E3 2014: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Preview: Stealth action refined

  • Posted June 20th, 2014 at 06:08 EDT by

Mother Base is back with all her support
Peace Walker’s Mother Base returns to provide mission support and metagame activities in The Phantom Pain. Everything successfully extracted via fulton recovery lands at Mother Base. Soldiers can be sorted into the different departments that keep your army running. One such department, Research and Development, is where Snake can order new military weapons and equipment and add upgrades to existing items in his arsenal. While this same function was featured in Peace Walker, you will be able to request such tasks to be done while on a mission this time around, instead of being limited to between missions. If an upgrade or new weapon finished while you’re away on mission, Mother Base can send it to your location, along with any other supplies. And if you get caught in really hot water, you can request an airstrike to provide covering fire as you escape from gunfire.

Rather than a mere set of menus like in Peace Walker, The Phantom Pain’s Mother Base is a real locale Snake can visit. Everything extracted using fulton recovery, from soldiers to vehicles, are visibly there on your Mother Base. You can see and interact with major ally characters like Ocelot and your troops. Between missions, Snake can train on the shooting range or practice CQC with his soldiers here. Each player will be able to customize his or her Mother Base and outfit it with defense mechanisms such as the UAVs similar to the ones in Metal Gear Solid 2. These will prove important since the base can come under attack, depending on which enemies you made during the main missions. I’m curious to see how these play out – whether it will be a more interactive combat sequence or a passive, automatic fight like Peace Walker’s Outer Ops. All in all, I’m excited to have Mother Base back and spend dozens of hours building her up to develop all the various weapons, supplies, and upgrades, as well as managing my army.

Old favorites return, but improved
Metal Gear’s signature piece of stealth equipment, the cardboard box, makes its triumphant return in The Phantom Pain with some slick new improvements that make it an even more versatile tool. Snake can quickly take out an enemy by popping out of the cardboard box, take a shot with his gun, then promptly duck back in – all without un-equipping and re-equipping the box, an annoyance I despised in previous entries. In a situation where Snake is detected, he can dive through the side of the cardboard box and sneak away. At that point, the box becomes a decoy and Snake is able to flank the distracted enemies.

Knocking to coerce an enemy to move towards a location to investigate is also back. In past Metal Gear games, you had to position Snake against a wall in order to provide a surface for him to knock on. Thanks to Punished Snake’s new prosthetic arm, he’s able to twist its wrist around to produce a knocking sound that be triggered anywhere.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain looks to be bringing both a bigger world and more tools and techniques to the franchise. What was shown at E3 certainly felt like the tip of the iceberg to me and I cannot wait to play out the fall of Big Boss. A number of features that I liked in Peace Walker come back more functional than ever. Thus far, it certainly looks to be the natural evolution of Metal Gear.

Let us know what about The Phantom Pain excites you and keep checking back to PSU for everything Metal Gear.

Ernest Lin is a U.S. Editor for PSU and certified moé aficionado. Follow him on Twitter for ramblings on movies, anime, gaming, deals, and pop culture.
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