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It’s a big day for fans of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, as the shooter’s highly anticipated competitive mode, Metal Gear Online, finally goes live.

In traditional bizarre-as-hell Konami fashion, it was earlier this year announced that not only was Metal Gear Online considered a separate entity from MGS V: The Phantom Pain, but that it would launch about a month later than the single player campaign and be included at no additional charge. So it’s a “different game” that you can only access from within The Phantom Pain and doesn’t cost you a penny extra…Yep.

Anyway, fans of The Phantom Pain have been waiting on word as to when MGO would finally launch and it looks like today is the day. According to a recent tweet, Metal Gear Online arrives today, Oct. 6, and will arrive “in a rolling timeline window that begins as early as 12:00 AM PDT.”

A new patch is already available for The Phantom Pain and it’s expected that MGO will go live around the same time as the weekly PlayStation Network update later this afternoon. I’ve seen a few European gamers claiming to have access to the mode right now, but nothing is official yet.

This latest info is part of a bitter-sweet news day for The Phantom Pain. It comes in tangent with the introduction of microtransactions within the core game, which have ruffled more than a few feathers. The fear now, of course, is that similar systems will be introduced into the Metal Gear Online experience and effectively hamstring the game before it gets up and running.

Again, Konami hasn’t made any sort of announcement regarding additional microtransactions, but recent events including today’s frustrating “insurance” items have folks worried.

As for what we can expect out of Metal Gear Online, it looks like the game will pit two teams of class-based soldiers against one another in a variety of game modes. I’ll be the first to admit that I thought the idea of an online component to Metal Gear was a bad idea back when it was first introduced in the era of Metal Gear Solid 3. But after I played MGO, I found it to be a pretty solid blast that easily set itself apart from traditional shooters. Many of the series’ trademark mechanics transitioned nicely into Metal Gear Online, making for a competitive game where stealth was still rewarded. Here’s hoping this new incarnation of MGO delivers the same.

If, however, you have managed to get into the game, we’d appreciate your thoughts in the comments section below. Any maps or modes standing out in these early hours? How does the game flow? Most importantly, are you having a good time?

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