In the last couple of days, I have been absolutely overjoyed with the news coming from the GDC 2013, the Metal Gear Solid V reveal, to be precise. Like everyone assumed, Moby Dick’s The Phantom Pain was just a glorious publicity stunt by Kojima for the inevitable reveal of the next game in the Metal Gear saga. And so, we got the following trailer (with Garbage’s “Not Your Kind of People” playing in the background):
As one can see, footage from the previously announced (and discussed here) Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is present in the trailer, which led many people to assume that The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes, previously announced separately, are actually the same game. On Twitter, Kojima said that Ground Zeroes is a “prologue” to The Phantom Pain, here’s the exact (English-translated) tweet:
“Ground Zeroes” is a prologue of “MGSV”. 9 years after that event will be “The Phantom Pain”. MGSV is constructed w/ prologue and main game “TPP”. The game play demo I presented today is the opening of “TPP” which is tutorial that starts from crawling.
This makes me assume quite strongly that MGSV will be kind of like Metal Gear Solid 2, where we had a short, just 4 or so hours long “Tanker” and a big “Plant” chapter that made up the rest of the game. “Ground Zeroes” will be the short prologue in this case, with “The Phantom Pain” being the meat of the story. There is still a possibility that they are two separate games, but I find it quite unlikely.
Here are the most important bits from the trailer in a nutshell:
- Big Boss is being reanimated, ends up in a coma, Miller is next to him, watching – this is almost certainly the ending to the “Ground Zeroes” chapter
- Confrontation with XOF, Big Boss’ organisation’s Mother Base (from Peace Walker) gets destroyed – again part of “Ground Zeroes”
- Big Boss, having woken up from the coma, interacts with the man with bandaged head – this is the scene where he tries to escape the hospital which is being attacked in attempt to kill him (see the gameplay video below)
- Young Psycho Mantis appears, OCELOT comes on a horse to save Big Boss – I went crazily happy when I saw Ocelot… It’ll be great to see his relationship with Big Boss develop
- Big Boss’ waking up from the coma, doctor reveals he’s been out for 9 years – the doctor also looks a LOT like Dr. Kio Marv from Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. That’d be a fascinating connection
- Big Boss on a motorcycle, smoking a cigar, sporting the Diamond Dogs logo – it’s still a mystery what the Diamond Dogs are, but we’ll find out. Also, this bit appeared to be after Big Boss successfully makes his escape. So, the main part of the game must be Big Boss doing missions as a part of (leader of?) the Diamond Dogs organisation. The voice with which the “Diamond Dogs – our new home” phrase is said appears to not be David Hayter’s. Could be Miller’s, could be Snake’s new voice actor
- “V has come to” – this phrase was already in The Phantom Pain trailers before it was officially revealed to be MGSV. It’s no accident that Kojima has switched to Roman numerals for the fifth Metal Gear Solid – “V” certainly has some extra significance that we’re yet to find out about. Also, the bottom two thirds of the diamond-shaped Diamond Dogs logo forms a “V”. I’ll speculate that “V” is a codename for child Solid Snake. But it could just be a codename for Big Boss as a patient in the hospital he wakes up in
- PS3/360 logos at the end – FOX engine can run on the utterly outdated PS3/360 hardware? I’m impressed, to say the least. This is also a nice gesture towards owners of the two consoles near the end of their life cycles. I totally would’ve expected the game to be for PS4 and the next Xbox, instead
We also got a gameplay trailer, showing the “tutorial” part of The Phantom Pain, where Big Boss, shortly after waking up from the coma, is trying to escape the hospital, which is being attacked in an attempt to kill him. A man with a bandaged head (looking practically the same as how Moby Dick’s head “Joakim N. Mogren” appeared on GameTrailers TV for his interview) called Ishmael aids him. Here it is:
The most important thing to note about it, seeing as the gameplay is just Big Boss crawling on the floor and trying to stand, is what the FOX engine is capable of, the details seen are quite impressive, especially considering the 7-year-old PS3/360 hardware. The other thing to note is Big Boss’ artificial lower left arm… Seems he lost his somehow, possibly in the scenario that led him to falling into a coma.
Last, but not least, David Hayter’s bitter tweets about not being asked to voice Big Boss in the new game. A LOT of people have been outraged over this, but I know Kojima does things for a reason. As Big Boss ages, he grows apart in terms of looks from Solid Snake, who is a clone of the young Big Boss the DNA was taken from. We see how different they are in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and it’s normal to assume his voice would grow a bit different as Big Boss ages, too. In MGS4, Richard Doyle voices him, so maybe they got him to do it in Metal Gear Solid V, as well. The lame scenario would be that they just hired someone who could do a similar voice for cheaper. I think a third option exists – Big Boss has somehow lost his voice, and doesn’t speak at all during the game. I wouldn’t like it at all, but it’s one possibility.
In conclusion, Metal Gear Solid V has GREAT potential, but was there ever any doubt? Hideo Kojima is the one true genius left in the game industry, the only one who’s still at his best, as far as I’m concerned. I can’t wait for this game, and the fact that I won’t need to buy a new system for it makes me all the happier. Most likely, given that Big Boss is in a coma for 9 years, this will be the link between Peace Walker and the original Metal Gear in terms of chronology. The one thing I’ll highlight again is that I can’t wait to see how the relationship between Big Boss and Ocelot develops. Thank you, Kojima, thank you!