'Metal Gear Online' evolves its stealthy multiplayer in 'The Phantom Pain'

At the same two-day preview event where we got to spend hours at the helm of Hideo Kojima's next (and possibly last) Metal Gear Solid game, publisher Konami confirmed a handful of details about its online component. Metal Gear Online in The Phantom Pain will feature online player-vs.-player competitive modes for teams of up to 16 players on PC, Xbox One and PS4 and a max of 12 players on the previous-generation consoles.

One standout is the return of Team Sneak, a mode where one team must infiltrate another team's base and subdue adversaries using camouflage and non-lethal weaponry. The defending team counters invaders with a wide array of deadly weapons. Team Sneak first appeared in Metal Gear Solid 4's Metal Gear Online mode on PS3. Online maps will be unique for the mode, but inspired by locations found in Afghanistan and Africa from The Phantom Pain's single-player campaign. When discussing the maps, Konami Productions Los Angeles Online Community Manager Robert Peeler used language that original maps may be added to the game later, but DLC content was not confirmed.

In the single-player game, Big Boss worked tirelessly to develop a base of operations, a giant oil tanker where soldiers train and equipment is developed called the Mother Base. One aspect of The Phantom Pain's online component ties directly to a player's headquarters, a system Peeler referred to as Forward Operating Bases. With the online version, you get an attack-and-defend system. "You set up some Forward Operating Bases [FOB] in your Mother Base where different players also playing the game can come and attack it and you can attack theirs," Peeler says. "There are different objectives including taking out the enemy, rescuing hostages" and more.

With the FOB system, if a friend has quality resources you're craving that you haven't unlocked, such as specific vehicles or highly trained soldiers, it's possible to steal those valuable assets for use in your own army. Players can spend in-game currency to research and develop new technologies, but may want to set aside a fund to fortify their bases from online invaders.

The online modes for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain are in development at Konami Productions Los Angeles. Konami promises it will reveal additional details this week during E3.