The latest MGS4 news from IGN:
September 30, 2005 - Konami is in full Metal Gear Solid 4 mode following the Tokyo Game Show debut of the game's first trailer. In addition to a daily blog in which producer/director/writer Hideo Kojima continues to share precious morsels on the title's development, the latest issues of Japan's biggest videogame magazines are home to interviews with Kojima himself. Today, we picked up the latest issue of Hyper PlayStation and have summarized some of the key points from the magazine's chat with Kojima.
The magazine first points out that the Snake featured in the trailer is very old. In response to this, Kojima points out that Snake is actually Big Boss's clone, and because of this, he ages quicker than others. It's not the case, in other words, that Metal Gear Solid 4 takes place dozens of years after MGS2.
The other characters in the game have aged as well, although not as much. Otacon, for instance, doesn't look as old as Snake, although he has aged since MGS2. Revolver Ocelot was already old in previous Metal Gear games, but he's still around for MGS4, and we can expect a big old timers fight between him and Snake.
Kojima is asked to comment on "No Place To Hide," one of the themes of MGS4. He explains that this time around, Snake is in the heart of a war zone -- more specifically, he's not in enemy controlled territory, but in the main enemy base itself. As the game is set in a war zone, where battles are a common thing, buildings are damaged and destroyed, leaving Snake in situations where there is, indeed, no place to hide.
But the phrase has another meaning. Based on the current situation, players may end up coming to the decision that there's no reason to hide. Explaining, Kojima touches upon an area he's discussed before, where Snake isn't necessarily facing up against a single enemy, but may find himself in the middle of a war between two countries, say country A and country B. It's possible that country C will intervene in the battle as will resistance group D. Snake, for his part, can use alliances to infiltrate the enemy, making it so that hiding isn't required.
For instance, suppose Snake wants to infiltrate country A. An easy way to do this would be to kill a member of country B and become a hero in country A. Players aren't just infiltrating a place now, they're also infiltrating the circumstances and situation, Kojima explains.
This added depth may explain one of the funnier parts of the Tokyo Game Show MGS4 trailer. The trailer begins with a mock first person sequence, which Kojima states at the interview's outset was just a joke. Later in the interview, though, he comments that the trailer was meant to depict the center of a war zone. At the site of this typical first person shooter war-like setting, Kojima expects that people might think that Metal Gear had become a "normal game." However, one of the new elements of MGS4 is this typical battle field changing according to the player's actions. Kojima expects people who buy the game expecting a simple war game to be surprised.
Kojima has also previously made comments on a psychological warfare that's being worked into Metal Gear Solid 4, and in the new interview, he clarifies a bit. He describes the actions of the enemies in previous Metal Gear games to be unrealistic, as the enemies appear to be cold killing machines. This is an area that will be worked on in MGS4. In order to convey the basic idea, Kojima gives an example where standard soldiers are psychologically weak, and by surprising them with a noise, you can reduce their preparedness for battle.
This psychological weakness aspect is currently being worked into the game, but Kojima is not sure how far his team will be able to take the idea. As a first step, Kojima has enlisted Mori Motosada as a military adviser, reprising his role from the previous two games. Under Motosada's eye, the staff members are undergoing training, from which Kojima hopes they will return safely.