One of the best features of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is the fact that it will come bundled with the third iteration of Metal Gear Online for no additional fee. While this may sound par for the course to have a game come with an online mode, Metal Gear Online is considered far more than your typical online mode. In addition to the expansion single player aspects of The Phantom Pain, it would not be out of the question for Konami to charge another $40 or even full price for Metal Gear Online. Of course we're glad the company isn't going that route.

So what makes Metal Gear Online special? Join us as we take a look at the features that make MGO something more than just an afterthought.



Online Play

First and foremost, Metal Gear Online gives players an online version of Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain. While it may be an obvious feature to discuss, it's an important one. Traditionally, the Metal Gear franchise has had a heavy focus on single player action. The Phantom Pain is one of the most highly anticipated titles of 2015 for good reason. In fact, Hideo Kojima is so trusted that Konami released Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes as a prequel of sorts. Most other companies would've offered up a free demo, but because it's Metal Gear, fans will pay for the privilege to play even a small portion of it early.

When you have that kind of single player experience, you generally don't receive a great online experience as well. Think about it, The Phantom Pain offers a story that can be played through multiple times to see the enemy AI react differently in a variety of situations based on the time of day, weather and what you did during your previous play through. It's a massive game that will take hours upon hours to complete. On top of that you get an in-depth multiplayer mode that could probably be sold as a standalone game and still rival most other AAA titles releasing this year.

Team-Based

Metal Gear Online isn't some simple co-op experience where you and a buddy can play through a series of missions. No, Metal Gear Online is a full eight on eight tactical espionage adventure. Think of it like Counter-Strike or Rainbow Six: Siege, only your primary goal is to wipe out the other team using a variety of Metal Gear-related tools. It's basically like you're playing through a mission of the single player story, only with a team of up to seven other players, and instead of enemy AI you're facing off against another team of up to eight human adversaries. There's very little like it on the gaming market today.

Team-based play doesn't stop there. Most of the aspects of the single player adventure carry over to Metal Gear Online. That means you need to work as a team if you're hoping to defeat the opposing players. It's not just about who shoots first or who reaches the high ground for a good sniping position. You won't be camping spawn points here. You have to plan out your strategy of attack, then stay in constant communication to ensure your team survives long enough to take out your opponents. There won't be any solo run and gun here. You either work as a team or die as a lone wolf.

Gameplay Variety

There's a lot going on in Metal Gear Online. Before the match begins you need to choose your skin. You can play as Big Boss, Ocelot or a number of unnamed soldiers. There are a wide variety of skins to choose from, which means it won't be overly difficult to find an appearance you like. You then need to determine your load out. It's basically the same thing you'd do in any other online shooter, except this isn't any other online shooter, it's Metal Gear.

Once you're ready to take on the opposing team, you need to plan your attack. There are mechs that can deal massive damage, dog plushies that distract other players, the trademark cardboard box and a wide variety of other options. Your load out matters, but if you don't have these other tools at your disposal you're not going to win. At the very least you need to be able to defend yourself against these tools in case the other team uses them.

If you see an enemy soldier mount a mech, you need to take cover immediately, then communicate with your team to move someone around behind the mech and commandeer it. Fulton balloons can be used to carry enemies away. If you don't react quickly and shoot the balloon, you'll lose a member of your team. Essentially, if you don't plan accordingly the match could be over very quickly.

Stay with us here at Prima Games as we'll have on-going coverage of The Phantom Pain in the coming months!