Metal Gear Solid 5 Info Blowout: Story Length, Draw Distance, PS4 vs. Xbox One Versions, Reflex Mode and More

Tons of new details have arrived for Kojima's upcoming masterpiece.

Posted By | On 05th, Feb. 2014


It was revealed earlier today via Game Informer that Konami’s Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes wasn’t exactly the longest experience. Now, a wealth of other details has been revealed (courtesy of NeoGAF) from the publication’s latest preview.

First off, guards in the game are much more unpredictable than before. You will be able to make better use of the binoculars though, since they’ll help mark enemy positions but for those who don’t want it, you’ll be able to switch it off in the menu. Speaking of the menu, you can now access your inventory through the D-Pad. You tap it once to switch between items and weapons or hold it down to bring up a selection of weapons specific to that type.

The line of sight in the game has also been significantly improved. You can aim through jail cell bars, for instance. When you’re spotted, the on-screen indicator gets coloured as enemies arrive closer. There won’t be a countdown this time around – a staple of previous games which indicated how long you had to hide before guards stopped searching. Now you simply need to listen to enemy radio conversations to know when to emerge from hiding.


And for those who aren’t a fan of the slow motion Reflex mechanic – which allows you to quickly kill a guard who’s spotted you before he raises an alarm – it will serve as more of a “nice bonus” more than anything else. Keep in mind that Snake’s gun must be loaded and there’s nothing in your immediate way when taking down said foe.

Other details such as second screen functionality reveal the ability to use your smartphone or tablet as a map, along with listening to audio files and checking mission information. As for vehicles, it’s apparently a “blast” to control the various jeeps and tanks. Interrogating enemies about specific details, such as ammo or secret areas, will result in these automatically being marked on your map. You can also nab an enemy’s ammo by interrogating him.

As for the so-called two hour running time for the main story, it’s also apparently possible to beat it in just 5 minutes with a speed run. Ultimately, it’s up to the player how they decide to go about completing the story and exploring the camp for extra missions and the like. Some of the daytime missions in particular highlight how good the PS4 version looks compared to the Xbox One version. Kojima himself pointed out that the PS4 version looks slightly better on the PS4 than Xbox One.


Extra missions include collecting XOF patches that Skull Face throws from his helicopter. These will help unlock the Deju Vu and Jamais Vu missions, with the former (exclusive to PlayStation platforms) changing Camp Omega into Shadow Moses. The old music, enemy designs and even McDonald Miller over the CODEC will all be replicated and beating the mission unlocks the polygonal Solid Snake skin for later use. The latter (exclusive to Xbox platforms( is fairly more straightforward. Metal Gear Rising fans will have to do without Raiden’s sword this time around but he’s still far faster than Snake.

Finally, while it takes some time to adjust to Kiefer Sutherland as Snake, he apparently does a great job all around. GI says he has “the chops to convey the soldier’s shaky grip on his dramatic life”. As for why MGS5 has been split up into two games, Konami has stated that this was done to “prolong engagement of the next iteration of the series”. We suppose that means they want the overall experience to remain with you for a longer period of time.

Of course, there’s information on The Phantom Pain, which takes place 15 years after the events of Ground Zeroes as serves as the main portion of Metal Gear Solid 5. Kojima talked about Big Boss’s coma and stated that, “There’s only once he’s in a coma, and to explain that you need to play toward the end of The Phantom Pain. There it will come together. You’ll be like, ‘Oh, that’s what happened!'”


The Phantom Pain will also have some amazing draw distance, as seen in the Afghanistan mission, and there will be creatures like sheep and goats dotting the landscape to add to the realism. It’s not so much an open world though as a collection of several different areas from around the world.

Rest assured that each area in TPP won’t have as many enemies as Ground Zeroes, so you’ll face significantly less tress overall. You can also recruit soldiers in TPP by Fulton Recovery – something that’s not possible in Ground Zeroes. Long story short: You’ll be able to air-lift unconscious soldiers for recruitment into the ranks of Outer Heaven.

The end of Ground Zeroes reveals an abandoned nuclear testing facility in South Africa in the year 1977, which seems to be the new location for Outer Heaven/Mother Base. The base itself will be more interactive this time. You can walk around and accomplish different tasks. You’ll also be able visit other players’ bases online. Those who have played Ground Zeroes will have a “clear advantage” in The Phantom Pain though, as progress can be transferred.


GI concluded that Ground Zeroes offered a “tantalizing taste of the beloved stealth franchise’s next evolution” with “a lot to look forward to”. As for The Phantom Pain, Kojima is looking to showcase a grimmer side of war, one where the heroes don’t always return unscathed. Be warned: some characters lose limbs in the process.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes releases on March 18th in North America and March 20th in Europe for PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360. Meanwhile, The Phantom Pain will release either in late 2014 or 2015 depending on the success of Ground Zeroes. Stay tuned for more information.

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