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MGS 5 challenges US-world politics, Kojima says

Players choose whether to use nuclear deterrence

Metal Gear Solid's depiction of the US has shifted along with international attitudes toward the nation, Hideo Kojima has said.

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Kojima told The Guardian that the series' stories have long questioned or criticized the nation's role in global affairs. In Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, they show a nation that "not seen as the center of the world any more".

Ground Zeroes takes place in a US naval prison facility based on the coast of Cuba, an allusion to real-world prison site Guantanamo. In the game, prisoners are held in harsh conditions and may be liberated by Big Boss.

"[Guantanamo] was definitely something that I made decision to address in the game," Kojima said. "Hollywood continues to present the US army as being the good guys, always defeating the aliens or foreigners. I am trying to shift that focus. These movies might not be the only way to view current affairs. I am trying to present an alternate view in these games."

The Phantom Pain will challenge players' own geopolitical ethics by letting them decide their stance on nuclear deterrence, a common theme across the franchise, in response to mounting attacks from other nations.

"At this point I give the player the option to think about acquiring a nuclear weapon, in order to deter these attacks, a kind of threat," Kojima said. "It illustrates the cycle of nuclear weapons, what inspires people and nations to enter into that system. It's something that you can only really do in video games."

No official release date has been set for The Phantom Pain, but Kojima told Famitsu last November he would likely launch the game "around the time" that PS4 becomes widely adopted.

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