Today saw previews of Metal Gear Solid V being released on the internet. Within minutes of the previews being released on the web, social media exploded with fans and critics alike claiming that Metal Gear Solid V looked as though it was catching up to modern gaming and shedding its skin that has served the series so well in the past. In addition to this, Creator of the Metal Gear series, Hideo Kojima, has made some uncharacteristic comment via Twitter in the past few days. With a shift in the way that the game mechanics work and what seems to be a complete change in tone of the game with regards to the “sexy cosplay” remarks, you have to ask, has Hideo Kojima lost his mind?
In regards to the game itself, it seems as though Metal Gear Solid is moving away from the slow-paced, stealth based gameplay and is moving onto what has been described as, “An exceptional Splinter Cell sequel.” The game which had been sampled had been Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and it is unknown whether this chapter is a prologue on-disc or could it be similar to Dead Rising 2’s Case Zero and introduce you to new gameplay features.
In regards to gameplay which I have seen, this YouTube is the only sample of gameplay I have seen from Ground Zeroes but, this is over a year old and, within that time, I’m sure a lot has changed in regards to the feel of the game. Hideo Kojima had also said recently that he would like the game to appeal to “A global audience,” which seems fair enough but, much like Splinter Cell, it could risk losing the hardcore MGS fans.
With the gameplay mechanics looking to appeal to more gamers, MGS could fall into the faults which have seemed to claim games such as Splinter Cell, Resident Evil 6 and Dead Space 3 as they attempted to appeal to a larger market and didn’t succeed as we as they had hoped. These games believe that they were appealing to both their core audience as well as most gamers out there. But, within that, certain aspects of the game will be sacrificed in order to allow the player to run around and use up most of their ammo while aiming for a target in a sudden panic as they are inexperienced. That’s modern gaming, thanks Call of Duty!
But MGS games, with the exception of MGIV in my opinion, have always felt special and had great features which made them unique compared to games such as Hitman or Tenchu. There was a great combination of action, stealth and great gameplay features that worked well with a well written but sometimes confusing story. The use of the simple things such as using knocks to confuse your enemies or the signature cardboard box to hide in the toughest situations all helped Metal Gear Solid become a major hit in the gaming community. I would argue that their target audience is large enough already without changing the game at all but, that is for them to decide. No matter what happens, I’m sure Konami will create a good game but, it may not meet everyone’s high expectations.
In regards to the ‘making Metal Gear Solid sexy’ comments, I really don’t see why anyone in their right mind would say this, never mind someone as highly regarded as Kojima. There have been so many sexism debates in gaming over the past few years and this only seems to be adding fuel to the fire.
With the recent Killer is Dead debate in regards to gigolo mode and the tasteless gameplay the game displayed meant that sexism was once again a key talking point in gaming when it really shouldn’t be. If that is the case of Metal Gear Solid being “sexier” then why isn’t Big Boss running around wearing a pair of trunks while being covered in baby oil or have Dr Emmerich looking like something from a classic Diet Coke advert?
The sexist comments made by Kojima mar the build-up to Metal Gear Solid V as it is supposed to be a defining game this generation and, hopefully, will be one to remember on the next-gen consoles, too. At this rate, the game may be more remembered for these comments. With how popular Metal Gear Solid V will be will be down to how the gaming community at large view the game rather than the core audience as they will buy the game regardless. The future of Metal Gear Solid could be up in the air all depending on how this game performs and because of that, it may be remembered for these comments rather than the game. So, has Hideo Kojima lost his mind? Not quite but, these comments show that something isn’t quite right up there.