The Phantom Pain
The events in The Phantom Pain occurred years after the incident in Ground Zeroes, the playable demo that came out some time before MGSV did. Big Boss awoke from a coma, and was immediately attacked by XOF, a group from Snake’s past hell-bent on killing him off for good, after they failed to do so when Snake’s Mother Base was blown up by them. Snake eventually recovered, and after saving Kazuhira Miller from Russians who have conquered most of Afghanistan, set out to get his revenge on XOF. The game itself starts off superbly well. The prologue in particular was very nerve-wracking as you guide a mostly disabled Snake through a hospital corridor, trying to get away from soldiers who have come to kill you. You’ll eventually be forced to ride on horseback and the scene that comes after is nothing short of amazing.
The game itself is separated into a number of sections: the main game, where you take on missions to move along the story, and building Mother Base. Both of these sections are deeply intertwined with one another. In order for you to progress through the game comfortably, it is in your best interests to take care of things at your new Mother Base as well. As far as the main component of the game goes, it is the same Metal Gear Solid we all know and love, with a few big upgrades as well. As a new startup PMC, you’re equipped with a tranquiliser gun, and a horse for you to travel around. Right at the get go, you have a choice to either go the tried-and-true stealth route, or the Rambo route, going in all guns blazing. For the first few missions, we find stealth to be the easier route, as you familiarise yourself with the game mechanics and the world itself. Moving from one checkpoint to another takes a lot of time, so the horse that you’re provided with really helps you save a lot of time. After saving Kazuhira Miller in the first chapter, you will have the ability to extract downed enemies away on mini balloons. This process is called Fulton, and this is how you will grow your Mother Base, while clearing missions at the same time. While its main purpose is to forcibly recruit soldiers to your army, it also has the secondary purpose of clearing maps of enemies. Recruiting these soldiers also help improve your tech tree, which is important for upgrades that make your work in the game that much easier. Some of these soldiers can rank highly depending on their specialties, so it would be in your best interests to interrogate soldiers to see if there are any specialists in the area that you can capture. In the early game, killing soldiers isn’t recommended, mainly because the soldiers can quickly gang up on you if they hear your gunfire. Secondly, dead soldiers are useless and can’t be
conscripted to your army, with the added downside of if they are discovered, the soldiers will raise alarms, looking out for you. The tranquiliser gun will most likely be your friend for quite a while throughout the game, and while it is a bit awkward to use at first, you’ll eventually get used to it, scoring headshots every time you aim it at a soldier. Be warned however, the soldiers will eventually wise up to your tactics, and wear protective headgear, forcing you to aim at other vulnerable bodyparts.
Throughout the game, you have partners who will help you clear the missions. First off is the D-Horse. He’s basically your transportation system before you’re able to Fulton vehicles away, and will come by to your side mere seconds after you whistle for him. D-Dog, meanwhile is a scout dog that helps you locate enemies inconspicuously.
You originally Fulton him to Mother Base as a puppy, and after some time passes, Kaz Miller will have trained him as a soldier dog. Quiet meanwhile is a super sniper that can teleport from one location to another. She’s also the soldier who tried to kill you in your bed, before Ishmael helped you by setting her on fire during the prologue. You unlock her in one of the missions where you have to defeat her in a boss battle of sorts. Whilst you will originally keep her as a prisoner, she will eventually become sympathetic to your cause and join you, sniping your enemies from afar and taking them down without you having to do much.