During an interview about Metal Gear Rising, Kojima shared some more insight on the development and design philosophy behind his current project, Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes. He talked about player freedom and pacing, and how this could take form in the gameplay.
In Ground Zeroes for example, you are free, it really happens in real time. You are free to choose your own equipment, choose the route you want to take. All of this happens at the same pace as it would in reality. The stress is important in a game of this genre. We ourselves, when we play it for 2 or 3 hours, we are exhausted.
Certain players will be able to discover passages, in which they will find no enemies in their path. On the other hand, others will find less ideal solutions, and they will be forced to engage in action scenes. This is how we are working, asking ourselves questions, to find out wether it’s playable or not.
As far as stealth is concerned, you don’t normally just start in a building. If you look at spy and action movies, how the hero gets to that point is a very important part of the story and part of the action. Do they get there by plane or by some sort of disguise? There are so many different ways they can approach that element of infiltration. That’s something that we couldn’t really accomplish on the MSX or the first PlayStation due to technical limitations.
But now that we finally had the power of the PS2, that’s something that became possible. It’s something that I wanted to do very early on in the series so when it became possible I decided to try and implement that into gameplay. But my ultimate goal really is to give players even more freedom, not only to figure out how they’re going to get there but really have everything factor into it. So, do you want to get there by helicopter, do you want to get there by plane, are you going to ride in a vehicle or are you going to take a bike? Basically to have all of these options available to the player.
Up until now Metal Gear has more or less been set on one path like you’re on a set rail to get from point A to point B with a certain amount of freedom between. What I want to do is create a true open world experience where the player has all these options available to them and really limitless gameplay. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish with my next project, Ground Zeroes.
As far as the next generation goes, we can already be sure that in terms of visuals, sound and the processing speed, the framerate, all will be improved. So we will be able to express ourselves more easily. But at this moment, while working I say to myself that the next machines are also about the cloud, social, the ability to use different devices like the tablets, and it is with this in mind that I develop my projects.
We will find out more about Ground Zeroes when Kojima and other staff members will show off the game and Fox Engine at their 90 minute GDC presentation on March 27.