Fans of tactical espionage action have been waiting for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for quite some time now. It's been seven years since the release of Metal Gear Solid 4, and three since we were given our first hints at the series' next numbered instalment — but it seems like the wait is almost over.
Some Snake-style sleuthing over on the NeoGAF forums has put together some sturdy evidence that The Phantom Pain is set to release between April and June of 2015. Reports covering the financial year from April 2014 to March 2015 have the game listed as a 'pipeline' release, which would suggest that it's set to launch in the period immediately following the time covered by the report.
Given that the relatively vague date of 2015 is all that's assigned to The Phantom Pain on the documents, you might well discredit this as wishful thinking — but there's more. This year's edition of Pro Evolution Soccer is noticeably absent from the report, despite being a lock for sometime in the fall. That suggests that releases beyond a certain point aren't included, which lends credence to an April-May window for Metal Gear Solid.
While big franchises like Metal Gear tend to debut closer to the end of the calendar year, this sort of timeframe wouldn't be a first for the series' Metal Gear Solid 4 released worldwide in June back in 2008, and the well-received prologue to The Phantom Pain, Ground Zeroes, launched in March last year.
While Ground Zeroes may have been enough to whet the appetites of fans, it's short length and teases of what was to come in The Phantom Pain left many fans hungrier for a fully-fledged instalment than ever before. Spin-offs and side stories have kept fans satiated for a while, but this long wait between numbered instalments has been gruelling — almost as much time has passed since MGS4 as between Metal Gear 2 and the original Metal Gear Solid.
It's been a rollercoaster ride watching The Phantom Pain progress, from its mysterious beginnings as a product of Moby Dick Studios, to the saga of Joakim Mogren to the departure of series regular David Hayter in favor of Kiefer Sutherland. The game's development has certainly had twists and turns worthy of a Metal Gear game — let's hope that the finished product doesn't let fans down.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is officially set for a 2015 release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.