It’s not safe to go alone!
It looks like Snake won’t be a solo operative in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. During the 20-minute gameplay footage revealed at the Tokyo Game Show earlier this week, Snake is joined on the battlefield by Quiet, an expert markswoman.
As we have now learned, Quiet’s inclusion is part of the Buddy System and is a significant redesign of the long-running espionage series. The numbered titles of the series have typically been “one man vs. the world” affairs, but that will no longer be the case. However, it’s worth noting that this is not a co-op mode…at least, not yet. While The Phantom Pain will have a multiplayer mode, it remains to be seen whether the Buddy System will allow two players to tackle the story missions of the game together.
In the trailer, Quiet assists Snake in a variety of ways. She can go on reconnaissance across the map to track enemy positions or simply help Snake on the battlefield. The player can also see the green laser sight of her sniper rifle to know where she is aiming, and if the player is spotted by the enemy, she will assist them in defeating alerted guards. At one point in the video, Snake needs to eliminate two soldiers standing close to one another, and Quiet lends a helping hand.
Some of her abilities are also downright outlandish (which is fitting for a game that also involves robot arms and inflatable decoys in the style of Ratchet and Clank). While fighting a helicopter, Snake throws a grenade into the air, missing his target by a mile, but Quiet manages to hit the grenade in midair, shooting it into the helicopter and causing it to explode.
At least one other companion character will be joining Quiet as one of Snake’s allies, with the possibility of more on the way. Snake will have a pet wolf at his side named DD, which stands for Diamond Dog, but no details have yet been revealed about how he will help Snake. Watch here to see how Snake meets DD.
Depending on how Kojima uses it, the Buddy System could present a fundamental shift for the Metal Gear Solid experience. Part of the allure of stealth games is that they give players a sense of isolation and vulnerability, which makes their eventual victory over their opponents more thrilling. Adding a support character, however, could diminish this core appeal. Now, that isn’t to say that The Phantom Pain won’t be just as fun as other MGS titles, but rather, that it could be fun in an entirely different way.
So what do you think? Are you excited by the news of AI characters aiding Snake on his missions or do you have some reservations? Let us know in the comments.
A release date for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain has not yet been confirmed, but Kojima has promised it will be out sometime in 2015 for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.