Kojima Guardian interview: MGSV questions US dominance in the world, players will have the option to acquire a nuke, and more

In an interview with The Guardian, conducted during E3 2014 and published on July 18, Kojima discussed story themes and narration in games, as well as his role as both a producer and a creator.

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The interview room at E3 2014

With Ground Zeroes, Kojima addressed US foreign policies, with Camp Omega being a representation of the controversial Guantanamo Bay. Kojima tries to question the US dominance and their role as the ‘good guys’ as it’s often presented in movies.

In the past the US was the centre of the world, where everything was happening. I think my stories have always sought to question this, maybe even criticize it. But the situation is changing. America is not seen as the centre of the world any more. So the focus of my stories is shifting alongside with that change in the real world.

“[Guantanamo] was definitely something that I made decision to address in the game. Hollywood continues to present the US army as being the good guys, always defeating the aliens or foreigners. I am trying to shift that focus. These movies might not be the only way to view current affairs. I am trying to present an alternate view in these games.

Metal-Gear-Solid-V-The-Phantom-Pain-E3-2013-Prisoner-Camp-Omega

While MGSV will obviously be a very dark game, with heavy themes, but there will also be light hearted elements, as have always be the case with the series. Things like the famous cardboard box and the fulton recovery, for example. Including elements like these is a conscious choice by Kojima.

With a movie it’s probably easier to sustain intensity and seriousness over the 90-minute duration. But in an open-world game it becomes exhausting, demotivating and even uninteresting for the player. In order to avoid that fatigue, I try to interrupt that heaviness with visual jokes in the world, something to provide the player with some comic relief and change the mood dynamically.

MGSV-The-Phantom-Pain-E3-2014-Screen-Sheep

Kojima first wanted to be a film maker, but now he sees the advantages of using games to tell his stories. They allow him to do things movies couldn’t.

I love movies but if I was to create a film I’d use different methods. I make games. That’s what I do. So I think about ways that I can use the game systems to reinforce my story, or do things that simply aren’t possible in other media.”
One of these means is the base building element present in The Phantom Pain. An interesting detail here is that Kojima seems to suggest the player will be given the choice if he wants to acquire a nuke or not.

The message is anti-nuclear weapons. But it’s not just about shouting that message at the player. Through the game, the player is motivated to make a base and build up their military centre. But at some point, when it reaches a certain size, the world begins to take notice and, in that sense, you become the threat. Countries begin to attack you.

At this point I give the player the option to think about acquiring a nuclear weapon, in order to deter these attacks, a kind of threat. It illustrates the cycle of nuclear weapons, what inspires people and nations to enter into that system. It’s something that you can only really do in video games.

MGSV-The-Phantom-Pain-E3-2014-Screen-10

Of course, there are also difficulties when telling a story in games, as opposed to movies.

In games it’s very difficult to portray complex human relationships. Likewise, in movies you often flit between action in various scenes. That’s very difficult to do in games, as you generally play a single character: if you switch, it breaks immersion. The fact that most games are first-person shooters today makes that clear. Stories in which the player doesn’t inhabit the main character are difficult for games to handle.

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Even though Kojima has been developing games for over 25 years, his creative fire has far from died out. In that sense, not much has changed for him since he first started at Konami.

I agree that it’s far easier for me to get my plans approved these days. The company is much more willing to take risks on me and my ideas. But that might be the only thing.

That desire is pretty much the same as when I started out. The biggest difference might be that I now have the role of producer as well as director. I’m forced to think about the business side of things too. When I was just creating games, I didn’t even have to think about budgets. I didn’t care whether a game was a financial success or not.

Kojima once again emphasized that he feels it’s important to do as much as possible himself, to ensure the game will have a clear vision.

I try to do as much as possible myself. I develop the design and construction of the environments and I set the theme and topic from the game and work to ensure that it fits with the game systems. That all has to come from me as the vision holder.

To read the full interview by The Guardian, go here.

  • Venom Snake

    at the end of the article the Release date was written 17 march 2015 then it was edited to “EARLY 2015”

  • jatin

    thanks.

  • BigBoss_88

    Enemies who oppose me, shall kneel before my nuclear power mwhahahaaaaa!
    My fellow Diamond Dogs, we will be the deterrent for those with no other recourse.

    Kojima-san is a genious, I like what he said about Guantanamo and Hollywood presenting US army always as the good guys, so true. Not to forget child soldiers etc, he manages to pick up some serious topics in this game.

  • ObsessedGeorge

    Apparently the Patriots cloned the wrong person. Kojima is the one that should have been cloned. That man is one of a kind! I admire his will, skill and passion. A visionary indeed.

    • BigBoss_88

      LOL this comment put a smile on my face, yes they indeed cloned the wrong person! 😉

  • PrinceHeir

    ” agree that it’s far easier for me to get my plans approved these days. The company is much more willing to take risks on me and my ideas. But that might be the only thing.

    That desire is pretty much the same as when I started out. The biggest difference might be that I now have the role of producer as well as director. I’m forced to think about the business side of things too. When I was just creating games, I didn’t even have to think about budgets. I didn’t care whether a game was a financial success or not.”

    Then why not try to approve some of the projects like Zone of the Enders 3 that got cancelled years ago? Bloody Roar 5 that was cancelled when Konami acquired Hudson Soft. Bomberman? Suikoiden? Proper Silent Hill and Castlevania? Contra?

    I know he’s the director of Phantom Pain and is busy as hell for the game, but he also advertises the game in Japan with the promotional videos and monitoring the voice casting session as well as being a business side of things.

    Not to mention i think he’s the Vice President of the company(unless he step down or something).

    That’s a lot of work for just one guy. I was hoping once Kojima makes it on top of the company, other games might get approve or at least gave a chance similar to what happened to Capcom back when they were booming.

    Resident Evil a suscess, Shinji Mikami is given a chance by Capcom to try some new IPs like Dino Crisis, God Hand, Killer 7 etc.

    So many games Konami could have used instead of just relying on MGS.

    • BigBoss_88

      Yeah, well lets hope they try to also create more new games after TPP :).

    • Solid Snakes Revenge

      Kojima makes what he wants and he’s deep into the metal gear story so I think he’s trying to finish the saga he’s been working on and has a passion for.

    • Janeo

      I really don’t understand why people think kojima needs to prove himself by making other games or something like that. Kojima makes the game he wants to make out of metal gear look how different each game is yet they retain the same feel, so many other games have failed at this look at resident evil I like the series and have never played the older games but people are always complaining how much it has changed. Kojima has proved himself to be a legend by mostly working on this one series

      • BigBoss_88

        I don’t think Kojima needs to really prove himself by making other games. I would be perfectly fine if he still makes MGS6 after TPP with his burning passion, because I know he makes a game that satisfy me especially if it’s MGS .But at the same time, I would like to see what kind of other games he could create with his talents, like Zone of The Enders :).

        There are some game series, that have changed too much like Resident Evil, from horror to action. And Silent Hill series, it used to be horror, like really scary but SH:Downpour was just…too different in my opinion. Just some examples of my used-to-be favorite games, but they mostly happened I think because RE director changed and different team took control of SH. Kojima has managed to keep MGS superb during the years, which I appreciate a lot.

    • jondoe_298

      They could have made a good point-and-click adventure game like they did with Snatcher.

  • BigBoss_88
  • BigBoss_88

    Not sure if this has been discussed before, but my friends who do you think Skull Face might be?

    I found this interesting photo while reading stuff about MGS, not sure if it has been posted around here. A theory about Skull Face, that he might have been Dr. Clark’s patient or experiment back in the days. That bald guy does look a bit like him. I don’t remember seeing this photo before though.

    http://metagearsolid.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/mgsv_skullface_drclark.jpg

    Anyway I dunno who the guy really is, but he still said in GZ something about him and Snake going way back, like knowing each other for years. Maybe he hasn’t been in the earlier games, but Snake still knows him somehow.
    Or maybe Skull Face is actually Snake’s father lol? So when we finally get our hands on him, pointing a gun between his eyes, he says: “I’m your father…”. Then Snake will hesitate in killing him and joins forces with him instead, so that’s why Snake was driving in a jeep with SF in the new trailer.

  • Pingback: The Guardian mentions early 2015 release for MGSV: The Phantom Pain – Metal Gear Informer()

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