I won’t embed the video here since there is a special page for it over at the SnakeSoup. It’s probably best to go there and see the introduction and follow-up material provided by Ravi Singh. On this page I’ll give my impressions of the video and reply to its arguments.
If you’ve never heard of Sir Adrian De Wiart or Captain William Fairburn, I don’t blame you. They’re not particularly famous figures, but I suspect they might be two significant inspirations for Big Boss and Skull Face.
It doesn’t really get any better than this. Kojima has given us lots of new information and video, including the African jungle location, an AI buddy system, a pet wolf, and the return of the most iconic outfit in the Metal Gear series. It’s glorious.
We learned that Quiet has ridiculous abilities, including the ability to turn invisible, move at supersonic speeds, and perhaps phase out of existence altogether judging by the way she simply shed those handcuffs back at Mother Base. Whatever her powers, the most shocking revelation of all was that depending on how you play, you might not meet her at all! What kind of game is The Phantom Pain going to be, if the main female character is optional content?
Nothing could surpass the introduction of a new character, however, in the form of “D.D.” — an adopted wolf-dog who eventually grows into a badass companion for war.
The gameplay itself is what fascinated me, however. Big Boss can equip different prosthetic arms, which allow him to electroshock enemies, smash the ground for wide-radius sonar tracking of creatures, and the ability to climb cracks in walls. He rides into the jungle on a helicopter, and apparently can jump out whenever he wants, which is dangerously close to my fantasy of being able to parachute down to locations as Big Boss freely.
The buddy system is designed to give players a strong incentive to maintain relationships with his comrades (in order to unlock better powers), find new characters to befriend, and basically not become a brooding lone psychopath in the middle of nowhere. The fact that these are optional means that players will have to be vigilant, and get even more attached to characters whose fates are extremely unknown (ie. they don’t appear in future titles!)
We also got a new Silent Hills concept video, which is disturbing. Apparently its what Kojima and Del Toro discussed for the direction of the game, and it was made by just a small handful of artists at Konami using the Fox Engine. There’s been a lot of positive reaction to it, but I’ve also noticed some complaints that it’s not very moody or eerie, but more of a parade of insanity. It’s kind of interesting how big of a difference there is between a playable experience like P.T. and simply watching a video of something scary. When you’re playing, turning a corner is a terrifying risk. You almost don’t want to proceed, because you don’t know if you can handle what’s there. It’s stressful. A video like this simply can’t deliver that gruesome tension, where you control the pace.
It’s good to see that they are running with the series’ themes of sexualized horror, mingled with childlike innocence, and dark filth.
It’s still hard for me to figure out how the hell Metal Gear Solid V will be able to fit on the PS3 and 360, because it sounds like a behemoth. But, I have no reason to doubt that NeoGaf user “duckroll” is telling the truth when he/she says that, in the latest Famitsu magazine, Kojima has revealed the following things:
– Ground Zeroes is the prologue to Phantom Pain, and it is intended to be similar to the pre-title sequence of a Hollywood movie, where something major happens to catch the audience’s attention, before the real story starts.
– The main content in Ground Zeroes is largely meant to be a tutorial for Phantom Pain. He uses the exact word – tutorial, so there’s no doubt about this at all. The story content in Ground Zeroes is limited to the night setting in the rain, but you’ll be able to see other times of the day via the side op missions. There is no dynamic weather or day/night cycle in Ground Zeroes.
– Phantom Pain is the game which will feature the full range of expanded features carried over from Peace Walker – base building, recruiting soldiers, etc. Most of this will not be in Ground Zeroes at all. You will not be able to use the fulton recovery system in Ground Zeroes either, but there are optional captives you can rescue using the helicopter.
– The save data in Ground Zeroes will carry over to Phantom Pain, and there will be benefits in the full game for extra stuff you decide to do in Ground Zeroes.
– The reason Ground Zeroes is being released as a separate package in the first place is because the main game is taking a long time to develop due to the large amount of content. So the marketing team at Konami worked out this release format with Kojima so gamers can at least experience the prologue segment of the game earlier.
– Kojima wants to reward fans who buy both Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain later on with some sort of content in the full game, but he hasn’t worked out the details with the marketing team yet.
– Ground Zeroes (and Phantom Pain by extension) will support a secondary display device via smartphones or tablets. It can be used to display stuff like leaderboards. There have also been feedback from people outside of Japan for a map display and so on, but Kojima has some concerns about players diverting their attention between two screens, so he’s still looking into it.
Now, assuming this translation and paraphrasing of the supposed interview (which doesn’t display when I click on the link) is accurate, the real bombshell is confirmation that Metal Gear Solid V will include building Mother Base, capturing soldiers with Fulton Recovery, research & development, and (therefore) a massive amount of replay value and layers to its gameplay.
I could not be more excited by this news, even though it was sort of mentioned before. Whether or not you believe that Ground Zeroes will be worth $20 because Kojima is calling it a glorified tutorial, doesn’t matter. What matters is that eventually, when MGSV is released, we’ll be able to build Outer Heaven with our own hands, just like we should. I’ve said before that I love how Peace Walker gives you an insight into Big Boss is different than Solid Snake, and how something as crazy as Outer Heaven could exist. Now we’ll be able to fully immerse ourselves in that role, sneaking around freely in huge environments, stealing weapons and technology, kidnapping soldiers, and doing the dirty work as we try to get revenge on Zero.
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