Yes, that’s a dog taking a break and relieving themselves in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Goofs aside, your canine friend can do a bunch of really amazing things in Snake’s latest.

This year is The Phantom Pain’s last appearance at E3, as the game races towards its September release date. IGN has posted a lengthy 40-minute gameplay video filled with a ton of really cool details, but I couldn’t help but spend most of my time focusing on the game’s dog.

When you’re in The Phantom Pain’s free roam mode, players can do tons of things in the game’s sprawling open world. In free roam, you have a ton of customization options before setting out.

For example, you don’t have to play as Snake!


Sadistic Kitten is a pretty great name.

After picking who you’re going to run around in the desert as, it’s time to pick a buddy. Each character has different advantages. If you take a horse with you, you’ll be able to gallop around.

In this case, we’re going with a dog. A bad ass dog, mind you! While you’re just looking around, they’ll be able to spot nearby plant life and weapons that you might want to pick up.


Even better, perhaps, is the ability to spot enemies and tag them for you. Thanks to superior senses, dogs are able to tag enemies hidden inside buildings and behind structures.


Let’s say you’re in front of two guards. You could pop out of cover and gun them down, or sneak around them completely. Here, you’re looking for information, and that means taking out one while setting up the other for interrogation. One solution? Tell your dog to take care of business.

Awesome. I’m gonna reward you some serious pets.


It doesn’t appear petting actually does anything for the dog or Snake, but it warm my heart!

Sometimes, though, the mission might get too dangerous for them. You have several commands at your disposal, one of which includes telling them to stay put.


Just because they’re hanging out and staying still—like any good doggy—doesn’t mean they’re suddenly not useful. If you’re looking for a convenient way to distract a guard, ask ‘em to bark.

The dog’s earlier scouting reports can pay dividends, too. Here, they were able to reveal a possible hostage situation in the building.


Since you already know who’s the bad guy, it’s easy to take care of business.


And when it’s time to move on, it’s as simple as calling the dog to your side.

When Snake takes a smoke break to pass the time, the dog remains patient.


As cool as dogs are, they don’t make sense for every mission. If it’s time to say goodbye and call in another buddy, they’ll understand.


You can reach the author of this post at or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.