The 8th Edition
The 8th edition to the franchise to be helmed by Hideo Kojima, himself as creator and producer, with the intent of this being the final one he shall lead. A game that is in fact a two-parter game and spawned from a new game engine by the Fox team. It’s introduction to the masses at first came in the form of a Fox Engine showcase titled ‘Ground Zeroes’ showing off: vegetation and lighting, textures and animation. Second came the release of ‘The Phantom Pain’ packaged as an independent project by the Swedish Moby Dick Studio, unveiled at the Spike Game Award. Speculation began: similarity of the graphics, characters and the piecing together of logos and negative text space. Finally Kojima announced Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain saying the previous titles are one and the same; Ground Zeroes acting as a prologue hoping to deal with ‘risky’ issues, and The Phantom Pain comprising the resulting story arch.
Ground Zeroes follows in the wake of Peace Walker. Snake works with the MSF, a military that operates without borders that was established after the events of Snake Eater, separate from Major Zero. Snake is sent to an unofficial sight in Cuba to recover two captives, Chico and Paz, both from Peace Walker. Kojima hopes to address mature themes that from the trailer, involving graphic torture sequences, military prison conditions, execution and the extremes to which a mission must be accomplished. Elements that have been seen in previous titles, but never in such an intimate human way. It’s during these events snake is thrown into a coma during the attempted destruction of Mother Base.
The Phantom Pain
The Phantom Pain wakes you 10 years after the Ground Zeroes event. You are reunited with Ocelot, a rival from as far back as Snake Eater, Snake is now Punished Snake and leads his newly formed mercenary group the Diamond Dogs. It’s been a long time, currently 1984, and the soviets are invading Afghanistan. This is the initial setting for MGS V. Your former comrade Miller has been captured and you need to find out who is responsible for the destruction of the MSF home base. What begins as revenge becomes a need to stop yet another super weapon. As always there are a host of new and familiar characters each with unique talents, whether they be supernatural, physical or both. For example a tortured sniper by the name of Quite who seems to be able to alter her skin to suit her conditions. The game is said to be broken up into episodes of open world environments, larger than any previous title, with the player having the freedom to choose any mission in any order; yet still understand the intended story.
Snake has access to a multitude of vehicles from jeeps to planes, tanks to helicopters. Your method of transport will affect how much or little time you have at your destination. Now that real passage of time is in effect a 24hr clock will dictate your actions and strategy. Not only time but the weather will act to either hinder or help you (storms either sand or rain) with their own unique way of altering how you operate in the MGS universe. You will own a base of operations where you can upgrade weapons and equipment, and plan missions. Snake himself has been updated with a much more fluid range of movements and actions, e.g. swifter response while remaining stealthy and a focused intuitive CQC mechanic. Giving Snake a less procedural and more natural means of moving through the environment.
It’s turning out to be an interesting installment in a already highly successful franchise. What do you make of it? Leave your comments.