Feature Article

The Best Moments From Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's Gameplay Demo

Let the legend come back to life.

It has been a long road getting to this point, but the main part of Metal Gear Solid V is nearly upon us. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, which came out earlier this year, was but a sampling of the things to come in The Phantom Pain, which will follow the fall of the tragic antihero, Big Boss, as he recovers from a substantial coma following the events in Ground Zeroes and seeks revenge against those who've opposed him.

Late last night, Hideo Kojima presented a 30-minute demo of The Phantom Pain on his podcast, Kojima Station. Finally, everyone has the chance to see the demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain that was shown behind closed doors at E3 last week, but because it's so long, there's a lot of information to absorb. In case you don't want to spend half an hour watching the entire demo, or you need to reference the most important moments, we've prepared a list of the most notable events from the demo, below.

02:03 - Big Boss's iDroid device appears to be an upgraded version of the one from Ground Zeroes. Since the first game, it has gone from version 1.02 to version 3.02.

02:16 - Ocelot: "I give him three days, tops. If we fail, we lose our chance at revenge." Ocelot refers to Kazuhira "Master" Miller, Big Boss's compatriot and survival trainer from FOXHOUND, the pair's former pre-Diamond Dogs mercenary unit.

02:47 - "I suspect you'll become quite familiar with those binoculars as you plan your next move." Ocelot comments on Big Boss's ever-useful binoculars. Given that Big Boss used the same binoculars during Ground Zeroes, this is an odd comment.

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03:00 - "You're a legend in the eyes of those who live on the battlefield. That's why you have to handle this mission yourself. Put those nine years behind you, and return as Big Boss. That's how Kaz would want it." Ocelot comments to Big Boss about Big Boss. It seems that he may be talking to him in this manner because Big Boss (potentially) suffered some memory loss due to the accident at the end of Ground Zeroes and the resulting nine-year coma between then and the events in The Phantom Pain.

03:37 - "He’ll be missing them, and you're his only hope of getting them back." Ocelot refers to Miller's iconic sunglasses. This comment and the visual pause on the sunglasses seems to be more about providing fan service than hinting at plot points.

04:00 - "Let the legend come back to life." Big Boss has a reputation as a legendary soldier, but since he was dormant for nearly a decade, it's going to take an act of bravery and stealth to renew his former glory.

04:40 - A marker in the middle of the map is indicated as being 943 meters away from Big Boss's location at that point in the mission. Therefore, it's safe to say that some locations in The Phantom Pain are 1km or more in size.

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06:37 - Big Boss uses the Fulton recovery system, which is traditionally limited to abducting and recruiting soldiers, to obtain a goat from the field.

07:28 - Big Boss spins his mechanical wrist to produce a "knocking" effect, rather than rapping his fist against the wall. This means that you're no longer dependent on your surroundings or items to lure enemies via sound.

07:41 - Big Boss pulls an enemy from around a corner and slams him into a wall, face first, for a rapid takedown. This is one of a few examples of advanced CQC strikes that was executed during the demo.

08:00 - Big Boss recovers a large shipping container and sends it back to Mother Base. If you're on such an object while it's airborne, you'll automatically abort the mission at hand and return to Mother Base along with the recovered item. This includes vehicles as well (17:58).

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08:36 - A dynamic weather event, in this case a sandstorm, which impacts the flow of the mission at hand. Before this occurred, Big Boss received a weather alert via his iDroid from the intel unit back at Mother Base. Visibility during sandstorms is low, meaning that enemies are less likely to spot Big Boss, but it will also significantly obscure his sight line. This alert is dependent on the abilities of the Intel Unit back at Mother Base, which is composed of soldiers that you've recovered from the field.

09:36 - Big Boss collects raw diamonds from the field, which is one example of the various raw materials that Big Boss can find. These materials are turned into currency (GMP) that is used to upgrade Mother Base, purchase new equipment, and support the costs associated with the Fulton recovery system.

10:50 - We get a look at the Mother Base staff list. It details the attributes of the various soldiers that you've "recruited" into your ranks. Each unit can grow to level 50.

11:20 - The intel unit can identify possible enemy locations on the map if it's at the required level. These locations are identified by glowing red circles.

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12:06 - In order to pass the time and get a glimpse of the rotating patrol shifts around your target, Big Boss can make use of the phantom cigar. It's described in-game as: "a cigar blend with a medicinal herb that speeds up the user's perception of time. Loses efficacy if the user is under stress, for instance if spotted by an enemy." You're in full control of when time stops.

12:45 - Big Boss opens the iDroid while using the phantom cigar to closely monitor patrol paths and set waypoints. You can also identify when and where guards sleep.

13:38 - Big Boss calls upon the research and development department at Mother Base to call in an airdrop. The R&D department can create and deliver primary and secondary weapons, support weapons, items, and tools. Items fall into different "grades." Some items begin as a "grade 1" item and can be leveled up into other grades, while some items are grade 2 or 3 by default. The grade designation appears to indicate how expensive an item is.

14:47 - Big Boss pops out of a cardboard box, from the top, to attack an enemy. You can also pop out from the side of a box (17:34.)

14:57 - Big Boss uses the Fulton recovery system while the cardboard box is still equipped.

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15:50 - Big Boss calls in an airdrop on an enemy guard.

18:34 - Big Boss pulls an enemy into a dumpster and knocks him out in a single swift motion.

21:34 - Big Boss scans a document with his iDroid to retrieve and store the information therein without removing the actual object from the scene.

22:38 - After being spotted, Big Boss requests an artillery strike via air support, which hits at the 23:30 mark.

25:00 - We catch the first glimpse of Mother Base, which will look different in every player's game.

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26:26 - Big Boss is greeted by a soldier and a goat that were recovered from the field.

26:46 - A soldier practices at a gun range in the background. You can train soldiers through various activities, such as CQC sparring, to raise their, and your, skills.

27:12 - The camera focuses on an antiaircraft gun, which is one of many types of artillery that you can recover from the field. These will protect your base from incoming attacks.

28:00 - Ocelot is spotted hanging around Mother Base.

28:20 - We see another example of dynamic weather effects when a rain storm rolls in.

29:11 - Right before the end of the demo, enemies appear and begin to assault Mother Base. Relationships you make within missions and online can affect when and how these attacks occur.

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Did we miss anything else from the Phantom Pain demo that's notable? Let us know in the comments below!

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    Peter Brown

    Peter is a Senior Editor at GameSpot who's passionate about gaming hardware and game preservation.
    Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

    Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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