The disinterested, disarming cadence of Kiefer Sutherland’s phoned-in performance flattens the roguish charm of Big Boss, creating a generic almost-tough guy lead whose gameplay traits draw more from Sam Fisher than Solid Snake. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing -- Kojima wants Phantom Pain to appear to “a global audience,” and the new form and function appear more accessible than Guns of the Patriots’ westernized yet still hardcore systems.
Before a guard enters an alert state, you’ll get a button prompt indicating you’re busted. Hold the left trigger, and you’ll briefly freeze time, giving you the opportunity to pump a couple quiet bullets into an alarmed enemy’s eyeballs. It’s an elegant means of avoiding detection that comes with a Mark and Execute sense of style, but I’m terrified this neuters the importance of evasion. If Boss can simply stroll out in front of someone and guarantee a gnarly, up-close execution, what’s the counter-measure? Kojima emphasized that the demo was on a lower, still-untuned difficulty for the sake of my hands-off presentation, but it’s still something that concerns me deeply.