Metal Gear Solid 5: Exclusive Kojima Q&A on the TGS Demo (now in 1080p)

A little help from my friends.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
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Metal Gear Solid V's barely-clad female sniper, Quiet, made a lot of people uncomfortable when she made her debut at E3 2013. Though Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has never shied away from featuring the female body in the past, Quiet isn't quite a poster of a bikini model tucked away in a random enemy soldier's locker; she's pitched as a prominent figure in the game. Not deaf to the criticism, Kojima made a point to explain that she's designed to be sexy, not erotic, and the lead artist Yoji Shinkawa elaborated that many things in the game can be viewed as "sexy," including weapons and vehicles, alluding to the way aficionados might refer to a Ferrari or a high-powered rifle in the real world.

After more than a year with nary a word regarding Quiet, Kojima unleashed a torrent of fresh Metal Gear Solid V content at the Tokyo Game Show last week, including the reveal that Snake will also be near-topless at times in The Phantom Pain.

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That revelation was just the start of the demo, and there was so much more to see, including the reveal of the game's buddy system, which allows the player to take an A.I. driven companion such as Quiet into the field. As seen in the 1080p video above, she proves to be a valuable ally by marking, distracting, and taking out enemies standing in Snake's way.

The buddy system opens the door for many possibilities and the demo above raises many questions. Kojima was available during TGS last week to answer some of our questions, and his responses shed light on Quiet, her relationship to Snake, and the extent to which you'll be able to take advantage of the buddy system.

GameSpot: Relative to the rest of the cast of The Phantom Pain, based on public knowledge, Quiet is the only person with superhuman abilities that we know of. Is she one-of-a-kind within Metal Gear Solid V?

Hideo Kojima: To confirm, Quiet is not the only person with superhuman abilities, and as you can probably remember, past MGS titles have featured bosses with superhuman abilities. The Phantom Pain is no different in that respect, Snake will encounter characters with various types of powers.

Can you describe the relationship between Snake and Quiet?

The relationship will depend on the player. The game isn’t linear, so there will be players who meet Quiet and get on good terms with her, and others who won’t. As we’ve revealed in the footage at TGS, Quiet will make her way to Mother Base if certain conditions are met, but that isn’t necessarily the case for everyone. Again, this is a non-linear game, so some players may never get Quiet to join them, and that’s fine. The story will go on without her. Naturally, players who recruit her will be able to enjoy additional episodes with her in the game, but it’s not a requirement. It’s actually possible to make it to the end without Quiet.

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Are any buddies a key part of the plot? Is it possible to utilize common soldiers from Mother Base within the buddy system as well?

As we’ve revealed at TGS, players can encounter a puppy during one of their missions and may rescue it. However, if players bring the puppy back to the Mother Base and let Ocelot raise it, it can then be used as one of your buddies. Though I should mention that some players may not find the puppy, or may choose not to save it. In that case, the dog never makes it to Mother Base and will not be available as a buddy. It’s really up to the player’s actions. Players have the freedom to do what they want.

For those who bring the puppy back to Mother Base, he can eventually help Snake by using his canine sense of smell. His abilities are completely different from those of Quiet and it’s an example of how gameplay can vary greatly depending on the buddies you choose. As a side note, in our focus tests, even “cat people” fell in love with DD, so that’s a good sign!

Generally speaking, though, buddies are not critical to the main storyline. Therefore, some players may opt to have no buddies at all. Those people will miss out on special episodes and events that only occur if you have certain buddies on your side, but players are free to choose that path if they like.

Common soldiers won’t be selectable as buddies.

What happens if a buddy gets killed in the line of duty?

They die, and they stay dead. The story goes on without them.

Will the player ever get to control Quiet or other buddies directly, without Snake?

Players cannot control Quiet or other buddies without Snake. Snake is the main character.

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Is there a connection between the Mother Base mechanic and the buddy system?

If players don’t bring potential partners back to Mother Base and interact with them, they’ll never become buddies. In that sense, there is a strong connection. For example, Quiet comes to the Mother Base as a prisoner. At first, she’s always monitored and can’t move freely or talk to anyone in the base. However, as you interact with her, the story gradually evolves to the point where you can bring her along as a buddy.

Likewise, players need to raise the rescued puppy, DD, and have him trained at Mother Base if they want him to become buddy material. You could say that he actually matures alongside Mother Base.

Therefore, there is certainly a relationship between Mother Base and your buddies, but it is not imposed at all. Players can continue to play through missions solo if they like, and the main story will continue onward even if they don’t frequent Mother Base.

How does Snake acquire new prosthetic limbs? Is it related to weapons development and research back on Mother Base?

Yes, it is related to weapons development and R&D at Mother Base. It’s very similar to the system used in Peace Walker. When players complete a mission, they receive a score and get certain rewards based on that score. Also players can earn money by completing sub-missions or gathering resources in the field, such as raw diamonds.

The combination of funds, resources, and the skills of the personnel you recruit using the Fulton, all affect the types of weapons and equipment that your R&D unit will be able to develop.

Bionic arms for snake are just one example of the items your R&D team can develop, and there are many varieties to unlock. Each variety has its own unique features that you can take advantage of to complete missions.

What are some of the key differences, in terms of gameplay scenarios, between Afghanistan and Africa?

Afghanistan is generally wide open and features good visibility. It is easy for players to spot enemies, and vice-versa. On the other hand, Africa has a lot of forested areas and jungles. There are trees to provide cover, and rainstorms are frequent. The low visibility means that there are many places for the player to hide, but on the other hand, you never know where the next threat may be lurking.

Each environment has its own missions, and lends itself to a certain type of gameplay. It’s up to the player to devise strategies that work best in each situation based on environmental factors and the mission at hand.

For even more MGS news and information, check out the game's hub page.

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