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.