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When Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was released it was met with an extremely diverse reaction. Some praised it for its diversion from the series and replayability due to its open nature. Others felt betrayed that the “story” could be finished in a mere half hour along with having iconic systems removed such as the cardboard box and wall knock. It was a fair question to ask, is this the future of Metal Gear? I think from what we have seen from the brand new E3 demo walkthrough we can answer that question with a yes and no. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain seems to have everything you would want appear in a Metal Gear game and also implements a few facets from Ground Zeroes. It blends this together and even adds some Peace Walker to the mix to showcase an impressive demo that will have fans jittering for joy.
After watching the demo for myself I instantly understood just about everything Kojima was trying to accomplish in Ground Zeroes; he was dipping his toe into something new and wanted to see how it stood on its own. From the open world to the inventory system and stealth gameplay, really the only thing recognizable was the fact that you were play as Snake himself. Just about everything else felt completely different and new; some hated it, some loved it, and some just didn’t care either way. To those that hated it you can start breathing again.
Obviously, one of the largest and most apparent changes to Metal Gear is the open aspect of the missions. The demo walks us through just one mission that was massive and had what seemed to be limitless ways to tackle it. Back is the good ole cardboard box, the wall knock (now upgraded with metal arm compatibility) and even Snake’s bad habit but in electronic form of course. The dynamic prowess of the game is pretty staggering and everything seems to be connected in a intricate way to make things as unexpected as possible. The weather will kick in at random times which hinder your Mother Base capabilities of calling in supplies or using the fulton system to bring back things such as soldiers and vehicles. Guards even have specific patrols and shifts that they take which can lead to possible vulnerabilities that you can take advantage of by using your E-cig to quickly pass the time. Even the polarizing humor of Kojima has made a triumphant comeback which was completely absent in the story section of Ground Zeroes.
Perhaps the more unexpected surprise that showed up was the addition of Mother Base and the emphasis on building your base much like Peace Walker. You are going to be putting together your base piece by piece along with training solider and creating gadgets to making sneaking around just a bit easier. However, Mother Base never actually seems to stay stagnate, things such as weather and even attacks can occur anytime whether you are there or not.
The Phantom Pain seems to be bolting on the best pieces of Ground Zeroes into traditional Metal Gear making what seems to be another knockout for the franchise. It’s not just the impressive open world that makes the prospect of Phantom Pain great but the way its systems react and align with each other. If you were skeptical about Ground Zeroes or even actively disliked it, I wouldn’t count out Kojima’s next attempt just yet. There is a lot we still don’t know but from what I’ve seen, I’m confident that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will live up to expectations of new followers and longtime fans alike. But hey, don’t just take my word for it, you can check out the gameplay demo below. Gameplay starts around 50:00.