The Phantom Pain is Metal Gear Solid V: Here’s What We Know

You know that really cool-looking trailer with a lot of potentially interesting gameplay mechanics, like muscle atrophy and a hero character dealing with having an amputated limb?

Yeah, forget all those cool new ideas, because it’s actually a Metal Gear game.

Today at GDC 2013 in San Francisco, Kojima Productions revealed that The Phantom Pain, the game first teased during the Spike TV Video Game Awards last year, is, in fact, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Just like everyone thought based on the circus of goofy clues, such as the game’s logo and the interviews with the made-up video game producer, Joakim Morgen.

We know a few new things about Metal Gear Solid V as of this writing. First, the game uses Kojima Productions’ new Fox Engine, which does look rather awesome. Most of the GDC reveal was dedicated to the new engine, but we did again see the gameplay trailer from the VGAs, this time hearing that it was in-game Fox Engine footage, played live, rendered on a PC.

Other details that are trickling out now: Metal Gear Solid V is a combination of The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, and the hospital sequence from The Phantom Pain is actually the game’s opening tutorial. MGS V will actually be an open-world game once you get through that opening sequence, however. Apparently, Snake starts the game after being in a coma for nine years, but it appears that he’ll get his movement back over time and that he’ll eventually get a robot hand, too. We also know that Ishmael, the bandaged dude that helps Snake in the opening sequence, is voiced by Kiefer “Jack Bauer” Sutherland.

What’s not known at this point is whether that’s Solid Snake or Big Boss in the trailer, or whether voice actor David Hayter is reprising his role as Snake. It does look like a younger version of Revolver Ocelot shows up in the trailer, however, which suggests perhaps that it’s Big Boss we’re seeing.

Update: It seems David Hayter won’t be reprising his role as Snake, at least right now, according to his Twitter feed.

Update 2: According to resident Metal Gear expert James Murff, Richard Doyle is voicing Snake. That’s the actor who portrayed Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid IV. I’m now pretty confident that Big Boss is the primary character of Metal Gear Solid V. (James came to that conclusion almost immediately.)

Hideo Kojima’s GDC panel is continuing as I write this, so we’ll update this story as more information becomes available. Check out the trailer below.

Personally, I’m very disappointed that The Phantom Pain didn’t turn out to be something new and different, and rather is yet another entry into the already overwrought Metal Gear Solid franchise. Yes, it’s been obvious all along what we were really seeing, but I was really hoping for something new, exciting, and different.

Where do you guys stand? Let us know in the comments.

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12 Comments on The Phantom Pain is Metal Gear Solid V: Here’s What We Know


On March 27, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Every new Metal Gear game is something new and different.
Kojima is, if not the best, at least my favourite game designer in the entire industry.
Colour me excited.


On March 27, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I agree with most of what swcloud99 has said.

Each game in the Solid series has added more depth and variety has time went on. Phil, I don’t know if you had the chance to play MG Rising: Revengance, but while not part of the Solid series that game was far different than any other prior MG game. Or MGS3′s additions and differences compared to MGS2 or the first game were very different and allowed you to play the game with way more variety than before. You notice these things more when playing the newer ones, then going back to the old. Even MGS4 played quite a bit differently than MGS3, though the changes from 3 to 4 were not as drastic.

One of the things Kojima mentioned when making MGS4 was limitations as far as the PS3 hardware itself, as well as disk storage capacity, and time. Much more was to be included in MGS4 that couldn’t make it, which is sad. However, having built this VERY impressive FOX engine, I think there should be nothing but excitement in anticipation for these games to come out. Especially if it means a PC release.

The fortunate thing about the MG series, is that it is unlike other big title games with yearly releases that don’t change anything or innovate at all. They take the time to make these games and plan them out, to make them fun and enjoyable. I mean, if I’m not mistaken these games are intended for a current gen release. Which means that in Kojima’s case, he has designed two different, completely new engines for his games in the course of this console generation.

Think about that last statement. MGS4 came out not long after the PS3 itself was released. It still looks like one of the best games I’ve played on the PS3. Graphically, in the details, everything. Now he has this new FOX engine, which looks not only way better than all other PS3 games before it, but better than a lot of PC games (though again, the FOX demo was running on a PC). It may not run looking quite like that on a PS3, but it will no doubt be impressive.

Now compare this to those other devs out there with their rehashed, yearly garbage. Call of Duty being one of the most guilty, using the exact same engine 7-8 times (I’ve lost count now) or another Assassin’s Creed game looking and playing the same, and so on, and so on. Once the next yearly release is out, the old game is forgotten and thrown away.

Now take a look at your online store on your console. X box or PS3, whatever. What games are being added to the store to buy? What games are being re-released in HD and/or in package deals? Generally, what you will see are the games that don’t come out with new additions every year, from developers who take their time to put these products out and don’t flood the market to build up demand. You’ll see the Grand Theft Auto series, the Devil May Cry series, the Metal Gear series, Final Fantasy (the old ones that people liked, that is) ,Mass Effect series and so on.

I think I’ve made that point. So, should you be excited for these new Metal Gear games? I would say, yes. And at the very least, more so excited than the standard yearly release lineup.

Phil Hornshaw

On March 27, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Definitely fair points, guys. The Fox Engine looks pretty freaking amazing, and you’re right that MGS games have introduced interesting bits of gameplay mechanics into the field that have made their way around afterward. I remember MGS 2 being a revelation with its quick switches between third and first-person gameplay. MGS 3′s camo system was better on paper than in practice, but it was still a very cool idea, as was its survival mechanic.

I think it’s the storytelling that’s wearing on me, as Kojima titles get more and more convoluted and ridiculous. I honestly couldn’t get through MGS4 — I found it boring, where MGS 3 I loved, and MGS 1 I have both the original and Gamecube re-release of. It’s just that, at this point, Metal Gear The Franchise feels too unwieldy to tell strong stories anymore. It’s been too bloated for too long, and while The Phantom Pain sounded cool and fresh to me, knowing that it’s yet another entry into the MGS franchise turns me off. The fact that the amputee hospital portion is just the tutorial is kind of a bummer as well.


On March 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

apparently Kurt Russell is voicing big boss in this game
and judging by the voice at the end of the trailer I’d guess that they’re trying to get somewhere between David Hayter and Richard Doyle


On March 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm

@ Phil

To be fair, Kojima made 4 under death threats. He never wanted to make it and had appointed someone else but felt he’d disappoint his fans.
You can feel that in the game. Snake is weary of everything. He’s older than he’s supposed to be. Forced into an endless system of continuous wars.
That’s all a metaphor for how kojima feels. He was weary, felt older than he is and felt forced into and endless system of sequels.
Have you played Peace Walker? If you analyse it in a similar manner, it’s the game where Kojima accepts his fate and even learns to be creative within his duty. It’s the game where he learns to love making games again.


On March 27, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Great IP is great.

Seriously MGS is the best IP to come out of Japan, that’s it.

The only reason to own a PS3 is for MGS.

Dan Miller

On March 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm

How far did you make it in MGS4, Phil? I’d say every game in the MGS series is at least an 8.5, with many of them standing as defining games in their respective console cycles. It’s a melodrama, and this is the billionth game, so of course its overwrought, but mario never seems to find the princess yet people still love smashing koopa. If Hideo made it with a gun to his head, I hope they still have guns in Japan.

Phil Hornshaw

On March 27, 2013 at 7:13 pm


I believe it was after meeting back up with Naomi. I watched a roommate play a great deal of it, which is probably why I lacked interest at the time (he kinda bogarted my PS3). I dunno, too many talks about PMCs with Drebin. I’d been a die-hard Metal Gear fan until then, but that game really just failed to grab me. Sounds like I might need to give it a second chance, though….


On March 27, 2013 at 10:56 pm

The game look totally EPIC! I can’t wait! I’m glad the MGS series is still ongoing!


On March 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

@Phil how did you not know it wasn’t Big Boss? Young Miller was in the trailer, in fact he was there twice! Get it together, man!

Phil Hornshaw

On March 28, 2013 at 12:43 am


Yeah yeah yeah yeah, I caught the trailer halfway through during the GDC panel. Other excuses also. :P


On March 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Today I read that David H.will not reprise the roll of being the voice of Snake. This is great news I never liked his voice to begin with I had to play the game in Japanese with subtitles. But I really like Richard Dyle as Big Boss at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4. That what made that ending the best in video game history in my opinion. They should use Richard Doyle if hes up to it.