|Metal Gear chronology|
| Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (1964)|
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops (1970)
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (1974)
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (1975)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (1984)
Metal Gear (1995)
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (1999)
Metal Gear Solid (The Twin Snakes) (2005)
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2007/2009)
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2014)
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2018)
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (メタルギアソリッドV ファントムペイン Metaru Gia Soriddo Faibu: Fantomu Pein?) is a canonical installment in the Metal Gear series. It was developed by Kojima Productions using their self-programmed Fox Engine and published by Konami. As with previous Metal Gear Solid titles, Hideo Kojima designed, wrote, directed, and produced the game. Kojima left Konami in October 2015.
Being set in 1984, nine years after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, The Phantom Pain serves as a prequel to Metal Gear, which is set in 1995. The game's subtitle refers to a medical condition commonly associated with amputees, when an individual experiences sensations, specifically pain, in limbs or organs that are no longer physically part of their body.
The Phantom Pain is the first Metal Gear game to fully use an open world gameplay structure.
- Punished "Venom" Snake
- Benedict "Kazuhira" Miller
- Revolver "Shalashaska" Ocelot
- Dr. "Huey" Emmerich
- Eli the "White Mamba"
- The Man on Fire
- Tretij Rebenok
- Sniper "Quiet"
- Old Diné "Code Talker"
- Skull Face
- "Paz" Pacifica Ocean
- Dr. Strangelove
- The Boss AI
- Evangelos Constantinou
- Donald Anderson
- Dr. Clark
- Russian interpreter
- Spetsnaz commander
- Soviet bionics engineer
- Soviet company commander
- Shago Platoon commander
- Wakh Sind Platoon commander
- Soviet lieutenant colonel
- The Viscount
- The Major
- Afrikaner interpreter
- Afrikaner interrogator
- CFA executive
- The Major's subordinate
- Alexandra Pikrammenos
- American technician
- Technician's assistant
- The Mbele Squad platoon leader
- Mbele general's XO
- Commander of the rogue Mbele child soldiers
- Zero Risk Security commander
- CIA agent
- XOF agent
- Armored column commander
- Wakh Sind Platoon commander
- Prisoner escort
- Zero Risk Security truck driver
- Rogue Coyote truck driver
Groups and organizations
- Diamond Dogs
- Cipher's "XOF" Strike Force
- Red Army
- Contract Forces of Africa
- Rogue Coyote
- Zero Risk Security
- The Mbele Squad
- The "SKULLS" Parasite Unit
- For a full summary, see here.
On March 16, 1975, shortly after the events of Ground Zeroes, Venom Snake fell into a coma. When he eventually awoke almost nine years later, on February 26, 1984, a nurse noticed him having woken up and quickly alerted a doctor who informed Venom Snake about his medical condition and later told the latter that he had to leave as he was being looked for by enemy forces.
Venom Snake met a mysterious patient going by the name Ishmael who claimed to be an acquaintance of his and attempted to help him to his feet. Ishmael injected Venom Snake with Digoxin to give him some ability to regain his motor functions. During his nine year coma most of his muscles atrophied, and "Big Boss" was forced to slowly crawl. As they approached the elevator they encountered a child wearing a gas mask. The child immediately levitated and passed through the ceiling as the elevator exploded, violently throwing them to the floor. A disoriented Venom Snake witnessed a ghost-like figure out of the fire. He quickly retreated with Ishmael in another direction, attempting to escape the hospital as a military chopper was searching the area around the building. Venom Snake and Ishmael managed to commandeer an ambulance but end up crashing it shortly thereafter. As Venom Snake crawled from the crashed ambulance, through its broken front window, he was once again confronted by the gas mask wearing child who summoned a huge flame in the shape of a humpback whale which engulfed an attack chopper which was advancing toward them. Venom Snake somehow managed to escape and was eventually picked up and rescued by Ocelot. The two then escape on horseback while being pursued by a fiery apparition of a demon riding a unicorn.
- For a full summary, see here.
Sometime after their escape, Ocelot and Venom Snake traveled to Afghanistan. On March 24, they rode into a Soviet-controlled area of Northern Kabul on horseback in order to find an outpost where Miller had supposedly been held captive for ten days. Ocelot believed that Miller only had about three days left to live so he tasked Venom Snake with infiltrating the area and rescuing him so that they could have a chance at exacting revenge on those responsible for putting Venom Snake in a coma. After Ocelot provided Venom Snake with his mission briefing, the two parted ways and Venom Snake went to rescue Miller with Ocelot lending him support from Mother Base via radio. Venom Snake managed to find Miller, whose right arm and left leg had been amputated during his captivity, and took him back to Mother Base.
|Character||English Voice Actor||Japanese Voice Actor||Motion Actor|
|Venom Snake||Kiefer Sutherland||Akio Ōtsuka||Erik Brown|
Rudy McCollum (Prologue: Awakening)
|Kazuhira Miller||Robin Atkin Downes||Tomokazu Sugita||Eric Bossick|
|Ocelot||Troy Baker||Satoshi Mikami||Matthew Carlsen|
|Quiet||Stefanie Joosten||Stefanie Joosten||Stefanie Joosten|
|Code Talker||Jay Tavare||Osamu Saka||Blake Crawford|
|Huey Emmerich||Christopher Randolph||Hideyuki Tanaka||Sebastien Le Floch|
|Eli||Piers Stubbs||Yūtarō Honjō||Vincent Giry|
|Skull Face||James Horan||Takaya Hashi||Blake Crawford|
|Evangelos Constantinou||Christos Vasilopoulos||Hōchū Ōtsuka||Ian Moore|
|Alexandra Pikrammenos||Joanna Kalafatis||Emma Howard|
|Hideo||Hideo Kojima||Hideo Kojima||Hideo Kojima|
|The Boss AI||Lori Alan||Kikuko Inoue||N/A|
|Strangelove||Vanessa Marshall||Yumi Kikuchi||N/A|
|Zero||Time Winters||Banjō Ginga||N/A|
|Paz Ortega Andrade||Tara Strong||Nana Mizuki||Savannah Daniels|
|Man on Fire||Dave Fouqette||Dave Fouqette||Rene Verburg|
|Tretij Rebenok||N/A||N/A||Clayton Martin|
|Ishmael||Kiefer Sutherland||Akio Ōtsuka||Erik Brown|
|iDroid||Donna Burke||Donna Burke||N/A|
|Soldiers/Extras||Philip Anthony-Rodriguez (credited as Philip Anthony Rodrigues)|
Matthew Mercer (credited as Matt Mercer)
Keith Szarabajka (credited as Keith Sarabajyka)
Hideo Kojima outlined the theme of the series as being "GENE” ⇒ ”MEME” ⇒ ”SCENE” ⇒ "SENSE" ⇒ ”PEACE” ⇒ ”RACE/REVENGE", with the story touching upon the misunderstanding, prejudice, hatred, and conflict caused by the difference of language, race, custom, culture, and preference.
Kojima set out to depict the damage present in all returning soldiers in The Phantom Pain. Physical injuries such as the loss of limbs, and emotional wounds created through the loss of comrades and loved ones will all be part of this theme of pain. Kojima said that having his characters lose limbs is one way to depict the pain they carry.
While the game has moved to an open world setting, it is not one massive, continuous world, but rather, a set of large, open areas set in different places. The overall size of the game has been described as being "200 times bigger than Ground Zeroes." The areas have bases and fortresses, forests, paths, and areas with very few enemies. While previous titles have always had the player constantly within the enemy's territory, The Phantom Pain allows them to choose when to enter enemy controlled areas. It also allows them to leave at any time. The game's story structure has been compared to a TV series. Small missions are completed individually, and all tie together to present the overall story. While past games have been set in stone, it is now up to the player to go to, and complete each mission, allowing them to "carry the game" themselves.
New methods of travel are present, including vehicles and horses. Enemy vehicles can be stolen and used as transportation, and a means to escape hostile areas. Crashing a vehicle in enemy territory will immediately alert nearby sentries. When riding a horse, the player can hide by leaning over one side. The game also features dynamic weather that effects the entire game world and a realistic passage of time that can be manipulated with an e-cigar Snake has in his inventory called the Phantom Cigar.
Crawling makes a return after being absent in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, but the slow “Cautious advance” available in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots does not return. Laying in grass works when hiding from enemies, but they will see Snake if they get too close. The enemy's line of sight means that, when far away, they may not notice Snake crawling slowly across flat areas, but will see him if he breaks into a sprint. When an enemy becomes suspicious, an indicator will appear, pointing the direction they are located, and filling with color as their suspicion increases. If a body or unconscious enemy is discovered by another enemy soldier or vehicle, the alert mode is triggered. When guards are alert and looking for Snake, there is no longer an onscreen meter or gauge to indicate how much longer they will stay in that state. Instead, the player must listen to radio chatter, and watch the guards movements to figure out when they have calmed down. When spotted, the game will slow down, allowing the player to lock on to the guard and shoot or run at the enemy. This feature can be deactivated. Guards will always head for Snake's last known position.
As with Metal Gear Solid 4, the game features a third-person aiming view with the option of switching to first-person. Low-caliber weapons feature a bullet drop mechanic which causes projectiles to fall over longer distances. Distance notches have been added to the targeting reticule, allowing players to better judge their shots when outside optimal firing range. Weapons are now selected through the d-pad. Quickly pressing the buttons will quick select weapons, while holding them down will open a larger selection, with the weapon's class being tied to a specific direction. Unlike previous titles, weapons can now be stolen from enemies and used freely, as can any weapon found in the field.
The CQC in Metal Gear Solid V is more realistic than it was in Peace Walker. It was described as being "manga like" in Peace Walker in order to appeal to a younger audience. A button prompt will appear when approaching an enemy, that will allow Snake to take them into a chokehold and drag them out of sight from other guards. Three icons appear, allowing the player to interrogate, knock out, or kill the guard. Interrogation causes Snake to pull his knife, which can result in the soldier giving information such as ammo and secret passage locations which are then marked on the map. Enemy ammunition is automatically acquired when taking hold of enemy soldiers. When behind low cover, enemies can be pulled into a chokehold. When near a group of enemies, CQC takedowns can be chained together like in Peace Walker. Enemy weapons are automatically taken when grabbed from the front, and can instantly be used against them.
Binoculars can be used to mark enemies, a feature which allows the player to track enemy movements on the map and see them through walls. The Binoculars have a 3X variable zoom that lets Snake mark targets at long distances. The feature is active by default, but can be turned off by the player.
The enemy AI has been described as advanced and "unpredictable", and their paths cover wider areas. Enemy soldiers will guard areas, drive supply trucks, change shifts with other soldiers and will sleep from time to time depending on the time of day.
A returning element from Peace Walker is a base building mechanic, which once again allows the player to build up the base's staff through. While the Fulton Recovery System is absent in Ground Zeroes, it will return in The Phantom Pain. It can be used by activating the character the player wishes to extract. The Recovery system will have a chance percentage on how successful the recovery will be depending on where the player is and what is going on in the scenario that percentage will go up and down. For example; if the player tries to recover someone indoors the percentage will read 0% and if activated the Fulton Recovery Balloon will pop on the ceiling and the extraction will fail. However, if the player takes the character outside they will have more success.
The base system has been expanded on and allows the player to walk around and take part in activities such as joining their men at the shooting range, joining in CQC with soldiers to increase Snake and his allies rank, interacting with soldiers and main characters and even participating in base defense when Mother Base is attacked.The player can improve security by adding guards, anti-aircraft guns, and Cypher UAVs. Players have the option to return to the base between missions by using a helicopter. Weapons, vehicles, and personel procured in the field will also appear at Mother Base once the player returns. Online functionality has also been added to the base, allowing players to visit and walk around each others bases.
Another element of previous games makes a new and improved return. The iconic cardboard box is a usable item in game that can be crafted from Mother Base's R&D unit. The box itself can be used as mobile cover just as in previous games, but now the player can use it to their advantage with two new fuctions. A pop-up fuction that lets the player spring out of the box to take on enemies stealthily and a discard function that is used when a guard spots the player. Snake can then slide out of the box and into cover while the guard investigates.
The use of an on screen mini-map has been removed, and replaced with the new iDroid device. The game continues when the iDroid is used, meaning enemies continue patrolling and searching for the player. While the iDroid's map usually takes up the screen when activated, it can instead be used in conjunction with Android and iOS mobile devices. The map can constantly be run on these devices, and waypoints can be set without interrupting the game. Support from Mother Base like supply drops, artillery, and airborne extraction will also be available to the player from this device. The second screen functionality can also be used to listen to audio files and check mission information. The game's tablet and smartphone integration will allow users to create their own missions.
When using the iDroid, the player has a wide range of abilities that can be used. This includes: a Mother Base interface which will let them manage their home base, a new item R&D system, and a buddy system that will let the player call in various allies such as Quiet and DD to help them in the field.
After their base reached to a certain level, players will have the option to develop a nuclear warhead as a deterrence against enemies.
The Phantom Pain makes heavy use of several camera effects both during gameplay and cinematics. This is to warn the player of a potential threat like a searchlight, or to draw attention to a particular object such as Ocelot's syringe, or a knife.
Metal Gear Solid V was developed under the codename Project Ogre. Kojima told Jeux Vidéo Magazine, "at the time I could not even talk about the fifth episode Metal Gear, that's why I called [it] 'Project Ogre.' This name was chosen to leave clues about what will happen in the game because it is a kind of 'ogres' in the game." Prior to its announcement, Kojima stated that his next game would support Transfarring, be multiplatform and be designed with a global audience in mind. The game was described as being set in an open world in which the players would find content even after 100 hours. At some point in development the game had a visual filter described as an "80's filter." The idea was to match the game's visuals to films from the era in which it is set. The filter slowed the system down and had to be removed.
In February 2012, Kojima Productions announced their presence at the Game Developers Conference through a site named Development Without Borders. They went to the conference to recruit staff for the next Metal Gear Solid. The positions they were hiring for were engineers to develop for high-end consoles and PCs and to develop engine technology for the Fox Engine, as well as a brand manager. In a Q&A held in March, Kojima stated that the game would deal with delicate and taboo issues, which caused some doubt over what would make it into the final version of the game. He also stated that he had to find a balance between the presentation of real issues, and creating enjoyable gameplay. Kojima mentioned a visit to a San Diego military base to test a shooting simulator, but could not go into detail.
On August 30, 2012, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes was announced. Kojima referred to Ground Zeroes as a "prologue" to the then unannounced Metal Gear Solid V, and would go on to talk about the open world gameplay he was designing.
The Phantom Pain
On December 7, 2012, a trailer for a game titled The Phantom Pain was revealed during the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards. The trailer claimed that the game was being developed by a Swedish company called Moby Dick Studio. Despite this, numerous clues suggested that the trailer was actually created by Kojima Productions to promote a new game in the Metal Gear series. The trailer was re-released on December 21, 2012, with an alternate music track, and added sound effects, although the video itself remains unchanged. On Twitter, David Hayter tweeted "'@aganej2: @DavidBHayter so what was your take on The Phantom Pain trailer?' It made my arm hurt", hinting that Hayter may play a part in the supposed game. This was followed by another tweet that said, "@HypeGenerator Well in fact, I don't believe I 'confirmed' anything... #PP=MGV?"
During a Q&A session on his trip to Dubai, Kojima laughed when questioned about The Phantom Pain, and said that while he saw its resemblance to Ground Zeroes, it was being developed by Moby Dick Studio and that he was not involved. In a later interview, however, he mentioned that he preferred deceiving the audience regarding promotional spots for upcoming games, and was disappointed with how Hollywood ended up showing stuff that was predictable to audiences.
Kojima later tweeted a picture of his meal while looking at a laptop, during a meeting discussing how to handle the GDC presentation. A closer inspection of the laptop screen revealed that he was visiting GS Inside Games's article on the GameTrailers TV interview. On March 21, Kojima tweeted a screencap of a 5-minute trailer he was working on for the GDC showing of Ground Zeroes. The file name, "TPP_GDC2013_720p_ESRB", hinted at a connection between it and Ground Zeroes.
On February 18, 2013, a job listing was posted by Kojima Productions to look for new recruits at the GDC Career Pavilion from March 25-27 for the new Metal Gear Solid title.
On March 12, 2013, video game journalist Geoff Keighley tweeted that he was headed off for the GDC 2013 session to interview Joakim Mogren, the supposed creator of The Phantom Pain, and claimed that it would be "interesting." A day later, Kojima made a post revealing that he was going to attend GDC 2013 to not only present a Fox Engine demo, but to make an announcement as well. During Keighley's interview, Mogren wore bandages on his face, claiming he had an "accident." Mogren stated that a new trailer would be revealed at GDC 2013 and showed screenshots and concept art of the game, in which the Fox Engine logo could clearly be seen. When questioned about this, Mogren expressed shock and the interview abruptly ended.
The negative space in the game's logo, Moby Dick Studio's sudden appearance, further tweets from Kojima, Konami staff sporting The Phantom Pain shirts, and online store listings, all lent credence to the theory that the game was indeed related to Metal Gear Solid V. The phrase "From FOX, two phantoms were born" was also used in the trailer for Ground Zeroes.
Metal Gear Solid V
On March 27, 2013, Kojima officially confirmed that The Phantom Pain was indeed a Metal Gear game titled Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain during GDC 2013. After the official announcement, it was widely believed that Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain had been combined into one game. However, it was later revealed that contrary to popular belief, they were still two separate games. Kojima's reason for presenting The Phantom Pain as an independent game was to assess the reception of the Fox Engine.
Kojima told GameTrailers TV that David Hayter wouldn't reprise his role as Big Boss. He explained: "What we're trying to accomplish is [to] recreate the Metal Gear series. It's a new Metal Gear game and we wanted to have this reflected in the voice actor as well." He also revealed that it will be his last Metal Gear game before retiring from active involvement in the series. He stated that he has absolutely every intention of carrying out his retirement when citing the prior times he stated he was retiring from the series. When commenting on the appearance of the giant burning whale in the game's trailers, he said that there will be realism to balance things out.
On May 14, GameSpot announced that they had partnered with Konami to stream their annual pre-E3 show on June 6, and revealed that an inside look of The Phanton Pain would be shown. The pre-E3 showcase came with the official announcement of Kiefer Sutherland providing the voice, and facial performance of Big Boss through motion capture. Kojima revealed that "Race" and "Revenge" were among some of the themes of The Phantom Pain. He confirmed that The Phantom Pain takes place in 1984 and that Big Boss at this time is 49 years old. The game's tagline was revealed "Tactical Espionage Operations" which had previously been the name of a trailer spot for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Four days later, Konami announced that The Phantom Pain would be released for the Xbox One. The following day, a PlayStation 4 version was announced as well.
On June 12, a Special E3 KP Alert podcast stated that together, Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain form Metal Gear Solid V. Kojima stated that they had not yet decided whether whether Ground Zeroes was to be released in conjunction with The Phantom Pain or if it was to be released separately. In an interview with GameTrailers, Kojima said that they had hoped to release a PC version in the future, but it was not a priority at that particular time.
On June 13, Kojima revealed that a new installment of Metal Gear Online will be included in The Phantom Pain. Kojima stated that they wanted to integrate other devices such as smartphones and tablets and use them to allow users to create their own missions, and that he aimed to have Metal Gear Solid V run at 60 frames per second and at at least 1080p on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
On July 13, journalist and film actor, Jay Tavare posted a photo of himself performing motion capture for The Phantom Pain. In a comment on the photo, he confirmed that he is playing the part of Code Talker.
On the topic of the character Quiet, Kojima stated, "I've been ordering [art director Yoji Shinkawa] to make the character more erotic, and he did it well. Recently, I've been making characters this way. I create the setting thoroughly, how he/she spent early life, name style, favorite phrase, fashion, action to stand the character out. The initial target is to make [you] want to do cosplay or its figurine to sell well." The statement received a mixed reaction from fans, websites and other developers. Kojima clarified that "erotic" might not be the correct word, and instead, he insisted that he was trying to make the characters unique. In regards to Quiet, Kojima said that he "wanted to add that sexiness to her." The "sexy" design concept was stated to be carried by everything in the game, including male characters, weapons, vehicles and mechs. When asked for her thoughts on the matter, Stefanie Joosten, Quiet's motion and voice actress, stated that although she was initially surprised by the character's design, there was a reason behind it.
On September 5, Kojima stated “Game technology and hardware have always been evolving and becoming great, but we’re always fighting against aliens and shooting. I didn’t want to be like that,” Kojima told CVG during an interview at E3. “I wanted to make a game with a deep theme and change the industry.” “Distance is a very big factor,” claims Kojima. “In the trailer you saw Snake riding a horse, but you can also walk to a mission or take another mode of transport.” Watch and you’ll notice a lovely touch where your hero repositions his weight to lean against one side of his horse and avoid being spotted – a technique similar to a move in Shadow Of The Colossus. It’s a clever example of hardwiring the series’ stealth into the challenges open-world transport brings about, and continues the gloriously playful controls seen in Guns Of The Patriots. “All the freedom is up to you and there are no rules [like] the linear games in the past,” Kojima states. “You can use smartphones and tablets to interact with the world. That’s why we did an open world, because we thought about all these interactions on multiple devices.” Kojima has also confirmed The Phantom Pain will enable players to create their own missions saying that by “Using tablets and smartphones you can also enjoy MGS V and create user-generated missions within the world.”
On November 4, Konami announced that Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain would be released separately. Kojima later stated that while it would have been ideal to release Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain as one game, it was decided to release Ground Zeroes first so that players could enjoy the prologue and get used to the new open world feel before playing The Phantom Pain. This was in part due to The Phantom Pain’s long development time.
On November 12, Kojima admitted that the story of The Phantom Pain would contain minor "inconsistencies" when compared to the canon established by previous games in the series. Via a translator, he stated, "When you try to write something that was supposed to be in the middle there will be some inconsistencies when you go into very small details."
In the March 2014 edition of Game Informer, The Phantom Pain was listed as only being confirmed for the PS4 and Xbox One, raising questions as to whether the game would still be released for the older systems. Konami representative ToraShiro responded to these concerns, stating that the report was erroneous and that the game would indeed be released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in a forum post on NeoGAF.
On March 5, 2014, Kojima expressed his concern that The Phantom Pain might be too big to finish as it is 200 times bigger than Ground Zeroes. Kojima coundn't say how many missions there are in The Phantom Pain but said there would be a lot. Kojima also said that it was possible that the game might receive a PC version if fans really wanted it.
On June 5, Kojima revealed a short footage of gameplay. The footage confirmed that the cardboard box would return. A comparison map between The Phantom Pain's map and the various maps in the series (excluding Portable Ops and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance) was also displayed on the site, with Kojima mentioning that the gray horizon was to hide the full extent of the map.
The Japanese and English E3 trailer for the game ended up being leaked a few days before its planned showing at E3 2014. This was apparently due to a screw up concerning the trans-pacific release dates. The song used for the trailer was "Nuclear" by Mike Oldfield from Mercury Records Limited. The trailer ends with "Coming Soon in 1984." The site was also updated to include additional comparison charts, one involving the progressions of the various Snakes (excluding Portable Ops Snake) and the comparisons of various Metal Gears (excluding the TX-55 Metal Gear, Metal Gear D, the Metal Gear Solid-era REX, the Arsenal Ray model, Arsenal Gear from Metal Gear Solid 2, RAXA, the ICBMG, Metal Gear ZEKE, Desperado RAY, and EXCELSUS), with the last one on the chart being blanked out.
Kojima in the aftermath tweeted that The Phantom Pain would include some comical elements from the series since Metal Gear Solid, including the ability to fulton sheep. In addition, Kojima also tweeted that the sales division of Konami didn't like the artwork used for the E3 2014 poster due to Snake and Ocelot's faces being covered as they were already exposed to the public. In response, Kojima pointed out that his intention for the artwork was to show their descent into evil. Kojima also confirmed that the line "V has come to," was in fact referring to Snake, specifically "Venom Snake."
On June 19, ToraShiro confirmed on NeoGAF that Konami intended to upload more crisp footage of the demo onto YouTube and Facebook, and that although they didn't have any plans for direct footage at the moment, they were considering it; He also addressed complaints about the Fulton system being overpowered by stating that these elements would probably be toned down in the final version and that the demo itself was meant to showcase gameplay elements without concern for gameplay balance.
On July 18, The Guardian gave some new information about The Phantom Pain. Namely, it confirmed that the usage of cassette tapes to give backgrounds into the story would be returning in the game, and that completing Mother Base to a certain level would result in the various nations viewing the Diamond Dogs as a threat and thus increase the frequency of the attacks. After that, the player was given the option of installing nukes to deter the other nations from attacking. It also briefly implied that it would be released on March 17, 2015, but after contacting Konami, it quickly changed the date to Early 2015. The news site VG247 also indicated that it would be released on the first quarter of 2015 on July 23.
On July 29, Konami announced that it would use its placement in the Gamescom conference at Cologne to unveil new development details about The Phantom Pain, as well as uncover some development about Pro Evolution Soccer 2015. On July 31, it was revealed that Geoff Keighley would be hosting the event. On August 1, it was revealed on NeoGAF that a live stream of the development announcements for The Phantom Pain would be shown on August 13 at 8:00 CMT on Konami's official Twitch channel. Kenichiro Imaizumi indicated in a Twitter post that he was unfamiliar about any announcements.
On August 11, some gameplay was featured regarding new tricks to be used for the cardboard box, including having it stand and act as a decoy to distract a soldier into thinking it is an ally, an upright bikini model ensuring the soldier rushes over and leers at it, and a sideways bikini model with the same reaction. The ending of the gameplay demonstration also implied that another item, a "helmet" of sorts modeled after a PS4 bag, would be included in the game. A day later, a 25 minute demo was released featuring new gameplay features. Specifically, the player can tell their horse where to poop, and it would cause enemy vehicles to crash similar to running over a banana peel; the player can encounter wolves as threats; the player can use the fulton as an improvised weapon, such as lacing a Jeep with C4 and then fultoning it and detonating it near a searchlight-equipped chopper; lastly, the player can infiltrate other Mother Bases in multiplayer (which also feature different codenames such as Stubborn Sheep or Roughneck Raven), avoid guards as well as infrared laser grids, and fulton everything in the area, although they might risk encountering another Big Boss in the area, who is wearing a different camouflage uniform. Kojima also stated on his Twitter account that the game would be released on the final quarter of 2014. Geoff Keighley also confirmed that an extended version of the 25 minute demo would be shown later the same night with material that wasn't shown initially, and also that he'd ask Kojima about the status of his Silent Hill project.
On August 13, Kojima announced at Gamescom 2014 that the PC version of The Phantom Pain was in development. It would be released on Steam.
On August 27, it was revealed on NeoGAF that a pre-release TGS demonstration of The Phantom Pain would air on September 1 at 3 PM Japan Time. Kojima also announced during the demonstration that there would be an important announcement at the 2014 Tokyo Game Show showing of The Phantom Pain.
It was later revealed that a new demonstration of The Phantom Pain would be unveiled during TGS 2014. It wouldn't be playable, and ToraShiro confirmed that the setting of the demo won't be in Afghanistan. On September 10, the UK Blog for Konami Europe made an announcement that the upcoming Kojima Station, releasing the day after at 11 AM BST, would tease new footage of The Phantom Pain. Kojima also made a similar hint on his Twitter account, along with a new image.
A Kojima Station episode released on September 10, 2014 showed a new clip from the game, displaying Quiet's materialization powers. The same clip also showed soldiers bearing resemblance to the Ocelot Unit.
On September 18, Kojima presented a demo of The Phantom Pain at TGS 2014. Set in Africa, it introduced a variety of previously unconfirmed features such as airdropping different camouflages, in this case going from Naked camo to a Sneaking Suit, as well as interchanging "buddies" in the "Support Buddy" function of the iDroid. The demo showed that the player could airdrop as well as Fulton Recovery both animals such as horses for transport, and characters as evidenced by Quiet acting as combat support throughout much of the demo. Also present was a new use for decoys, as aside from distracting enemies into thinking the decoy is Big Boss, the player would also be able to inflate the decoy and cause enemies to be thrown in to the air. The demo also featured Big Boss' prosthetic hand being golden instead of the often seen red. Throughout this demo, Kojima also noted that The Phantom Pain would be released in 2015, which dispelled the rumors of a late 2014 release. A later demo released on September 19 was largely the same as the earlier demo, only differing in that Snake uses the Naked Camo for the whole demo rather than changing into the Sneaking Suit. On September 20, extended footage in the TGS 2014 demo was shown depicting Big Boss receiving a one-eyed wolfdog pup named DD as well as it accompanying Big Boss on its first mission with its owner.
In November 2014, Kojima, during an episode of Kojima Station, revealed that in order to interrogate soldiers of a different language, the player would have to recruit soldiers of the same language so they could serve as an interpreter of the interrogation.
On December 5, Kojima and Sutherland unveiled the trailer for the third iteration of Metal Gear Online, confirming the use of various weapons and systems, as well as Ocelot as a playable character. Tom Sekine also stated it was a work on progress, and the Metal Gear Online official Twitter account also requested for any suggestions on how to make Metal Gear Online better suited for the players.
On Christmas Day, Kojima Station unveiled a new item in The Phantom Pain, called the Chicken Cap, derived from the fact that it resembles a chicken's head. When asked about the release date, Kojima refused to reveal it.
An image tweeted by Kojima revealed that the seats for the chopper could alternatively be used as a weapons rack.
On March 3, 2015, IGN inadvertently revealed that The Phantom Pain would be released worldwide on September 1. It was officially confirmed the next day that the game would indeed be released on September 1 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, while the PC version would be released on September 15. It was also revealed that The Phantom Pain would include a Day One Edition and a collector's edition.
On March 19, it was reported that due to a fallout between Kojima Productions and Konami, Kojima would most likely leave Konami after the release of The Phantom Pain. It was also reported that Kojima Productions was affected by the fallout as well. A day later, Konami and Kojima released a joint statement confirming that development for the game would not be negatively affected by the restructuring within the company.
On March 25, Kojima Station was suspended, and the Japanese Metal Gear Twitter account apologized for the inconvenience.
On April 16, Japanese stores began taking pre-orders for The Phantom Pain.
On May 14, various European journalists covered a playtest of the game.
On June 8, it was revealed that the key art for The Phantom Pain would be made by Pablo Uchida, and that it would be released in Japanese stores after E3.
On June 9, the embargo on journalist reporting of specific details on The Phantom Pain was lifted.
On June 10, Akio Ōtsuka confirmed that there would be an E3 trailer for The Phantom Pain, and that it would be edited by Kojima.
On June 11, the game was available for pre-order on the PlayStation Network. It was also revealed that it would be featuring microtransactions.
On June 12, Geoff Keighley, who was going to be presenting at the first Live at E3 YouTube Show event, confirmed that the game would have a trailer at E3 2015, and it would be roughly six minutes long.
It was confirmed on June 14 that Sean Eyestone and Tan Ziang would be attending E3 2015. In addition, more info came out as a result of the Konami preview embargo on journalists being lifted.
On June 17, Konami gave some details about weapon customization, buddy outfits, and playable female soldiers. In addition, they also unveiled the first official photo of the Special Edition of the game.
On June 19, the voice actress who voiced various Diamond Dogs female soldiers was unveiled.
There were also some complaints about The Phantom Pain being too dark, with Kojima eventually addressing these complaints on his Twitter account on June 22.
On June 26, some more info was revealed about the game by various previews, E3 related events, and journalists. In addition, the Konami Community Manager Robert Peeler requested for any suggested improvements for the game when a PC version is to be made.
On July 2, Konami unveiled a retrospective to the E3 2015 demo of The Phantom Pain, and also later revealed that same day that an alternate sequence demo for the E3 demo would be unveiled on a future date. Five days later, the Freedom of Infiltration gameplay demo was unveiled, with the Japanese version coming out first and the English version coming out later that day. It featured four different ways to complete the story mission shown during the E3 demo. The Japanese version was narrated by Akio Ōtsuka, while the English version was narrated by Sean Eyestone. An interview was also given on July 2 with Konami Community Manager Robert Peeler elaborating further on Mother Base management and microtransactions, and also elaborating that while the game may be the last for Hideo Kojima, Konami has no intention of ending the Metal Gear series after The Phantom Pain.
On July 3, two teasers were released showcasing the contents of the PS4 Japanese Special Edition and PS4 Limited Edition versions of The Phantom Pain. The former while showcasing some pages of the artbook also gave some hints about certain characters and story developments.
On July 9, the game was revealed to have been nominated for an extensive list of awards at E3 2015.
On July 13, it was confirmed that a demo for The Phantom Pain would be made playable during Gamescom 2015 at Cologne.
On July 22, the game was made available for pre-order on the PlayStation Store, revealing the download bandwidth sizes for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 versions as being 11.7 gigabytes and 25.1 gigabytes, respectively. In addition, Kojima also unveiled the final poster for the game before release, set to debut in Japanese stores in August, depicting Big Boss and Quiet covered in blood with the tagline translated from Japanese as "Stained in blood, the aftermath of revenge." The poster itself acted as a callback to the Ground Zeroes cover. Kojima also published some test artwork dated several months ago for the poster depicting two versions (one being in black and white) of Quiet and a single version of Big Boss. In them, the two characters were drenched in blood in a rather exaggerated manner, which Kojima when unveiling them likened it to a horror film. According to Ken Imaizumi on his Twitter account, some stores refused to carry the poster due to the graphic content. He also implied that it may see use overseas. In addition, Konami unveiled the final covers for the game. It is mostly the same as what was already shown, with the main differences being that the Kojima Productions logo and the "A Hideo Kojima Game" tagline were removed.
On July 25-27, the game was subject to a Japanese Boot Camp, unveiling various merchandise and gameplay.
On August 3, it was confirmed that, in addition to the Mother Base demo, there would also be a new trailer at Gamescom 2015 premiering on August 5. On the same day, Konami announced that the PC version of The Phantom Pain had been moved up and would be released on September 1, the same day as the console versions. They also announced that the game would have several bonuses. In addition, it would support resolution up 4K, Steam trading cards, and custom soundtracks. Finally, they announced that the release date for Metal Gear Online 3 has been pushed back. The console versions will be released on October 6, while the PC version will be released sometime in January 2016.
In August 2015, the system requirements for the PC version was announced. It requires the following:
- OS: Windows 7x64, Windows 8x64 (64-bit OS required)
- Processor: Intel Core i5-4460 (3.40 GHz) or better; Quad-core or better
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 (2GB) or better (DirectX 11 card required)
- DirectX: Version 11
- Hard Drive: 28 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
- OS: Windows 7x64, Windows 8x64 (64-bit OS required)
- Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 (3.60GHz) or better; Quad-core or better
- Memory: 8 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 (DirectX 11 graphic card required)
- DirectX: Version 11
- Hard Drive: 28 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card (Surround Sound 5.1)
Between August 3 and August 4, Hideo Kojima also took to Twitter to say several things relating to Metal Gear: Namely, he elaborated on the earlier poster prototypes that he had earlier posted, citing that Big Boss will fall into Hell during the game, and felt he should express that with visuals rather than words. He also stated that chain reactions of revenge will continue onward as the theme of the plot in The Phantom Pain, much like how the prior games dealt with their respective themes. He also likened the situations of various Diamond Dogs soldiers returning back to Mother Base to deal with Big Boss as being similar to the Universal Pictures movie Minions, which he had just seen. Lastly, he also mentions that the first Metal Gear Solid game was released on a similar date to The Phantom Pain's release date 17 years prior, and also compared each portion of a chapter in the game to episodes of a TV series. He also mentioned that completing Mother Base and various missions will have broader implications for the story.
Konami also ended up releasing a promotional website and video depicting a guy being inspired by Big Boss's vow to kill Quiet if the time comes to make sacrifices if necessary.
The Japanese economic paper Nikkei revealed that the budget for The Phantom Pain had surpassed 10 billion yen (over $80 million). They also elaborated on the reasons why Kojima had the falling out with Konami. Finally, Nikkei reported on the problems the workers had to undergo in Konami Japan.
Kojima later took to Twitter shortly after the release of both the trailer and the demo, further elaborating on how the gameplay would impact the cycle of revenge. In addition, some gameplay elements of The Phanton Pain at the Japanese Boot Camp in July were translated. PlayStation Live later covered a variation of the "A Hero's Way" mission at Gamescom 2015 on August 6, with IGN live posting a similar demo with the FOB gameplay from earlier in the demo. On August 7, Konami posted comparison screencaps of the various versions of the game. That same day, Kojima also took to Twitter and elaborated on Snake's bloodied status and explained that unlike in most conventional games, the blood doesn't disappear between missions. He also explained that the scenes with Snake on an IV are for particularly serious injuries he had suffered on the field.
Starting on August 5, a series of short videos called "V logs" were being published on the official Konami573ch YouTube account and on the official Metal Gear Solid V site, showing brief snippits of gameplay for The Phantom Pain. There will be 20 V logs in all.
On August 7, Konami held a GameSpot-exclusive Q&A on Twitter that revealed how the Forward Operating Bases, microtransactions, and online functionality will work in-game.
On August 12, it was announced that new gameplay information would be revealed by August 19.
On August 17, Kojima unveiled on his Twitter account that he had spent days in the Editing room working on a new trailer for The Phantom Pain. Another Twitter post, made in Japanese and translated by JunkerHQ, revealed that it wouldn't contain much spoilers due to the impending release date, and its theme would be about the harmony and evolution of Metal Gear.
On August 18, a boot camp was set up on Konami's Los Angeles HQ where players could play the full game (barring the ending) and get a full taste of it. It was a four day event that took place from August 18 to August 21.
Kojima later made some tweets relating to the development of the new trailer. He also indicated that the launch trailer was nearly finished, although it wasn't clear whether this was referring to the new trailer in development he alluded to earlier or if he was making two trailers. It was later revealed on August 25 that the new trailer and the launch trailer were one and the same, when the trailer was released.
On August 21, a leak occurred where scans for the Italian version of Piggyback Guides were exposed to the public, they included some information on the bosses, various developments on the characters Skull Face, Zero, Big Boss, Miller, Eli, Quiet, and the others, and also implied that Venom Snake may actually be a different person than Big Boss, although they stated they were sworn to neither confirm or deny the hints at Konami and Kojima Production's request.
On August 28, Kojima made a tweet where he claimed that Metal Gear Solid V was not actually Metal Gear Solid 5, although whether this implies that it was a spinoff instead of a main entry is not clear.
Key: NA/EU = North America/Europe only; JP = Japan only
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain-themed PS4
- Gun metal DualShock 4 controller
- A download code for a dedicated PlayStation 4 theme
- The game (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain plus Metal Gear Online)
- An art book
- A field map
- a bonus Blu-ray
- Download code for the following DLC for the main game
- Field camo (Black Ocelot)
- Shotgun (Gold)
- Personal Ballistic Shield (gold)
- Cardboard Box (mountain camo)
- Emblem parts (Venom Snake)
- Download code for the following DLC for Metal Gear Online
- WU S. Pistol (Gold)
- AM MRS-4 (Gold)
- XP Boost
- Metal Gear REX Helmet
In the Japanese versions of The Phantom Pain, aside from the above bits about the Collector's Editions, the player can also get DLC vouchers for the Maschinen Taktische Pistole 5 Weiss and White Personal Ballistic Shield; Rocky Terrain cardboard box; Adam-ska Special and Silver Personal Ballistic Shield; Blue Urban Fatigues; Gray Urban Fatigues; and All-Purpose Dryland Fatigues by preordering from Amazon Japan, GameTsutaya, Geo, Famimart, Other store chains, and the PlayStation Store, respectively, with the last only being the case for the Day One digital release (or in the case of the Xbox One Day One Version, a general release Day One voucher). In addition, the player can also get additional Mother Base staff: Canine for the various above, and Hound for the Xbox One general Day One DLC voucher that includes Black Ocelot fatigues, Rasp short-barreled shotgun with gold Personal Ballistic Shield, a Venom Snake Emblem, a Rocky Terrain Cardboard Box and others).
In the overseas versions, the content instead depends on the method of getting the Day One Edition: the physical version features the Blue Urban Fatigues, the Adam-ska Special with Silver Personal Ballistic Shield, and Wetland Cardboard Box; the digital version features the Black Ocelot Fatigues, the Windurger S333 CombatSpecial with Olive Drab Personal Ballistic Shield, and Rocky Terrain Cardboard Box plus an XP Boost voucher for Metal Gear Online; the Steam version instead features a Mother Base Recruit (Canine) and the Venom Snake Emblem, alongside a pre-release bonus for people who bought the Steam version of Ground Zeroes before August 31.
Although not directly pre-orders to The Phantom Pain, the player can also unlock additional elements in The Phantom Pain via pre-orders for Ground Zeroes at select chains: for the bonus edition, the player can unlock the Mother Base Staff member FOX. For the standard pre-orders, the player can gain access to a Wetland Cardboard Box, a Windurger S333 CombatSpecial and Olive Drab Personal Ballistic Shield, or the Mother Base Staff Member Skull by pre-ordering from Amazon Japan, Geo, and GameTsutaya, respectively. In addition, upon completing Ground Zeroes, the player will receive an additional Mother Base staff member and a special sneaking suit modeled after the one in Ground Zeroes.
On August 4, 2015, it was announced that a novelization for the game, titled Metal Gear Solid - The Phantom Pain, alongside two additional novels covering the events of Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, would be written by Hitori Nojima, the author for the novelization of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The Phantom Pain in particular was released on October 25, exactly sixty-two days after the release of the first of the three, Metal Gear Solid Substance I - Shadow Moses Island. Like the other two novels, the cover for the novelization features artwork by Yoji Shinkawa.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has received universal critical acclaim. According to Metacritic, the PlayStation 4 version received a metascore of 93, while the Xbox One version received a metascore of 95. GameRankings gave the PS4 version an average of 91.61%, while the Xbox One version received an average of 89.45%.
GameSpot gave The Phantom Pain a 10 saying, "There has never been a game in the series with such depth to its gameplay, or so much volume in content. The best elements from the past games are here, and the new open-world gameplay adds more to love on top. When it comes to storytelling, there has never been a Metal Gear game that's so consistent in tone, daring in subject matter, and so captivating in presentation. The Phantom Pain may be a contender for one of the best action games ever made, but is undoubtedly the best Metal Gear game there is." IGN gave it a 10 saying, "Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain doesn't just respect my intelligence as a player, it expects it of me, putting it in a league that few others occupy." EGM gave it a 9.5 saying, "Big Boss' supposedly final outing puts players in the middle of the most ambitious entry in the series yet, and delivers on almost everything it promises. If this is Hideo Kojima's final game, then he is stepping out at the top floor of the industry."
The PC version of The Phantom Pain has also received universal critical acclaim. According to Metacritic, the game received a metascore of 91, while GameRankings gave it an average of 92.75%.
Behind the scenes
The Phantom Pain has had three principal promotional designs, each displayed at a different venue at different times. The first is the E3 2013 poster showing the partial X-ray of Punished Snake; the second was the poster shown at E3 2014 that has Venom Snake staring at the viewer with his arm holding up his shemagh and Ocelot at his side, echoing Snake and Miller on the Japanese cover of Ground Zeroes; the third was used during The Game Awards 2014, showing a side view of Venom Snake, with a stylized V in the foreground.
Moby Dick Studio's The Phantom Pain
Behind the scenes
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こちらのレンズフレアはこんな感じw pic.twitter.com/BgdY5k3rDZ (Lens flare in this place like w pic.twitter.com/BgdY5k3rDZ)
- ^ Gamasutra-Latest Jobs Listings subject to change.
- ^ Twitter: Heading off to interview...
- ^ TwitLonger: I will give presentation speech at GDC3013 in SF.
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- ^ https://twitter.com/HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN/status/628216087876759552
- ^ https://twitter.com/HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN/status/628533234381406209
- ^ https://twitter.com/HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN/status/628533281441447936
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21056
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21067
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21107
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21113
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21117
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21124
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21126
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 5 Gets Info About Bases, Microtransactions, Online Functionality - GameSpot
- ^ http://mgoforums.com/metal-gear-solid-v/704-play-mgsv-tpp.html
- ^ https://twitter.com/HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN/status/633276187595309056
- ^ https://twitter.com/JunkerHQnet/status/633305501439238144
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21236
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21242
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21318
- ^ https://twitter.com/HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN/status/637435774162436101
- ^ http://www.metalgearinformer.com/?p=21057
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for PlayStation 4 Reviews - Metacritic
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for Xbox One Reviews - Metacritic
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for PlayStation 4 - GameRankings
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for Xbox One - GameRankings
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Review - GameSpot
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Review - IGN
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain review - EGMNOW.com
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for PC Reviews - Metacritic
- ^ Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for PC - GameRankings
- ^ South Park: "Black Friday" · TV Club · The A.V. Club
- ^ https://twitter.com/HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN/status/476737563274002433