METAL GEAR SOLID V: GROUND ZEROES (part 2c)

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Shocking, underwhelming, and confusing at the same time, where does one begin to discuss Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes?  I’m not sure, so I’ve decided to divide my commentary into a few different aspects.  This part deals with core thematic gameplay.

< This article contains no spoilers >

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Kojima: E3 Trailer won’t be a blank screen

Kojima TwitterHere’s an exciting update from the master of social media marketing, Hideo Kojima:

“As got feedback from people played GZ that they wanna revenge in TPP, I’m adding hints of what happens to Snake & his team in E3 trailer.”

They wanna revenge, huh?  So you’re going to give them hints?  Clever guy!

Considering you released a $40 multiplatform prologue game that has a cliffhanger ending, I have to say it’s pretty brilliant to use the world’s biggest videogame presentation stage to make some follow up hints!  Much better than simply showing a blank screen for 8 minutes.

Once again we can see Kojima “reacting” to “feedback”, but this feels like a hollow marketing campaign to me, at least compared to past Metal Gear announcements which had genuine hype.  Sure, we always want to know more information about the next Metal Gear game, but shoehorning in this rhetoric about fans wanting “revenge” (HINT: That’s the theme of MGSV) is a little bit contrived.  Lying about being involved with The Phantom Pain, creating Moby Dick Studios, and releasing Ground Zeroes as a separate game have all generated more confusion and resentment than true hype.

This E3 trailer has a lot riding on it.  It needs to finally get the average gamer to understand what the hell is supposed to be happening, both in terms of the story and the product itself.  If it’s more chopped up cassette tape recordings, I’m going to roll my eyes so hard.

Theory: Skull Face found in MGS3? Dr. Clark’s role in MGSV

Skull Face and Dr. Clark

(The original picture — which I’ve edited to include names — and this theory, both come directly from this SnakeSoup post by member Gentapo, so give that guy credit (or ridicule) for connecting the dot.)

Below are my thoughts on its plausibility and implications.  I miss the days of longshot Metal Gear theories and rampant speculation, so now I’m going to indulge…!

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Kojima flatly denies any involvement with The Phantom Pain

Hideo Kojima has flat out denied having any involvement with The Phantom Pain, in an interview with “Youth Arabia”:

YA: Did you have anything to do with Phantom Pain , since the character bears a resemblance to Solid Snake? 

HK: (Laughs) Phantom Pain is being made by Moby Dick studios, I do not have any part in that game. I saw the resemblance there though.

The interview moves from subject to subject quickly, so there’s no followup to this point, unfortunately.  But it’s obvious Kojima isn’t just being cheeky here; at this point, he would have to be an out-and-out liar if it turns out he’s involved with the game.

As I said previously, I believe The Phantom Pain is the taboo “Devil Project” which Kojima said had the potential to end his career if people don’t respond well.  The Devil/Ogre Project has been shrouded in secrecy from the beginning, although we know that it needs to involve visible demons, and that it’s not Ground Zeroes; manwhile, the trailer for The Phantom Pain includes the question “Am I in hell?”  Coincidence?  Lying directly to game journalists and fans could certainly backfire, and perhaps it’s is the career-jeopardizing move Kojima has now fully committed to.

The Phantom Pain’s Phantom Appeal

It’s what you DON’T see that makes it fascinating.  Negative space.  The words “METAL GEAR SOLID V” literally cut out of the title, instead of being shown front and center.  It’s brilliant, intriguing, and (hopefully) reflects a deeper theme within the game — of letting our imaginations go wild, for better or worse.

Is The Phantom Pain really Metal Gear Solid 5?  Or is that what we’re supposed to trick ourselves into thinking?

The Phantom Pain

Remember when Kojima talked about a “taboo” project that could potentially force him to leave the industry — the project which was eventually revealed to be the “devil” project?

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