No Metal Gear Solid V Preloads, But Access A Little Early

I keep using this screenshot because I like it so much.

Big Boss is a lot like Father Christmas: he sneaks into your home unseen; he has toys made by special helpers far away; and you want to slide down the stairs when you wake up after his visit so you can see as quickly a possible what he’s brought you.

Alas, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain [official site] will not have a pre-load option on PC so you’ll need to wait. However, thanks to timezone trickery, pre-orderers should be able to start downloading and playing a few hours before its official release.

Having said on Twitter that The Phantom Pain won’t have pre-loading on PC, Metal Gear community manager Robert Peeler expanded on that with a slightly confusing series of tweets.

What he’s saying, I believe, is that though the game doesn’t officially launch until 10am Pacific time on September 1st, folks who have pre-ordered it will be able to start downloading as soon as it turns September 1st in New Zealand. That’ll be 1pm on August 31st in the UK, and these times in other zones. He adds that it’ll be 28GB to download, so when exactly you’ll get to play depends on your connection, but you could theoretically start playing before the general populace of consoleers.

“Never pre-order,” I’ve told you, knowing full well that I’ll probably cave and throw cash at Konami so I can start playing The Phantom Pain as soon as possible. Look, I already explained my expanded reasoning. After waiting to see the state of Ground Zeroes, I think I may be okay with pre-ordering The Phantom Pain. Maybe. I haven’t yet.


  1. brat-sampson says:

    Pre-ordered on console, but imo this one’s only marginally more risky than pre-ordering a main-sequence Mario game.

    • Vandelay says:

      I was thinking “never pre-order” whilst reading this article. Then I read your comment and remembered I have happily pre-ordered Nintendo games I the past and would happily again.

      I am so terribly fickle!

  2. colw00t says:

    I seldom pre-order, but when they threw in Ground Zeroes for free I gave in.

    Honestly, if you like the Metal Gear Solid series, it seems like it’s a really safe bet. Obviously if you hate Metal Gear one shouldn’t go for it.

  3. Sp4rkR4t says:

    So Aug 31st a vast swath of the pc gaming public will digitally emigrate to New Zealand, ok.

  4. airtekh says:

    Not really a fan of the Metal Gear series, but I thought Ground Zeroes was pretty decent; if the main game is more of the same, then I’ll be very interested in MGSV.

  5. supirman says:

    How steam usually work do they unlock the game each timezone individualy or they unlock globaly at single time?

    • Evil Pancakes says:

      I believe that depends almost entirely on the publisher. But usually when a game has a global release date, i.e. the exact same date everywhere, it most often only unlocks at around the time Steam updates the store front, that being 6 pm GMT.

    • lordfrikk says:

      There’s a fixed time of the day when new releases unlock (dependent on Valve) but different regions can unlock on different days (dependent on publisher).

  6. Penguin_Factory says:

    He adds that it’ll be 28GB to download

    For some reason I expected it to be way bigger than this. Although my internet connection is fast enough that the size doesn’t really matter.

    • lordcooper says:

      Ingame cutscenes must really help with that.

      • colw00t says:

        While I’ve been trying to avoid finding out too much about Phantom Pain, I think it is organized, mission-wise, a bit like Peace Walker, with a handful of maps that get used for different things. Only this time around the maps are enormous.

  7. ThomasHL says:

    I preordered this one, (along with the special edition PS4 *embarrassed face*) but only because Metal Gear Solid is the one franchise where even if it ran at 15FPS and everyone said it sucked, I’d still want to play it just to see how it compares to the others in the series.

    Main title games only though. Rising may be good, but I’m not going to get it (not a fan of the combat)

    • Synesthesia says:

      really? It’s from the viewtiful joe dudes, if I’m not mistaken. It’s utterly fantastic, you should really give it a chance.

      • kaizer_roll says:

        I’d second this. Its connection to traditional Metal Gear is mainly in aesthetics and story, but the game itself is a top-notch blend of DmC and Viewtiful Joe – a stylish combo-juggler with real depth to its combat. I think it surprised everyone with how on point it was.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    I am with you on the anti-pre-ordering train, but…wait, does that mean RPS won’t let you review it!?!

    In all seriousness: it’s probably worth ore-ordering for Ground Zeroes, even if (narratively) it’s the worst MGS since…um…Peace Walker. That downward spiral should really concern me, but for some reason it doesn’t. I have high hopes for the finale (because MGS4 was the finale and it was a great finale).

    • lordcooper says:

      Every main MGS other than the first has been the finale.

    • Perry Noid says:

      Wot didn’t you like about the peacewalker narrative? It’s the only main game of the series I have not played but from what I’ve read online it seems a lot of people think the story is strong in that game. The fact that it picks up where snake eater left off intrigues me since, personally, I think that game had the best writing of the entire series. This is part of why I am so hyped for phantom pain. Big Boss’s arc has much more depth and the time period grants it even more to cover narratively with regard to theme and tone. We know his beginning and his end so it interests me to see how Kojima wrangles that all together.

      Just curious to hear more criticism of peacewalker since I probably won’t be playing it unless a PC port pops up in the future.

      • colw00t says:

        I thought Peace Walker was excellent – it moved along the Naked Snake/Big Boss plotline in a way that really tied together a lot of the themes they like to hit. Generally well realized characterizations but also a nice dose of your usual Metal Gear insanity.

        The gameplay was somewhat compromised (it was frankly very easy) thanks to the design changes necessitated by it being a PSP title, but it introduced a lot of cool ideas to the series.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        The short answer is:

        A) Execution. A lot of people don’t like Kojima et al.’s scripts, I get that, but I tend to find them compelling. Peace Walker, on the other hand, felt awkwardly forced in the cutscenes and main sequence gameplay – which is further cemented by the CODEC conversations being as good as they ever were, and there’s a weird gap in quality between the two.

        B) It feels wholly unnecessary – it has a few checkboxes to check off on its Big Boss Character Development checklist, but it does them very, very slowly; almost all the introduced characters (basically, everyone except Miller) are either cardboard cutouts, stand-ins for other characters, or without any clear purpose.

        Also, structurally, it’s very much a banana portable game – the steps you have to go through to unlock the “real ending” are unintuitive and painful.

        It’s not *bad* but it’s the first Kojima MGS game to feel like it’s just treading water.

        • Perry Noid says:

          Right on. That makes me feel a bit better about not having played it. I listened to all the tapes in Ground Zeroes, including the Paz recordings taken undercover, so I picked up the summary from her perspective; prepares me for the next chapter in Phantom Pain.

          I’m quite excited for this game. The last time I recall anticipating a game this much was when MGS2 was coming out on the PS2 (back when I actually wanted to buy a new console). Not hyped enough to pre-order though I’d probably change my tune if I didn’t already have Ground Zeroes in my library. I’m fairly confident that this port will not be a disaster considering the quality of the GZ port plus the decision to ouah the release date forward implies to me that the devs/publisher feel the game is ready. Though it could also be a bad sign. You’d think they’d be more cautious in this post Arkham Knight time but who knows when it comes to Jap publishers, double that for Konami.

  9. Emeraude says:

    I guess I’ll just catch a second hand console and game.

  10. Rikstam says:

    I feel like a little kid waiting for christmas eve, haven’t been this excited about a game’s release in years. I dunno, it’s probably because most of the games are so.. predictable in their nature and a new MGS has always the promise of being something… not so predictable.

  11. crazyd says:

    Can anyone explain how the “never preorder” thing makes sense in the world of Steam refunds? You get bonuses, you can often get good deals, you can try the game out and see if it works on your system at launch with no real risk. Sure, if the game’s not on Steam, or if you buy through a third party, you are taking on risk, but there is now a safe way to preorder.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      No-questions-asked refunds are just for two weeks after purchase, I believe, so that doesn’t cover most preorders (which are well in advance of that timetable).

      • Lenderz says:

        Two weeks from release in that instance if you’ve pre-ordered. It is taken into account. : Source – Preordered a game 2 months before release, didn’t like it got it refunded 5 days after release when I’d had the opportunity to give it a try.

    • Deadly Sinner says:

      Yup. Just make sure not to play Ground Zeroes until you know you want to keep the whole thing, though.

    • Perry Noid says:

      I actually just utilized steam refunds for the first time yesterday. I was drunk the other night and preordered Shadowrun Hong Kong even though I’m only half way through Dragonfall. First time I ever preordered something on steam. Next day I read the review for Hong King here on RPS and realized I don’t need to fucking buy this game right now. It was quite a simple process, it all went through in the span of an hour and now I’m just waiting on the funds to process. Don’t know how long that will take though. It was pretty simple though and you don’t even need to provide a reason so long as you fit the criteria.

    • welverin says:

      Sometimes people get overzealous in in their beliefs, and it leads them to make assertions that don’t take all of the facts into account.

      Such as the never preorder bit. Amazon (US at least) lets you cancel a preorder any time prior to them preparing it to ship. Better yet, if you preorder (reserve really) in store at Gamestop you can not only cnacel it at any time, you can wait until after the game is released and still get your money back. There is absolutely no disadvantage to the consumer on that one, other than the inconvenience of going to the store.

      The later release dates in Europe allow everyone over there the advantage of finding out how a game is and still having time to preorder or cancel one before the local release.