Konami promised “industry-shaking” this weekend and it was industry-shaking they delivered. The unveiling of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes - initially at the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary event on Friday and more thoroughly by Hideo Kojima at PAX on Saturday – has begun a brand new chapter in one of gaming’s most acclaimed series.
In addition to the stunningly gorgeous ten-minute trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes you can find below, here’s the rundown of everything we know about the game:
- Naked Snake (AKA Big Boss) is back as our protagonist, sporting a new look (and vigor) since the last time we saw him in Metal Gear Solid 4.
- Ground Zeroes is a prologue to Metal Gear Solid 5.
- Gameplay is open-world: Snake can commandeer vehicles like APCs and helicopters, traveling anywhere across the map at his leisure.
- Helicopters can be summoned to escort Snake in and out of a mission setting; Kojima even demonstrated how aiding choppers can bellow customizable music (appropriately choosing Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries).
- Ground Zeroes will run on Kojima Productions’ new FOX Engine.
- A release has been confirmed for the PlayStation 3, with the trailer listing the Xbox 360 as an additional platform.
- Unlike Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Hideo Kojima will be at the helm as Ground Zeroes’ director.
And while that last point merits interest on its own – Hideo Kojima is returning to the director’s chair for the first time since 2008′s Metal Gear Solid 4 – it raises even deeper questions about the creator’s secret interim undertaking: Project Ogre.
A new report from CVG today cites a “source connected to the matter” claiming that Project Ogre is not, in fact, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. Rather, the report states, it’s the codename for Metal Gear Solid 5. The information has not been confirmed yet, however, and it’s immensely counterintuitive to every goal Kojima has outlined for Project Ogre to date.
In many ways, Project Ogre sounds exactly like Ground Zeroes; it could replace the latter at several junctures in our rundown above. Hideo Kojima confirmed last December that Project Ogre was being developed as an open-world title, following up on a claim months earlier that it would convey a more “subdued” and “different” atmosphere than past projects (well… compare the Ground Zeroes reveal trailer above with the MGS 4 reveal trailer). Moreover, he’s intimated that Project Ogre would directly tap his directorial talents – a far cry from the scaled-back presence he’ll be exerting on Metal Gear Solid 5. To suggest such a drastic ideological shift now seems a little off base.
But there is also the scenario lending partial credence to CVG’s report: It’s even more likely that Project Ogre is neither Ground Zeroes or MGS 5.
The soon-to-be-sixteen-time series director is using Ogre to move away from Metal Gear – he wants the younger scions of the series to take the reigns. And while it’s quite obvious MGS 5 would only draw him in further, so, too, will Ground Zeroes – a current-gen prologue bolstering anticipation for the likely-next-gen feature title. It was just last November when Kojima predicted Ogre would “take a lot of time” and, therefore, he would “produce other projects on the side.” So while Ground Zeroes does indeed share many of Ogre’s aspirations, Naked Snake’s next adventure also feels like a dress rehearsal for a creator dedicated to departure.