The timeline of events is certainly unclear, but we start with a coma. Then what appears to be a flashback. Then what appears to be a flash-forward. The only real clue as to what’s happening in the past and what is in the present is the fact that our man has a prosthetic arm sometimes. Of course, there’s another wrinkle here: How much of this is happening in his mind? It seems likely that there are three separate realities here--a past, a present, and a psychological adventure.
In any case, the trailer has amazing cinematic work in it, and it includes guns, a multitude of explosions, motorcycles, eye patches, a horse, a guy on fire, and so on.
The “Phantom Pain” in the title clearly has multiple meanings. The most obvious is the missing appendage (which doesn’t stop him from blowing people away with a shotgun while riding horseback), but there’s something more sinister happening. After waking up from a 9-year coma, something’s amiss.
Why is this happening?
The trailer drops some foreboding quotes on us, though, which include the following: “From ‘FOX’, two phantoms were born”. Chills. Also, “FOX vs. XOF”, which might mean that we’re going to be fighting the bizarro world version of ourselves ourselves here? The final quote could keep a body up at night: “A phantom battle waged by the vanished”.