Metal Gear Solid 5: How Many Games?

*Note – I’m exhausted, sick and don’t have time to be too coherent, so bear with me.

Hideo Kojima dropped a major bombshell yesterday when he revealed Metal Gear Solid 5. It was even more surprising because, we had already seen trailers and playable footage for the game, because old Kojima played the switcheroo on us. Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes was the next Metal Gear game coming out, allegedly, in 2013 on current gen consoles. It boasted being an open world stealth game with 100 hours worth of content, which was pretty good considering that Metal Gear Solid 4 had probably only 10. This game received a lot of attention and had Metal Gear fans salivating. Then Kojima announces a game called Phantom Pain, which stared a character, who looked oddly similar to Snake. Kojima denied, or evaded is probably the better word, that it had anything to do with Metal Gear. Yesterday we found out that both games are Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. However, what isn’t clear is exactly what that means. There are completely contradictory reports from reputable gaming sites. Some claim that Ground Zeroes is the prologue to Phantom Pain. Others state that Phantom Pain is the tutorial level to the larger game. Then there are those who say that these are two completely separate games in development, which, together, make up Metal Gear Solid 5. Today, I want to examine exactly what’s most likely going on, and by that I mean in relation to how many games we’re getting because there’s no point in trying to figure out the insanity of the trailer.

You can’t say that Kojima doesn’t love to trick people. He even had an interview explaining that he was a big fan of vague, misleading trailers, stating that it’s so much more fun when the player doesn’t know what’s going on, and only later can piece everything together. He has a history of screwing with gamers, specifically with Metal Gear Solid 2 when he tricked the world into thinking they’d be playing as Solid Snake and then pulling out Raiden for 80% of the game. Truthfully, the vagueness of this announcement is just as likely to be him screwing with us as it is being lost in translation, or unintentional. By not knowing what’s the prologue and what’s the main game, we’re left guessing, and more discussion means more free publicity. Also, it allows him to completely blindside everyone with another reveal later, which sounds exactly like Kojima.

Oh Major Raikov, Kojima’s meta trolling know’s no bounds.
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I don’t think we’re going to be getting two games. Firstly, Metal Gear Solid 5 is subtitled The Phantom Pain, and Kojima stated that the game is going to have 100 hours worth of content. This is the same boast he made about Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes. While possible, I seriously doubt that he’s simultaneously making two 100 hour games. The 100 hour boast is hard enough to believe with a single game, but two of them being made at the same time seems simply impossible. The only way the two game theory can really work is if Kojima was referring to the entire project as a 100 hour game, and that would be a little strange to say the least. If it is two games then things get even more complicated. It’s unlikely that there’s going to be a simultaneous release, meaning that there would be a staggered release. Considering the PS4 is set to drop before the end of the year, this is a fairly strange business decision. While it’s possible that Kojima is building a multiple game sequel, I don’t think this is the case here.

No David Hayter makes sense when you consider that we’re getting to the point where Big Boss and Solid Snake are going to meet up.
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Assuming that there is only one game, how exactly does the whole thing fit together. The Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain stuff still seems completely disconnected, meaning the debate right now is how do the two of them fit together. My money is that Ground Zeroes is the opening of the game. Firstly, it’s what Kojima has directly said, and I err on trusting him until he decides to make us all look like fools. The second reason is Chico, who was the prisoner shown in the original trailer for Ground Zeroes. While Big Boss looks old in the Ground Zeroes trailer and could be recovering from a 9 year coma, the same can’t be said about Chico. That character was a young boy in Peace Walker, and looks to still be a young boy. 9 Years of aging would be significant for him, meaning that my money is on the Ground Zeroes part of the game being the tutorial.

This kid is too damn young!
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Of course there’s the possibility that both sections will be the tutorial. In Metal Gear Solid 2, there were two distinct sections with distinct beginnings middles and ends. This could be the same with this game, with Ground Zeroes being analogous to the tanker mission. In this way, everything we’ve seen so far could be the tutorial, the opening to each respective section. This would explain why the two fragments of gameplay are so jarringly different. Then again, Kojima could simply be implementing a chapter system like in Metal Gear Solid 4. This would also explain the jarring differences in style and tone, as well as make it easier to shift ahead 9 years without much problem.

And with chapters can come super judgy loading screens.
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In reality, all of this is a futile exercise. I can no more be certain of how many games we’re actually getting as anything in the trailer. I means seriously, this is a down to earth military shooter trailer with fire wales and flaming unicorns. There are a myriad of questions from the apparent loss of Big Boss’ arm alone, but there’s nothing to really discuss there because there’s no way to know if any of it is real, or just another trick. The only person who actually knows what’s going on is Kojima and he likes it that way.

Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer

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