Kojima on Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes – freedom, pacing and stealth

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.

PlayStation AccessGamekult, MetalGearSolid.be

  • Wow, Kojima’s projects really sound intriguing every time, can’t wait for GDC! How and if all of this is realizable remains to be seen, cool nevertheless.

  • darkeagle101

    I love the way he tries to create more levels and depth in every new MG game. The concept of an open-world in an MGS game is ideal. I think GZ will have the best gameplay experience of all MGS. As for story, we’ll see! 🙂

    Great article Nyxus!

    • Nyxus

      Yes, Kojima is always implementing new ideas and features in the new Metal Gear games.

  • I don’t know… After PW I’m not sure I can trust Kojima. Hopefully they show actual gameplay at GDC so we can get a real sense of the game

    • Nyxus

      Why? I thought Peace Walker was awesome, especially considering it was originally a handheld game.

    • Markos

      Gameplay wise, PW is the best solid yet. The concept of recruiting + mother base building is great in my opinion, and I hope we have real time outer ops in GZ. Story wise, I didn’t like the fact that you have to fight machines all the time, and that Snake can’t forget The Boss, like he’s in love with her. It can get worse according to the phantom pain trailer where he sees those petals…

      • I agree with the gameplay statement.

      • Hirouakan

        Sorry, but i think BB’s “obsession” with The Boss is a strong aspect of his personality. It was clear on MGS3, his refusal to fight her, and how devastated he was in the end. MGS4 just showed how broken he was after the life he led without her. So, yeah, the way he was shaken by her possible survival in PW made a lot of sense.

        • Guest

          Damn son,
          You…do know that the “Snake” in 3/PW and 4 are different persons, right?

          • Hirouakan

            Geez dad,
            Im talking about how Big Boss was shown on MGS4 ending. Im sorry if i didnt made it clear…

  • Anonymous

    I am so fucking HYPE.

  • TheKastorian

    This is why every MGS sequel/prequel is so exciting. Hideo always make’s sure there is a significant leap in gameplay. No game plays the same!

    MGS1 –> MGS2 introduction of first-person aiming, hanging from ledges etc.
    MGS2 –> MGS3 stages become more open, CQC, camouflage etc
    MGS3 –> MGS4 octocamo, stealth vs gunplay choices, over-the-shoulder pesrpective etc
    MGS4 –> PW co-op, soldier recruitment, mother base building

    • Nyxus

      Exactly, people sometimes forget how many new features are implemented with each new main installment in the series.

    • JMG2

      Don’t forget;
      MG1 -> MG2 Enemy cone vision, knocking on walls to distract guards, radar, crawling, deep story with themes relating to the Cold War and nuclear proliferation, expanded on established characters to give them more depth (Snake’s PTSD, Big Boss’ intentions, and Gray Fox’s tragic life.) MG2 is the game that made Metal Gear what it is today.
      MG2 -> MGS1 3D graphics, real-time/in-game cinematic cutscenes, full voice-acting

  • ObsessedGeorge

    Well, every time MGS gets better and better! The open world inviroment, is in my opinion the real next step in the franchise. This time, i’m really interested in the story!

    10 days left till GDC. HYPE!

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