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Stealth service – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Kojima-heavy title was worth the wait... right?

Have a cigar

Had I taken on the guards at a checkpoint and been spotted, it's likely that my assailants would have reported to their superiors, causing a higher level of alert at all bases in the area – including where the POW was held.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Getting snipey

Remaining undetected, I eventually I made it to nearby my intended destination, dismounted and climbed to a rocky outcrop high above the base. From here I scanned the base with my binoculars, tagging all enemy troops to allow me to more easily track their whereabouts.

Satisfied with my work, I took a few puffs of my Phantom Cigar – an actual cigar that Snake can smoke to spin-on the game's day-and-night cycle – and, under the cover of nightfall, sneaked into the camp, keeping out of the beams of manned searchlights as I did.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

"I got your back"

I moved quickly and quietly to a building within the centre of the base. I took one soldier unawares, holding him up at gunpoint, but an interrogation was out of the question as I hadn't (yet) employed a translator at Mother Base (Snake's HQ that we'll come back to later).

Knocking out the soldier, I crept into the building he was guarding to discover the POW lying prone on the floor. Hoisting him to my shoulders, I carefully retraced my footsteps, set him on the back of my horse and called in a helicopter pick-up to successfully take us back to Mother Base. Job done.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Get your chopper out

However, this is just my story. In your game you could ride straight in, guns blazing. You could creep into the base and place C4 at its radio and power station terminals to cause a total blackout, or you could plant C4 on a patrolling truck and detonate it to cause a timely diversion.

It's here where The Phantom Pain is at its most powerful, as a platform built to deliver unscripted stories while the player creates his own action set-pieces. Even to the point where the usual force-feeding of narrative – something of a Kojima speciality – takes a backseat.

Next page: Tactical manœuvres

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