In an interview with Game Informer, Hideo Kojima talked about how they’re trying to deal with difficulty level in a game that focusses on open world gameplay and player choices.
“Now that it’s an open world game it’s rather difficult to balance that because the players can pretty much choose whatever route they want. Depending on the player, the difficulty they encounter will be different. So that has been a little bit difficult balancing out the difficulty level in the game.”
“That said, each mission has its own difficulty level. There are some missions that are easier or more difficult. In that way we can balance. Given that it’s an open world, more than the difficulty of each mission, it’s choices that the player has to make.”
“For example in a Ground Zeroes mission, you have this mission you have rescue Chico, and a challenge within that is to clear it with no kills, no alerts, or within two hours. That’s really something that makes a huge difference in how the player perceives the whole mission.”
The last quote makes it sound like a reward system is still in place for those who want to challenge themselves a bit more. Like in previous games in the series, playing through the game undetected or without making any kills may offer some bonuses, such as special ranks or badges the player could collect.
For the full interview check out the link below.
Source: Game Informer