Throughout the course of its long, prestigious and slightly convoluted history, Konami and Hideo Kojima’s legendary stealth series has set an industry standard for storytelling, and it’s one that both parties will hope to emulate in September’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
As the final installment under Kojima’s tenure, there’s a palpable excitement surrounding the release of the upcoming sequel, as evidenced by the reception of the extended gameplay clip that debuted during the course of E3. At 40 minutes in length, the footage gave us an in-depth look at the mechanics and gameplay systems present in The Phantom Pain, which are essentially more refined versions of those first seen in last year’s prequel, Ground Zeroes.
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Swapping the linear, corridor-based action that the franchise built its reputation on, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will take place across a sprawling open-world setting, with real-world locations including Afghanistan and Africa. In 1984, Kazuhira “Kaz” Miller and his fellow Diamond Dog elite soldiers have become embroiled in a firefight with the Soviet Union.
But our protagonist Big Boss is still recovering from the catastrophic events from the tail-end of Ground Zeroes, which led to him slipping into a coma. According to Konami, the grizzled super-solider will be out of action for quite some time indeed, with The Phantom Pain picking up a full 9 years after the events at Camp Omega.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will bring an end to Hideo Kojima’s tenure at the helm of the series when it arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on September 1. The jury’s still out on the future of the adorned franchise beyond 2015, but for now, you can share your impressions of this alternate gameplay segment in the comments below.