Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain are upcoming stealth based games in the long running Metal Gear series by Kojima Productions.Metal Gear Solid V was originally announced in two different incarnations. The first was Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, a tech demo for Kojima Productions' new FOX Engine. The second, The Phantom Pain, was presented as a new IP from the mysterious Joakim Mogren's Moby Dick Studio. On March 27, 2013, series creator Hideo Kojima revealed that Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain were the prologue and main story respectively of a combined Metal Gear Solid V. On November 5, 2013, Konami announced that both parts will be released separately as Ground Zeroes (scheduled to be released on March 18, 2014 in North America and March 20, 2014 in Japan and Europe) and The Phantom Pain.The prologue begins shortly after the events of Peace Walker, with legendary MSF note (Militaires Sans Frontières) mercenary Big Boss (a.k.a. Snake) extracting former allies Paz Ortega Andrade and Chico from Camp Omega in Cuba after the former's unexpected betrayal and the latter's disappearance. Snake is looking for answers as to why Cipher note (a.k.a. Zero and the Patriots) is out to destroy MSF, while his associate Kazuhira Miller is trying to prepare the MSF base of operations (Mother Base) for a United Nations inspection that he suspects is secretly a Cipher operation. Though Snake is successful in rescuing Paz and Chico, Miller is unsettled to find that his suspicions are correct; the mysterious XOF organization is sent by Cipher to destroy Mother Base, which leaves few alive and MSF in shambles. Snake eventually tries to take the threat of XOF head-on himself, but he ultimately fails, falling into a coma with his army in disarray.Nine years later, Snake wakes up to find that his left arm has been amputated and the "entire world" wants him dead. After escaping from the hospital he is being held in, he assumes the codename of "Punished Snake" and forms a new mercenary unit of former allies called Diamond Dogs to get revenge on the people who took everything from him, no matter the cost. Standing in his way is the entire army that XOF and Cipher have at their disposal spread throughout the world, and even worse, a new weapon that may surpassMetal Gear.Metal Gear Solid V is Kojima Productions' first project developed on the FOX Engine, and is scheduled to be released for the the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, as well as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, making it in the first cross-generation release in the series.Unmarked spoilers for previous games in the series ahead.
Metal Gear Solid V contains examples of:
Abandoned Hospital Awakening: Snake wakes up from a nine year coma to find everyone fleeing the hospital he's in as a black ops team storms the building.
Actionized Sequel: Combat is expanded upon greatly in this game, which introduces stealth takedowns and the ability to CQC-steal weapons.
Actor Allusion: Kiefer Sutherland was cast as the new voice of Snake in part as a reference to his role in as Jack Bauer in 24.
A.K.A.-47: Weapons go by names like "AM Rifle Type 69" note 5.56mm FN FAL and "MRS-4" note FN FNC lookalike but their designs are made to look like real-world firearms. This is also a departure from previous titles, which accurately depicted real-world weapons with authentic names. However, the game isn't in its final stages yet, so there is still time to acquire the names.
Cyborg: By the 1980s, cybernetic technology has started to make leaps and bounds: Snake gets a mechanical left arm partway through the game in the same style as Zadornov's in Peace Walker, and Huey, previously wheelchair bound, can now stand and walk with the assistance of cybernetic leg braces.
Damsel in Distress: The prologue opens with Snake attempting to rescue Paz, who survived the events of Peace Walker, from the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba so he can interrogate her about the Cipher organization, as well as to rescue Chico, who went after her.
Miller: The world calls for wetwork, and we answer! No greater good. No just cause.
Defeat Equals Friendship: Fulton Recovery Balloons will return in The Phantom Pain, but won't be featured in Ground Zeroes, as Ground Zeroes takes place entirely in an enemy base that's heavily-fortified. Hideo Kojima said it wouldn't make sense for you to have a chopper flying overhead to catch guys on balloons there. You can still rescue prisoners, but you have to do it the old-fashioned way: slinging them over your shoulder and hauling ass to an extraction chopper in a landing zone.
Diegetic Interface: Snake's iDroid is his in-universe map and menu screen. You can even bring it into your universe if you connect a tablet or smartphone to the game console. The downside is that it doesn't pause the game, so make sure you only check your map in a safe spot!
Downer Beginning: Given the information that's been shown thus far, Ground Zeroes ends with Mother Base demolished, MSF disbanded due to the casualties that they have sustained, XOF triumphant and having no apparent opposition to their goals, Big Boss mutilated and comatose for the better part of a decade. And that's all before The Phantom Pain begins properly.
Dull Surprise: A complaint towards Kiefer Sutherland's portrayal of Snake (based on the footage of Ground Zeroes that has been released thus far) is that he sounds bored. Hideo Kojima has stated that this subdued performance is partly deliberate, given that Snake has become jaded as a result of the experiences he's lived through. However, in a simultaneous inversion of this, his motion capture performance and the lines from The Phantom Pain show considerably more emotion.
The Eighties: The main story is set in 1984. Kojima admitted the year was partially chosen in reference to George Orwell's 1984, and to have each Big Boss game take place in a different decade.note Metal Gear Solid 3 was set in 1964 and Peace Walker in 1974.
Escort Mission: Inverted in the hospital level of The Phantom Pain. The player controls a vulnerable Snake as he is being escorted by the bandaged "Ishmael".
Ishmael: The bad news is the world wants you dead.
And by Ocelot:
Ocelot: It's not just them; the whole world wants you dead.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Skull Face's dialogue from the introduction implies that he ordered Amanda's execution, which already happened by the time Snake gets to Camp Omega.
Evil Counterpart: XOF, a mysterious black ops unit led by Skull Face that uses the reversed logo of Snake's old FOX unit and inverted acronym for FOX for a name.
Evil Versus Evil: The conflict between XOF and the Diamond Dogs seems to be one where both sides are clearly in the wrong, unlike previous entries in the series, where the good guys and bad guys were somewhat more clear. The Diamond Dogs are supposed to be a lighter shade of black, but that doesn't make what they do any less reprehensible.
Face-Heel Turn: The Phantom Pain will be showing Big Boss' final steps from well-meaning protagonist to villain.
Snake's face becomes more and more torn up and mangled as the game continues, gaining shrapnel lodged in his skull in the shape of a horn and several crossing scars.
Faceless Goons: Apparently not, and according to the press every soldier will actually have a unique face.
Fan Disservice: A hot bikini clad sniper girl? Nice. Said hot bikini clad sniper girl being tortured with electric rods? Not nice.
Fantastic Drug: Averted. When Snake first wakes up from his coma, Ishmael injects him with digoxin to get him back on his feet, but it doesn't work as well as he hoped, leaving Snake to literally crawl after him.
Foregone Conclusion: Big Boss, Miller, Huey, Zero, and Ocelot will survive, but things will be irreversibly changed.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: The heroic Snake has thin scars running across his face and body, not to mention a bit of shrapnel that looks like a horn. On the other hand, the villainous Skull Face's entire face is made of scar tissue.
Glasgow Grin: Skull Face sports disturbing, smile-like scars running up the sides of his cheeks.
He Who Fights Monsters: Master Miller makes it absolutely clear that he will do anything to exact revenge on XOF. Interestingly enough, Big Boss seems to be aware that this is happening to himself and his allies.
He Who Must Not Be Named: The Red Band trailer is conspicuously mysterious regarding some of the forces opposing Snake. When it gets to the part where everyone's name is revealed with a descriptive subtitle, some of the bad guys —an armored figure in flames, a young boy in a gas mask (really a teenage Psycho Mantis), and some agile bald techno-ninjas—do not have a name given at all, just a subtitle that says "Those Who 'Do Not Exist'."
Hook Hand: What Snake initially has in place of a left hand.
Horned Humanoid: After getting a piece of shrapnel lodged in his forehead in just the right way, Snake becomes one of a sort.
Immediate Sequel: The events of Ground Zeroes take place shortly after the finale of Peace Walker.
Kill 'em All: Operation Trojan Horse leaves no survivors in Mother Base except for Master Miller.
Justified Tutorial: Considering Snake has been in a coma for nine years by the beginning of The Phatom Pain, and is thrown directly into a life-or death situation with no rehabilitation or physiotherapy, it's understandable that he needs to get used to his body again.
Loads and Loads of Characters: The game has about half the cast that was present in Peace Walker make appearances, and introduces a number of other characters to the series, making this game have the biggest ensemble in the series since Metal Gear Solid 4.
Meaningful Name: A "phantom pain" is a sensation of pain in a limb or body part that is no longer there. Both Snake and Miller end up losing limbs over the course the game. Similarly, the antagonist, Skull Face, is missing most of his face.
"Deja Vu" means something looks familiar even though you've never seen it before, and it's the name of the extra mission where everything looks like Metal Gear Solid 1 and you have to recreate still shots of it with your camera. There's no way Big Boss has ever been to Shadow Moses Island, so there's no way the stuff should look familiar to him, but it's familiar to us, the players.
"Jamais Vu," on the other hand, means something familiar seeming unfamiliar to you as if something was wrong with it. The mission is about detecting and eliminating body snatchers, who are close-but-not-perfect imitations of the real people they've snatched. "They look the same, but they're not!" is a common cry from people in body snatcher movies.
Meaningful Rename: Snake goes by the new codename of "Punished Snake" after he wakes up from the coma and gets his cybernetic arm.
The first Ground Zeroes trailer was shown at a Tokyo event commemorating the 25th anniversary of the series.
Likewise, the trailers for the Deja Vu and Jamais Vu missions were shown during the 15th and 25th anniversaries of Metal Gear Solid and Snatcher respectively.
Mini Mecha: Snake is seen driving a car sized robot at the end of the extended E3 2013 trailer.
Mood Dissonance/Soundtrack Dissonance: The E3 trailer triumphantly proclaims "Snake is Back" with a dramatic song playing at the background while cutting to a scene of Snake putting Chico in a stranglehold and (possibly) gunning down a group of caged African peasants.
Multi-Part Episode: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain together serve as Metal Gear Solid V as a whole.
The opening scene of Ground Zeroes has Snake removing his infrared goggles while facing towards the camera, recreating the title screen/promotional art of the original Metal Gear Solid.
Also, the mission starts with Snake climbing a cliff at night, just like Solid Snake does in Metal Gear 2.
The Jamais Vu trailer for the bonus mission where Raiden shows up to kill Snatchers infiltrating Camp Omega mentions that the snatchers began showing up after a Russian jet crashed nearby. Snatchers were Russian in origin in their original game.
Necessary Drawback: When calling for an extraction chopper, you have several possible places to call for one. Typically, a far-away LZ that is unguarded by the enemy, or a hot LZ right in the middle of the base that's sure to piss off the locals and stands a good chance of getting blown up.
Never Trust a Trailer: The original trailer for The Phantom Pain made it look the game was a completely new IP being developed by an unknown Swedish company.
New Old West: Evoked: Snake hooks up with Ocelot, who is by now in full cowboy mode, and the two of them ride horses into Afghanistan, with a rugged, rocky terrain often seen in many a Western movie.
The PlayStation 3/4-exclusive mission Deja Vu has the player controlling the Metal Gear Solid version of Solid Snake in a modern recreation of Shadow Moses with the FOX Engine, but with the original PS1 skins for characters.
Likewise, the Xbox 360/One-exclusive Jamais Vu mission features Raiden hunting down Snatchers.
Numbered Sequels: The first new console Metal Gear Solid sequel since 2008's Metal Gear Solid 4. However, the plot follows the events of Peace Walker, a non-numbered portable installment which Kojima originally intended to be MGS5.
Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: The title uses the Roman numeral "V", instead of the Arabic numerals featured in previously numbered Metal Gear Solid sequels. Kojima explained that the "V" is intended to stand for "victory"note comparable to Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory and its styling with the "V" against the recent leap forward in Western video game development, as well as a contrast to the subtitle of its predecessor, Peace Walker (the V sign being the same thing as the peace sign).
One Game for the Price of Two: Ground Zeroes was initially intended to be a prologue portion of The Phantom Pain and was only produced separately when development of the main campaign was taking too long. While Ground Zeroes is not required to play The Phantom Pain, data from the former can be carried over to the latter.
However, Kojima Productions has at least been kind about the pricing of Ground Zeroes, being $30 for the PS4/XB1 versions, and $20 otherwise, instead of asking for a full $60.
The Oner: The opening of Ground Zeroes is a single continuous shot, with zero cuts. According to Kojima, this technique will feature heavily in cutscenes, where the transference from cutscene to gameplay (and vice versa) won't use jump cuts very often, and will instead use single, unbroken camera movements.
One-Woman Wail: A good portion of the lead-up to the song "Sins of the Father".
Or Was It a Dream?: Snake keeps wondering during his escape form the hospital if he's hallucinating or actually being haunted by demons of his past.
Out of the Inferno: Snake and Ishmael get caught in an explosion, only for Snake to hallucinate a ghostly Volgin walking out of the inferno.
Primal Fear: Being helpless and unable to move properly, losing parts of your body, and being relentlessly hunted are all common themes in nightmares.
Product Placement: Snake wears a 1980s Seiko digital watch, based on one Kojima owns.
Protagonist Journey To Villain: Snake starts out a well-intentioned mercenary trying to find a place where soldiers can be free in the world, only to transform into a "demon" willing to commit unspeakable horrors for the sake of revenge.
Regenerating Health: One of the biggest departures for the series; Snake now has regenerating health (and faster than the very gradual regeneration he had in Metal Gear Solid 3). No visible life bar, but getting shot will make bullet holes and burns appear at the edges of the screen, and they linger for a while, impeding your vision.
Retcon: Kojima has noted that there will be several minor changes to the continuity with this game, given that it's a prequel that greatly expands upon events alluded to in previous games. One such change is that Big Boss becomes a cyborg in this game with the prosthetic limbs, when originally he didn't become one until Metal Gear 2.
Revenge: One of the central themes of the game is revenge. Snake and Miller are hell bent on getting back at XOF and Cipher (a.k.a. Zero and the Patriots) for what they're done.
The Ground Zeroes prologue ends with your offshore base exploding and then collapsing into the ocean.
The Phantom Pain's opening chapter takes place in a hospital that's burning down around you.
Secret War: The game revolves around two black ops units, the "Diamond Dogs" MSF unit remnants and the "XOF", battling it out for survival.
Narration: FOX vs. XOF, a phantom battle waged by the vanished.
Sequel Escalation: Metal Gear Solid 4 tried to build battlefields that were constantly changing with two factions at war, but had to cut most of it out. MGS V is trying to re-implement the shifting battlefield and apply it to an open world. It also expands the army managing aspect of Peace Walker, with Snake now able to sent out spies to infiltrate enemy bases and get information from them.
There's even an example between the prologue and the main game - Kojima has touted the environments of The Phantom Pain as being hundreds of times bigger than Ground Zeroes and Peace Walkercombined.
Holding guys up with your gun and pinning them with CQC have been improved—when you hold a guy up you can order him to the ground, or even make him call out to his buddies to lure them into a trap. Interrogations are now mini-menu-driven instead of just holding down one button.
Shown Their Work: Jay Tavare, Code Talker's voice/motion capture actor, claims that his character would speak in a complex dialect of Navajo. It's worthy of noting that Tavare is Native American himself, implying the use of the language is just that multifaceted.
Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan: After escaping from the hospital, Snake has to rescue Miller from the Soviets in Afghanistan so he can rebuild his private army.
Stealth Pun: Digoxin, the drug that Ishmael injects into Snake, comes from a type of plant known as Foxgloves. FOX is the organization that Snake worked for during Metal Gear Solid 3, as well as the game engine that Metal Gear Solid V was developed on.
Tech Demo Game: The Ground Zeroes portion, or at least it was initially presented as such.
Time Skip: While Ground Zeroes is set shortly after the events of Peace Walker, The Phantom Pain is set nine years later in 1984, just a decade before the events of the first Metal Gear. Game Informer's timeline also implies that there's a smaller time skip between Snake's hospital escape and the formation of Diamond Dogs.
The GDC 2013 trailer make it clear that Ground Zeroes closes with the destruction of MSF's Mother Base, as well as Snake suffering massive injuries and falling into a coma for nine years.
The E3 2013 trailer confirms the return of Paz and Huey as well as Miller losing an arm and a leg.
Trojan Horse: The mission spearheaded by XOF and Cipher is called "Operation Trojan Horse" for a reason. Specifically, the plan is to lure Big Boss out into Camp Omega to rescue Chico and Paz while XOF, disguised as UN inspectors, infiltrate and destroy Mother Base. It succeeds.
Villain Song: "Sins of the Father" can be considered one for Big Boss and his allies.
War Is Hell: The games portrays the darkest aspects of war on Snake's quest for revenge, such as loss of limbs, child soldiers and torture.
Welcome to Hell: In the opening of The Phantom Pain, Snake wonders to himself if he's in hell after waking up from a nine year coma with a prosthetic left arm.
Why Am I Ticking?: After Snake rescues Paz, he finds that there's a bomb stitched inside her. With no clear indication of when the bomb is going to go off, Snake orders his soldiers to extract the bomb from her stomach without anesthetic.
Wide Open Sandbox: The first in the series to do so. The Afghanistan section, for instance, allows you to free roam across a massive desert canyon.
Winged Unicorn: The hospital level of The Phantom Pain features a setpiece where a horse with a horn and wings made of fire chases after Snake.
X Meets Y: Both games can be described as mixing constantly changing battlefields from Metal Gear Solid 4 with the mission based gameplay and base-building mechanics of Peace Walker, with wide open sandbox features thrown in for good measure.
You Are Too Late: By the time Big Boss catches wind of XOF's plan to destroy Mother Base, the attack has already begun.
You Can Barely Stand: In the first part of The Phantom Pain, Snake literally has to crawl his way through the hospital.
You Can't Go Home Again: Mother Base, Snake's offshore research station home during Peace Walker, is destroyed in the game's prologue by XOF.
Younger than They Look: At the start of Ground Zeroes, Snake appears to have gray hair thanks to the new lighting engine.