LOS ANGELES--Last night during Sony's pre-E3 press conference, it was announced that Metal Gear Solid 4 was in development for the freshly unwrapped PlayStation 3. Today, the game was formally announced at Konami's own press event.
First up, Konami announced that Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear Solid series, would become head of a new internal developer at the publisher. Inventively called Kojima Productions, the studio currently has three projects on its plate--MGS4 and two other Metal Gear Solid titles.
According to Kojima, who was on-hand at the event, the concept behind MGS4 will be "nowhere to hide." Stealth options will be greatly reduced, with more reliance on camouflage a la MGS3: Snake Eater and more use of the infamous cardboard box. Set in a future world after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, the game will see the return of all the major characters from the series, including Solid Snake, Meryl, Otacon and Revolver Ocelot.
MGS4 will also sport an online battle mode, the details of which Kojima did not go into. "That's all I can say until next year," he said,"[except] the graphics and sound will rival anything Hollywood does." Gamers will have to take him at his word, since no footage of the game was shown at Konami's event.
Kojima Productions' second title is Metal Gear Acid 2, the sequel to the PSP card-battling game featuring series hero Solid Snake. Footage of the game revealed a much more visually stylish game than its predecessor. It sported cel-shaded, anime-style graphics and will also feature Ocelot.
Last is Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, a play on the eat-or-die gameplay elements and culinary subtitle of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Like Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence features the original Snake Eater with a bunch of new content.
However, unlike Substance, this content will likely appeal to many who have already played Snake Eater. Foremost, it will feature online multiplayer action, with Kojima saying his team was aiming for a maximum of eight players. The online portion will sport two modes: "Snake vs. Enemies," where multiple players hunt down one opponent and "Team Battle" with multiple players fighting cooperatively.
Also new is the addition of what Konami calls a "Third-Person View Camera," which changes the players' view to a much lower camera angle, which "provides players with an even deeper stealth-action experience." Also included are several new levels for the Snake vs. Monkey mini-game.
Subsistence also will have some very special bonus content-- ports of the original MSX versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Neither has been available in the US before, and both will be fully playable.