One of the most anticipated titles of 2004 is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
for the PlayStation 2. What can gamers expect from the next Solid Snake installment?
We sat down with Metal Gear mastermind Hideo Kojima to find out.
GamePro: Based on the feedback from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2),
what did you set out to do differently in Snake Eater?
Hideo Kojima (Producer, Konami): As for the setting, we wanted to change
it drastically. Since MGS3 is the second MGS for the PS2, we had to do something
drastic to surprise everyone. We also knew that the jungle is what we the developers
of MGS, fans, and people in the industry wanted. As for the story, it will
be less complicated. And the main character will remain the same throughout
GP: You've hinted that the next Metal Gear game may take place in the online
world. Any hints as what to expect?
HK: As for online features for MGS3, we might allow people to download new
camouflage patterns. Metal Gear Online is a totally different story. We cannot
talk about this yet.
GP: Is there anything that you can say regarding the storyline of Metal
Gear Solid 3, such as when and where the game takes place?
HK: The game takes place in the 1960s—the Cold War Era, which was espionage
paradise. Although I cannot say where the game takes place, about one-third
of the game takes place in buildings, and the remaining two-thirds take place
in the natural environment such as the jungle, mountains, caves, and waterfalls.
GP: The game obviously takes place in the jungle—how did this new environment
factor into the game's development?
HK: In real espionage missions, the agent never gets to start right outside
the enemy base. He/she lands a few hundred miles away in a country right next
to the country where the target is. We have decided to depict in MGS3 the natural
environment where the real mission begins. In the jungle, the floor is not
flat like that in buildings. In the jungle, you have to fight not only human
enemies but also animals, the landscape, and the weather. All these elements
will be things we have to tackle during development.
GP: How does the game’s title, Snake Eater, actually play into the game
HK: It has multiple meanings—the obvious one is that you eat snakes.
GP: Will we ever find out what happened to Meryl Silverburgh? HK: No comment.
Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (GameCube):
GamePro: Why did you choose Silicon Knights to develop Metal Gear Solid:
The Twin Snakes for the GameCube?
Hideo Kojima (Producer, Konami): When we decided to develop Twin Snakes,
we had to look for a development team that had experience on the GameCube.
When we started looking for a development company that could re-create the
quality of MGS, we ended up not finding such a team in Japan. We talked to
Mr. Miyamoto of Nintendo, and he recommended Silicon Knights to us.
GP: What titles of theirs’ had you played previously?
HK: I have taken a look at "Eternal Darkness."
GP: Why did you decide to re-make Metal Gear Solid for the GameCube rather
than create a brand-new adventure?
HK: As for a brand new MGS, I have so much to do with MGS3 alone. I do not
intend to mass-produce side stories or spin-offs of MGS like franchises from
other companies. The temptation from a business standpoint is there, but releasing
too many titles weakens the brand. When Nintendo approached us to create a
MGS game for GameCube, I had the confidence to do one if it were the remake
of MGS1. And when doing a remake, I did not want it to be a simple remake.
That's why I decided to do a remake of the MGS1 story with the MGS2 gameplay.
And since MGS1 was released in 1998, there really is no point for the same
staff 5 years later to do a simple remake. That's why I decided to collaborate
with film director Ryuhei Kitamura and Silicon Knights of Canada. The introduction
of new blood into development will make this MGS1 a revolutionary MGS1.