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Five Lingering Metal Gear Questions The Phantom Pain Should Address

To say that the Metal Gear series’ story is “complicated” would be charitable. Each installment raises new questions, and occasionally backpedals on answers you thought you knew. However, with Metal Gear Solid V on the horizon, the franchise has the opportunity to clear up any remaining confusion. While fans undoubtedly have theories about where the story of Big Boss will go – and how it connects to Solid Snake’s – these are the five big questions we’d like to see answered in The Phantom Pain.

Where is Roy Campbell?
Roy Campbell is a major part of Solid Snake’s chapters in the saga, but his role in the early parts of the timeline seems to be strangely abandoned. This is especially strange given the series’ tendency to constantly loop familiar and established characters into the events. Campbell’s absence may be tied to the ambiguous status of Portable Ops as a canon entry, but in that game, he was Naked Snake’s second-in-command. They even formed the Foxhound unit together. However, Campbell was replaced by Miller as Big Boss’ lieutenant, and we haven’t seen what he’s been up to since.

What’s up with the Les Enfants Terrible clones?
With each passing Metal Gear installment, this question gets harder to answer. Different titles and versions have provided conflicting information about when the cloning occurred, Big Boss’ age when the project was underway, and whether or not he was in a coma at the time. It might require a retcon (which the series has done before), but hopefully The Phantom Pain can provide a definitive timeline for when Solid, Liquid, and Solidus were created – and why Solidus was engineered to age faster. Signs point to these questions at least being addressed; when we asked Hideo Kojima about Big Boss’ coma(s) in an interview, he responded: “There’s only once he’s in a coma, and to explain that you need to play towards the end of The Phantom Pain. There it will come together. You’ll be like ‘Oh, that’s what happened!’”

Why does Big Boss return to Foxhound?
Big Boss has a long history with specialized military groups. He was an operative with the Fox unit. He created Foxhound, Militaires Sans Frontières, and (apparently) Diamond Dogs. At some point after the events of Metal Gear Solid V, Big Boss returns to command Foxhound – a tenure that ends when he guides Solid Snake through Outer Heaven in the original Metal Gear. What’s his motive for returning to his old unit after The Phantom Pain, and how does Solid Snake fit in? Even if we don’t see the moments play out directly, we need some sense of his trajectory between MGS V and Metal Gear.

How do Gray Fox and Big Boss reconnect?
If you assume the events of Portable Ops are generally correct, Gray Fox and Big Boss have already met. However, later games in the series reference the two soldiers (and Naomi Hunter) connecting in the African country of Mozambique in the ‘80s. The Phantom Pain is set in 1984, and we know that Africa is one of the areas Big Boss visits in the game – so we might get to see this scene play out. If nothing else, Gray Fox is definitely a fan-favorite character, and it seems unlikely that Hideo Kojima would pass up a golden opportunity to work him into the story.

How do the Patriots become so corrupt?
The founding member of the Patriots were all involved in Operation Snake Eater, but they didn’t seem like bad people at the time. Para-Medic liked to chat about movies. Sigint had weird dreams with poop tanks. Zero loved James Bond. They seemed like nice (but strange) people. However, later entries in the game tell us that the members of the Patriots became evil and power-hungry. We know how Sigint, Para-Medic, and Zero eventually die, but we don’t know much about their fall from grace. How did this likeable codec-support crew turn into the series’ supervillains?

Hopefully, The Phantom Pain is able to shed some light on these issues and give fans some extra clarity. What unresolved questions are you hoping to see answered in the next installment? Share them in the comments below.

Get ready for the release of The Phantom Pain with our hub of exclusive Metal Gear Solid V stories and videos.

You can also follow our Metal Gear Solid V updates and other stories by following Game Informer on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

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[Update] The Real Intel On Metal Gear V’s Forward Operating Bases

Update: I talked to Konami today about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain's forward operating bases, how they tie into your single-player Mother Base, and what I got wrong about the FOBs in relation to Metal Gear Online. The new intel is inside!

First off, I want to apologize that I got FOBs wrong. I'm sorry. Here's the (real) deal: FOBs are indeed extensions of you Mother Base, but they are solely related to the single-player title, not Metal Gear Online. You can attack friend's FOBs, and if they're playing and online at the time, you can fight them on an FOB. If they're not online then you'll just battle against the A.I. staff at the FOB. You cannot attack a friend's FOB if they aren't online.

Konami's not talking about what you can specifically extract from an FOB, but a representative I talked did say you could steal staff and weapons from an FOB.

Hopefully we'll learn more about the actual Metal Gear Online soon.

 

Original Story: Metal Gears fans anxiously await the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on September 1, and apart from being able to continue the story from Ground Zeroes, players will also get to play the latest iteration of Metal Gear Online. Konami hasn't talked a lot about this aspect of MGS V, but here are a few new details.

A key component to MGO are forward operating bases or FOBs. These are related to the Mother Base of your single-player campaign, but are separate installations that serve as the battlegrounds of MGO. In the multiplayer component of MGS V you'll attack and defend FOBs for resources and other spoils in 8v8 battles (or 6v6 on the older systems). Your single-player Mother Base does have an optional online component whereby you can infiltrate friends' bases, but this is separate from Metal Gear Online.

The single-player component of MGS V, however, is related to MGO in that you will be able to carry over some cosmetic extras from MGS V to MGO.

Konami has confirmed that Team Sneak and other modes from previous iterations of Metal Gear Online are returning, and that MGO in MGS V not only features its own dedicated maps, but also those inspired by the game's single-player portion.

Gamers can play as Snake or Revolver Ocelot, with more characters to be announced, and MGO developer Kojima Productions Los Angeles has confirmed in the past that there is a player progression system.The game contains multiple classes at launch, thus leading to the insinuation that others will follow after the game comes out. Microtransactions for MGO have been rumored, but we do not have confirmation of that as of the time of this writing.

For more on Metal Gear Online, check out this previous trailer. For more on the single-player and gameplay in general, here are my answers to a host of reader questions.

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See More Of Big Boss And His Buddies In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Screens

E3 2015 kicked off earlier this week with an epic trailer for the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The video looked great, but a new batch of screens from the trailer show just how pretty the game is.

The selection of screens showcase a variety of different gameplay mechanics. Big Boss pilots a mech, drives a jeep, and rides a horse. Thankfully, the tried-and-true cardboard box stealth tool also makes a return. Scantily-clad sniper Quiet pals around with Big Boss and his one-eyed dog. There's also a sheep strapped to a balloon, floating back to Mother Base. As you can tell, the gameplay is wildly varied. The 20 screenshots barely scratch the surface of Kojima's massive game.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain releases on September 1 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Read about our hands-on time with the title here.

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Kato Answers Your Questions About Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

I recently had the privilege of playing several hours of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, experiencing many different facets of the title. You've been kind enough to send me your questions about the game, and here I endeavor to answer them the best I can.

I must reiterate that I cannot talk about anything related to the game's story, cutscenes, and other sensitive matters. That being said, I will talk about elements such as gameplay, the game world, and missions – which you may or may not consider SPOILERS. So, consider yourself warned.

In general, I can say that I've played through the infamous hospital scene shown in the game's initial trailer and that at the end of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Mother Base was destroyed. Snake and Kazuhira Miller are trying to figure out what happened, the identity of Skull Face and his XOF unit, and who led Cipher to the door of Snake's Militaires Sans Frontières organization.

So, without further ado: Your questions (in no particular order) and my answers, to the best of my ability…

How big does the game world seem? – masterassassin51
The areas you are in – in this case Afghanistan – are open and you can go wherever you like, but I wouldn't say MGS V is an open-world game, per se. It just doesn't have the scale of a Witcher 3 or a GTA, for instance. Afghanistan in the game didn't strike me as particularly large or small, but there was plenty to do there. You will also travel to Africa, but I didn't get that far in my time with the game.

Co-op? – @MetalGearArabic
No. There is multiplayer, but not co-op in the single-player campaign.

Does the game run well in the last-generation? – @HassaneManson
I only played the game on PS4, so I'm not sure about the other versions, including the last-gen ones.

Is there a lot of varied side content in the open world, or is the open world just meant to give you more options on how to approach story missions? – jimmy2tymez
There are plenty of optional side missions that pop up on your map that you can ignore or fulfill while you are on other missions. The world itself gives you different ways to approach a situation. You can do so at different times of the day, come at a base from another direction, or use varied methods of infiltration like sneaking in on a truck. My favorite is to wait for a sandstorm to kick up and then run through the front door!

How are the loading times from what you've played? – carcosam
There is no loading once you are in the world, but if you choose to go back to Mother Base there is a load. I'm not going to characterize that loading time because I simply don't know how that may change when the game comes out.

Can you bring buddy A.I. along for any mission or only select ones? – Frosty
From what I played, you could bring a buddy with you (your horse, Quiet, the dog DD) via the loadout screen when you leave Mother Base. If it's restricted in other missions, I wouldn't know. 

Hideo Kojima has apparently stated that some missions in MGS V will take a whole six hours to complete. With the short amount of time you have had with the game, have you encountered any missions with a noticeable time length? If so, were there enough checkpoints littered throughout to not make such long missions frustrating after a few deaths? – Tommy2crunchy
I did not experience anything that long, but there were a couple of base-infiltration missions coupled with hostage objectives that took me a while to complete because they were big and I kept dying! Afterwards I would respawn back at the outside of the base.

Already a hot discussion among our friends, but can we steal each other's sheep or plant sheep in each other's bases? – Duelit
Unfortunately, I cannot talk about the game's online component, but more info is coming the morning of Tuesday, June 16, so please come back then. If you're not referring to the game's online play, then that's between you, your friends, and any sheep involved. Just be nice to the sheep.

When some lonely guard spots you, does everybody almost instantly magically know about you, or does he have to use a radio or raise an alarm to contact others? – Fors 
When you're spotted the game goes into slow-motion for a few seconds, allowing you to get a shot off like in Ground Zeroes. You won't be unrealistically converged upon, but they will call for backup. If you encounter a small patrol or even a single soldier out in the wild (not on a base, for instance) they will also get on the radio for backup, but it's also easier to just take care of the situation and disappear into the hills. In a larger sense, I think the game does a good job requiring you to be aware of your surroundings in the world without having to worry too much about being spotted every five seconds when you're just trying to ride your horse around and explore.

Read on for Fulton Balloons and more!


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Ask Kato Anything About Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

There has been plenty of talk about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain recently, but for the wrong reasons. Luckily, I had the opportunity to play a large chunk of the game, and we can start talking about the things that matter with it – the game itself. So ask me what you want to know about MGS V, and I'll do my best to give you all the answers.

Of course, I must caveat this by saying that there are some things that Konami doesn't want me divulging about the game – primarily regarding the story – for obvious reasons.

Still, if you have a question about Metal Gear Solid V, type it below in the comments section and I'll post my answers on Tuesday, June 9, at 8 a.m. Central.

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Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Leads June 2015 PlayStation Plus Offerings

PlayStation Plus members will have plenty to keep them busy in the month of June, including four titles on PS4 alone.

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All of the following games will become available free for PS Plus members starting June 2. Don't forget to pick up this month's Plus games before that time.

PlayStation 4

  • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
  • Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition  
  • Super Exploding Zoo
  • Futuridium EP Deluxe

PlayStation 3

  • Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
  • Cloudberry Kingdom

PlayStation Vita

  • Super Exploding Zoo
  • Futuridium EP Deluxe 

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Konami And Square Enix Are Releasing The Hottest Metal Gear Solid V Figure Yet

Play Arts Kai has released a gallery of images of the company's latest figurine based on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The Burning Man is a grim-looking person who lives up to his name.

If you're fuzzy on the character, don't fret. He might not have the instant name recognition of a Big Boss, but he's sure to leave an impression on players. You may have spied him in a quick appearance in one of the game's first trailers. Here's a shot of him emerging from a wall of flames in a burning hospital.

This shot gives a clearer picture of what Mr. Man looks like when he's not obscured in fire. Notice all of the ammo that peppers his uniform, as well as the melted armor plating marred by scorch marks. 

The figure comes with alternate hands, chest armor, and various fiery bits that you can attach to him. He also comes with a stand, so you don't have to rely on your positioning and balancing skills to make him look cool on your desk. The Burning Man figure is coming out in September, and it'll set you back  ¥14,800 (about $ 122.25).

This isn't the first figure based on the Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, either. The companies collaborated on a pair of Big Boss figures, too.

 

[Source: ToyArk]

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A Day With Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Senior editor Matthew Kato is one lucky guy. He's currently at a Konami preview event getting hands-on time with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. As he plays, he'll be tweeting his thoughts on his Twitter account. We're compiling them all here, so you can keep up with his adventure.

11:26 AM Got my trusty horse in her battle dress and we're stomping through the afhgan mnts. Covered in blood!

11:33 AM Mid- mission trying to locate Honey Bee weapon. Stopping to take care of Soviet relay station. Lets find some intel!  

11:38 AM Wow did I get lucky. Spontaneous dust storm covered my entrance. Soviets are clueless.

11:42 AM That didn't last long… resorted to using thier anti-aircraft gun against them. Oh well.

11:46 AM Cover of night is the perfect way to walk away from that disaster!

11:51 AM Been hearing a puppy yelp, but can't find it! Would love to have returned it to Mother Base.

11:52 AM Finally arrived at Smasei Fort to find Honey Bee. Now the real work begins. Let's do some recon!

11:55 AM Wide open canyon. Soviets everywhere. Hostage. This is going to be difficult.

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The Essentials – Metal Gear Solid

The Essentials is Game Informer's weekly recurring feature that takes a look at the most important games the industry has to offer. These games aren't just a ton of fun: Their quality, innovation, and industry influence make them must-play experiences for anyone who wants a greater appreciation of our interactive medium.

This weekend we're taking a look at Metal Gear Solid. It was not Hideo Kojima’s first game, and it wasn’t the first Metal Gear game, but it was the first game that allowed Kojima to really flex his cinematic muscle. It offered an unprecedented amount Hollywood-quality storytelling, and recognized the importance of actor performance in an age where two snippets of repeated dialogue were considered more than enough.

Release Year: 1998
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Released For: PlayStation

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Released in 1998, Metal Gear Solid marked a return to the series after an eight-year hiatus. The previous Metal Gear title in the series, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, released exclusively in Japan in 1990 for the MSX home computer. Comparing the two in terms of technical proficiency showcases a huge disparity, but many of the game’s core stealth and combat mechanics translated smoothly into the new 3D setting.

Metal Gear Solid is credited with popularizing the stealth genre. Video games had yet to overcome the temptation to fill a screen with as much action as possible and simply empower the player with more and more firepower. Metal Gear Solid asked players to avoid combat and try to survive in a setting where the less the enemy knew of your presence the better you would fare.

Every room had to be approached with a certain level of preparation. You had to peek around corners, keep an eye out for cameras, be wary of the footsteps you left behind in the snow, and be careful about walking loudly on metal catwalks. We smirk at the A.I. of the stealth genre today where soldiers carefully pace a predictable path, but in our first Metal Gear Solid encounters, the idea that these typically mindless soldiers could quickly overpower you if you made a misstep went a long way in making them both believable and imposing.

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The most memorable aspect of Metal Gear Solid, however, was its story and the way it was delivered. The game had an impressive run-time of cutscenes and they were all delivered using the in-game engine lending an important level of consistency between the gameplay and story. Most PlayStation games opted to create pre-rendered cutscenes, which created a wide disparity between the story moments and the gameplay. In Metal Gear Solid, moving between scripted moments and gameplay was seamless.

Outside of cutscenes, additional story was delivered through fully-voiced codec conversations. As the series has moved forward, many complain about the extended and winded nature of these long phone calls, but they are important for building and defining each and every character you interact with. Forgettable moments in other games, like saving your progress are turned into humanizing moments in Metal Gear Solid where you can talk to someone about the difficulty of your mission, and learn about the people who are supporting you. You may be alone on your stealth mission, but chatting on the codec gave you the feeling you weren’t alone, even if there was no one there to physically help you.

Metal Gear Solid also saw some of the first times director Hideo Kojima – now famous for his strange marketing and gameplay tricks – playing with the rules of narrative in an interactive world. The Psycho Mantis boss fight surprised players by looking into their memory card to discuss save data from other games. You also had to manually switch controller ports to prevent Mantis from reading your mind so you could defeat him. Other moments, like tracking down Meryl’s codec number by reading the back of the box art, represent an odd overlap of the real and virtual world that rarely see, even to this day.

It’s no surprise that Metal Gear Solid became one of the most influential video game franchises of modern gaming. As I mentioned previously, Metal Gear Solid was not the first in the series, but it was the one that forced a mainstream gaming audience to take notice and get excited about the stories video games could tell. It’s winded, complicated, and melodramatic, but it’s an undeniably engaging narrative that really could only be delivered in an interactive medium.

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Exclusive: Metal Gear Composer Covers Final Fantasy VI Track On New Album

Last week, we detailed a new album called Prescription for Sleep: Game Music Lullabies Volume II, which features relaxing arrangements by Metal Gear and Bayonetta composer Norihiko Hibino. Now, we're exclusively revealing one of the tracks on the album.

The album has arrangements from Skyrim, Shovel Knight, Final Fantasy, and more, but Scarlet Moon Records has been slowly trickling out the track listing. Today, we're revealing that Final Fantasy VI's "Kids Run Through The City Corner" will be one of the songs covered on the album. Better yet, we also have a sample of it, so you can get a taste of what's in store. 

So far the following tracks have been revealed: 

  • Troian Beauty – Final Fantasy IV
  •  The Streets of Whiterun – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  •  The One Who Is Torn Apart – Xenogears
  •  Courage Under Fire –Shovel Knight
  •  The Moon – DuckTales
  •  Scattering Blossoms – Chrono Trigger
  • Snake Eater – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

 

You can listen to part of the track below.

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For more information and to pre-order, visit Scarlet Moon Records' site

Also, if you purchase volumes I and II on Loudr together, you get the Gentle Love single from Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Arrangements & Variations ("GENTLE OBLIVION").

What do you think? Does the album have your interest? Let us know in the comments below!

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