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Key Features of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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About Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

In The Phantom Pain, players will take the role of Venom Snake (also known by his alias Big Boss) in a massive collection of open-world environments. The gameplay elements are largely unchanged from Ground Zeroes, meaning that players will have to sneak from several points in the game world, avoiding enemy guards and remaining undetected. Included in Snake's repertoire are binoculars, maps, pistols, assault rifles and explosives. Players may traverse the game world with vehicles such as cars and tanks, in addition to travelling on foot or on horseback, and as certain locations are mountainous, players can opt to scale a rock face as a short cut. They may also call for friendly helicopter support against enemy soldiers in a combat alert or send commandos to scout a target area. Snake can also call on AI companions—including Quiet, a female soldier with supernatural abilities; as well as a horse with a customizable saddle for carrying more equipment on the field; and DD, a trained wolf aquired on the battlefield of war-torn Africa as a pup and trained on the new motherbase —to assist him in the field. The companions' abilities and their effectiveness will depend on the player's relationship with them.

As in Peace Walker, The Phantom Pain will offer a base-building feature that allows players to develop weapons and items from their home base. Recruitment of enemy soldiers and prisoners has also returned for this purpose, allowing the base to grow through organization. The player is given the option to access their base from their real-life smartphones and other devices via a companion app. Unlike in Peace Walker where players can only see Mother Base from the air, they can control Snake as he explores the complex on foot. The Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, an item introduced into gameplay in Peace Walker, returns as well, with players now able to transport captured soldiers and other objects such as animals and vehicles back to Mother Base. Money for upgrading Mother Base's defences can be collected from diamonds and shipping containers found all over the map. The player can also customise and upgrade Snake's appearance and abilities—for instance the colour of his fatigues and attachments for his prosthetic arm—and those of his AI companions and vehicles commandeered with diamonds and resources acquired in the field.

The enemy AI has also improved in terms of situational awareness. If players frequently use particular weapons or tactics to subdue enemy soldiers, repeats of the mission will see the enemy increase in numbers and be outfitted with better equipment; for example, the frequent use of headshots will see enemy soldiers don metal helmets to make targeting the head harder.

Series director Hideo Kojima revealed that the game has a new day-and-night cycle that runs in real-time, and that the time taken to travel time from one location to another will affect the time of day when the player arrives at their destination. The cycle also fasts-forwards when Snake lights a "Phantom Cigar", a type of electronic cigar; a digital silver Seiko watch panel appears on screen to denote time. The passage of time enables players to analyze the movement of marked enemy forces in the area, such as shifts in sentry patrols and individual patrol routes. Weather effects, such as sandstorms and rain, will also affect the gameplay environment.

A new game design direction will allow the player to choose in what order the story events take place by selecting missions in any order they like, and yet still "understand the encompassing message by the end".

Hideo Kojima has spoken about the restrictive nature of previous MGS titles, saying that they "set [the player] on one rail to get from point A to point B, with a certain amount of freedom between". In stark contrast, Kojima's team will instead offer the player new ways of traversal and sneaking methods, such as taking a plane, helicopter or motorcycle to the mission area. This is in order for Kojima to accomplish a "true open world experience". According to Famitsu, Konami confirmed that the playable world in The Phantom Pain will be two hundred times larger than that of Ground Zeroes, featuring a variety of climate conditions and environments. In addition, players who have previously played Ground Zeroes will be able to import save data into The Phantom Pain and gain special perks.

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