Metal Gear Solid V is the next game in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. It is comprised of two previously advertised games, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. Metal Gear Solid Creator Hideo Kojima has confirmed that the Ground Zeroes section of the game, previously described as a prequel to Metal Gear Solid 5, will now be MGS5's prologue, following directly from the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
Due to the events in the prologue, the protagonist Snake (Big Boss) will fall into a 9-year coma, leading into the Phantom Pain section of the game.
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes was privately announced during the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary Event held in Japan on August 30th, 2012. The game is the first to run on Kojima Productions' new cross-platform Fox Engine. It is currently targeted for release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
At the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary event, Kojima Productions showed a 20 minute demonstration of the FOX engine and the game to attendees. Photography or video was not allowed, although excited reactions from attendees surfaced via Twitter.
Konami has released a promotional image from the demonstration. The character appeared to be Big Boss, indicated by the "Militaires san Frontieres" patch on his shoulder and his sneaking suit (from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker). The image shows a deliberately backwards phrase that when flipped reads as: "From 'FOX,' two phantoms were born." The meaning of the phrase has yet to be fully detailed.
A few days later at PAX Prime 2012, Kojima showed the same trailer and gameplay at his "Past, Present, and the Future of METAL GEAR" panel, and shortly later released it online. The trailer was as much of a reveal of Ground Zeroes as it was for FOX Engine. Setting for the footage was a military base during a heavily rainy night, showing rain and wind effects. Also detailed was plot for the game, and Snake's objective at the facility.
Kojima had also clarified that this game is not Metal Gear Solid 5 but instead a "prologue" to that game. He also stated that while this title is set for current-gen, FOX Engine is scalable for the next generation, and called the game "a beginning" for the series. Shortly after PAX Prime 2012, Kojima tweeted that Ground Zeroes is also not what is known as Project Ogre, another "open world" game on the FOX Engine.
After the events of Peace Walker, Kaz heard from "friends" inside the secretive Cipher organization that Paz had resurfaced in a clandestine prison camp run by American forces off the coast of Cuba called Camp Omega, along with their young ally Chico.
Cipher reportedly thinks that Paz is a double-agent, while Kaz and Snake (Big Boss) are both afraid that Paz might sell out the truth about Militares Sans Frontieres (MSF; Soldiers Without Borders). To complicate matters further, the UN (with US forces) plans to inspect Mother Base to determine whether or not MSF poses a real threat to the world.
Snake decides to infiltrate the prison camp to rescue both Paz and Chico, and hopefully convince Paz to join MSF for real. Unfortunately, the inspection team will be arriving the night he leaves for the prison camp, and Kaz warns Snake that he will be on his own without MSF backup for this mission.
Unlike previous Metal Gear Solid titles, Ground Zeroes puts Snake into a more open world environment built to allow players to approach objectives stealthily from multiple directions as well as multiple methods, such as by vehicle. Similar to Metal Gear Solid 4 however, you control Snake via third person camera and aiming, with first person viewing mechanics as well.
During a mission, at any time Snake can drop a flare to signal a helicopter that can be used to transport to different locations or even "other countries". The helicopter plays a tune chosen by the player when approaching (like Flight of the Valkyries), though if this tune is too loud, or if the helicopter is too close to enemies, it can be shot down and Snake's cover can be blown. Once on the helicopter you travel in real time and there are no loading screens to get to your destination.
The helicopter can also take you to your base at any time during the game. You are able to walk around your base and you will also be able to design it.
Snake also carries with him some sort of holographic projection device that is used to display the map and your relative location real time without a pause menu.
The game also features day/night cycles which are supposed to enhance replayability by mixing up enemy patrol patterns, for example.
- Due to events in the game, Snake will fall into a 9 year coma, famous in Metal Gear Solid lore for being the period in which he is cloned by The Patriots, giving birth to Solid Snake, Liquid Snake and Solidus Snake.
- In 1972, the year in which the three Snake clones were born, Revolver Ocelot (born in 1944) would be 28, Gray Fox (born in the early 1950s) would be in his early 20s, EVA (born in 1936) would be 36 and Zero (born in 1909) would be 63. Their relationships with Big Boss make appearances by them in Phantom Pain a possibility.