The Phantom Pain will be available to launch and load on Steam soon - which you'll need to do even if you buy a disc copy.
Over the weekend, Konami announced that The Phantom Pain would be available to install on Steam from 12.00am EST, September 1.
— Konami (@Konami) August 28, 2015
That's all well and good, but what about players who rely on physical media? One user who has gotten an early copy of the PC disc release of The Phantom Pain is reporting that the game itself isn't actually on the disc. In fact, all that's on there is a Steam installer, with the expectation being that anyone who purchases the disc will still be willing to download the full game.
— graphμre | グラフ (@graphure) August 30, 2015
It's worth noting, still, that The Phantom Pain is being celebrated unamimously in reviews. VG247's Shabana Arif assures us that The Phantom Pain "is unmistakably an Hideo Kojima game, regardless of what the box art omits".