Skip to main content

Metal Gear Solid V: Back in the Saddle

He rode in on a white horse, its mane blowing gently in the wind.His face was immutable as his companion delivered a long, flowery exposition. As the speaker finished his monologue, the mission was clear: It was time to bring back a legend.

During the 20-minute trailer of "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain," we got our first look at the Kiefer Sutherland-voiced protagonist, Big Boss, a.k.a. Naked Snake or Venom Snake after the events of "Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes." Before the demo began, our proctor explained that everything we would be seeing would be rendered at 1080p at 60 fps on the PlayStation 4. 

More: E3 2014 Media Day: The Winner Is

But seeing is believing, and once the demo began, we were floored at how pretty the game was. The demo started with a close up of Snake’s battle-scarred face, including a deep scar running down the right eye and another on the bottom lip. There's a large piece of glass or metal protruding from the side of his head, making him look like the saddest unicorn ever.

As the Konami rep made his way through 1984 Afghanistan, we took some time to marvel at the level of detail in the sprawling open world, such as wild sheep and goats roaming the dusty plains. Some detail we could have done without, like the horse defecating as it navigated the trail. The game will also feature naturally occurring weather, such as sandstorms, that could hide potential enemy threats.

Once Snake reached his destination, the rep took some time out to show off some of the gadgets Big Boss will have at his disposal. There's the iDroid, which is like a Swiss Army Knife of espionage. The device can be used to call in air strikes, get enemy intel or call in supplies from the Mother Base. 

The Phantom Cigar was one of our favorite devices. Sort of like an e-cigarette with a kick, Snake uses this gadget to speed up time. During the demo, the rep used the Cigar to progress time enough to induce a shift change on the guards patrolling the enemy base.

From there, the demo proctor made his way down to the enemy base, where he quickly dispatched a guard using Close Quarters Combat (CQC). After the guard was knocked unconscious, the rep attached a Fulton Recovery System Balloon (from "Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker") to the guard's waist, and the hostile fighter was hoisted up into the air and transported back to Mother Base to be recruited into Snake’s army.

The recovery system can also be used on vehicles, cargo trailers and even nearby wildlife. Everything you Fulton will be waiting for you when you return to Mother Base.

As the rep continued his infiltration, he broke out one of "Metal Gear Solid"'s most iconic devices — the cardboard box. However, this iteration of the box has undergone some changes, including letting Snake quickly pop out the top of the box to take a quick headshot. Slots on either side of the box allow the legendary soldier to keep a tab on patrolling guards. And in case you're spotted, which happens often, you can quickly hop out the side of the box before a suspicious guard discovers you outright.

After the mission was finished, complete with a devastating airstrike and helicopter evacuation, we got a look at Mother Base. Comprised of a large network of ocean platforms, Snake's headquarters houses his growing army, as well as his armory and vehicles. The base is customizable, and as players find raw materials like diamonds in the world, they can build out their Mother Base to their own specifications.

Depending on what you do in the world, your Mother Base can be invaded by enemy forces. Our demo ended with Snake joining his troops to repel an incoming hostile force.

Overall, "Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain," looks on target to deliver the stealth, action and long exposition that has kept fans enraptured for more than two decades. Konami has yet to announce a release date for the title, which is in development for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. That leaves fans to drool over screenshots and teaser trailers for the indefinite future. 

Follow Sherri L. Smith @misssmith11 and on Google+.  Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.