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

20 June 2014

Keeping a game franchise that’s over 25 years old feeling fresh and still interesting to today’s audience is a tremendous achievement. The Metal Gear games have accomplished such a feat, with each entry in the stealth action-adventure saga capturing the intrigue of veterans and newcomers alike. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is no different as it takes the series to new heights with impressive visuals and open-world gameplay. Based on what I saw of the game last week at E3, here are the gameplay features that make me excited to feel the Phantom Pain.

Sneak your way, night or day
More than any other Metal Gear, The Phantom Pain gives the player a variety of approaches when tackling its missions. Take for example, the military compound Snake must infiltrate to gather intel on Kaz Miller’s whereabouts. You can enter from just about any side and weave your way through the area as you like, while taking out enemies in whichever order works for you. That’s to say, if you’re eager for a challenge, you can forego knocking out or eliminating your foes and sneak past them undetected like a ghost.

Another choice given to the player is whether to tackle a mission while the sun’s out or under the light of the moon. Logically, each time of day has its share of pros and cons. Daytime may prove easier for you to find items to collect and to find all the enemies, yet at the risk of them spotting you quicker. Likewise, nighttime makes it more difficult to mark all the guards and see where you’re headed. While time does pass in real-time, you can let Snake smoke his e-cigar, which triggers a time lapse you can stop whenever you desire.

A more useful and realistic fulton recovery system
While playing the prologue Ground Zeroes, I wished to have Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker’s fulton recovery system back when I had difficulty concealing the bodies of killed or unconscious enemies. My wish is a reality in The Phantom Pain and more than people can be extracted, such as sheep. Fancy the armored tank or jeep on an enemy’s military base? You can use fulton recovery to air mail it back to Mother Base to use them for later missions. If you suspect a cargo container may be filled with resources you can turn into GMP in-game currency, zip it up to the sky.

How the fulton recovery system works is more realistic in The Phantom Pain too. In real-life, fulton recovery would cost fuel to fly a plane so each extraction costs 300 GMP. Granted, the amount isn’t a lot but is still is a consideration to take into account while handling the budget of Snake’s Diamond Dogs army. Additionally, a fulton recovery is not guaranteed to be 100% successful either. When given the option to fulton an object, the probability of success will appear as a percentage. Severe weather or wind can cause a failed recovery so there are times when it isn’t worth it. Unlike in Peace Walker, Snake cannot magically fulton recover something indoors through the roof and must instead carry it outside before sending it up.

Continued overleaf


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