Change is the name of the game in Metal Gear Solid 5. Following 20-plus years of linear stealthing shenanigans, developer Kojima Productions is finally stepping out into the sandbox. Built upon Konami’s all-new ‘FOX’ engine, the title rung the first of many changes back in June, with the news that long-time Solid Snake actor David Hayter had been replaced by 24-alumni Keifer Sutherland.
With even more alterations in mind, series publisher Konami invited members of the press to Los Angeles this week, to celebrate the opening of Kojima Production’s new West-coast branch. The swanky studio complex, designed to assist, and provide friendly competition, for the studio’s Japanese home base, will also be tapped to speed up localization efforts for the award-winning franchise.
To mark the special occasion, Hideo Kojima and crew took to the stage to display a brief, specially-created gameplay level, designed around the title’s early prison camp trailer. Despite the bumbling efforts of Konami’s on-stage play tester – who deviated from his mission by starting a full-scale firefight – many new gameplay clues were revealed during the event.
- The ability to distract guards by tossing empty weapon magazines
- Regenerating health
- A new approach to enemy alerts — players observed by an enemy now have the opportunity to take out that guard via slow-mo takedowns, something Kojima refers to as a “helping hand,” in keeping the action fair and exciting
- No more Heads-Up-Display, though on screen flares will still appear to help players identify goals, enemies and more.
- Tight-cropped stealth angles when peering around corners
- The classic Codec interfrace appears to have been wholly replaced by Snake’s new earpiece, freeing up the designers to provide narrative exposition during gameplay, rather than though incessant cutscenes.
- Vehicles can be piloted from both 1st & 3rd person perspectives
- Powerful current-gen graphics, near-next gen lighting, textures and animation courtesy of Kojima productions new mo-capping suite (check out the video below for more on this LA. Noire-like setup)
Check out video of the mo-cap process below:
When asked how in-game choices would play out in Metal Gear Solid 5, Kojima remained relatively coy. Though players are encouraged to pursue multiple strategies to success on the battlefield, it’s unknown just how much freedom they can expect in affecting MGS‘s typically linear narrative. Another interesting note to emerge from the press gathering was Kojima’s renewed insistence that the game’s rain-soaked ‘Ground Zeroes’ setting be considered a prologue, akin to Metal Gear Solid 2‘s tanker level. Kojima had originally endorsed this view as far back as GDC, before changing his stance completely, and confirming that the title was a wholly separate entity from the chronologically later ‘ Phantom Pain‘ episode. Given that Kojima Productions L.A. is currently focusing on online efforts, this could indicate that either ‘Ground Zeroes‘ or ‘Phantom Pain‘ represents the multiplayer portion of the total Metal Gear Solid 5 package.
In other Metal Gear Solid 5 news, it now appears that the title will be making use of meta-game-style applications. These smartphone & tablet-powered additions are set to launch alongside the main title, and will allow users to craft their own custom missions, though it remains to be seen whether these creation tools will also appear inside the main game.
Expect to hear more from Metal Gear Solid 5 — including a new 60 frames per second next-gen reveal – when Konami appears at this year’s Tokyo Game Show on September 19th. Are you excited for Metal Gear Solid‘s first open-world adventure? Will the game retain the ‘feel’ of a classic MGS title? Have your say in the comments below.
Metal Gear Solid 5 will appear on PS3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 & Xbox One platforms at some point in 2014.
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