LOS ANGELES--Naomi Hunter. Colonel Roy Campbell. Meryl Silverburgh. Raiden. Liquid...Ocelot? Those are the familiar faces unveiled during a new trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots at Sony's Electronic Entertainment Expo press conference today. If you've been keeping up (and we know you have), you know that Solid Snake is one old fogy in his PlayStation 3 debut, unveiled at last year's Tokyo Game Show. Today, Sony dropped a short new trailer that really focused less on explosive action and more on the unveiling of these new characters, with Snake's pensive ruminations on the state of modern warfare providing the backdrop (which you heard in Hideo Kojima's audio blog last week).
But for longtime fans of Metal Gear, this short, understated trailer was a bigger punch to the gut than any number of giant, rampaging, bipedal robots. The biggest shocker? Every character featured in the trailer has undergone some costume changes, but they're basically all the same age. Snake is the only one who's aged a significant amount, so there's definitely something fishy going on here. But then, with his dubious genetic history, who can honestly say what's up with Snake's rapidly advancing age? What we can say is, all these characters have done some, uh, maturing since we last saw them. Naomi's looking awfully haggard. Meryl's sauntering over, uttering "We're the new Foxhound" in a rather menacing fashion. "Liquid" Ocelot is sporting a fierce '70s style, with big, rose-colored shades and a silver mullet. And Raiden...holy cow, Raiden's like the new cyborg ninja, wearing a crazy mechanized suit, flipping around in the midst of battle and speaking to Snake in gravelly new tones, "It's my turn to protect you." Our fanboy hearts are absolutely thudding in our chests.
Otherwise, you've got Snake lamenting the regimented, metered manner of war in the future. ID-tagged weapons keyed to ID-tagged soldiers, nanomachines enhancing the soldier's natural ability, "an endless series of proxy battles, fought by mercenaries and machines." Continuing: "Genetic control, information control, emotion control, battlefield control. The age of deterrence is now the age of control." Say what you want about Kojima's games, but he can write some punchy dialogue. And at the end, we see Snake sitting alone in a bombed-out shelter, gazing listlessly at his pistol before putting the piece in his mouth. "One more thing I must do. One last punishment I must endure."
"This is my final mission."
Chills. This is obviously the Metal Gear to end all Metal Gears, in more ways than one. We want to know more, desperately, but for now that's all we get. However, Konami's own E3 conference is scarcely 24 hours away, and if they just happen to drop anymore juicy tidbits about this game that a few of you may be interested in, we will certainly deliver them to you in a timely fashion.