Kojima Productions has shown off the first playable version of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes at its US office in Los Angeles, California.
The new demo, which was shown to US press behind closed doors, was running at 30fps on a PC set to equivalent specs to current-gen consoles. A 'next-gen' version of the demo will be shown at Tokyo Game Show this month running at 60fps, Hideo Kojima confirmed.
The 24 minute sequence featured nearly all of the content from the original Ground Zeroes trailer; a prison camp, night-time infiltration and a small boy to be rescued.
According to an IGN report the demo showcased more action-focussed gameplay than has been seen in the series before, including regenerating health, slow-mo takedowns and a Splinter Cell-esque 'Mark and Execute' system.
"Boss sprints, slides, climbs, and tags enemies like Sam Fisher has since 2009's Splinter Cell: Conviction," it said. "Aggression takes precedence over delicacy, but still plays an important role in slithering through shadows."
The 'slow-mo executions' are said to be activated by holding down the left trigger immediately before a guard spots you. This will in turn freeze time, allowing you to easily dispatch your foe.
The IGN report continues: "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."
Ground Zeroes has in the past been described as a "prologue" to a full sequel, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and it's still not clear when and how the game will be released.
At E3 in June, Hideo Kojima told CVG that he 'hadn't decided' whether Ground Zeroes would be released digitally or as a retail title. During the new showcase, Kojima Productions continued to dodge questions on Ground Zeroes' release, stating simply, "This is the first part of the Metal Gear Solid V experience."
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is said to be darker in tone compared to other titles in the series, exploring themes like race and revenge. A pre-E3 conference revealed that Kiefer Sutherland has taken over as the voice of Snake.