Hideo Kojima Talks About Metal Gear Solid V’s Open-World And Online Features

By Sato . June 19, 2013 . 11:30am

Metal Gear Solid V was not only Konami’s biggest highlight of this year’s E3, but it was also one of the event’s most anticipated titles. Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind the Metal Gear Solid series, took some time to talk to Famitsu.com in a recent interview about the game’s open-world system and shared some ideas on what we can expect to see in the online multiplayer mode.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be taking place in Afghanistan circa 1984. It may baffle some people as to why he chose a setting in the ‘80s. Famitsu asks his reason for picking that year in particular.


“When I think of the year 1984, Orwell’s novel comes to mind (George Orwell’s dystopian novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’). For this reason, there’s an Orwell-like theme included, too,” says Kojima.


“Actually, the decision to have the setting in the year 1984 was something I aimed for back in MGS3. The time setting of MGS3 was 1964, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was 10 years after that, in 1974. Then 10 years after that it’s 1984. The Cold War era might be a little bit too far back for the younger kids today to understand, but the year 1984 wasn’t exactly too far back, which makes it good. By the way, Afghanistan won’t be the only stage.”


Kojima recently revealed that Metal Gear Solid V will be an open-world game that features an online multiplayer mode. Famitsu asks how the series’ signature stealth aspect will be changing to fit the new game system.


Kojima replies, “When it comes to realistic linear-styled FPS games, the game designers set up a rail which the players travel along. It’s similar to those haunted house attractions, where if you step somewhere, there will be an explosion or some sort of hole. That’s fun in it’s own way, but it’s not where a game’s true strength lies. If there are one million players, then having one million different ways to play, is the game’s strength.”


“You’ll be looking at the situation and thinking about what decisions to make,” Kojima continued. “During the day the area might be full of enemies, so some may want to act at night. That said, it might also be a little too dark at night, so you’ll be required to use some light. The risk of getting caught might be higher, but there might be less guards. We’re creating it so such intuitions will be understandable. In other words, it will be something like a ‘realistic infiltrating simulator’.”


After Famitsu pointed out the scene from the trailer that showed off a stealth feature of hiding behind a horse, Kojima gives an example of how it Metal Gear Solid V will be different as an open-world title:


“There will be a lot more (laughs). Also, the focus in the latest trailer was the carrier truck-riding scene. If it were a linear game, after getting on a cargo truck at a specific location, I believe that it would be followed by a cut-scene that takes you to another area. However, Metal Gear Solid V is open-world, so you’ll get to jump off anywhere you’d like. As I’ve previously mentioned, it will be a realistic infiltration,” Kojima emphasizes.


Metal Gear Solid V will feature an online multiplayer mode, that is currently being worked on by Konami’s Los Angeles Studio. Famitsu asks Kojima about the online feature and what else we could expect from it.


Says Kojima, “In today’s gaming standards, it’s a minimal requirement, so it’ll definitely be there. However, I want to focus on broadening an aspect of Metal Gear Solid V that is not a versus or co-op mode. For example, you might be traveling from point A of a map to point B on horse. Then you might be able to announce your record time on a social media platform and start a race with everyone. Those who can’t participate in the race may be able to observe it on a tablet, so it’ll be different for everyone. Metal Gear Solid V’s necessity to being an open-world title, will make these things possible.”


Metal Gear Solid V is currently in development for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

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  • Can’t wait for this game, the storyline possibilities are endless. If it’s anything as story-epic as MGS4 then i’m all in for the ride on both PS3 and on PS4. Being that MGS4 made me buy a PS3 in the first place, I can see history repeating itself again for the PS4 and MGS-V

  • Solomon_Kano

    The return of MGO was really the highlight of Konami’s E3. The gameplay footage was already great, then they were like “Oh, by the way, MGO’s back!” I can’t wait to see what the new MGO is like.

    I’m also interested to know what the other stages are. The trailer makes it pretty plain that we’ll be going to Africa and GZ is set in Cuba. So that’s at least 3 open-worlds. Good God, this game is going to be amazing.

  • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

    Just one thing I ask is for the main character to be called Big Boss. That’s the coolest name I’ve ever heard and Punished Snake sounds like if the guy is tormented.

    • OkamiKing

      He just lost his base, an arm, and his best friend prior to the start of the game. Not to mention this is where he makes the darkest decisions in his life. He’s pretty damn tormented

      • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

        We already went through this with Portable Ops and Peace Walker. The latter ended with him finally accepting the title of Big Boss. And now he is worse than the time he killed the Boss and let his friends form the Patriots and conquer the USA?

        • OkamiKing

          He lost his damn arm and was in a coma….. You tell me

          • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

            You already told me that and as if he even cared when he lost his eye. He was also in a coma before 1974. Losing the Boss was far worse than that.

            In Peace Walker he even asked Dr. Strangelove to kill him for what he did and spent the rest of the game getting over it.

        • Longsun_Zhao

          He didn’t allow the Patriots to form, he actively opposes them in PW. He isn’t responsible for the Patriots.

        • Arizato

          You have to remember that this game is leading up to Metal Gear 1 and 2. You will see Big Boss/Punished Snake make some really grim and dark decisions. He will turn into a villain in this game. Which is one of the most interesting things about MGSV: We really never had a good reason for why Big Boss is the villain in MG 1 & 2, but now we may have several reasons.

          The theme of this game is revenge and how a man can turn into a “demon”. He is tormented and is turning into a bad person because of it. If Kojima pulls this off just right I’m certain we will see one of the best video game stories centered around mind and psychology. We will probably feel bad for Big Boss while questioning his decisions at the same time. There are not many games which takes these kinds of themes and put them in a serious light.

          • SunOatBoatMatadorQuattro

            Actually Kojima already said that Peace Walker was the story of how Naked Snake mentally became the Big Boss from Metal Gear 1. In the ending, Big Boss even tells his soldiers that they will become criminals and do terrorism in order to work. How can anything from V be worse than terrorism?

          • Arizato

            There are many things that we can speculate from the E3 trailer. The first thing that comes to mind is that Miller (and probably Big Boss) are torturing their own people. While terrorism is horrible, the idea of forming a private army/group and then doing a complete 180 hurting the ones that are probably most loyal to you is really grim and bleak. A group is built on trust and loyalty no matter what goal you strive for: Betraying that trust really disgusts me, since you are lying to your own people.

            Kojima said that this game will deal with many grim themes such as child soldiers. While Chico basically became a soldier in Peace Walker and other MGS games have told stories about child soldiers, we’ve never actually seen children fighting in any of the games. What if there is a scene in the game where you have to pull the trigger while holding your gun at a child, much like when you had to kill The Boss in MGS3?

  • Bob Obb

    Horse racing confirmed.

    • Namuro

      Mix in multiplayer and open-world, and voilà! Steel Ball Run!

      “Snake, you must stop the president!”

  • TheExile285

    This is probably gonna come out early 2015. 2015 GOTY confirmed???

    • D3SM0ND-M1L3S

      2014 actually march

  • colorblindnightmare

    This gamer is going to be incredible. So many possibilites. Seems like Kojima is at the top of his writing game this time as well

  • Dokuro

    Hideo Kojima is truly a genius, unlike some other over rated developers…

  • Bobby Jennings

    Wait…I don’t get it. Is he not bringing MGO back? It seems like he just wants to have that type of online where you just upload your speeds to the server for everyone else to see, like Leaderboards. I hope I’m wrong. Someone correct me on this?

    • Solomon_Kano

      He’s bringing MGO back. It’s in development at KojiPro LA with Tokyo staff contributing as well. He’s saying this in addition to MGO, as these are online features that would affect the main game, while MGO is really its own beast.

      • Bobby Jennings

        Oh in that case :D! I was scared for a sec. MGO was AWESOME. Thanks for clearing that up for me pops

        • Solomon_Kano

          No prob, son.

  • Göran Isacson

    If it’s in 1984, we might also see the action move to Iraq, or mention Bofors and their weapon-smuggling… or possibly mention the IRA or Ronald Reagans election to power? Could be interesting man, could be interesting…

    • Solomon_Kano

      Reagan’s re-election? I dunno that there’s much Kojima could really do with that unless he ties it back to Cipher.

      I think dealing with the IRA’s influence in that year could be interesting. The game is set to deal with global conflicts, after all. The Sandinistas winning control of Nicaragua would bear mention as well, given their role in Peace Walker. The international reaction to chemical weapons during 1984 could be significant as well. Then there’s the progress made in space travel to think about…

      Yea, Kojima’s got some fertile ground to work with in 1984.

      • Göran Isacson

        Yeah, Central America is probably a shoe-in if not for plot reasons, then surely for the fact that they’ll most likely want to vary the environments so not all struggles take place in the desert. Go to Afghanistan for desert stages, Nicaragua for forests, Britain and/or Ireland for urban stages, etc, etc. All of that, AND the ability to reference 1984. Real neat choice there.

  • ShadowDivz

    I understand writing a good story, but how the hell does he also plan the game?
    The information in his head must be overwhelming.

  • Lucky_x

    It looks incredible. Sneaking has become more dynamic as the series has progressed, so I suppose this kind of open-world concept was inevitable. I really hope the online aspect is MGO3, or at least in spirit. MGO1 and MGO2 were my favourite online games; I hunger for TSNE D:

    • brian

      MGO2 was a thing?

      • Anime10121

        The one in MGS4

        • brian

          Then what was MGO1?

          • ChiffonCake

            The one that came with MGS3. It was Subsistence only, I think.

    • Solomon_Kano

      They announced MGO already at E3, so you got your wish. It’s in development between the Japan staff and their new LA studio.

  • Tom

    I’m curious about the differences between the current-gen and next-gen versions.

  • Nicholas Perry

    The problem with open world is that it absolutely destroys any semblance of good plot pacing. Peace Walker is evidence of this and it’s not even OW. It’s slightly non-linear with being forced to go back and farm optional content or bosses to get all of the story.

    metal gear always had plenty of gameplay freedom in how you approached things from point A to point B. And I LOVED that they were basically interactive movies.

    I hate that he’s jumping on the OW bandwagon and listening to all the people who cried about cutscenes over the years. Heck, he even replaced Hayter, while admitidly had to happen at some point, he shouldn’t be replaced in Ground Zeroes because it makes no fucking sense for someone’s voice to randomly change like that considering it takes place in 1975.

    It’s not like Solid Snake will be in the game anyway, he’ll only be 12 during TPP.

    And I REALLY hope when they get to the 90’s and retell Metal Gear 1&2, they don’t keep it OW and have more cutscenes again.

    Maybe MGO’s netcode wont’ suck ass this time. Maybe the framerate will ACTUALLY be stable.

    Maybe they will fix the broken leveling system that was partially broken due to the technical issues and cheaters.

    I don’t regret my 1000+ hours with MGO2, but if it wasn’t for those things and the community(Abusing kick, ignoring and changing the game’s rules on a whim;subsequently breaking balance;and kicking anybody who dare’s defy them. OH I”M SO SORRY I”M PLAYING BY THE DAMN RULES)

  • Ahmit James


  • Chee Yang

    I just have a feeling the best way to enjoy this one is get a PS4.

  • DethroneTheBanksters

    F yeah

  • Helepythia

    What is up with these tablet integration-ing nowadays? It’s here, and I saw it all over E3.

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