More than a year after the launch of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Konami, in collaboration with Dark Horse Comics, published an art book featuring the various artworks for both Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. Unlike previous Metal Gear books, this one was aimed at the western market, specifically North America and Canada, whereas earlier books only released in Japan. Two different versions were made available: a normal edition and a special edition limited to 400 copies (according to Konami). A digital version for Kindle is also available. The limited edition is by far the most expensive and contains several extras.
The first thing you’ll notice is the fact that this package is pretty huge and heavy. The outer box of the collector’s edition is made to look like an ammunition container, complete with Diamond Dog logo and scratch marks.
You open the box from the side, revealing its contents. First of all, of course, the art book itself.
It is a large book with a hardcover featuring an artwork of Snake and his dog. Interestingly, this was one of the very first artworks released for the game, and as you can see the dog is still a Rhodesian ridgeback.
One neat little detail is the exclamation mark on the side of the pages.
It also comes with a metal Diamond Dogs ID tag, that you can use as a bookmark. On one side it has the logo and on the other side the text ‘We Are Diamond Dogs’.
Time to take a look at its contents. The book contains 224 pages that have been divided into 3 chapters (Ground Zeroes, The Phantom Pain, Kingdom of the Flies), with a total of 13 subchapters.
It opens with a foreword by Yoji Shinkawa, who is of course the art director for this game.
The first chapter is dedicated to the art of Ground Zeroes. There’s promotional artwork, character sketches and interface visuals, and some gorgeous looking location artworks.
As you would expect the majority of the book is filled with art for The Phantom Pain. There are all kinds of different visuals, from the various weapons, gadgets and vehicles to character sketches and locations.
As always, one of the most fascinating things are the early concepts that show some of the different approaches explored by the creators. Ever wondered what Skull Face would have looked like if he had not lost his face? Or how about the different versions of Quiet? Or the concept arts for this unused Chico?
There’s also a storyboard for what seems to be an early concept for the game’s title screen.
Then there are a few pages with artworks from the scrapped mission 51 (Kingdom of the Flies). We can see some of the environments and concepts for the boss battle against Sahelanthropus.
Lastly, there is one more bonus included with this particular version: a fine art print from illustrator Ashley Wood of Snake and Quiet engaged in battle.
In conclusion, this is a nice item for the avid Metal Gear collector. Its cool packaging and limited run make it an attractive addition to the collection. However those people who are mainly interested in the art itself, the much cheaper alternative of the regular edition or even the digital version may be a more fitting option. Not to mention this version is no longer available at most stores.
The Art of Metal Gear Solid V Limited Edition
Published in the US on November 29th 2016 by Dark Horse Books