantly strengthening his ranks by Fulton-ing enemy POWs or rescuing allies. This is as much a strategy game involving micro-management as it is an action-adventure stealth game.

The demo begins on horseback. Ocelot, the Wild West-themed gunslinger who plays your ally in this game, accompanies you into enemy territory: the desert of Afghanistan. Your mission is to rescue Kazuhira Miller, who I’m guessing was captured after the attack on Mother Base at the end of Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear has always been about to take the slow approach, so your first goal once on the ground is to find intel on the fortress where Miller is being held. That’s not to say you can’t just rush the base guns blazing, but you’re more thank likely to get blown to pieces. So you’re better off gathering as much intel as possible before moving to the rescue mission. 

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Using your iDroid, you can see just how massive the map is, much larger than the Ground Zeroes detainment camp we saw a few months ago. Kojima boasts that the map in The Phantom Pain is more than 300x larger. And that’s not the only thing that makes this game feel epic in size. There’s also the realistic weather that’s constantly changing as you move around your environment. One minute you’re seeing clear skies, the next there’s a sandstorm, and finally some light rain. Not in this order, of course. But the weather WILL change, and you will have to change the way you play.

Snake’s on horseback for the first few minutes of the demo, sneaking past guards (and there are LOTS of armed guards) by sliding to one side of your hourse. Getting a head shot with your tranquilizer from horseback is easily one of the most rewarding things you’ll do in the game. Then you can approach your unconscious enemies and Fulton them into the air and off to Mother Base.

Players can Fulton all kinds of things: soldiers, metal storage containers, vehicles, and even goats. It never gets boring, as you constantly build up your army with new ranks of men and equipment. Kojima wasn’t clear on what role the goats play, though. My guess is food…

Afghanistan feels like a true open-world map. Snake can approach his objective in whatever way he sees fit. This particular mission is to grab some intel on the fortress. So he finds a vantage points from which to stake out the location of some documents that might shed more light on Miller’s whereabouts. Once he reaches the vantage point, Snake can use his binoculars to mark enemies on the map. Or he can assign one of the captured Afghani soldiers to his intel unit. Immediately, your intel units will point out where enemies might be on the map. Seriously, with an army like this, you’re the ultimate soldier.

Snake has two options: he can sneak in at night during a much heavier guard shift, or he can wait until morning. There are guard shifts in this game. Enemy soldiers will begin/end their shifts in real time. Players might even catch one or two guards sleeping after their shift, as they sneak into the enemy base.

After marking the enemies on the map, Snake decides to wait until morning. He’ll be much more visible, but at least there won’t be as many guards to sneak past/put down. But it’s nighttime…You could technically wait a really long time for the sun to rise, or you could smoke the “Phantom Cigar.”

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The Phantom Cigar helps Snake speed up time. If he wants it to be morning, he just has to take a couple of puffs. Clouds, guard movements, and the sun will fast forward accordingly. This cigar cannot be legal…

Now it’s morning and Snake pretty much makes quick work of whatever guards are on the ground by sneaking around in his iconic cardboard box. That damn box never gets old. Snake can pop out like a jack-in-the-box (no pun intended) and shoot down guards or patiently sneak past them. If a soldier spots a cardboard box walking around his base, though, he will quickly run over to see what the hell is going on. Luckily, Snake has a cool new move: he quickly dives out of the box and into cover. The soldier will still go examine the box, which means you can now pull off a knockdown while he is distracted. Kojima emphasized getting creative when engaging enemies. The box as decoy is one of the many ways to give yourself a bit more of an edge. Another new way to knock out enemies is to order a supply drop to the exact spot where they’re standing. The metal supply containers will drop on their heads and put them to sleep. Two birds with one stone. Snake can also knock on walls like in past games, luring enemies to his position for a quick CQC takedown.

When Snake reaches the top secret documents he was looking for, the guards are alerted and there’s no more time for sneaky Snake. It’s time for shoot-your-way-out-of-enemy-territory Snake. After calling in aerial assault, Snake shoots his way to the nearest extraction point. 

We get a glimpse of Mother Base at the end of the demo, mostly so that Kojima can tease that your base can get attacked at any moment. Depending on decisions you make during your missions, enemies could become more hostile towards you and launch a full-out assault on Mother Base. I’m guessing that means if you kill too many enemy soldiers? Or is this more scripted? Not clear.

The one thing that is clear, though, is that Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain looks AWESOME. Although there is no set release date for the game yet, it will tentatively arrive in 2015. 

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ORIGINAL STORY: Kojima will reveal new Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain gameplay in a live stream this morning. The gameplay was originally shown behind closed doors to members of the press at E3. The demo is approximately 30 minutes long. We’re bound to see a lot of new stuff to get excited about. Kojima boasts that this is the most complete Metal Gear game he’s ever made. Watch live right here:

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