This 30-minute Metal Gear Solid 5 demo (and these 19 GIFs) turned me around on the game

Big Boss, thinking about where to stick a "PT" decal on his Mother Base
I've gone from full-on Hayter to CQ-see you in September!

Maybe I had forgotten what I loved about Metal Gear Solid games. It's been seven years (!) since Metal Gear Solid 4 graced our PlayStation 3s and, regardless of your affection for the game at the time — and mine wasn't high — it hasn't aged well.

Maybe it was the time I spent with Metal Gear Solid 5's demo / prologue last year, a game that ... well, I hated. A lot. I joked that Hideo Kojima made my favorite game of the year — a free demo called P.T. — and my least favorite game of the year — a $30 demo called Ground Zeroes. Our review didn't care for it either.

So it was, with a considerable distance from the series and only a strange, wholly unsatisfying demo to ostensibly whet my appetite, that I managed to remain completely off the hype train for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Until now.

Here, set aside 30 minutes and watch this. I'll wait.

Right? Now that you're on the hype train with me (choo choo!), let's talk about the best parts of that demo.


Mother Base

Meet Mother Base, home of the Diamond Dogs and, well, home base for the player. "As you gather personel and resources, you can expand the base, which will in turn allow Diamond Dogs to support you in the field. If you meet the proper requirements, you can issue orders to develop various types of weapons or items, get field support in the form of intel or supply drops, or first aid and medical treatment."


R&D Platform = weapons

In addition to the Command Platform — the main hub where you send soldiers you've recruited from the battlefield — you can build additional specialized platforms like the R&D Platform. You can choose the location and color of this new platform, making every player's Mother Base unique.

The R&D team "work around the clock to develop new weapons and items based on your orders." That means things like new guns, of course, but also heat-seeking missiles.


... and spy gear

Oh, the heat-seeking missiles didn't do it for you? How about this optical camoflauge?


You can gather plants

This is part of the Combat Unit Platform, wherein you can dispatch troops on discrete missions or even on regular missions in place of Snake. For example, "a soldier with the botanist skill will have an easier time identifying and gathering plants and herbs."


Call in a vehicle drop

Build a Support Platform and call in support on missions, like a vehicle supply drop.


Your home team can ... change the weather?

Or, curiously, your support team can "develop techniques to manipulate the weather." So basically they can become gods. "You're able to turn the very environment against your enemy and use it to your advantage."


You get a puppy, instant GOTY

I think it's fair to say that the best feature of Mother Base is, unequivocally, this puppy dog. "Hey, it's D Dog, or DD as Ocelot calls him. He's still a puppy here but eventually he'll grow into an adult and become a valuable buddy that you can bring into the battlefield with you."

༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ


Clean up ...

Big Boss all caked up with blood and guts? Use the shower units conveniently located at the primary heliports on each platform of the base. If you don't want to use the shower ...


... or else

... this happens.


"PT" is everywhere in this demo

You can decorate your Mother Base with decals, in addition to colors and unique layouts for your platforms. One of the decals that appears all over this gameplay demo is a spider with the letters "PT" printed over it. While we're not sure if the ghost from P.T. is going to make an appearance in the final game, it's nice to see some tribute to Kojima's canceled masterpiece.


Forward Operating Bases

I can't do FOBs justice in this one small section, so you really owe it to yourself to watch the entire FOB section in the above video starting around 14 minutes. Basically, you can make bases outside of Mother Base to get more supplies ... but those bases can be invaded, Dark Souls style.

This begins 1 v 1 game of cat and mouse and, honestly, is one of the most exciting parts of the entire demo. This PvP experience is entirely optional, the narrator points out, but it sounds like there are some incentives to building these bases. Also ...


Wormholes. Seriously.

There are wormholes. Amidst the narrative calisthenics of the Metal Gear Solid universe, this shouldn't be (and isn't!) surprising, but it's wonderful to see regardless.


The Hand of Jehuty™

So long as wormholes exist, why not the Hand of Jehuty weapon, which teleports (?) enemies closer for a CQC takedown. Metal Gear!


LOL, tricked ya

Think the invader is probably hiding in this box? Nope, tricked you!


Right back atcha

Oh look, it's the defender, better get him! Lol, you dope.


Mother Base can be so big you need to drive

As you expand Mother Base with additional platforms, it can become so large that driving makes more sense than walking. But maybe you think driving is wasteful and want to take advantage of the existing infrastructure on the base.


Or if you prefer public transportation

Lucky for you, Mother Base comes equipped with the Diamond Dogs Postal Service. Just pack yourself in a cardboard box and pick your destination.


Oh, btw ... THERE'S A ZOO

What happens to all of those animals you've been Fulton-ing throughout the game? Oh, THERE'S A ZOO, called the Animal Conservation Platform that is only accesible by helicopter. A zoo. Metal Gear.


Classic Kojima goof

And it wouldn't be Metal Gear without these kinds of goofy touches. What happens if you stand under a "Caution" sign with an image of a falling box? Well, duh. "Staff Morale Increased."