When Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain drops, gamers are going to find that it contains a lot more than run-and-gun missions. One aspect of the game that Konami has stayed mum about is your personal Mother Base, which has gotten a massive upgrade over its presence in past games.

Mother Base is where Snake lives, leads his army and engages in all sorts of useful activities between missions. In prior Metal Gear Solid games, the closest you could get to Mother Base was viewing it from the air. For The Phantom Pain, Mother Base is a massive complex that's practically a game unto itself.

A 30-minute demo video from GamesCom 2015 has been posted online, and its entire purpose is to detail everything Konami wants you to know about Mother Base. You can watch the full video below — but here's a summary of the most important bits.

In the game, Mother Base is a massive, physical place which you can expand and grow and completely customize down to the last detail. It looks like an oil rig platform far out at sea, and it's inhabited by various characters you can interact with between missions.

Far from a "down time" distraction, Mother Base is an integral part of your campaign. As you recruit soldiers to your Diamond Dogs army, you'll need to build onto Mother Base, which you can expand outward in all directions. Over time, it can grow into an absolutely enormous structure, with multiple platforms spread out over miles of ocean, parts of it connected by long bridges. The bigger and more powerful you make it, the better you'll do in the game.

Mother Base is so big because each platform serves a unique purpose. The demo video doesn't detail every single kind of platform that will be available to you, but it gives a rundown of some of the most interesting ones.

Your R&D platform is where your research and development team works, experimenting and creating new kinds of weaponry and defensive systems. You get to specify which projects they work on, and the stuff you choose will help define your play style.

Important Tip #1: Invest wisely in R&D. It will pay off later in the game.

Your Support Unit gets its own platform. The Support Unit works directly with you on the battlefield, flying in supply drops, delivering air strikes, creating diversions, shooting cover fire and more. Like everything in the game, the Support Unit can be leveled up, and the video's narrator says that if taken far enough – incredible as it sounds – Support can actually develop techniques for manipulating weather.

Combat Unit consists of autonomous fire teams — basically a squadron of soldiers that you send on missions of their own, which bring you rewards if they're succesful or reap penalties if they fail. You can even select a Combat Unit soldier to play as on a solo mission in Snake's place.

There are many other platforms/units, such as medical, intel and an Animal Conservation Platform that allows you to care for animals you've recovered from the battlefield.

Important Tip #2: Explore Mother Base thoroughly to find useful resources like raw diamonds.

Regardless of the various platforms you choose to invest in, Mother Base serves many other purposes as well. You'll be able to engage in target practice at numerous locations on deck. You get to care for a puppy named D-Dog that will eventually grow into an adult companion for your missions.

Every helipad has a shower stall where you can clean off the blood and dirt from your missions. Go too long without showering off and it affects how your team interacts with you. By contrast, cleaning yourself up has positive affects on your character.

Drama will unfold while you're on Mother Base — and while you're away, too. Your soldiers can come from all walks of life, and will sometimes get into fights with each other if you're not a strong enough leader.

Important tip #3: Return to Mother Base regularly to keep morale up. Morale always goes up when you put in some face time with the troops.

Want to take your game online and pit your Mother Base against others'? Metal Gear Solid V gives you the option to build Forward Operation Bases, or FOBs (pronounced "F-O-Bs," not "fobs"). These are like Mother Base but they exist online, where other players can attempt to infiltrate your base and steal resources and manpower. These attacks can happen any time, even while you're on a campaign mission.

A large portion of the demo below is devoted to an FOB battle — an exciting, intense fight with several twists and surprises. But if online gaming isn't your thing, you don't have to build any FOBs.

Mark your calendar for September 1, 2015. That's when you can finally get your hands on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

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