Will the next gen consoles offer enough oomph for Kojima to end things properly (again)?
Hideo Kojima was never be able to fully conceal the whiff of disappointment surrounding Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. “The original vision was to go 10 steps further, the reality was just one step,” Kojima once said, hinting that his magnum opus was something of a dud. When it was time to bury the Metal Gear franchise, a sense of closure was missing. So, like any functional heroin addict, excuses were made, promises were broken and old habits became new again. The weepy creator stopped just short of the final nail in the coffin, and Metal Gear’s corpse was exhumed under the mantra: “I can do better.”
An overestimation of the current console generation capabilities (read: PlayStation 3) led to the creation of a humbled Metal Gear.
To hear Kojima talk about MGS 4, years before its release, was to hear a politician at the podium, making empty promises at a willing crowd (or Peter Molyneux over-hyping any of his projects): a fully interactive and accessible, open world-like experience, he proclaimed, where actions carry far-reaching implications, with real-time events and an ecosystem that exists outside the player. A vision that bears little resemblance to the compartmented linear adventure that reached stores. “Things like motion-blending and the size of the map, totally was not accomplished to my original vision – to my satisfaction,” he admitted, sadly. An overestimation of the current console generation capabilities (read: PlayStation 3) led to the creation of a humbled Metal Gear. “We were once again dealing with new hardware, and it really pushed us. What I regret is that I should have probably concentrated more on the fact that we were working on a new machine.”
On his quest to atone for past mistakes, Kojima embarked on a sort of Zen voyage through the western studios. “Their engine was not just their core engine,” he concluded after visiting several studios, “but also included all the tools and everything else.” A seed was planted for the germination of the now much publicised Fox Engine, a tool that allowed Kojima Productions to circumvent hardware limitations. Now, finally, the eccentric creator could focus on bringing his original vision to life.
Hideo Kojima’s vision for MGS 4 is finally coming true. It’s just one game late.
Because among all the misleading campaigns and gore-filled trailers for the new installment of the Metal Gear saga, you will find a vision years in the making. One that was previously impaired by technological limitations, but seems finally ready to spread its wings. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is nothing more than a do-over, a second attempt at finishing things properly. This is Metal Gear Solid 4: Redux. The open world environment, the absence of loading times to dampen the experience, the real-time events, the (apparently) more fluid and accessible gameplay. Snake is being dragged kicking and screaming into the future and no Cell processor will stand in the way. Hideo Kojima’s vision for MGS 4 is finally coming true. It’s just one game late.
As the hype for next Metal Gear instalment slowly fades away, we are left with a tale of redemption. Not for Big Boss – his quest seems to end in righteous villainy, but for Hideo Kojima and his impossible expectations. So let him tinker away in his director chair. Let him give the franchise a proper burial and maybe, finally, reach the OD that sets him on the path to (Metal Gear) sobriety.
Featured Image: malfet_ via Flickr