This is how MGS5s buddy system works

Right from the very first Metal Gear Solid back in 1998, Snake has faced some of gaming's most maniacal enemies (and some of the most convoluted plots known to man), but he's rarely faced these dangers and two-hour cutscenes on his lonesome. So as Kojima Productions brings Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain to an open-world setting (while throwing in a set of 'optional' microtransactions) it seems rather fitting that the one-eyed merc has a gang of new buddies to keep him company.

In the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine, the team reveals just some of the allies you can call on in the heat of battle, be it a sniper, a horse or a robot walker?

You'll encounter plenty of soldiers in these bipedal Walker Gears, and it's possible to hijack their ride and turn their equipment against them - but if you complete a specific mission using a specific mech (note how we subtly dance around spoilers with expert skill) you'll have your very own D-Walker available for buddy duties. Yep, it's classed as a buddy rather than a vehicle, and its uses are numerous; it's armoured, it's weaponised, it can carry things (people included), it'll cross the map relatively fast thanks to its turbo wheels, and it'll ever come and find you when you whistle.
Poking around its tech tree is also quite the eye-opener. It’s going to take a huge amount of investment to fully upgrade D-Walker and unlock its many different weapons and skills (any takers for high voltage stun guns or robo-CQC?), but plug in the time and resources and you’ll create a bonafide gunship killer. Plus, it’s possible to set D-Walker racing off across a plain on what’s effectively cruise control, and then twist Snake around to shoot at people in pursuit.

Your starting buddy is D-Horse, and she’s vital for lengthy treks across the Afghan and African maps. So long as she’s in the field, pressing 'O' and selecting Whistle in the command wheel (by holding the right stick right and clicking 'R3') will have her running to your side in just a couple of seconds. She can’t die (bless her – she sure took some bullets for us...), if you hang off one side you can use her to stealth-trot past guard outposts without alerts, and you can even saddle her up with a captured person for extraction missions.

The latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine, with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, is out now. Download it here or subscribe to future issues.

Dom has been a freelance journalist for many years, covering everything from video games to gaming peripherals. Dom has been playing games longer than he'd like to admit, but that hasn't stopped him amassing a small ego's worth of knowledge on all things Tekken, Yakuza and Assassin's Creed.