21 Interviews

E3 Interview: Kojima on MGS 5

Famed designer discusses surprises, next-gen and open worlds

This week acclaimed designer Hideo Kojima offered the latest stunning glimpse of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

Microsoft's Xbox E3 conference opened with a stirring gameplay trailer confirming that the much-anticipated cross-gen sequel will feature open-world gameplay, real-time weather, various modes of transport, realistic passage of time, deeper stealth action, and dynamic CQC.

But as Kojima reveals to CVG, there are many more surprise to come. At E3 we met with the designer to discuss next-gen, open worlds and just who that great white Whale might be...

So MGS V has been announced for next-gen consoles. How will the new machines change the series?

For MGSV it's definitely the multiple device support and the interactions between handhelds such as smart phones and tablets, which you can use to interact with the world. And for us we also want to see what we can do with the cloud in the future.

That's why we did an open-world, because we thought about all of these interactions on multiple devices, with the power to interact with the MGSV world. We'd like to see how that moves in a social direction as well.

How did senior Konami executives react when you told them the theme of 'race' in MGS5 and what do you think are the dangers of tackling such a theme?

Well actually I never told them. So I guess they didn't have anything to say about it. We'll see what happens afterwards.

I thought about the theme and it was a story that I wanted to tell. Game technology and hardware has always been evolving and becoming great, but we're always fighting against aliens and shooting. I didn't want to be like that - I wanted to make a game with a deep theme and change the industry. So we went and made a game that most suited the story that I wanted to tell.

To clarify, will Ground Zeroes be part of The Phantom Pain or released separately?

So you can think of it that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the big game and within that the first prologue to it is Ground Zeroes.

As you saw in the trailer, The Phantom Pain provides a vast world where the player can really go anywhere and get lost. But for past Metal Gear fans used to a linear experience it would probably be hard for them to get used to that without having a prologue and a way to get used to it. So Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes is an interpretation to really give them a very short, smaller version of that scale.

In The Phantom Pain there are real-life day and night cycles but in Ground Zeroes the weather doesn't change and it's at night time. This is to help the past Metal Gear fans to get used to the fact that it's now open-world.

But will it be released separately?

We can't talk about how we're going to release it because we still haven't decided yet.

"Phantom Pain provides a vast world where the player can really go anywhere and get lost"

Kojima-san, you are famous for breaking the fourth wall in your games. How might you use to features of the next-gen consoles to do this in MGSV?

Specifically for the next-gen and Metal Gear Solid V, it's not necessarily about breaking the fourth wall, but we do have a big surprise for the players in this game. We have challenged and pushed ourselves with something that movies can't do but only games can do. It hasn't been done before.

What about the new Kinect? Does that interest you with its ability to track the players' heartbeat, facial expression etc?

I'm very interested in that stuff whether it be the facial expression readings or something also. But we're having a hard time with that and we're not sure if we'll be able to implement something for MGSV. But we're still looking at it and are really interested in the new Kinect.

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