Does MGSV's Snake Still Have What It Takes?

Hideo Kojima reveals how Metal Gear Solid V attempts to reinvent the gameplay of the stealth action series.

Kojima Productions presented the first live demo of Ground Zeroes at its new studio in Los Angeles yesterday, and despite the fact that most of the content was recycled from previous presentations, a few critical gameplay components made their debut: traversal, stealth, and combat. Metal Gear Solid V continues many of the trends set by previous games in the series, but a few subtle tweaks lend a modern coat of pain to the series that has barely changed since Metal Gear Solid debuted in 1998.

First and foremost, Ground Zeroes is the prologue to the Phantom Pain, the primary component of Metal Gear Solid V. It has been designed as a tutorial to ease you into the current iteration on the Metal Gear formula, and it seems that the hereto seen military base will make up the entirety of the Ground Zeroes experience. The mission within the latest demo won't be in the final game, but it gave the developers a chance to present a variety of scenarios. Here, a lone red FOX badge is dropped from a helicopter, and it's up to Snake to find it and escape unharmed.

Traversal

Snake has proved that he can sneak through environments undetected, but in Metal Gear Solid V, his options have expanded. When moving on foot, he can now scale new obstacles, including ladders, fences, and small buildings, but he's also capable of wrenching enemies from their posts while standing on a ladder, tossing them to the ground below. He can also hijack vehicles, but that comes with considerable risk. Cars are loud and will alert the enemy to your presence, and in the heat of a firefight, sustaining damage to your vehicle, such as a flat tire, won't make your life any easier.

Alert Mode

Jeep Wranglers aside, Snake will ultimately spend most of his time sneaking around on foot. Many of the same tricks of the past still apply, but should enemies take notice of Snake, he has a chance to prevent them from triggering a full-blown alert. When Snake is in view of enemies, a faint white glow appears in their direction. Then, everything slows down. Here, the game enters a bullet-time-like mode, and if Snake can take out the alerted enemy quick enough, be it with his fists or his firearm, he'll prevent a base-wide alert.

Enemy Radar

Kiss the Soliton Radar, Solid Eye, and motion sensors goodbye. In Metal Gear Solid V, Snake uses a connected projection-based tablet-like device to track enemies and the environment. Now, enemies must be tagged before Snake can track their positions. The process itself is pretty straightforward: spot enemies through your binoculars and "mark" them. Once they're marked, an icon above their heads identifies tagged enemies. Snake can also tag locations and objectives on his map to locate them via onscreen icons during gameplay. So enemy locations are no longer magically provided to you, and you instead have to work hard for an advantage on the battlefield.

Hostile Encounters

When the going gets tough, Snake gets tougher. Where he would have been content to knock out enemies and run past them in the past, he has a few more options in Metal Gear Solid V that can tip the scales in his favor moving forward. If Snake manages to land a few blows and bring an enemy in close, he can hold a knife to his enemy's throat and interrogate him for information--with multiple lines of questioning, no less. You may not always get the information you want, nor do you have to let the enemy keep his life, but the system adds a new layer of depth to combat and mission strategy unlike anything seen in series before. Plus, you can now steal an enemy's weapon if you're running short on firepower.

In line with the new open-world nature of Metal Gear Solid V, the moment-to-moment gameplay features new options and challenges for Snake to overcome. Of course, this is expected of any sequel, but for a series as consistent as Metal Gear, it's good to see that these additions meaningfully extend the experience without standing in the face of expectations.

Of course, there's always more to discuss when it comes to a new Metal Gear. For more coverage of Metal Gear Solid V, stay tuned later today for a look at the impact the open-world design has on the narrative.

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Discussion

657 comments
kidwreck
kidwreck

"the series that has barely changed since Metal Gear Solid debuted in 1998."

Not sure what the author means by that. I don't agree one bit.

Vorhese
Vorhese

Does your mom still have what it takes?


dadkwashere
dadkwashere

GTA V will be a good time waster until this game comes.

kluberpt
kluberpt

I dont usually like open world games,

But when I do is MGS V

bndori
bndori

Just tell us when this game is coming out Kojima.

ariefbahari
ariefbahari

Come on guys, stop comparing MGS with Splinter Cell. Both games are awesome and fun to play.

themc_7
themc_7

I've never played a MGS game, but this one looks great. Do you need to have played the other MGS's to play this? Will the story confuse the hell out of me? I'd play it just for the gameplay, but I've heard MGS is very story based.

Pr3DaToR92
Pr3DaToR92

Too bad David Hayter won't play Snake anytime soon......

Errorcutive
Errorcutive

i know what what mgs good at story,and gameplay i mean do you ever felt any emotion on splinter cell the answer is no cause splinter cell is kind of murica type of spy story, but on the otherhand mgs it told the darkside about war and espionage remember mgs 3 thats one example,and now mgs v is coming well we know what we gonna expect in the trailer......

marlobc
marlobc

these comments will make next feedbackula good

kuda001
kuda001

Q:Does MGSV's Snake Still Have What It Takes?

A: Yes he does. Unfortunately Peter, you don't seem to answer that question yourself in this article.

TiberiusJones
TiberiusJones

Your logic is as flawed as your bias against Xbox owners. The Collection was a shameless attempt to cash in long after the game had been surpassed in terms of technology and quality many times over by other, newer games... on top of that, the original games, of course, were produced by Kojima Productions... but not the HD collection, it was produced by Konami and 3rd party developers Bluepoint Games, Genki and Armature Studios. So don't blame poor sales of a last generation game released on next gen hardware on the owners of the next gen console... blame it on Konami who attempted (and failed) to bilk those same console owners in a poorly attempted moneygrab. Now go play some Little Big Planet and leave the grown-ups alone. 

Randle42
Randle42

Looks tidy. Hopefully the story holds up.

Woodstock504
Woodstock504

Snake is KING!

 Metal Gear = 1987    Splinter Cell = 2002     Who's taking ideas?   Seems Dumb to even compare  

Keeper_Artemus
Keeper_Artemus

Does Snake still have what it takes?  Of course he does.  Don't be crazy.  A bad MGS game is still a pretty good game.

Vodoo
Vodoo

Seems like every new iteration of Metal Gear that comes out borrows more and more from Splinter Cell. From this quick article I noticed tagging your enemies and the white silhouette of your "last known position," as we refer to it in the land of Tom Clancy. 

zura_janai
zura_janai

i hope we will see the young grey fox once again

dcaseng
dcaseng

I hope this game doesn't turn out to be another movie. MGS4 was agonizing to sit through with it's endless cutscenes ruining the gameplay. This developer seems to want to make film sagas, rather than annoying little video games.

wolfmgs
wolfmgs

@themc_7 probably yes man, many played mgs4 and didnt understand shit, besides the chapter when snake returned shadow moses, i was like ohhh crap!!! if you didnt play all games the story of this one probably will be confusing for you


Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@themc_7 I would highly suggest playing the Gamecube version of MGS 1 called MGS The Twin Snakes since it will be easier to handle graphically than the PSOne version I'm sure. I would then suggest getting the MGS HD Collection to catch up on the stories of 2 3 and Peace Walker. I wonder how much MGS 4 will be referenced in this game though... I was amazed when they announced this game since 4 was supposed to be the final game. I CANNOT wait for this game though...

Kraghil
Kraghil

@themc_7 The story of the Metal gear series can be quite overwhelming for someone who hasn't been following it closely. I'ts quite an integral part of the series as well. But I would advice you to play this game either way. If it peeks your interest now, I can almost guarantee you will be playing the other games in the series soon after. ^^

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@Pr3DaToR92 This is something I just read somewhere.... Why the hell isn't he and who the hell plays Snake in this!?!?!?!? I don't know how to play an MGS game without David Hayter as Snake... 

bndori
bndori

@kuda001 Does peter has what it takes to make an article about MGS ?

beckerjr
beckerjr


@Woodstock504 Uhh with them talking about finally being able to traverse ladders, fences and "small buildings"...in 2014...I'd say its pretty clear. Japanese devs are just so far behind western ones its pretty sad really.

Woodstock504
Woodstock504

@Vodoo Dude,  The only other Stealth Game worthy of mention here is Thief, and maybe, just maybe Tenchu (but that was years ago). Even though Deus Ex was nice,  It still doesn't get a spot.

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@dcaseng Why are you even here? Go play your childish mindless shooters like Call of Duty. Metal Gear isn't for you and we don't want you here. The whole enjoyment of the ENTIRE Metal Gear Solid series has been the story... the gameplay has been amazing as well and certainly enjoyable, however it also was quite basic for a Stealth Action game compared to Hitman and other more gameplay focused games. This series had simple mechanics that were easy to learn, yet extremely hard to master in order to beat European Extreme mode, unseen, without killing a single enemy. Now that is skill there.

DarthAsheron
DarthAsheron

@dcaseng MGS4 was designed to be the end of Solid Snake's journey. Kojima wanted only to not only tie everything together neatly, but have it so that players just now entering the series could have everything re-capped. The cutscenes served this purpose. The game play was fun, and the story was very enjoyable.

If you don't enjoy the cutscenes, this series isn't for you. Granted you can always just skip them.

Navardo95
Navardo95

@dcaseng Except that the story was great and the cutscenes aren't 'useless' 

Kraghil
Kraghil

@Andrex1212 @themc_7 Honestly I still play MGS 1 to this day sometimes. It made such an impression on me when I was still a kid. Actually I find it's one of those games where the outdated graphics don't hinder me personally. The gameplay is just that phenomenal, that combined with masterful storytelling and progress and that good old nostalgic feeling...


Hell I'm going to play it again now! :p 

And if you plan on going trough the wiki, prepare snacks and drinks for at least a few hours, probably more. The entire Metal gear story is that massive. Never get's boring to me though

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

@Kraghil @themc_7 Problem is if you don't play the first MGS game, the rest make almost no sense lol. I would advise atleast looking into the story of the first game, but you probably wont like the gameplay of it as its too old by now. I still think it's awesome but I grew up playing it lol.

Woodstock504
Woodstock504

@beckerjr @Woodstock504 That my friend, is an over-statement.  Lets just say that Snake never needed to traverse ladders, fences, and "small buildings".  What is Snake up against and what is Sam up against?

wolfmgs
wolfmgs

@zura_janai @Vodoo wrong im a fan of mgs, splinter cell is more realist in the ambit of politics, mgs have more fantasy things, beside the gameplay is too different, and the characters too

Aentikraist
Aentikraist

@zura_janai @Vodoo so does the game itself splinter cell as soon as mgs was out the other came mm ¬¬ ridiculous btw!!

themc_7
themc_7

@RPG_Fan_I_Am @Kraghil @themc_7 yeah that's understandable. Games you played as a kid seem easy to get back into, but games you didn't play seem unplayable. The nostalgia isn't there. I could always just go through some MGS wiki to get some backstory, characters, etc.  I also really wanted to play MGS4, which looks really nice, but I have no PS3 :(

ForceSkin
ForceSkin

@Andrex1212 You're amazed? MGS is clunky as hell. Snake has the speed and agility of a pregnant woman with hemhorroids. Finally they are deciding to put some fluidity in their stealth mechanics by borrowing heavily from modern Splinter Cell games. It doesn't matter who did stealth first, Splinter Cell, at least in terms of mechanics, does it better. If Kojima is to survive as a legendary developer/producer, he needs to get with the times.

Aentikraist
Aentikraist

@Andrex1212 @Aentikraist @zura_janai @Vodoo kinda u didnt get me here i was defending mgs to the death yeah i was very Little when mgs but i was emphasizing the same se user who supported the topic splinter cell is basically a copycat to exploit another ones idea and splinter cell sucks period metal gear by any means will always be superior in everything.

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

@Aentikraist @zura_janai @Vodoo What are you talking about? Metal Gear came out way back in 1987.... and Metal Gear Solid in what... '98? Splinter Cell was 4 years later... I actually am amazed that all of a sudden people are comparing these two series though; they really aren't similar in any way other than they both are stealth action games. That's like saying Doom and Call of Duty are the same thing and Call of Duty copied Doom. You guys are fucked -.-