Iím sure that youíve all had a chance to watch the trailer for the recently announced ďThe Phantom Pain,Ē and Iím also sure that youíve already jumped to the conclusion that itís 100% definitely a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 5. It seems Iím the only person who disagrees with this conclusion. ďThe Phantom PainĒ could be almost anything else, and itís certainly a Kojima game, but itís not Metal Gear Solid 5.
First of all, Kojima stated during a recent interview with EGM that he wants to work on original properties and doesnít want to be known as the ďMetal Gear guy.Ē Although itís sometimes difficult to tell which answers are genuine or false in his interviews, this certainly falls in line with his desire to abandon the MGS series around the time of MGS4. Why then, would he announce MG Rising, announce Ground Zeroes and then announce ANOTHER MGS game before Rising has even been released? It just makes so little sense to have so much Metal Gear on peopleís minds when he wants to prove himself away from the franchise.
Why then, would he pack the trailer for ďThe Phantom PainĒ with so many obvious references to MGS? Well, letís go back to the pre-release hype for MGS2. Every trailer for that game featured Solid Snake in dark, moody environments being cool. Remember what MGS2 was actually like? Yeah. Those trailers proved one thing about Kojima: He knows the expectations of his fans better than they do. He knows exactly what clues to give and how to build up certain expectations in peopleís minds. In the same way that just showing Snake in the MGS2 trailers made people think that that game would be all about Snake, showing a man with a facial scar and a guy who looks a bit like Volgin has made people jump straight to MGS5. If this is old fashioned Koijma manipulation, itís worked, to the point where even suggesting that it might not be MGS will earn you mucho abuse on the Internet. To me, the clues feel too obvious. Iíd say theyíre red herrings, designed to build up hype for his new game and to either pleasantly surprise people or violently undercut their expectations, depending on what kind of mood Kojimaís in. This isnít official, obviously, and Iím assuming thatís he regained some of the creative freedom he lost on MGS3 and 4, but if he has then itís nice to see him up to his old tricks and toying with peopleís minds again.
So if itís not MGS then what is it? Well, it could be any number of things. Thereís been very little information given on the subject of the mysterious ďProject Ogre,Ē in that we only have a name so far, so it could very easily be that. Kojima also recently expressed interest in creating a Silent Hill game, and given the surreal and supernatural vibe of TPPís trailer, this is also a possibility. Thereís every chance that it could just be a brand new IP, which is a much more exciting prospect to me than the announcement of a new Metal Gear game, given that we already have 2 on the way. Kojima has said for years that he wants to work on new properties, and finally seeing him do so would be fantastic.
If anything, this trailer and the reaction itís garnered is a very positive sign that people are starting to look into the small details and question the things that theyíre seeing. After seeing people ignore the themes of MGS2 and the overwhelming signs of Kojimaís hatred of MGS4 in the pre-release hype and the game itself, itís nice to see people noticing the tiniest details of the trailer and attempting to work out the meanings behind them.
Of course this is all just speculation, as weíve seen that Kojimaís trailers can be entirely misleading. All Iím saying is that, assuming this is the playful Kojima of old, thereís almost certainly more to this whole thing than is immediately apparent. In the words of TPP, ďOpen your eyes, already!Ē
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