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"Not for any nation. Not for any ideology. Not for justice. Not for honor. Not for power. Not for the future. Not for love. Not for peace. Only for revenge."

Metal Gear Solid Vnote  is a duology of stealth based games serving as the eighth mainline entry in the Metal Gear series by Kojima Productions for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The prologue, Ground Zeroes, was released for consoles on March 18, 2014 in North America, March 20 in Europe and Japan, and March 27 in Australia. The PC version was released worldwide on Steam on December 18, 2014. The main game, The Phantom Pain, was released worldwide on September 1, 2015.

Metal Gear Solid V ventures into open world territory, with multiple massive areas players can explore during Snake's adventures, along with a real-time clock feature that can change the way one approaches enemy territories and go about their missions. Controllable vehicles appear for the first time, and can be used to traverse landscapes quicker. Mother Base returns from Peace Walker, and can now be fully-customized and explored.

Metal Gear Solid V was Kojima Productions' first project developed on the FOX Engine. It was also the first cross-generational launch in the series' history, releasing on both seventh generation and eighth generation.note  It was also the first game in the series since Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty to run at 60 frames per second at launch.

Unmarked spoilers for previous games in the series ahead. Avoid or read at your own risk.

These games comprise Metal Gear Solid V:

Related games:

The tropes never die

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  • Actionized Sequel: Zigzagged.
    • The game introduces stealth takedowns, bullet time, and stealing weapons with CQC. But, Snake has significantly less health than in previous games, which still discourages fighting enemies head-on.
    • In the new ranking system, getting spotted will cost you points, but going beyond basic objectives and pushing onwards (rather than reloading) will net you a higher rank. It's more forgiving than Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker's system, so you can still S rank a mission if you're discovered, provided you're quick, non-lethal, rescue prisoners, and so forth. In Phantom Pain, the requirements are even more forgiving that in Ground Zeroes to the point that a guns blazing run can net an S-rank.
    • The slow-mo on discovery feature Reflex Mode, which means being Discovered won't always cause an Enemy Combat Alert.note  Enabling it means alerts can be avoided. However, disabling Reflex Mode can also net you a "No Reflex" score bonus.
    • In a large departure from every other game in the franchise, getting discovered no longer means endlessly respawning waves of enemies. You can get discovered, kill everything in the vicinity, and just go back to normal like nothing happened. note .
  • 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. After seeing Snake in the prison camp, Chico starts to panic and begins drawing attention to them. It doesn't take long for Snake to apply a sleeper hold on him while saying "Don't fight it." He also faces off against beings that replicate humans, much like his father did (he provides the vocals for Raiden in "Jamais Vu" mission).
  • A.K.A.-47: In a surprising departure from previous games in the series, weapons in Metal Gear Solid V are entirely fictional, generally being hybrids of two or more real life guns. For example, the "AM Rifle Type 69" contains design elements from the Daewoo K2, SAR-80, and FN FAL. Once you unlock Weapon Customization in Phantom Pain, you can create your own hybrid guns, by mixing and matching different pieces of different weapons. Even truly frankenstenian creations like an assault rifle with the body of an AR-15, the stock of an SVD Dragunov Sniper, the barrel of an M-60 Machinegun, and a sawed-off benelli shotgun as an underbarrel accessory. The possibilities are almost endless.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Skull Face, who has blue skin.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • As per series standard. Period weapons and basic military hardware of the 1980s mixed with futuristic technology; cybernetics, advanced robotics and Snake's holographic iDroid map/scanner.
    • A particularly noticeable one is when Skull Face gives Chico a Walkman-like player and Chico himself is wearing earphones. The former was not released until 1979 and the latter wouldn't be around for another five years or so.note 
    • In terms of music, Venom Snake can not only find tapes with licensed songs, he can find singles that weren't even out in 1984, such as "Take on Me".
    • The entire Ground Zeroes companion app is full of this, allowing you to unlock characters who are either dead or not even born yet. For example, performing a certain task in the game allows the player develop a Gekko in the app, somehow. Then again, the app is clearly labelled a "Mother Base VR simulator".
  • Arc Words: Characters go out of their way to use the word "phantom" or "parasite" a lot.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Zhuk and Stout infantry fighting vehicles (which are essentially not!BTR and not!Centauro). Decent small arms protection, good speed and rapidfire autocannons make for an excellent package.
  • Audible Gleam: Plays whenever a point like like a spotlight. a searchlight from a chopper, or the headlights on a vehicle at night light up the player character, potentially leading a brief moment of panic before the alarm sounds... or not if no one happens to looking at that spot at the time.
  • Audience Surrogate: While Snake has always been this to a certain extent, this time he has noticeably fewer lines than other characters despite being voiced by Kiefer Sutherland. This has been deliberately done so that players can identify with Snake, as both he and the player are being introduced to the story having spent nine years in a coma.
  • Battle Couple: Venom Snake and Quiet with a maxed-out buddy bond score. In fact, Quiet is so aggressive when it comes to taking out enemies that threaten Snake that you may have to order her to hold her fire just so you can Fulton extract the ones with good stats.
  • Big Bad: Skull Face, the leader of XOF, is this for Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. In Chapter 2 of The Phantom Pain, the closest there is to a Big Bad is Huey Emmerich, revealed to be a selfish Mad Scientist who releases a mutated strain of the Vocal Cord Parasites on Mother Base as a test so he can attempt to sell it as a weapon. This also indirectly leads to the (supposed) death of Quiet.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Averted in Ground Zeroes where, as it's a U.S. black site, Camp Omega's signs are written in both English and Spanish. Played straight in the levels shown so far in The Phantom Pain, where soldiers and their Mission Control will speak in their native tongues (such as Russian in Afghanistan), and you will need to recruit an interpreter if you want to interrogate the soldiers. The Afghanistan mission also has untranslated Arabic signposts and graffiti.
  • Bloodier and Gorier:
    • Snake loses an arm in the opening of the game, and graphical improvements allow the game to showcase bloodier, more realistic wounds.
    • The Phantom Pain opens with an entire hospital ward being mercilessly slaughtered in graphic and disturbing ways.
    • One scene has Snake and two others reaching through Paz's open intestines as she writhes and screams in pain to extract a flashing object adorned with a peace symbol.
  • Body Horror:
    • Chico has a headphone jack in his chest.
    • The Camp Omega prisoners (including Chico) have bolts screwed into their Achilles tendons, which makes walking or merely standing up extremely painful.
    • The XOF commander, Skull Face, who pretty much looks as if he's rotting.
    • The audiotape of Paz's interrogation culminates in her being sedated, having most of her organs removed and a bomb inserted in her intestines, along with another one "where no one will look" (complete with wet sounds). In the second-last scene, Snake, Chico and the chopper's onboard doctor extract the device from Paz while she's fully conscious and screaming in pain.
    • Snake wakes up from him coma in The Phantom Pain to find he's missing his left arm, and gets a piece of shrapnel embedded into his skull. Ocelot fits Snake with a fully functional prosthetic, but that huge thing sticking out of Snake's head is visible at all times, which can be pretty chilling sometimes.
  • Cardboard Prison: Quiet is held as a prisoner in a cell on the medical platform at Mother Base. Ocelot mentions over codec that she's broken out repeatedly, but always returns on her own.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture:
    • Tons. What's worse is that the protagonists are also administering it this time around.
    • Skull Face has established himself as the king of this, outlasting the kind of torture that Ocelot or Volgin would give. He notably beltwhips Paz, forces her and Chico to have sex, rapes her, and the kicker: forcing a bomb into her abdomen that is set to go off when Snake rescues her in a timely manner. Oh, and this isn't even going into the second bomb Skull Face shoved up her vagina. That very bomb ends up killing Paz and sending Snake into his coma, right after he is forced to take out the first one without any anesthetic.
    • Miller when meeting Huey nearly breaks the man's leg by taking control of his robotic limbs and programming his left leg to bend all the way upwards.
  • Compilation Re-release: Of a fashion; Konami released a collection called Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience, which simply takes Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, and puts the two games and their DLC into a single disc.
  • Crew of One: Snake can commandeer armoured vehicles, allowing him to drive and use the vehicle's gun at the same time.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: A number of button functions that were series mainstays were switched around due to the inclusion of a non-game pausing peripheral and Snake's Limited Loadout. It may take a bit to get used to pressing L1/L2/LT for Codec, Select/Back to pause, using the d-pad to change weapons/items, etc.
    • The button configuration also differs a bit in the PS3 version compared to the other platforms. Whereas the PS4 and Xbox versions use the lower shoulder buttons (L1/LB and R1/RB) for the codec and binoculars and the upper shoulder buttons (L2/LT and R2/RT) for aiming and shooting, the PS3 version has them swapped out. This can take some getting used to for players transitioning from the PS3 to the PS4.
    • Then happens again using armored vehicles, since the trigger buttons become your driving controls while L1 becomes your weapon button. Good luck trying to aim, steer, and fire without in some way accidentally driving into a wall.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    Miller: The world calls for wetwork, and we answer! No greater good. No just cause.
    • That being said, there's still plenty of room for the series' trademark humor. Like wearing a chicken hat during a sneaking mission, for instance.
  • Developer's Foresight: The "Time Paradox" Non-Standard Game Over sequences return, albeit to a ludicrous degree. Whether you simply kill Chico in Ground Zeroes or go as far as modding lethal weapons at Mother Base to shoot Ocelot in The Phantom Pain, you still get the unique game over rather than the typical one. Of course, this comes into spoiler territory as dying in Ground Zeroes nets you a time paradox screen, whereas dying in The Phantom Pain gets you a standard game over. In other words, the devs thought so far ahead they're massively foreshadowing Venom's identity as a doppelgänger (and as being less plot vital than the real Big Boss) through their damn game over screen.
  • 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 smart device 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!
  • Divided for Publication: The prologue mission, Ground Zeroes, was released separately from The Phantom Pain, which was still under development at the time.
  • Dull Surprise: A complaint towards Kiefer Sutherland's portrayal of Snake in Ground Zeroes is that he sounds bored when he isn't putting strong emotions into his lines, with the ending of the game being a notable exception. 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.
  • 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. It's later revealed that their original role as a unit was to act as FOX's shadow, doing clean up and support from behind the scenes while FOX handled the main missions.
    • Skull-Face himself can be considered Venom Snake's evil counterpart as a result of the end-game twist. The two men were robbed of their previous identities due to a tragic event in their lives. Whereas Skull-Face was disfigured and left without his original face, Venom was forced to live with another man's face.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The standard title screen in both games depicts Snake seated inside his support chopper. In Ground Zeroes, completing the main story mission will cause Snake to appear bloody, while completing the "Intel Operative Rescue" mission makes Hideo appear inside the chopper alongside Snake; finishing any other mission will simply change the time of day to reflect that of the mission you've just played. The Phantom Pain initially shows Snake's hospital bed in Dhekelia as the title screen before switching to the regular one after the prologue, wherein Snake's appearance and the time of day likewise changes in accordance with your latest progress.
  • Facial Horror:
    • Skull Face lives up to his moniker; he has a crooked nose, a Glasgow Grin, and a severely burned face.
    • 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: Enemy soldiers and Diamond Dogs recruits tend to have a variety of faces, although there's still plenty of soldiers wearing balaclavas in MGSV such as the XOF troopers, the MSF soldiers in Ground Zeroes (as well as certain survivors that show up years later in The Phantom Pain), and certain Diamond Dogs soldiers during cutscenes. When choosing to play as a DD soldier in a mission instead of Snake, the player can outfit him or her with a balaclava if they choose to.
  • Follow the Leader:
    • Both games have retooled some mechanics that have been in previous games in the series - such as Regenerating Healthnote  and "tagging" enemies to keep track of themnote  - to resemble modern stealth games.
    • For the first time in a Metal Gear game, pre-order content is available in the form of guns, clothing and unit patches. Whether post-release DLC will take this form as well is yet to be confirmed.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Snake, Miller, Huey, Zero, and Ocelot will survive, but things will be irreversibly changed.
    • Whatever happens, Zero and Cipher (a.k.a. the Patriots) will continue on to further their ends, which would culminate decades later in Metal Gear Solid 4. Indeed, Ground Zeroes implies that they're already infiltrating governments and agencies around the world.
    • However, The Phantom Pain reveals that Zero himself wasn't directly involved with the events of later Metal Gear works. Meaning that all his attempts to reconcile with Big Boss were for nought.

  • 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.
  • Grand Finale: For Hideo Kojima directed Metal Gear games, as IP holder Konami will terminate their relationship with Kojima and most of his team in December 2015.
  • Gun Accessories: Suppressors and flashlights can be now attached and detached on the fly in game as required. Scopes and underbarrel grenade launchers come with some models.
  • Handicapped Badass: Keeping in theme with the game's meaningful name, many of the principal characters are handicapped or crippled in some way.
    • Snake and Miller are missing limbs.note 
    • Like Snake, D.D. is missing his right eye.
    • Quiet is apparently mute.
    • Skull Face is horribly scarred.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Miller makes it absolutely clear that he will do anything to exact revenge on XOF. Interestingly enough, Snake seems to be aware that this is happening to himself and his allies.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Skull Face loves doing this to Code Talker. Seeing as the old man is more or less immortal, this turns out to be the only effective method of control. Played with in one specific cassette tape dialogue, where Skull Face is wielding a bell. Skull Face claims that a soldier is waiting at the door outside and will relay orders to harm one of Code Talker's fellow Navajos on every ring of the bell, and then proceeds to ring the bell increasingly recklessly. At the end the bell is thrown, ringing as it bounces around, much to Code Talker's despair. As Skull Face leaves, as it turns out, there was never a soldier waiting outside!
  • Ink-Suit Actor: With Metal Gear Solid V being the first entry in the series to utilize extensive facial capturing, many of the game's cast, including KP staff members, lent their likenesses to the characters in the game, some of which can be seen in this behind the scenes video.
    • Most notably the new heroine Quiet looks exactly like Stefanie Joosten, the Holland-born actress who portrays her.
    • Hideo himself is the titular character in the "Intel Operative Rescue" side-op in Ground Zeroes. Players who skipped out on Ground Zeroes can still recruit him in The Phantom Pain by unlocking the "Intel Agent Extraction" side-op.
    • Level designer Ziang Tan is the frequent kidnapping victim in the "Unlucky Dog" series of side-ops.
    • Male models Dean Newcombe and Dante Carver, alongside Kojima Productions composer Ludvig Forssell and animator Brian Robison, all appear throughout the game as generic soldiers, although some of them also have important roles in certain cutscenes and missions.
    • One of the doctors operating on Snake and Miller after the events of Ground Zeroes in the flashback prior to epilogue is modeled after programmer Mike Fudge.
    • The Cyprian doctor in the prologue is played by British actor Ian Moore, whose resemblance to Italian head transplant advocate Sergio Canavero led to speculation over the nature of Snake's true identity (which were correct for reasons not involving brain transplants), as well as some minor controversy over the possibly unauthorized use of Canavero's likeness.
  • Keep It Foreign: The Japanese versions have all the English dialogue dubbed, but everything else is left intact.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: The play mechanics allow Snake to knock out wounded (or prone) enemies by kicking them when they've fallen. If Snake (or any playable operative) decides to stomp them in the head a few times while already knocked out, it will kill them.
  • Large Ham: Skull Face most definitely, when he loses his shit.
    Skull Face: Wait! Who is doing this? Such a lust for revenge! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!?
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The "true" ending, as seen at the end of Episode 46. Venom realizes he used to be the "avatar" created by the player at the start of the game, the player sees that Venom has an MSX2 console, and Venom has a vision through a mirror of himself a decade later in Outer Heaven receiving a tape detailing Operation Intrude N313 while still on Diamond Dog's Mother Base in 1984note ; the player is Big Boss's phantom, and he will continue his legacy by playing the other games in the series.
  • Lethal Joke Item: The water pistol. At first it seems to serve no real purpose, but it is completely silent all the time (no silencer to degrade), has unlimited ammo, can blind/stun enemies setting them up for CQC grabs or takedowns, can disable certain electrical systems, and it can even stun the Man on Fire if you're able to hit him enough times.
  • Lens Flare: Several, given the Fox Engine's emphasis on lighting. There are notably some that look like bar codes during some cutscenes.

  • 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. It also refers to emotional pain brought from losing loved ones, and how their deaths haunt people.
    • "Déjà Vu" means something looks familiar even though you've never seen it before, and it's the title of the extra mission where the player must re-enact scenes from the original Metal Gear Solid in the Cuban Naval Base. There's no way Big Boss and Miller were involved during the Shadow Moses Incident, so there's no way the stuff should look familiar to them, but it's familiar to us, the players.note 
    • "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. The name could also refer to the fact that the mission takes place in an alternate universe with the game placing great emphasis on the mission's non-canonity by placing quotes about alternative universes in the loading screens.
  • Mini-Mecha: Walker Gears are one-man bipedal mecha designed for stealth missions. Snake eventually gets a special version called "D-Walker".
  • Multi-Part Episode: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain together serve as Metal Gear Solid V as a whole.
  • Music to Invade Poland to: You can customize what music your support chopper plays when it arrives, and Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" just happens to be one of the default options as a Shout-Out to Apocalypse Now. That's not even getting into the music importing option available in some versions of the game, which can take this trope even further.
  • Mythology Gag: Snake's ability to perform a quick dive is similar to how Pipo Snake was able to perform it in Mesal Gear Solid: Snake Escape, a crossover minigame starring the monkeys from Ape Escape that was featured in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence.
  • Necessary Drawback: The vehicle types Snake can ride have advantages and disadvantages to each.
    • The jeep is the fastest vehicle, but provides no cover or weaponry, is extremely fragile, and simply passing by an enemy will get you seen.
    • The truck provides cover while making it harder to get seen and has better durability than the jeep, but is only moderately fast, and poor driving and driving too close to guards will cause them to spot you.
    • The Zhuk and Stout Infantry Fighting Vehicles are faster than the truck and impervious to small arms, but are vulnerable to rocket launchers and have a wide turning radius. The rocket launcher Zhuk has additional firepower in its rocket rack, but that also limits the autocannon turret to 180 degrees coverage. The fire support Stout trades the 20mm autocannon for a 105mm tank gun, losing the dakka in favor of a BFG with the resulting decrease in rate of fire.
    • The tank completely covers you, which makes it near-impossible to get seen unless you do something incredibly stupid, is extremely hard to destroy, has the smallest turning radius and gives you a 105mm gun with a hundred rounds to kill vehicles and a heavy machine gun with a five hundred rounds to kill people, but is the slowest vehicle.
    • The missile truck has enough firepower to even bring down tanks very quickly, but the missiles only face forward so a good portion of time will be spent trying to position yourself just right to hit your target, and aiming while avoiding enemy fire is nearly impossible.
    • Buddies: each gives you some useful ability at the cost of not being able to use other buddies in the mission (though you can swap them out, but it takes time and money).
  • Nerf:
    • The default silenced Pistol (now called the WU Silent Pistol) gets a downgrade from Boring Yet Practical to Difficult, but Awesome. While it's still just as powerful as ever, you now need to accommodate for bullet drop. It's also useless against armored opponents. On the other hand, its Hollywood Silencer has unlimited durability in Ground Zeroes. Although its suppressor now has limited durability in The Phantom Pain, unlocking Weapon Customization allows you to outfit it with better suppressors that don't break after 20 or so shots.
    • Heavily zigzagged with overhauled CQC mechanics, mostly throwing. While it's now a guaranteed one-hit knockout as in Snake Eater and Guns of the Patriots, it doesn't last as long as choking or tranquilizing an enemy, unless you threw the target against a wall. Additionally, chain-throwing, a staple of crowd control in Peace Walker, is now much more difficult to initiate due to improved enemy AI, but every successive enemy knocked out in a chain-throw is knocked out for longer than the last enemy.
    • Even further zigzagged with the Fulton Recovery System in The Phantom Pain. With later upgrades, it is far more versatile than its previous iteration, as it can be used on everything from soldiers to vehicles to sheep. Additionally, you can carry far more at once than you could ever hold in Peace Walker, and unlike in Peace Walker, a supply drop will also restock you on Fulton Recovery Devices. On the other hand, it costs GMP to Fulton objects, which is now an expendable resource, and when Diamond Dogs is just starting out, Fultoning a lot of soldiers will very easily put you in the red. Also, Fulton balloons will not work indoors(until you get the Wormhole very late in the game), and it now has a success rate, which decreases in bad weather such as a sandstorm or rain, but can be increased by taking a shower or leveling up the Support Team. In addition, enemies will spot your balloon if they're too close, and if they're right near the soldier being extracted, they can actually shoot at and pop your Fulton Device.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The teaser shown in the 2012 VGA show advertised The Phantom Pain as a new IP made by an unknown studio, although more observant viewers could still make the outline for Metal Gear Solid V logo hidden above the title.
  • Numbered Sequels: The first one in six years since Metal Gear Solid 4, although Peace Walker and Metal Gear Rising were released in the years between, the former being the previous Kojima-directed game in the series and the chronological predecessor of Ground Zeroes.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Metal Gear Solid V uses a Roman numeral, in contrast to the Arabic ones used by previous entries. The "V" stands for "victory", in response to the recent leap forward in Western video game development.
  • Old Save Bonus: You can upload your data from Ground Zeroes to The Phantom Pain, transferring any prisoners you rescued in GZ to Mother Base (yes, including Kojima). You can also earn certain items by completing missions or challenges in GZ.
  • 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. Konami was more considerate about the pricing of Ground Zeroes, pricing the shorter of the two games at $30 instead of asking for a full $60. Purchasing the digital versions nets players a $20 price tag instead.
  • The Oner: Many (if not all) cutscenes from Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain are filmed as a single continuous shot, with zero cuts (e.g. The assault on Mother Base by XOF forces from Snake's perspective, starting from when he receives word from his pilot that the base isn't responding, and ending when Paz jumps out of the helicopter and explodes, blowing him backwards). Combined with the use of reactive Shaky Cam, the cinematography evokes of Alfonso Cuarón's style in Children of Men so strongly that it might as well as be a Shout-Out. In addition, the transference from cutscene to gameplay (and vice versa) also don't use jump cuts very often, and instead use single, unbroken camera movements.
  • One-Woman Wail: A good portion of the lead-up to the song "Sins of the Father".
  • Product Placement
    • J.F. Rey eyewears are featured prominently in both, GZ and TPP. Snake gives Hideo a JF1142 at the end of the Intel Operative Rescue mission, which are same ones Huey wears in TPP. Hideo, Kaz and Ocelot all have J.F. Rey eyewear specially designed and named after them during TPP.
    • Snake wears a Seiko wristwatch on his prosthetic during TPP, which can be seen prominently when the player uses the Phantom Cigar to speed up time.
    • Sony products are featured prominently throughout both, GZ and TPP. Snake uses a Walkman (a TPS-L2 to be exact) to listen to audio tapes like he did in PW and the tapes themselves are BHF-46s. The final scene of TPP has Venom Snake playing a tape labelled "Operation Intrude N313" on a Bitcorder magnetic data recorder connected to a HiTBiT computer, which was the Sony brand model of the MSX2 (the platform the series started on).
    • The leather jacket that the real Snake wears at the end of the final mission was specifically designed for the game by Puma, who released a line of MGSV apparel. Additionally, Snake's bike in the same scene is a customized Triumph Bonneville similar to the ones EVA rode in MGS3 and MGS4.
  • 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. The entire point of the game is to show how he goes from a heroic mercenary trying to follow what he believes to be The Boss's dream to the bitter old man who Solid Snake ended up defeating in Metal Gear 2.
  • 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. Take too many hits, and the screen fades to a bloody-red hue.
  • Retcon: There are several major changes to the established continuity with this game, given that it's a prequel that greatly expands upon events alluded to in previous games. Initially, the biggest retcon seems to be that Big Boss and Master Miller were both horribly disfigured after the events of GZ, despite the existence of promotional/concept art from MGS1 depicting them as able bodied with their limbs intact and no shrapnel on Big Boss's head. The only prior reference to Big Boss ever losing an arm and having it replaced with a bionic was in an optional radio call in Metal Gear 2, but that was after the events of the original Metal Gear. The bigger retcon comes at the fact that Venom Snake, the player character in TPP, is not only a body double for the real Big Boss (who has no shrapnel and an intact left arm), but the one that Solid Snake actually fought in Outer Heaven way back during the very first game in the series.
  • 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; no matter how many they have torture or kill along the way, or if they become monsters themselves in the process.
    Miller: We pull in money, troops, just to combat Cipher. Rubbing our noses in bloody battlefield dirt... all for revenge.
  • Revolvers are Just Better: Zigzagged. Revolvers have better stopping power, especially the Uragan-5, which is a Hand Cannon that shoots shotgun shells and has a non lethal variant. However, revolvers have a couple of drawbacks: Their low ammunition capacity, slower reload time, lack of underbarrel accessories, and especially their lack of a suppressor, something that's a huge advantage in a Stealth-Based Game, makes them less desirable than semi automatic pistols.

  • Scare Chord: Notably, this is the first main series game where it doesn't play every time you get spotted. If an enemy gets suspicious and eventually sniffs you out, a white "!" will appear without any sort of notable sound byte. However, if the enemy happens upon you without prior warning, the series' Signature Sound Effect will play alongside a red "!". As usual, this can make a player jump out of their seat if they didn't check their corners and stepped straight into some random's guard's line of sight.
  • Scenery Porn: The FOX Engine is designed to emulate lighting as accurate to life as possible, resulting in some quite impressive visuals.
  • Scenery Gorn:
    • 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.
  • Schizo Tech: The iDroid is a little handheld device that projects holograms, communicates with people across the ocean, has a fully-functional satellite map system... and doubles as a Walkman.
  • Secret War: The game revolves around two black ops units, the "Diamond Dogs" MSF unit remnants and the "XOF", battling it out for survival. Not to mention, Snake's gripe with Zero and Cipher (aka the Patriots). Skull Face seems to have take interest in Cipher as well, possibly making this a Mêlée à Trois.
    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, and later focused on sneaking around enemies that had access to vastly superior technology. Metal Gear Solid 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 Walker combined.
    • 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.
  • Sequel Number Snarl: The games are subtitled V despite being collectively the sixth mainline Metal Gear Solid game, with Peace Walker being the fifth game and still being a mainline title from Hideo Kojima. Subverted as the V subtitle does not actually stand for Roman numeral 5, but rather the letter V, bringing with it multiple different interpretations (Venom, Vengeance, Victory, etc...).
  • Shout-Out:
    • The player can set the classic Wagner tune "Ride of the Valkyries" to play during a gunship rescue, in a reference to the film Apocalypse Now.
    • When heavily wounded, Snake can make use of a first aid spray.
    • In the "Jamais Vu" extra op in GZ, Raiden fights Snatchers.
    • On occasion, when Snake uses his bionic arm, the Six Million Dollar Man sound effect can be heard.
    • When you fight White Mamba, he has a conch shell at his hip and a pig's head on a table near his "throne" in an apparent reference to Lord of the Flies.
    • Occasionally in game you can find a radio (most of the time it's at a guard tent in the African jungle, but people have reported finding them elsewhere) that plays the radio and end-game voiceover from P.T..
  • Simulation Game: Kojima has stated that Metal Gear Solid V is the evolution of the series into a full-on "stealth simulation".
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Sins of the Father is one of the game's primary themes; it serves as a Villain Song that highlights Big Boss's fall from grace, and parts of it are prominent Recurring Riffs. The only place it officially plays in the game are during the awkward jeep ride listed under Narm; not only do the lyrics have almost nothing to do with the scene in question (save for a particular line or two), the song is needlessly dramatic for what can best be described as a guided tour of some lovely roads and cliffs while the villian awkwardly monologues at you, and while it's debatable how villainous Big Boss/Venom Snake are by the end of the game, they most likely didn't fall far enough for the dark lyrics to be at all fitting.
  • Spiritual Antithesis: The game is this for the entire series, thanks to how open it is, and how the game is more on the gameplay side of the Story to Gameplay Ratio, where cutscenes are generally expository and not too long.
  • Start of Darkness: This prequel marks the Face–Heel Turn of Snake and Miller from anti-heroes to revenge before reason anti-villains, willing to preside over torture sessions conducted by Ocelot.note 
  • The Stinger:
    • After the credits of Ground Zeroes, we hear Skull Face interrogating Paz. He asks her where Cipher is, and she is just about to answer before the sequence ends. This later is brought up in The Phantom Pain. We get to hear the entire conversation, but only at the very end of the game.
    • After the credits for the True Ending of The Phantom Pain, we hear Ocelot (who else?) and Miller discuss the game's big twist, and how the latter reacts to it.
  • Take Cover!: While there's no "snap-to-cover" button like Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, pressing the aim button while crouched behind something will make Snake stand up to aim.
  • Tanks, but No Tanks:
    • All armored vehicles, from actual tanks to infantry fighting vehicles are referred to as tanks ingame, by Miller. note 
    • While the Stout FS carries a 105mm tank gun, it's still not a proper tank.
  • Tank Goodness: The Soviets have the TT77 Nosorog, while PF forces in Africa have the M84 Magloader.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • The GDC 2013 trailer made 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 confirmed the return of Paz and Huey, as well as Miller losing An Arm and a Leg.
  • Tranquillizer Dart:
    • Two of them are now available in pistol form: The Wu Silent pistol, which is the silenced tranquiliser pistol that's been a staple of the series since Metal Gear Solid 2 and the Uragan-5, which fills the role the Rubber Slug Shotgun did in Peace Walker, except as a 5-shot revolver.
    • The tranquilised sniper rifle makes a return in this game, though it does need a specialist staff member to develop. Quiet can optionally use it in lieu of her lethal sniper rifle.
    • Rubber bullet-using assault rifles and submachine guns can be developed fairly early in the game. However, they're less accurate and damaging than their lethal counterparts.
  • Unexpectedly Realistic Gameplay: If you try to crawl over a claymore mine to pick it up, it explodes instead.
    • You can knock out prone enemies by stomping them, or wake them up by doing the same. Do this repeatedly to the same guy and he'll wind up dead. That's right, you just curb-stomped some guy to death.
    • Critically injured enemies are left lying on the ground writhing in agony. Don't extract them, and they'll die within a few minutes, even if you knock them out.
    • Fulton extract is ridiculous and hilarious, and against all odds it usually works. When it doesn't, the target dies as they presumably plummet hundreds of feet to their deaths. If this happens, you're held accountable. You CAN fail missions because of this, so beware of extracting during inclement weather.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Averted. Snake's somersault ability has been replaced with a lunging Quick Dive that makes it so he always lands on his belly, instead of the somersault which allowed Snake to land on his feet. However, he'll still do a roll when dismounting a horse at speed.note 
  • Unorthodox Holstering: Snake slings his rifle across his left hip in a crossdraw manner.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: You don't have to save the POWs. If you do decide to rescue them, you are given a score bonus.
    • Also, you don't even have to kill the targets your ordered to "eliminate". You can extract them instead so they can be recruited into Diamond Dogs while Miller tells the client they've been killed.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: On the other side of the spectrum, you can now strap C4 onto unsuspecting enemy soldiers and blow them up at your leisure, a step-up from just air-lifting them out.
    • The Phantom Pain greatly expands the methods you can employ to make guards' lives a living hell.
    • You can easily play Snake as a Bad Boss who makes the lives of his soldiers on Mother Base a living hell, either by using them as a CQC dummy, target practice or putting a knife to their throat and grilling them for info. About the only thing you can't do is murder them, since you can't use lethal weapons on Mother Base and if you get them killed it's a Non-Standard Game Over for you.
      • This could even be argued to be subverted; as long as you don't kill any of them by throwing them off ledges or into the ocean, not only are you not penalized for beating the everloving shit out of your Mother Base staff, they thank you for it. They'll even encourage you to do it! Apparently the entirety of Diamond Dogs are masochists...
      • This can even be practical. Interrogating your Mother Base staff can give advice on new enemy equipment or tactics or point out one of a number of (renewable!) rough diamonds hidden throughout Mother Base.
  • Walking Armory: Downplayed. Each gun Snake carries is visible on his person (a sidearm in his holster, a knife on his belt, a rifle across his hip and a larger gun on his back) but grenades and placeable weapons are stored away in his Utility Belt.
  • 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.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: Cipher has been working on a weapon that surpasses the eponymous "Metal Gear" autonomous nuclear launch platforms.
    • The weapon in question is Sahelanthropus, which beyond typical Metal Gear capabilities also has a body made out of enriched uranium. This means not only is it a nuclear-equipped walking deathmobile, if it happens to be destroyed, the metallic archaea activates the uranium, giving it the mother of all Taking You With Mes.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: It's possible to attach C-4 charges to enemy soldiers by placing them when close enough to an unwitting victim.
  • 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.

Alternative Title(s): Metal Gear Solid 5