Metal Gear Solid V – New Details

The latest Official Xbox Magazine is out and within it’s glossy cover is a 16-page feature on Metal Gear Sold V: The Phantom Pain. The details of this feature have found their way onto the internet and we’ve gone over them and picked out the bits of information that are the most interesting, whilst also being the least spoilerific.

Firstly, the game is open-world, but instead of one whole area it’s separated into two sections: one set north of Kabul in Afghanistan, and another set in the Angola-Zaire Border Region. There’ll also be elements of the game taking place in the Seychelles, where Snake’s Mother Base HQ is situated; here you can wash blood off in the showers, engage in target practice or even have a friendly fight with your troops. Reportedly, all this makes the game-world 200 times the size of Ground Zeroes’.

In Afghanistan, there are approximately 14 major bases, such as power plants, barracks, and towns, plus over a dozen smaller forts, outposts and more. Many of these outposts are outfitted with both small and large satellite dishes that are far from only being environmental detailing. The small ones are communication links between the individual stations – blowing these up will sever ties between locations, particularly handy for minimising unwanted attention if you get spotted.

For getting from A to B you can travel by horseback on ‘D-Horse’, but there’s also a twist on fast-travel that’s fitting for the MGS universe. Dotted about the world are orange signposts, located on which are tags you can tear off that will inform you of that area’s delivery address. Once equipped with that information, find the nearest delivery platform and hop in a cardboard box there. Wait for a vehicle to turn up and then it’s just a case of picking your destination and enjoying the ride.

You may have heard about Snake’s extraction helicopter, able to collect anyone you use a Fulton Recovery System on, for instance, but you might not be aware of it’s name: Pequod. Pequod is the fictitious 19th-century Nantucket whaling ship that appears in the 1851 novel Moby-Dick, written by the author Herman Melville, and there are other references to the book throughout the game, such as the character you meet in the hospital at the game’s beginning, called “Ishmael”. In Moby-Dick, Ishmael was the only surviving member of the Pequod, and it’s he who narrates the book. Consider that information however you like, MGS conspiracy theorists.

Staying with the helicopter, it turns out that it’s just as important for organisation as rescuing. Snake will plug his iDroid into the helicopter’s computer system to see available options such as deploying to the field or returning to Mother Base, upgrading Mother Base, assigning orders to staff, checking intelligence, to customizing his gear load-out and emblems for future missions.

A brief mention on story, and there’s news that will likely upset fans who’ve enjoyed the lengthy cut-scenes of Metal Gears past: most of the story exposition is through unlocked cassette tapes. You unlock them after every important story point, and they contain information on past events and the unseen machinations at Mother Base. There will still be cut-scenes, just not quite the same length they were in the past.

If the prospect of listening to many dialogue-based cassette tapes turns you off, you’ll be pleased to know that – if you’re a music fan – there will be many tapes featuring ’80s classics inside boom boxes at guard outpost, and you can select tracks for your helicopter to play whenever it comes near. Artists like David Bowie can be found amongst these tapes, as well as Richard Wagner for you classical types.

The mission structure is apparently fairly linear, however, after a tutorial level on Mother Base, The Phantom Pain opens itself up. Episodes 3, 4 and 5 all appear on the iDroid mission list at once and it’s up the the player which to do first.

Back to gameplay, and more information on D-Dog. He’s a puppy when you obtain him in Mission 3, but having him a member of your team is optional. The player will have to track the dog down in the dark using night-vision goggles. Once you’ve got him back to Mother Base he’ll grow into a valuable asset, capable of attacking guards when prompted or jogging by your side and spotting nearby items that are automatically added to the iDroid’s map, so you won’t need to be on constant lookout for them.

Finally, two details that highlight the curious and creative side to the Metal Gear series. The first sees Snake tasked with saving creatures from the combat zone and sending them back to Mother Base, where they’ll eventually be housed in what’s effectively a floating zoo. However, if an animal is too small to be recovered via fulton, Snake will simply put it in his pocket. The second is how certain missions will require you to kidnap a translator in the field, or else you won’t understand what the guards are saying.

There we go! For further information taken from Official Xbox Magazine and Official Playstation Magazine, see here and here. Metal Gear Sold V: The Phantom Pain releases September 1st. Meanwhile, if it’s news, reviews and competitions you’re after, join Xbox One UK’s Facebook Group, Like our Facebook Page and follow us on Twitter. Plus, if videos are your thing, check out our YouTube and Twitch channels!

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