Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a third-person stealth action game in development by Hideo Kojima's Kojima Productions and will be published by Konami for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
In this tenth official installment of the Metal Gear series (and the first to use the FOX Engine), the game has players reprising the role of legendary soldier Snake (a.k.a Big Boss, not to be confused with his clone/son, Solid Snake), as he awakens from a prolonged coma in 1984 (nine years after the events of the game's prologue, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes).
The multiplayer component of the game is being worked on by the Kojima Productions LA studio in conjunction with the Tokyo studio.
Following the destruction of Mother Base (the base of operations for Big Boss's former mercenary group, Militaires Sans Frontieres) at the end of MGSV: Ground Zeroes, Big Boss awakes from a 9 year coma, missing his left arm and suffering from near full body muscle atrophy. The hospital he is in is attacked by unknown forces leaving the vulnerable Big Boss to crawl and stumble in escape with a mystery man bandaged from the neck upwards.
During the attack Big Boss has flashbacks to events from previous chronological games including Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. He is eventually saved by one of his Patriot allies, Revolver Ocelot, who continues to take orders from Cipher to allow Big Boss to stay one step ahead.
Ocelot leads Big Boss to Afghanistan to find Kazuhira Miller (known as Master Miller in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and Metal Gear Solid) his former MSF second-in-command. Big Boss and Miller form a new faction known as "Diamond Dogs", which serve as the game's protagonist faction. Like Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, players build up their base-of-operations throughout the game.
- Big Boss (as "Punished Snake, a Fallen Legend.") voiced by Kiefer Sutherland
- Revolver Ocelot ("A rival living a lie")
- Kazuhira Miller ("A visionary robbed of his future")
- Quiet ("A sniper deprived of her words")
- Eli ("A youth who curses his fate")
- Skull Face ("A Ghost Without A Past"). The leader of XOF.
- Huey Emmerich ("A technocrat who stands his ground"). Genius scientist, invented robotic legs that allow him to walk.
- Code Talker ("A wise man denied his homeland")
- Cipher (a.k.a. Major Zero)
- "Those Who Don't Exist"
Kojima confirmed that the game will have several open-world sections where the player takes control of Snake to perform a mission, but how he approaches that mission is up to the player.
- Afghanistan -- Ocelot has tracked down Kaz to a remote camp in the mountains of Afghanistan. Snake must race to rescue his captured comrade, but it will not be easy, as he must tread carefully between the mujaheddin of Afghanistan and the Russian forces occupying the country.
- Rhodesia-- A site where Diamond Dogs worked to free the many child soldiers trapped in a never-ending conflict.
As "The Phantom Pain"
The game was known for being vaguely introduced in a trailer as "The Phantom Pain" (by a fake Swedish developer known as "Moby Dick Studio", allegedly led by "Joakim Mogren") in order for Kojima to assess industry response for the FOX Engine. Despite hinted connections between the trailer and the Metal Gear franchise, the game remained mysterious until the 2013 Game Developers Conference, where it was officially revealed alongside Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, which serves as the game's prologue.
After the trailer's release the internet started to speculate that Phantom Pain is a game created by Hideo Kojima for the Metal Gear franchise. Many hints were in the trailer including:
- The protagonist of Phantom Pain has the same mullet and facial hair as Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. He also has a bandage conspicuously covering his eyes, and the exact same scar that Big Boss has in a Ground Zeroes poster.
- The doctor in the trailer's opening shares a vague resemblance to Kio Marv of Metal Gear 2, and also a resemblance to Dr. Madnar from the same game. However, as both of those characters have only been seen in 8-bit graphics, admittedly they could look like anything in photo-realistic graphics.
- As the protagonist wakes up he sees white petals falling on him. A field of white flowers, and falling petals, were present in the death scene of the Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3.
- When the protagonist is taken from his bed he is initially unable to walk, and must crawl on the ground. This is very similar to the infamous Microwave Hallway scene from the climax of Metal Gear Solid 4. The protagonist also runs very similar to Big Boss in Peace Walker.
- The guns used by the soldiers in Phantom Pain also appear in the Ground Zeroes trailer that are based off an actual gun made in the late seventies.
- While mostly cloaked in shadow, one burning soldier is shown to be wearing almost the exact same armor on his legs as Col. Volgin from MGS3, which took place decades earlier. The body type looks similar as well but it could also be The Fury.
- A burning soldier who bears a likeness to MGS2-era- Raiden or Raikov is seen falling over in room.
- The final shot of the trailer shows a figure hanging in the air in the same pose as Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear Solid.
- The only listed employee of Moby Dick Studios is Joakim Mogren. Joakim is an anagram of Kojima. Mogren is the football club of Budva, Montenegro, and Montenegro is the first level of Metal Gear Rising. Project Ogre is also the codename of The Phantom Pain. It should be noted Ogre is in Mogren.
- The negative space in the game's title at the end of the trailer spells out 'Metal Gear Solid V', though this is less useful as a clue as all of the Metal Gear Solid sequels to date have used standard numbers, not Roman numerals. Kojima even stated that he would never use Roman numerals in the main titles so people suggested that The Phantom Pain could be another game leading up to Metal Gear Solid 5 or Phantom Pain could possibly be Ground Zeroes.
- The title sequence for the reveal trailer was made by Prologue Films. Kyle Cooper (of Prologue Films) was seen at Konami's VGA VIP Party wearing a Phantom Pain/Moby Dick Studio T-Shirt. Cooper was also responsible for the title sequences of MGS2 and MGS3.
- In the Phantom Pain trailer the bandaged guy says, "On your feet soldier." while back in 2004 in a Metal Gear comic scan Gray Fox says the same exact quote.