The long wait for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is almost over. In just a few months, players all over the world will finally be able to take on the role of Big Boss again and venture through an enormous world created by Hideo Kojima. While some people have played Ground Zeroes, the prequel to The Phantom Pain, there are a good number of gamers who passed on the demo-like experience and are waiting for the real deal. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the features that make Metal Gear Solid 5 one of the most anticipated games in the series.

Open-World Gameplay

Metal Gear Solid 5 is the first game in the series to offer true open-world gameplay. In most games, "open-world" simply means that it's a sandbox. You're not tied to a linear progression and are free to go where you want, when you want. While that's true with MGS5, it means a lot more when compared to previous games in the series.

The open-world aspects of The Phantom Pain create a living, breathing world that changes depending on how you play. You can look at the lengthy gameplay demonstration from E3 2014 compared to the footage from TGS 2014 to see just how different things can be. The same mission was played in both instances, but how the mission was played and the results of your actions were different.

Time of day is a big factor. In the mission in question, going in at night meant the perimeter of the base Big Boss was infiltrating didn't have as many guards compared to a daylight raid. However, the target inside the base was more heavily guarded. In addition, if you take your time and handle a lot of ancillary business (such has taking down soldiers and shipping them off to your own base), even more things can change. In the E3 demo, the player took his or her time and ended up in the middle of a sandstorm. In the TGS demo, a more direct route was taken and the sandstorm was completely avoided.

Things change when you play through a mission a second time. In the E3 demo, the player used a tranquilizer gun and targeted the heads of the guards in order to knock them out. When played through a second time during TGS, the guards wore helmets to prevent this from happening. The AI in Phantom Pain will adapt to the player's actions and that makes the open-world gameplay feel even more lifelike and less restrictive.

Metal Gear Online 3

Bundled with The Phantom Pain is the third installment in the Metal Gear Online series. This new game is being developed by Kojima Productions’ Los Angeles studio, with direct assistance from the main office in Japan. While full details have yet to be disclosed, it will follow the same pattern as the last two MGO games. Teams of between 12 and 16 players (final number still pending) will battle it out as one team invades a base and other defends it.

Aspects of the main game transferred to MGO. For instance, players can setup a turret that uses Fulton balloons to carry enemies off. If the balloon is not shot down in a timely manner, that player will be lost. In addition, instead of the magazines used to distract players in previous games, there's now a husky puppy plush toy that will keep enemies occupied while you take them out.

Many of the vehicles and weapons from the main game will make the transition to MGO, but there will also be new weapons and gear created specifically for MGO. Team Sneaking returns, as well as the larger environments allowed by the technological advancements of the Fox Engine. At the base level, this almost feels like a Battlefield variation of MGO. All of the vehicles and weapons, alongside the larger environments really create an immersive experience similar to the total war immersion of the Battlefield series.

Build Your Base

As you play through The Phantom Pain, one of the best features is the ability to create and constantly modify your own base of operations. Using Fulton balloons, you can send almost anything back to your base. Is there a vehicle that you'd like to use back home? No problem, attach a Fulton balloon to it and when you return to your base it'll be waiting for you.

This feature isn't just limited to vehicles. You can send back livestock (a sheep was sent back in the demo), enemy soldiers that will now be under your command and much more. When you return to your base, all of the items you collected throughout each mission will be available to use. The more things you collect, the larger your base will become. If you focus on enemy soldiers, you'll be able to create a small army of men under your command. You may need that small army because your base can and will get attacked.

Keep your eyes focused on Prima Games as we go in-depth with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain once the game releases.