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E3 2015 Hands-On – ‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’

E3 2015 Hands-On – ‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’


After the whole controversy with Konami’s new business plan which focuses on mobile devices, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain remains as the publisher’s sole major project. In fact, Konami’s presence at E3 consisted of nothing but a demo showcase for MGSV.

MGSV might have been the only game showcased at E3 for Konami but they still pulled out all the stops in its display. The whole area was a recreation of Mother Base with bolted orange doors, Outer Heaven propaganda posters as well as the obligatory fultoned sheep hanging from the ceiling.

Standing in the replicated helipad zone, the audience would be shown demos of the game and some of its unexplored features.

The mission in which the presenters showcased was a simple infiltration and retrieval operation. Upon first beginning the player can choose which partner to take into battle with them. Each partner has their own special abilities that can benefit Big Boss on his mission.

Quiet the sniper can pick off enemies from afar while DD, the loyal wolf, can distract enemies to allow Big Boss an opportunity to gain an offensive. Whomever you pick will react to Big Boss in different ways based on the affinity you’ve established for them. The demo player picked DD and off they went.

Before the mission began, the commentator made it clear that microtransactions would be in the game but will not influence player performance in anyway as not to create a pay to win scenario. We might have to wait until the game actually releases until we have a definite idea on how microtransactions will influence the players’ experiences.

Throughout the world Big Boss will come across cassette tapes that he can play while on his missions. Some of these tapes include Take On Me by A-ha and “Kids in America” by Kim Wilde. The demo player even put on Maneater by Hall & Oates while Big Boss and DD ran toward their mission objective in the desert.

This particular mission required Big Boss to extract a hostage via fulton and escape. The target is located within a run down house in the middle of a desert. Big Boss will have to use his cunning stealth and DD’s distractions to successfully complete the mission.


On his way to the area, the player would extract various people and items in the environment to take back to Mother Base. Everything can be used in some way or another. Even extracting a Russian soldier will give you the ability to interrogate enemies who only speak that language.

The dynamic weather system came into play during the demo as a devastating sand storm made the area almost impossible to see through. Sometimes weather conditions can be can be an advantage, allowing for Big Boss to take advantage of the enemies’ confusion. Other times it might not be so helpful. In these times, simply take out Big Boss’ signature cigar and wait out the storm. This waiting method can also be used to wait out certain times of day to take advantage of sunlight or the dark of night.

The player finally made it into the house and, to his surprise, a dummy had been set in place to distract him while an enemy unit snuck up from behind. The more you use certain tactics, certain weapons,or distractions, the enemy will adjust their own tactics to counter you by upgrading their gear or setting traps in areas you frequent.

After narrowly escaping the sight of the enemy, Big Boss safely extracted the target from the building. However, the player’s own escape wouldn’t be so quietly executed. Rather than sneak back, he opted to go out in a flurry of gunfire.

After escaping far enough into the desert with the help of his machine gun and a few smoke grenades, Big Boss found himself overwhelmed. At this point he summoned a bipedal mech to help suppress the enemy fire. The mech is as much of a punch-packing machine as it is a defensive powerhouse. When speed is needed, it ditches its two legs for some wheels and Big Boss is zipping through the battlefield in no time. It even has an extendable arm which is used to grab items or unsuspecting enemies.


Out comes a tank which greatly outmatches the mech, so Big Boss calls for some Chopper support to destroy it. After a spectacular explosion Big Boss is extracted and the demo ends.

MGSV is pulling no punches in trying to deliver the most comprehensive Metal Gear experience to date. No matter what Konami ends up doing with the series, at least The Phantom Pain will end up being the game Hideo Kojima envisioned, even if ends up being the last.