E3 Preview: Metal Gear Solid VFiled inside: News
In a dark and crowded theater, I sat, nearly trembling with excitement. I was one of the lucky ones: I’d made it into the noticeably more subdued and secretive Konami booth on the E3 show floor, to get a look at the highly anticipated Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
And let me tell you, it was well worth every moment. All the hype and speculation, all the misinformation and pain, it’s all worth it, at least, I think so.
The demo started in a fairly familiar moment, Ocelot and Snake riding through a dust storm: otherwise known as the opening to the first gameplay trailer that was shown for the game over a year ago. This time, more story details were revealed during the conversation between the two.
We know the general idea, Snake’s right-hand man, Miller, has been captured and is being held in Afghanistan. The now named “Venom Snake”, who was until recently known as Big Boss, has come out of a nine year coma. It rapidly becomes apparent that Snake has some adjustment in order.
In a rather striking moment, Ocelot attempts to hand Snake a canteen, which Snake struggles to grasp with his new prosthetic arm. It evokes a similar feeling to the loss of his eye in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, as he adapts to the loss of depth perception. It’s obvious, though, that Snake hasn’t lost his will as a soldier, however, as he is soon able to masterfully grab Miller’s sunglasses from Ocelot’s hand minutes later.
As Snake sets out, many of the game’s background systems are shown, a dust storm rolls in quickly, reducing visibility for your enemies (and yourself), showcasing just one part of the dynamic weather system. Snake’s movements change with the weather as well, covering his face with a mask and shielding his eyes from the buffeting winds.
We’ve already seen some of the new moves that Snake has handy, like hanging over the side of his horse to decrease visibility (somehow…I’m not fully sure I understand how that works as effectively as it seems to in the demo), among the full suite of moves we got to see in Ground Zeroes. As Snake approaches his first real threat, we’re given a look at how Konami has been taking player feedback for the new entry.
Much of the control seems to have been enhanced for increased responsiveness and mobility. The cover system has been noticeably tightened, which was one of my major complaints with GZ. As snake approaches a small house with some armed guards, he swings over the side of his horse, pops over, puts a guard to sleep, and then smoothly dives off the horse behind cover. Knocking has finally made a return, but this time Snake just whips his fancy new fake hand around to make some noise, which now obviates the need to be against a wall to attract attention.
The fulton recovery system has made a full return, and the new open world means that this no longer has a strict usage limit: every extraction costs a few hundred GMP, the currency used for all of Diamond Dogs’ operations. Based on the weather conditions and various other factors, your fulton extraction also has a chance to fail this time around, clear skies and no surrounding threats seems to impart a 90% success rate, while extracting near AA guns in a gale-force rainstorm will severely impact your extraction efforts.