May 30, 2008

‘Metal Gear’ Set to Release Amidst High Expectations

Among the list of highly anticipated game releases this year is Hideo Kojima's "Metal Gear Solid 4."

Set to hit stores next month, the game has already created hype among followers of the Metal Gear series. The stakes couldn't be any higher, but Kojima remains calm, cool and collected in preparation for the upcoming release.

"Indeed, there is pressure. There is always pressure. But I'm not talking pressure in a negative way," Kojima said. "I can use it to push up the bar for what I'm creating. In that sense there's a positive pressure."

The fourth edition of the series will wrap up the decade-long adventures of its protagonist, Solid Snake, and is expected to boost sales of Sony's Playstation 3 console, which currently trails Microsoft's Xbox 360.

Published by Japan's Konami, the previous three games in the series have sold a total of more than 17 million copies worldwide. Kojima's intensive attention to detail has led him to be revered by members of the gaming community as one of the top developers in the world.

Kojima says the upcoming action game release will give players unprecedented freedom as they battle their way through the remainder of the Metal Gear series.

"This time the setting is a war zone or a battlefield, which is a unique experience," he said. "It's a war zone, so there is shooting as side A fights side B, but there's a lot of freedom so you can take advantage of being in a war zone and find various ways to play."

The game's creator also said that while working with the Metal Gear series, the team of developers was able to utilize information from a military adviser, who helped to produce a more realistic battlefield setting.

"This was a great experience in designing the game. It wasn't just about how to handle guns or weapons, it was more mental or psychological, like how to blend in with the environment, how to disappear into a forest."

While referring to the collaboration between forms of entertainment like novels, movies and games, Kojima said each media format is able to gain from the other, which could amount to the formation of "a coherent medium."

"I can't really predict precisely that this will happen in two or three years or whatever," he said. "But the trend is there, things are happening and I believe that convergence will happen sooner or later.

Kojima also hinted of a possible future for the Metal Gear series, although he added that his presence in such games would not be as strong as it has been over the past decade.

"MGS will always be around. I feel a responsibility to continue this series as long as users demand it. But it doesn't mean I'm going to sit in completely. I'll probably take a different role in the next game. Maybe I'll sit in as producer and let the young staff take control of the new series. I really want to go on to new things."


On the Net: