Leipzig GC 2007: Hideo Kojima presents Metal Gear Solid 4

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Working at Destructoid is brilliant. None of us will ever deny that. There are some days however, when you wake up that bit more excited and appreciative of you job than others. Days that start with the knowledge that you’ll be encountering Hideo Kojima in person and getting a preview of Metal Gear Solid 4 are particularly good, if unfortunately not frequent occurances. 

Thankfully though, today is one of those days. This morning I spent around an hour in a small auditorium in Kojima-san’s company, listening to him talk about the game, watching a new trailer (which you can find in all its shakey-cam glory above), and hearing him field questions from the crowd.

Care to hit the jump? 

11:15 – Kojima comes on stage. He starts by asking us what makes Metal Gear special. Tells us it’s the bosses. What will the bosses be like in MGS4? He tells us to calm down. He’s coming to that. First however, he wants to go back over previous bosses.

11:17 – Video recap of MGS3 bosses

Kojima follows this by showing us a trailer of the bosses from MGS4 in action. A voiceover tells us they weren’t even soldiers to begin with. They suffered shell-shock  and the only way they could cope with battle was to become machines. The bosses are cool and horrific in equal measure. Cybernetic, almost animalistic creatures, one soaring on huge wings, one with huge whipping tantacles, one feral and dog-like. There production design feels halfway between Final Fantasy and The Matrix‘s Sentinels. These things are genuinely scary. We see a series of soldiers being brutally wiped out while Snake lies low, but gets up as they leave. The screen fades to black and we hear a voiceover: “War transforms us Snake, into beasts. War transforms us.”

11:22 – Kojima raises the point that these bosses are beasts, but what are monsters doing in a military game? What is this? Gears Of War? But these are not monsters, he explains. These are people transformed by the horror of battle. These beasts weren’t always this way. They were beautiful women from all over world. He tells us that for these characters they mapped beautiful models and actresses. In order to relay this beauty and the beast concept he used real-life beauties for the models. Everything in the game is man-made, but using real and living beauty was the key to the concept.

11:25 – Video montage of the actresses and the motion capture process.

11:27 – Kojima: “What do you think? Can these beautiful ladies return to human form? You can find out when you play the game.” He next tells us he invited an actress from Japan to play a part in this beauty and the beast formula and brings on Yumi Kikuchi. She introduces herself and tells us she’s been here only a few days, but it’s already clear that Leipzig is beautiful. She says that the acting was quite tough, but thanks to Kojima’s direction and explanation of the concept she could smoothly perform her part. She’s worked with Kojima for ten years but she’d never done anything Metal Gear Solid. She’d wondered why. [laughs] She says he saved this moment so she could be on stage and meet everybody today. It’s the 20 year anniversary of Metal Gear Solid and she’s proud she can be in the game and join with Metal Gear now. She thanks us for having her and leaves the stage

11:30 – Kojima: “I almost forgot. I want to show you the game!” He brings on  the game’s producer to play it.

11:31 – The gameplay demonstration begins, but it’s the same one we saw at E3. Head here to check it out.
11:49 – Question and answer session begins. The following are slightly paraphrased.

Question: Is the online version separate from MGS4?

Kojima: It’s difficult to explain. It could sound either way. We can’t really say specifically. You can play online with the main game, but there is an extra bit, which sounds like it could be separate when you talk about it.

Question: Is it a separate SKU?

Kojima: We haven’t decided, as you can see. [laughs] MGS4 will have some parts of the online at least, We are thinking how much further we’re going to take the online version. Since the MGS4 world and MGO are similar we would like consistencies and we’re still at the last stages of deciding.

Question: Can you tell us anything about the music in the game?

Kojima: Are you referring to the opening theme, or the ending theme?

Questioner: Okay. [Resounding slapping of foreheads]

Kojima: Of course the main theme will be there, but of course it’s MGS so we have to have a lot of music in there. I almost slipped there, but maybe there will be an option to have your own.

Question: Will there bhe a 360 version or is it an permenant PS3 exclusive?

Kojima: Right now we are making it only PS3. We don’t have a plan for the 360 for now. [Audience laughs]

Question: Could you talk about the AI? It seems alittle bit low. The enemies can’t really hear Snake when hes coming and rolling in the barrel. Are you playing in easy mode? Can we expect smarter AI in the game?

Kojima: I’m kind of sorry to say in front of the producer, but because we thought he’d a have a bit of a problem playing the game we set it a bit easy. In the game it will be different. If you make noise with the oil drums etc. you’ll get spotted.

Question: Will there be other characters such as bosses in Metal Gear Online or will the character selection be limited to soldiers etc?

Kojima: Yes, of course we will have those characters appear.

Question: Do you think the tech devices in the game, such as the Metal Geat MKII, are too much of an advanage? Is it a little bit too easy to complete the game with those advantages?

Kojima: You don’t have to worry too much. We’re of course still adjusting. You can’t obviouasly can’t complete the game with just those gadgets. It’ll be a lot more chalenging. The MKII can’t really fight and kill enemies. He can be useful for switching buttons etc, but Snake has to move around to really progress.

Question: Will the final game support rumble?

Kojima: We wish we could, but we don’t have those features with PS3. Let’s see what happens. There’s a rumble specialist we have. I call him rumble-guy. [Everyone laughs] Right now he has nothing to do. I’m really worried about what he can do. [More laughter]

Question: Can you tell us how the weather conditions in the game will affect play?

Kojima: We have implimented psychological battles in the game. If you or the enemy is in a too hot or cold condition, it will affect stamina or mental condition. I’m working on very detailed things. A hot location will make you more tense, but eating hot food will give you a bit more energy back. I’m still adjusting that. As I illustrated with that nice booklet [referring to the porn
magazine in the gameplay demo], that makes you and your tension go up. We’re playing with gimmicks like that.

Question: What other features will the tilt sensor use (referring to the sixaxis’ use in the FPS sections)?

Kojima: Well there are others, but basically you have to use the controller amd not the sixais. On special occasions you will use it.

Things are wound up and we are thanked for coming.  

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