Kojima On Just Why Metal Gear Solid V Is An Open World Game

By Sato . October 28, 2013 . 12:05pm

Metal Gear Solid V will be the series’ first open world game, and will take place in the vast deserts of Afghanistan, among other countries. In a recent interview with Famitsu magazine, series creator Hideo Kojima talks about the development team’s reason for deciding to go with an open-world design for the game.


“The term ‘open world’ is often misunderstood by people,” says Kojima. “[Metal Gear Solid V] won’t be a game where you can spend an entire day fishing with Snake, or one that allows him to change his career in order to start a new life, or anything like that.”


“Rather, while the fields will be in an open world, and you’ll have plenty of freedom, in Metal Gear Solid V it will always be clear when it comes to knowing what you need to do,” he elaborates. “For example, you’ll have things such as ‘help this person,’ ‘destroy ____,’ ‘gather information here,’ and so on. There will also be missions with time limits.”


Going by Kojima’s comments, it seems as though we’ll be seeing different types of objectives in Metal Gear Solid V. Famitsu asks how the missions will be different when compared to past games of the series.


“Up until now, we’ve mainly only been able to make infiltration [missions] for Metal Gear Solid,” says Kojima. “There would be a demo scene that showed how to get there, and the players would start right in front of the entrance. If they safely cleared the mission, there’d be another cut-scene, where you’d see something like a helicopter appear, as you made your escape.”


Famitsu asks if Kojima considers this to be a ‘linear style’ of game design.


“Yes, but there’s nothing wrong with linear games,” responds Kojima. “The game designers can easily express their intent with having certain events happen in certain places, and the passing of time, so it makes it possible to have a production similar to a theatrical film.”


After noting that it’s similar to a “rail” used by the game designers, Famitsu points out that it feels as though the Metal Gear Solid series uses “multiple rails”.


“That’s true, but actually, I think that being able to check the infiltration map, then listening to the mission’s details, deciding when to go, what to equip, and then how to take on the mission, will be a fun way of thinking of things,” says Kojima.


“Not just during the missions, but we want the before and after to also be similar to an ‘information-gathering style of play’,” he emphasizes. “For this reason, we’ve come to the conclusion that having an open world would be most ideal. The maps are wide, and the time and weather will also be changing.”


“You can compare it to making a survival game,” continues Kojima. “While it is fun to shoot in survival games, it’s also fun to split into teams and think about ways to overcome enemies and strategize, which I believe is just as fun. That’s the kind of play we’re aiming for while making Metal Gear Solid V.”


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

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  • Shippoyasha

    Seamless open world gameplay integration is only starting to be explored and I seem to see the limitations even in GTA5 where the open areas don’t have enough gameplay aspects other than fighting civilians and running from cops while missions are instanced like how MMOs instance new zones when activated from open world. I hope MGSV can try stuff like weather directly affecting the missions to a more dynamic make up of military bases instead of them standing around in the same area until I get there.

    • Aoshi00

      I like the different plans you choose to carry out the heists though, loved gta v, I think I would have no problem with kojima s open world , more than one way to achieve your objective, while still have a strong narrative focus

      • GVmanX

        But the plans you chose didn’t affect too much; some of them just gave you two essential different paths, but others also just gave you one true path.

        • Aoshi00

          I don’t mean it d give you a different outcome, but it was interesting you could choose different paths, whether its a more subtle approach or go in gun blazing. I used the more careful methods for all the heists, i’m going to try the alternate ways later. I just like the good pacing and diverse styles in gta 5, gta 4 I just won’t replay again. Also I got all different endings, the true ending was really good. So I think kojima s open world would be ok..

  • Anime10121

    I want a release frame Kojima! I DEMAND IT!

    Please :)

  • Arcana Wiz

    Regarding the change on the seires with this title i just say one thing…..I’m higly “hyped” for this game….cause it can be one of the best of the series or one that will not be received so well….so this situation makes me veeery curious…. anyways hope that this come out and be a success.

  • 60hz

    kinda glad it’s still on rails, or several rails… i was wondering how non-directive gameplay would work in a stealth series… and what exactly would that add to the fun factor… to say the least i was skeptical, but i guess my questions have been answered… it’s still directed, it’s just the play area is bigger… i can live with that.

    • Assassin’s Creed?

      • Nana

        Assassin’s Creed is kind of an example of how NOT to do it. The stealth gameplay is by far the weakest aspect.

  • Arizato

    I really hope that Kojima puts in some easter eggs/gags in this open world though. It doesn’t have to be complicated like Big Boss starting a new life, but rather a few minigames, similar to some of Peace Walker’s Extra missions, or that vampire game Big Boss dreams about in MGS3.

    • It’s Kojima.

      Knowing him, there’ll be plenty of gags, silliness, and extra stuff you can unlock.

  • d19xx

    “[Metal Gear Solid V] won’t be a game where you can spend an entire day fishing with Snake, or one that allows him to change his career in order to start a new life, or anything like that.”

    That’s a sim. I’m pretty sure an average gamer has a good idea what an open world game is since GTA3.

    • s07195

      Incidentally, what’s the difference between open world and sandbox games?

      • d19xx

        Open World = Premade world that you can explore.
        Sandbox = Create your own world and destroy it.

        Well that’s mostly the gist of it. Like any genre, there is an overlap.

        • s07195

          Well, I’ve heard GTA being referred to sandboxes, so… I guess they were defining it wrongly, then?

          IDK, your definition of sandbox at least makes sense in relation to the word ‘sandbox’ itself.

          • d19xx

            GTA’s more like toybox. :D

  • James Enk

    i don’t always like open world but i trust Kojima

  • OtoriGolden

    “…one that allows him to change his career in order to start a new life, or anything like that.”


    • Rake

      I died.

      • GVmanX


  • Space_Ghost

    MGSV or the prequel, Final Fantasy XV, or KH III: Which will come out first? One of these games will be the reason why I purchase a PS4.

    • fearlubu

      I believe they said KH3 wont release until after XV releases.

    • Spicydicey

      I think you gave the correct order, with MGSV first. We all know SE’s track record!

  • AndyLC

    Kojima’s gonna pull out something crazy, like D. Souls style invasions while you’re in the middle of an infiltration.

  • Spicydicey

    I love the setting of Afghanistan. Given that it’s set in the 80s, and that the developers are Japanese, I have hopes that the game will go beyond the idea of mowing down stereotypical terrorists screaming at each other to kill the infidel.
    Which is more than can be said for certain other franchises…

    • ShadowDivz

      …..yeah,like all of them?

  • Rolling Guy

    This idea, plus MGS portable games recruitment plus real AI team mates that DON’T suck would be the most awesome MGS ever. If you get to interrogate, persuade, and train your recruits that would be even better. Come on Kojima, let’s do that idea!

  • Nicholas Perry

    The more he talks about this crap the less I am anticipating this game and the more I die inside as a Metal Gear Fan.

    It defies everything this entire series is based on for shameless pandering to trends and to the people who complained about cutscenes and betraying the fans who enjoyed and loved it for what it was and the way it was.

    Peace Walker teetered the bridge, requiring Multiplayer to complete 100% of content,requiring of farming repetitive optional content in order to get the whole story of the game. The completely broken end section to get the true ending.

    Games like MGS2 Substance did optional content RIGHT. It’s entirely OPTION and doesn’t completely break the pacing of the game and the story. Which is what MGS has always been about. IF I wanted to play Splinter Cell or other open world crap. Which I don’t , I would go play THOSE. Not Metal Gear.

    And this is entirely on top of the insulting mess of “I made Ground Zeroes for the fans so they wouldn’t have to wait for so long for MGSV /troll” And “I want GZ to be a bridge to open world gameplay to be a smooth transition for players hurr” When he didn’t give nearly as much of a shit about the fans when it comes to transitioning Big Boss into a new voice smoothly. (There should be a LOGICAL reason for his voice randomly changing one day when the rest of the cast is the same actors. Not to mention the JP voice is still Akio Otsuka. A SMART thing to do would either have his voice degrade more and more until it’s completely changed. Or have the events that set up TPP result in damaged vocal chords)

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