Hayter holstering Guns of the Patriots

Konami reveals that the voice actor has been cast in Metal Gear Solid 4--which he suspects is Solid Snake's last mission.

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When it comes to game voice actors, few are as famous as David Hayter. The thespian's name is virtually synonymous with Solid Snake, the character he has played for nearly a decade in the various Metal Gear Solid games.

Unsurprisingly, Hayter has been recast as Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which is due out for the PlayStation 3 later this year. He leads a bevy of returning cast members, including Quinton Flynn (Raiden), Paul Eiding (Roy Campbell), and Christopher Randolph (Hal "Otacon" Emmerich).

During a Konami podcast, Hayter also raised the prospect that Snake will (finally) meet his doom in Guns of the Patriots--a fact hinted at in the game's trailers. "As bad as it gets for Big Boss, Solid Snake gets really screwed over," he warned. "I don't know yet, as we aren't done with the script, but what I'm trying to give is the sense that it is his last mission, and he knows it. He's deteriorating, he's aging badly."

He then demonstrated Snake's new voice, which has been reduced to a gravelly rasp. "This game will represent the ultimate in cynicism from Solid Snake," Hayter summarized. "He's been screwed over in every possible way. So I think he knows this is his last opportunity to tell the soldiers around him what he's learned."

Hayter also revealed the "secret" of how he gets into character. "What I do, and I don't usually tell people this, is when I'm recording for, say Metal Gear [Solid] 4, as we are now, I go back and play Metal Gear [Solid] 3 and drop myself back in this world of Snake," he joked.

When not playing Snake, Hayter is a successful Hollywood screenwriter. His current projects include a Paramout Pictures technothriller called Black Monday, which sees a bacteria wipe out the world's oil supply in a week. He also said the long-awaited film version of the classic comic book Watchmen was "moving forward" at Warner Bros., and that he is producing a television anthology based on several short stories by Phillip K. Dick.

Despite Hayter's successful writing career, he still has a soft spot in his heart for Solid Snake. "It means everything to me," he said. "The character of Snake and the world of Metal Gear is by far my signature role. It's the most detailed role I've ever played, and I've been playing it for so long, whenever I get a script and I see that this character is coming back or that character is coming back, I get really excited."

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