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'Metal Gear Solid V' is still all about stealth, despite being in an open world

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Make no mistake, Metal Gear’s signature stealth play will remain the focus. The open world environment creates a “stealth simulator,” says creator.

Since the announcement of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there have been many questions raised, naturally, for the highly anticipated stealth action title. Most inquiries have surrounded the inclusion of an open world MGS, a series first. We were even taken aback when we visited Kojima’s new L.A. studio and heard the words, Metal Gear Solid and open world in the same sentence.

Thankfully, MGS’s creator has spoken out to clear up some of the queries surrounding MGSV’s new game environment. “First of all, to avoid confusion, I would like to clarify that my vision for "MGSV" does differ a bit from what most people may assume when they think of the current "Open-World" genre,” Hideo Kojima told Xbox Wire in an recent interview. “A more accurate way to describe it would be a "stealth simulator" in an open world environment.”

As Kojima explains, the open world aspect is designed to remove the linearity from the stealth experience, which will allow “players to freely plan their own routes and experiment with their own unique infiltration strategies,” he said.

Despite this surprising addition to MGS’s gameplay premise, Kojima assures the game will stay true to its covert roots.

“However, at its heart, the gameplay is all about stealth and we don’t intend to shift the focus from that.”

Though Kojima has clarified the open world role within the MGS universe, it’s hard to really conceptualize how things will play out, literally. The truth is he can say, “stealth simulator,” until he goes blue in the face, but playing is believing; and ultimately the only way to judge this unlikely marriage of gameplay designs.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is set to release for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It’s prologue, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, is slated for a March 20 release date.

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