Metal Gear Solid V Will Feature A Different Kind Of Storytelling Than Before

By Ishaan . December 9, 2013 . 10:59am


Metal Gear Solid V will feature a different style of storytelling from previous games in the series, creator Hideo Kojima said, speaking to Xbox Wire.


“Naturally, there’s still a good amount of story to be told, but I’m trying to express it in a new way,” Kojima said, when asked about the game’s story and cutscenes.


“It’s different from the linear style of storytelling I’ve used in the past. There will be cut scenes, but they will come together piece-by-piece based on each player’s individual progress through the game.”


The non-linear storytelling will presumably arise from Metal Gear Solid V’s open-world gameplay, which Kojima says is meant to “remove the rails from the stealth experience,” rather than being a traditional open-world experience that players are more used to.


“A more accurate way to describe [the game] would be a “stealth simulator” in an open world environment,” Kojima says. “The open world elements exist to remove the rails from the stealth experience, allowing players to freely plan their own routes and experiment with their own unique infiltration strategies. However, at its heart, the gameplay is all about stealth and we don’t intend to shift the focus away from that.”


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is in presently development. While development on the game progresses, Konami will release Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes—a prologue to the game—in March 2014 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

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  • Jeff O’Connor

    This kind of talk really makes me wonder if there’ll be more world regions than Afghanistan, at least prior to the tail end since Kojima has said the story’s conclusion always features the same climax/closure to keep the message intact.

    I mean, unless post-Afghanistan we get to choose where we head next, I just don’t see how it can all be so open in its presentation. But it’s been said there are more destinations, and didn’t that Red Band trailer end with something about Africa?

    • alfare

      If you put it that way, the story might be presented a bit more like in MGS V, albeit in a nonlinear sort of way?

      …Now I’m imagining it’ll be like the stage select from the classic Mega Man.

  • junir

    The open world stealth simulation and non-linear storytelling are steps in the right direction but if only the story is comprehensible now.

    • Ferrick

      it’s not really that hard to comprehend metal gear solid’s story you know…

      • junir

        Yes, it’s so easy to comprehend that no one on the web creates threads asking about what happened in each and every game, not to mention the numerous continuity retcons occuring within each game.

        • Ferrick

          oh ? so tell me, what makes it so hard for you to understand the continuity? Even though the overall story itself is the easiest to comprehend

          amuse me

          • junir

            Okay if the series storyline is indeed “the easiest to comprehend” then maybe you could explain it in a paragraph or two instead of posting smug comments, yes?

    • Daigure

      Really, chronologically the story from 1964 to 2007 within MGS’s universe is really easy to understand, it gets a little muddy from MGS2’s plant chapter onward but it’s still not THAT hard to comprehend.

      • junir

        That’s the problem isn’t it. What with all the retcons and strange plot points which don’t make a lick of sense, I’m sure only the die-hard fanboys can take the story seriously. It’s like a terrible sci-fi anime list which ticks all the cliche check-boxes.

        • Daigure

          If you’re problem with the Metal Gear plot starts in 2009 MGS Calendar, then MGSV should be relatively straightforward.

          I’m not saying it like I will defend any direction the story took, in fact I never played 4 after my second run because I seem to have the same problems with it that you had. Regardless, I don’t think any of the future games did anything that would screw over MGSV. Let me list all of the retcons that come to mind that could potentially affect the story of MGSV:

          Gray Fox isn’t Vietnamese any more. Alright, slight change in origin, nothing that changes the story too badly. Technology in the 70’s is really advanced for some reason. Really silly, kinda stupid, but w/e story still makes sense. Big Boss is a 3 dimensional character, and Zero becomes a Bond villain, the formal is actually a step in the right direction, and while the latter seems kinda forced, nothing is actually confusing concerning who the villain is or even what his motivations are. Big Boss and Kaz have lost limbs. Well, it’s not like you could tell in the MSX games if Big Boss had organic limbs or not, it doesn’t matter by 4, because bullshit science, but we’re not talking about post MG1, we’re talking about the Big Boss series.

          TL;DR, MGS has a metric ton of retcons that shouldn’t be major enough to ruin the current installment. I’m not sure what your big gripe is, unless you hated the series since day 1.

          • Daigure

            Keep in mind that I’m honestly curious as to the faults you’ve found, Everything I’ve seen about MGSV so far looks like it’ll have one of the more straightforward stories in the series (knocks on wood).

          • junir

            There were moments of MGS1 and nearly the entirety of MGS3 (MGS3
            ending is still one of my favourites) that the even numbered games in the series really destroyed it for me. It wasn’t the Raiden bait and switch but the entire “virtual” storyline of 2 and how 4 had nothing on the greatness of 3 that irked and bugged me to no end.

            It’s not like I have a gripe with the storyline but the missteps Kojima took that are making me doubt whether he can do service to MGSV after MGS4.

          • junir

            Like you said, the tech was selectively advanced in the 70’s so I also hand-waved it like you. Anyway, over the top of my head- MGS2 established that the patriots were dead but in MGS4 they are all still alive. Then Liquid taking over Ocelot’s arm only to be revealed that he wasn’t. Vamp is immortal but then isn’t and has superpowers. BB’s age or his aging process (he has nanomachines? who knows?) It’s just that Kojima keeps saying “this MG will be my last” but it isn’t and then due to poor story planning things are retconned or left poorly explained.

            Thank you for the explanations and not being hostile about them. Appreciate it.

          • Daigure

            Yeah, I’m glad we were able to talk things out. Its nice to be able to argue civilly on the internet one in a while, lol. I guess I should say I’m cautiously optimistic for MGSV, because Kojima seems a lot more passionate about Big Boss than he did for Solid Snake post-MGS2

  • Ecchi Pantsu

    Metal Gear has changed

    • Derek E Nay

      But war never changes.

      • Wait what

        Wrong series.

    • makubexnas

      Snake also has changed…………

      • Derek E Nay

        Snake? Snake?! SSSNNNAAAKKKEE! <3

        • makubexnas

          no it’s should be *ahem* NOOOOOO!!!

  • ChiffonCake

    That watermelon…

    • personablaze


      That picture came with a ransom note lol.

  • Wait what

    I feel like I’m the only one who isn’t thrilled about the move to open worlds and nonlinear story-telling with every series now. I like a good open world every now and then, but when every game goes into that it becomes too much. I prefer a linear story with a well-crafted experience the developers made for me to enjoy. Some of the best moments in all my favorite video games wouldn’t be possible if the games were open worlds or nonlinear. I’ll always prefer the infiltration of MGS1/2.

    • Aoshi00

      I think if done well, the storytelling could still be good.. I used to not really like open world games as I think it’s too overwhelming, but my recent favorites were Red Dead Redemption, GTA5, the AC series.. they all have a detailed world filled w/ interesting characters and good pacing and memorable story.. the world was huge but the story was still very personal.. Linear games are fine too like Bioshock, Tomb Raider, or Lords of Shadow.. but not restrictive like FF13 which was remedied in 13-2 & LR..

      I guess Kojima is saying there won’t be 20 minute cutscenes where you just watch but they would come in segments here and there when triggered by diff. chars or location? MGS1/2 were good, but the camera felt a bit restrictive in retrospect, like I liked the free camera of MGS3.. I still have confidence in him in making an engaging experience..

    • Shippoyasha

      To be fair, open world or open stage stealth has been done pretty well with the likes of Hitman (especially the older games with the massive stages) and Splinter Cell series which had dabbled a lot with open arenas the past 3 or 4 games.

      So the precedence is there. It’s just a matter of giving the same care to the open environments as much as the linear, smaller levels.

  • alfare

    Nonlinear stories always reminds me more of Dark Souls. It’ll feel more like world building rather than plot progression?

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