Metal Gear Solid was one of the first, most popular stealth video games, and when its fifth installment comes out with [Metal Gear Solid](movie:593264) V: The Phantom Pain, for the next-gen consoles the Xbox One and the PS4, it looks like it will continue its tradition of innovation.
But where to start with this enormous game?
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Big Boss now Venom Snake
We might as well begin at the beginning, with the plot.
After ground Zeroes and the destruction of Militaires Sans Frontières, Big Boss is now back. Out of his coma, he has his missing arm replaced with a bionic one. Assuming the new codename "Venom Snake", he travels to Afghanistan during that countries war with Soviet Russia in order to find the men responsible for the destruction of his mercenary group.
Along the way, he encounters not only Ocelot, but also uncovers a potential weapon which could surpass in its destructiveness even the Meat Gear system.
The Open World of Metal Gear Solid
One of the most impressive features of Metal Gear Solid 5 is its open world system, showcased both in its E3 and Gamescom 2014 trailers.
Both trailers show two riders arriving on horseback in the midst of a sandstorm. We hear there is a Soviet controlled area ahead, and finally see the familiar figure of Venom Snake, sporting a less familiar bionic arm, and the landscape opens up to reveal the valleys and mountain of Afghanistan.
And the landscape will play a big part in the gameplay. It is populated with freely roaming sheep and goats, as well as packs of wolves which hunt them.
The most impressive thing about the game though is the intelligence of the enemies. In the first trailer from E3, the players takes out several guards with tranquilizer darts to the head, and causes havoc in the enemy stronghold.
By the time of the second play through, the enemy has beefed up security, and supplied its guards with helmets, to drop them dropping to your tranc-darts.
Check out the Metal Gear Solid 5 E3 gameplay trailer here:
The game looks great, but if you had to complain you might say that the level of silliness has increased through the Metal Gear Solid titles.
The fultons are back (more on that later) and they are still a little hard to believe in. But more than that, features like taking out a jeep by making your horse take a dump on the road, or guards running over excitedly to a picture of a woman in a bikini on the side of a cardboard box, mean Metal gear Solid 5's realism levels definitely take a hit.
Welcome to Metal Gear Solid 5's Mother Base: Home of the Diamond Dogs
The most exciting new addition to Metal Gear Solid 5, though, has to be the Mother Base system, showcased both in the E3 and the Gamescom 2014 trailers.
Gamers can now fulton troops, jeeps, and shipping containers of equipment back to a Mother Base which they have designed and improved over time. They can stay on their base and train with the troops, send troops on missions, or head out on missions themselves all from these epic constructions in the middle of the ocean.
Even more excitingly, other players can attack your Mother Base and you theirs, as Metal Gear Solid 5 opens up a new fully interactive open world experience.
Check a stealth mission on another player's Mother Base at the end of this Gamescom 2014 gameplay demo - and see the differences to the E3 mission, too!
So what do you think, is Metal gear Solid 5 The Phantom Pain going to be a massive next-gen hit, or are you disappointed by what you've seen from Hideo Kojima's latest epic? Write in with your thoughts below the line!