Metal Gear Solid V info: gameplay mechanics, storytelling, side missions and more

A little while ago, Japanese website Game Watch conducted an interview with Hideo Kojima about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. So far, some small bits of information have appeared on the web, but now Youtube user YongYea posted a translation of the entire interview on his channel. Needless to say, this resulted in some interesting new information about the game, which can be found in bullet points below. To watch the video itself, follow the link in the source at the bottom of this post.

  • Most of the cutscenes in the game will be like the long camera shot seen in the Ground Zeroes intro, which didn’t have any cuts or transitions. Kojima wanted the same camera that shows Snake during gameplay to be the one registering the cutscenes. The reason for this is to emphasize the open world structure of the game.
  • According to Kojima, the linearity of previous games in the series made a limited AI acceptable, but for an open world environment the AI has to be top notch. The AI in the game is still dumb at this moment, but should be vastly improved when the game is finished.
  • The weapons will be based on those found in the 1980s, since this is the time period in which the game takes place.
  • Only one helicopter can be called in during Ground Zeroes missions. The reason for this from a story perspective has to do with the UN’s nuclear inspection, Kojima said. This is also the reason Fulton Recovery can’t be used in the Ground Zeroes section, and players will have to carry soldiers to the helicopter themselves.
  • In The Phantom Pain players can call in as many helicopters as they can afford. Recruitment will play a much larger role in The Phantom Pain, and players can use Fulton Recovery to quickly gather new recruits.
  • The Phantom Pain will be 300 times the size of Ground Zeroes, when comparing combined map sizes and features.
  • Kojima also commented on some of the much talked about new gameplay mechanics such as bullet time and tagging. He said he initially didn’t want to implement some of these features himself, because his goal was to create an immersive and realistic game. But when they play tested the game without the features, it turned out players became frustrated with how much easier it was to be seen by the enemy compared to previous games in the series. This was due to the open world nature of the title. After many of these play test session Kojima decided these features where necessary to balance the gameplay. He also said that the features may look similar to those seen in other games (such as Splinter Cell) if you look at them individually, but they feel quite different when used together in the context of the open world. However, Kojima does hope he can include some advanced options that will allow the player to switch some of these mechanics off, if he wants to make the game more challenging.
  • Snake can now jump, but there won’t be a jump button in the game. Instead, jumping is a context sensitive action, similar to climbing a ladder. The reason for including this jump mechanic was that Snake needed to be more mobile due to the open world nature of the game.
  • The game will focus on simulating infiltration and not on simulating life, so there won’t be gameplay mechanics such as eating or sleeping as seen in other games, but Kojima did mention animals will make a return. He also referenced the food gathering feature from Metal Gear Solid 3. He couldn’t say anything about it at this time, however.
  • The holographic device used by Snake, the iDroid, will serve as the game’s main menu. With it, players can access different kinds of information without pausing the game. You can’t move while using it, though, so you will have to stay on your toes at all times.
  • Kojima doesn’t want to include elements that take away from the game’s heavy theme. Humor isn’t completely gone though, the game will still feature silly side missions, but they won’t be as crazy as the Pooyan missions in Peace Walker. For this reason, he also considered taking out the exclamation mark, until his team convinced him otherwise.
  • After getting in a helicopter, players can select missions via a menu. Ground Zeroes will just feature one location, Camp Omega. The Phantom Pain however, will include a variety of locations all over the world, such as Afghanistan and various African countries. There won’t be any metropolitan areas though, instead expect locations such as deserts and jungles with remote enemy bases.
  • All missions will be repayable to earn new ranks or fulfill new side missions. Many of those will also be a lot more difficult than the main story missions. Completing them will also influence Snake’s main base. The areas will be huge, so players can find new secrets and circumstances every time they go through them again. Players can choose from multiple of these side missions at a time, and play them in any order.
  • In terms of the way the story is presented, Kojima said while past Metal Gear Solid games were like movies, this game will be more like a tv series. The story will be revealed and built up bit by bit, with the player putting the pieces together himself.
  • Kojima didn’t want to say anything about the distribution method of both parts, but he did say he would like people to play Ground Zeroes first, and then continue with The Phantom Pain.
  • Kojima is thinking about downloadable content, but he ensured he won’t leave anything out of the game on purpose so he can offer it as DLC later.
  • On the subject of the different versions of the game, the core gameplay mechanics of current gen and next gen versions of the game will be identical, but the next gen versions will feature some things that current gen can’t offer. As said before, next gen versions will run at 60 frames per seconds, and have much more detailed textures, smoother polygons and improved lighting. Kojima also wants to make use of cloud services and second screen integration for this game.
  • Talking about Revolver Ocelot, Kojima mentioned that unlike most characters in this installment, Ocelot won’t be driven by emotions such as revenge. Instead, he will be a more neutral character.

Source: Game Watch, via YongYea (translation by Pokemon Smosh)

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