We are now just a few weeks away from the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. At E3, we were treated to a demo showcasing another one of Big Boss's sorties into the field, encountering side missions, avoiding enemies through stealth, and abducting valuable resources with the Fulton Recovery System. At Gamescom, the team showed a different side of the game.
Big Boss is only as good as his resources, and the growth of Mother Base is essential to his success. What starts as a single platform in the middle of the ocean can expand into a thriving military fortress of multiple buildings by recruiting units, researching more weapons, and gathering information.
The expansion of Mother Base depends on the number of staff on hand. Big Boss can gather more units to fill up the roster by grabbing them on the field using the Fulton Recovery System, or POWs and rival soldiers will defect based on your reputation. Over time, one platform isn't enough to hold all your soldiers, necessitating a need to build another portion of the base.
Obviously, these soldiers aren't just for show. When you arrive back home, you can give them different positions based on their abilities to strengthen your entire army. For example, you might recruit a soldier to join the R&D division, while another man is best suited for the Combat unit, and the latest rookies can find their way into the Medical or Support teams. These teams can further help Big Boss and Mother Base by going on supply gathering missions, healing up wounded comrades, or providing air support and recovery for Big Boss in tight situations.
For those who've played Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, this all sounds very familiar. The same mechanics used to build Mother Base in the PSP game seemed to have transferred to The Phantom Pain. However, there are a few changes this time around.
Unlike in Peace Walker, this version of Mother Base allows you to walk around the compound. Soldiers will salute you as you walk by, raising morale, you can take a shower to wipe the dirt and blood away after a stressful mission, or you can run a quick training session by setting up targets to shoot throughout the base. There's also a small degree of customization, allowing you to change the colors of the wall as well as your emblem and initials for your special team.
For those who crave online gameplay, Mother Base also provides the ability to reach out to other players via Forward Operating Bases. These FOBs serve as an extension of the base, allowing you to gather even more resources for your army. However, they are prone to attacks from other players at any time. Players can spend their GMP currency to bolster the FOB with mines, security cameras and drones. When an intrusion is detected, the players can let their subordinates handle the threat or join the defense personally.
For the attacking party, the opposing player's objective is to steal as many resources as possible, whether that is in the form of crates or even enemy staff members. The final objective is to reach the Platform Core in order to get the most resources and severely cripple the enemy. The defending team must find and extract the enemy before he or she reaches that point.
In a way, infiltrating these FOBs is similar to Big Boss's regular missions, but this has an online twist. You can go through it alone or have friends help infiltrate or defend, as well. It's important to note that installing FOBs is purely optional, and you can stick to just building your own Mother Base without the threat of outside forces.
With so much focus on mission sorties, this demo was a welcome change of pace. While past Metal Gear Solid titles on the console just focused on the mission and story at hand, managing Mother Base can provide a necessary distraction from the action by focusing on raising your own private army. The ocean fortress is bound to play a crucial role in the field, and we'll see how each player builds his or her own base when the game comes out September 1.
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