Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain has a “buddy” system allowing players to bring AI companions along on missions – but it’s not without risk.
MGS5: The Phantom Pain was showcased at the Tokyo Game Show 2014, with creator Hideo Kojima providing commentary for streamed footage. The result is a flood of new information regarding the game.
Let’s start with Quiet, the controversially-costumed sniper and subject of the new MGS5: The Phantom Pain trailer from TGS 2014, and her role as a buddy.
Quiet, along with Snake’s eyepatch-wearing dog, is one of a number of “buddies” Snake can bring along on missions to help him out.
Kojima said Quiet’s concept is “nudity” and “a naked sniper”, and that there’s a surprising explanation for why she looks the way she does. This explanation relates to a “weakness” in her character which will be revealed during the game.
Quiet can scout ahead, tagging enemies for Snake, and provide covering fire. In demos, you can hear her hum to indicate she has reached a desired position. Players can select targets for Quiet to shoot, including grenades.
Like other buddies, Quiet’s abilities increase as her bonds with Snake strengthen; you can’t even bring her on missions if she and Snake aren’t friends yet.
Buddies are entirely optional in gameplay, and you can even avoid meeting them altogether – but they open subplots if you do track them down. The buddies can also die – including the dog and horse. This won’t affect the main plot of the game, so you won’t get a game over screen, but is is permanent.
Players can bring along multiple buddies; there are four seats in the chopper aside from Snake’s. At present, the identity of all the buddies has not been confirmed, but Ocelot is not available. This may change before release, though.
Other MGS5: The Phantom Pain gameplay details
Kojima and Konami also revealed multiple miscellaneous details regarding The Phantom Pain’s gameplay. It sounds like missions will be quite freeform and sandbox-like; players choose where the chopper sets them down, and plot their own routes through missions. You can even jump out of the chopper before it lands, but if you’re high enough, you will die. There are consequences to most of your actions; speed up time too much and a rescue target may die, for example. Players can accept new missions in the field without returning to base.
In footage shown at TGS, the player is seen climbing; any cracked wall is climbable, and as in the livestreamed demo, this can provide a shortcut. The player would otherwise face a long trek through the jungle, where it’s difficult to ride a horse for rapid travel.
Snake is shown wearing a prosthesis. Players will be able to choose from various prosthetic options, each with different abilities. There will be many options, according to Kojima. The one featured in the demo can be used to stun enemies with an electrical jolt.
During the demo shown at TGS, Snake receives a new sneaking suit manufactured back at Mother Base. It is stronger than Snake’s previous suits (chronologically; remember, this is set before Metal Gear Solid) and the boots are designed to absorb sound.
In terms of gadgets, Snake has access to a decoy that spits out famous Metal Gear lines to distract enemies. The binoculars can be used to analyse soldiers in the field, and can be upraded through research. A number of other technologies will be available through research including weather modification.
The Fox Engine and MGS: The Phantom Pain
Kojima has said that the Fox Engine has allowed him to make the game he’s been wanting to build for 27 years.
The engine allows designers to complete most work on their own, directly, rather than request assistance from programmers. It has also made multi-platform development easier, and reduced development costs considerably.
The Phantom Pain has been in the works for five years and is nearing completion, Kojima said, while not giving any release date details. He did say that those who have completed Ground Zeroes will get a special bonus when The Phantom Pain launches, though.
Gameplay footage of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was live streamed during Tokyo Game Show 2014.
Inn addition to viewing live and archived presentations from TGS 2014, many of the details in this post were harvested from various preview and interview posts on Metal Gear Informer and translations tweets from JunkerHQ.