Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Info Revealed at LA Review Event

A plethora of new information about Konami’s upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been released today, via an online Q&A with some of the attendees at today’s exclusive review event in Los Angeles.
Twitter users @YongYea, who is a popular MGS YouTube commentator, and @cromsionfox_MGI of fan site Metal Gear Informer, have been answering fan questions and sharing their experiences with an advanced preview build of the game ahead of its September 1 launch.
The hour-long question and answer session uncovered a number of previously unknown details on the game’s length, AI, environments, customisation and core gameplay mechanics. The full highlights are as follows:

How long would you estimate the game being?

@YongYea: Can’t say for sure, but eight hours of the game only yielded five percent: six main missions; four side ops. The story is more spaced out, but there is definitely a lot of story. But you’ll spend much more time with gameplay.

How is the gameplay compared to Ground Zeroes?

@YongYea: Everything feels better and more refined. Also, much more open, more options, more freedom, more everything.

Can we actually crawl slowly in The Phantom Pain?

@YongYea: Yes. You can even hold triangle (Y) to lay down completely flat on the ground and reduce your profile. Can’t inch-worm, though, though like in MGS4.

Did you feel the game was “fractured” at all, as was stated in that article you discussed on the Codec?

@YongYea: No, everything’s quite seamless. There’s the occasional loading screen between field and air command, but everything just flows.

So how expensive/difficult is it to fulton assets? Sometimes it looked to me like you can just fulton everything. Do you get to start customizing Mother Base as soon as you finish the first mission in Afghanistan?

@crimsonfox_MGI: Gameplay demos show everything fully upgraded. Nothing is given to you. You have to work for everything. It’s worth it.

@YongYea: Items and weapons are developed instantly, only new struts/facilities take real time to develop. Usually around one hour.

Can you talk about the weapons you’ll have access to and be able to build in the beginning of the game?

@YongYea: MRS4 rifle, tranquilliser gun, and a couple of other things. Because your Mother Base is in infancy, so is your arsenal. That grows with time.

Is weapons customization as huge as it was in MGS4? Also, Mother Base menus look clunky, are they easy to navigate through?

@YongYea: Yes, it’s even bigger. The MB menu can be overwhelming. Once you get used to it, it’s relatively intuitive.

How did progression ‘feel’ in the time you played? How much stronger was your army at the end of your play from when you started?

@YongYea: Progression feels very gradual. Very limited equipment starting out, but then you get newer and cooler stuff.

How does the game feel? Does stealth work well?

@YongYea: Extremely well. Soldiers are smarter, mechanics are sharper.

How smart is the AI?

@crimsonfox_MGI: I played GZ for a while to prepare for this event. My perception was betrayed; the AI is no joke.

@YongYea: I got detected a decent amount. Enemy AI is smarter than GZ.

Has the gameplay been improved? Head-shots in Ground Zeroes were kinda hard.

@YongYea: There are improvements. Head-shots still require skill, though, because of bullet drop.

Do you know how long on average it takes for soldiers to go from alert phase back to normal?

@YongYea: A really long time. Thankfully, you can escape the base thanks to open field, but it still takes a while until soldiers ease.

Can you tell us some of your favorite game mechanics that haven’t been revealed so far?

@YongYea: One cool new addition is that when Snake dives from high place, he does a roll and seamlessly transitions.

Do you find pop ins a lot?

@YongYea: Occasionally yes, but you eventually forget about it. There’s many other things to worry about.

How is D-horse to control – does it feel as good as Red Dead Redemption?

@YongYea: They feel really good. One of the best horses in games. Hopping on D-Horse while sprinting is awesome.

How alive do these sand boxes feel?

@YongYea: The bases feel pretty alive. Some bigger than others. Obviously, it’s no GTA, purely infiltration. The fields are empty, with mostly flora and fauna, but that’s not a bad thing. Empty field is useful for escape and to plan.

Are there any indoor areas that are more complex than outposts? Like an actual facility or buildings?

@crimsonfox_MGI: Tons of different environments. There’s a nice range of difficulties.

Were you able to unlock harder difficulties so far or do you think it’s not something that’s going to be available before the end?

@YongYea: I believe harder difficulty is unlocked once you beat the game once.

Are there still lengthy cutscenes and how much does Snake interact in them? Do we hear Keifer’s voice much?

@YongYea: Cutscenes are more spread out, but they are all awesome. We hear him quite a bit in intro and cassette. In cutscenes after that so far, only a handful of times.

We’ve seen the main menu screen shows Big Boss in the chopper post-coma, but what is it when you first fire up the game?

@YongYea: All I can say is that the game does begin with hospital sequence.

So far with what you have played, would you say that MGSV is an early contender for GOTY?

@YongYea: The hospital scene alone makes this game a contender.

I’m assuming you can’t say much about it, if anything at all, but how is the hospital escape scene? General impressions?

@YongYea: It’s BATSHIT CRAZY. Some of the best presentation I’ve seen ever. Pure thrills, horror, and brutality.

@crimsonfox_MGI: [It] took me a good little chunk of time. I’m not sure if I can say exactly, but… It’s definitely worth taking your time.

In terms of story presentation, how does it compare to games like The Last of Us?

@crimsonfox_MGI: The cinematography by Kojima is something to phone home about in TPP for sure. I’ve replayed certain parts just to see it again.

Were there any cool features that surprised you?

@crimsonfox_MGI: All the features surprised me. The game is mind fuck from the very beginning. Literally nothing is what it seems. This game will throw everyone for a loop.

Have there been any cool Easter eggs that you have noticed so far?

@crimsonfox_MGI: It’s a game for fans for sure. Enough to keep new players invested as well.

What’s been your favourite part so far?

@crimsonfox_MGI: Music has been amazing.

Can you tell us one thing you don’t like (besides the opening credits)?

@YongYea: Sometimes traveling long distances can be a drag, and chopper takes a bit too long to pick you up/drop you. I think this was done to allow game to load maybe, I don’t know though. Not terrible though. You can still interact with idroid.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is due to release on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 1st September 2015.

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