After 10 hours with 'Metal Gear Solid 5,' I can't stop thinking about it

Do yourself a favour and take a full vacation day to solely play the new “Metal Gear” game. That’s what I did on Tuesday, and I’d love to spend the rest of the week continuing the marathon.

I arrived at Tech Insider’s Flatiron District offices on Wednesday morning with wistful thoughts of attaching high-powered balloons to bears and sneaking around in a camouflage cardboard box. WHAT? This is the open-world madness of “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.” It’s a delight.

Despite this being the fifth numbered entry in the 'Metal Gear Solid' franchise, 'Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain' requires no prior knowledge of the series from new players. See that guy crawling in the image? That's the main character.

Konami

And I should know: I've never gotten further than an hour or two in to any previous 'Metal Gear Solid' games. In the case of 'Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,' the game starts with a blockbuster escape from a hospital under attack.

He eventually gets to his feet and gets a gun, but cut him some slack: dude's been in a coma for nine years!

Konami

Here he is running for his life from the soldiers chasing him:

Konami

Oh, and there's this guy on fire who can't be killed by bullets who's following you around. In his effort to confront you, he kills dozens of men with guns who are trying to kill you. So, uh, bonus!

Konami

But enough of the hospital. You'll quickly move on from your post-coma state to the game's main action.

Konami

'Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain' is set in a massive open world.

You'll explore Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War, and the border of Angola and Zaire during the Angolan Civil War. All that to say that the game is set in the 1980s amid real world conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.

The map above gives a sense of the game's massive open-world.

The map looks a bit different in-game. It's compartmentalized, like so:

Konami

You've got a suspiciously futuristic tool called the 'iDroid' that enables map navigation among many other things. It feels futuristic even for 2015, and the game is supposed to take place in the mid-'80s.

After being introduced to how the game plays during the action-packed prologue chapter, 'Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain' speedily moves into the meat: open-world espionage.

Konami

Pictured here is the game's main character, Snake, observing an enemy base in Afghanistan.

Snake zooms in using his binoculars, which enables him to 'tag' enemies, so you can analyse their abilities and know where they are at all times.

Konami

An early mission tasks Snake with capturing a Russian soldier who speaks English. Capturing the soldier means all Russian soldiers you encounter afterwards can be eavesdropped on!

Konami

After identifying the soldier, you must sneak up and knock him out. As you see here, he's already been knocked out and is being taken to an area with open sky. But why open sky?

This is why:

RAW Embed

That's called the 'Fulton Recovery System,' and you can use it in-game to grab all sorts of fun stuff for your home base. From weapon emplacements:

RAW Embed

To vehicles:

Konami

To bears (really):

RAW Embed

If that's not silly enough for you, one of the game's main forms of camouflage is a cardboard box with varying designs on the outside.

Konami
Pictured here in a desert-style design.

If it looks like the box is floating above the ground, that's because Snake is inside of it, crouch-walking.

Here's the woodsy look of the famed cardboard box:

Konami

And here's the 'attract immature Russian soldiers' box design:

Konami

And that's all within the first few hours. I haven't even told you about the puppy. THERE'S A PUPPY!

RAW Embed

He gets older, and he gets an eye patch (like the main character) and becomes part of the game. His name is 'D-Dog.' And he's rad.

Konami

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.