TGS 2005: First Metal Gear Solid 4 details

Surprising trailer will show an older soldier that resembles Solid Snake, hinting at a futuristic timeline.


Director Hideo Kojima's trailers for the Metal Gear Solid series have always contained surprises. Back when Metal Gear Solid 2 was first shown, audiences at the Tokyo Game Show were fascinated by the high-quality graphics rendered in real time on the PlayStation 2, with some visitors mistaking that it was a prerendered movie. Metal Gear Solid 3's trailer teased gamers by hinting that it would take place during the Cold War, making everyone wonder who the main character was. The trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4 that will be shown during the Tokyo Game Show 2005 this weekend will undoubtedly surprise fans of the series once again.

It's only a matter of days before Konami shows off its first real trailer of Metal Gear Solid 4 at the Tokyo Game Show, and the latest issue of Famitsu disclosed preliminary details on what event attendees will be seeing. As gamers may expect, the trailer will show how Metal Gear Solid 4 will be the most realistic-looking MGS yet, thanks to the PlayStation 3's high-quality graphics.

But the greatest change in Metal Gear Solid 4 may not be on its surface. In what may come as a huge surprise to gamers, screenshots in Famitsu show a character resembling series hero Solid Snake--as an elderly man with gray hair, wrinkles, and a moustache. Though the older man hasn't been confirmed as Solid Snake, he seems to have all the hero's trademarks, including a gray bandana, a muscular physique, and the habit of smoking cigarettes. The man wears a mechanical patch on his left eye (making him look similar to Metal Gear Solid 2's Solidus Snake), which seems to be a high-tech scope connected to his new small mech partner, Metal Gear Mark II. Metal Gear Mark II looks identical to the robot that appeared in Konami's classic game Snatcher, one of Kojima's early works. A screenshot from another scene shows a man resembling Otakon, who looks like he's in his 30s or 40s.

Other screenshots hint that Metal Gear Solid 4 will take place in a desolate, futuristic city rather than in a jungle like Metal Gear Solid 3. Soldiers, tanks, and two-legged mechs are seen on the roads. Talking to Famitsu, director Kojima confirmed that Metal Gear Solid 4 will take place in a war zone. The game will feature multiple countries waging external wars and suffering from internal strife. Kojima plans to add realism to the relationships between Snake and the countries to make it more than just a simple character-enemy relationship. For example, if Snake kills a soldier from one country, he may end up allying with its opponent.

Kojima says that he hopes to make Metal Gear Solid 4 more "natural" than previous installments in the series. With the hardware shift to the PlayStation 3, the developers will be able to give natural motions and facial expressions to the characters--eliminating the need for exclamation points to appear above soldiers' heads when they recognize something.

During the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Kojima said that he wanted to develop elements that weren't "visible by the eye" in Metal Gear Solid 4. He revealed to Famitsu his plans to include "mind games," which will have opponents' concentration depend on their mental condition. For example, soldiers may become weaker if they get intimidated.

For fans of Metal Gear Solid 2's Raiden, Kojima confirms that he will be making a comeback in Metal Gear Solid 4.

GameSpot will have more details on Metal Gear Solid 4 from the floor of the Tokyo Game Show.

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