My declining interest in MGS V
As a long time Metal Gear fan I was always looking forward to the next chapter in the sage, but things are changing.
I still remember playing the first two Metal Gear games a long, long time ago. Fighting the first Metal Gear built by Big Boss was an exhilarating fight at it`s time. Playing MGS on the PS1 brought the same feeling, sneaking around guards evading their sight, fighting Psycho Mantis and being surprised by his "power" to move the controller and read "my mind". Watching Sniper Wolf taking her last breath and fighting a Hind-D on a rooftop. MGS2 had it`s moments and MGS3 was a return back to it`s form followed by decent portable games and the "final" of the story with MGS4 before we revisited the story of Big Boss with Peace Walker.
So far I enjoyed all of the Metal Gear games to some extend including MGS2 (didn`t play Snakes Revenge), but things start to change. Graphics wise there is no doubt that MGS5 looks good and trailers so far have looked good, but there are things I`m not sure about.
The first time I got a bit cautious with my enthusiasms about the new game was when it was announced to be an open world game. The premise sounds very good, but as a fan of the series I can admit that the gameplay often wasn`t up to date or not as refined as it should have been. Now going open world can be a double edged sword. They will now inevitable be compared with games like AC, Watch Dogs or Rockstar games. Those games are very refined and I have my doubts that MGS5 will be on par with those titles regarding gameplay (please note that I don`t count AC3 in that case because it`s gameplay, game design and story can`t match previous AC games).
The second time was when it was announced that Kiefer Sutherland, the star of 24, will voice Big Boss. I have no particular opinion of him so I neither think he is awesome and neither hate him. My issue on that subject is that first of all the first part of MGS5 (Ground Zeros) plays directly after Peace Walker where Big Boss is voiced by Hayter and that the original Japanese voice actor will still voice him in the Japanese version. The reason given by Kojima for that change was that they have to do motion capturing and needed somebody who can do that. The thing is Hayter is not only a voice actor but a fully trained actor and it would be always cheaper to get another actor to do the motion capturing and have Hayter to the voice acting, similar to what had been done for Halo 4 when the motion capture actor was not the normal voice actor for the character. Of course having Kiefer Sutherland let`s you market the game much better in the western market particularly in the US compared to having Hayter who is less known among non MGS fans.
The last piece of my declining interest came recently in a Twitter message from Kojima (this could be wrongly translated). Where he says that the initial character design had the priority of having more people cosplay as the characters, making the characters more sexy and wanting people to buy the figures. There is no denying that some of the female characters have always been a bit more "sexy" like Sniper Wolf in MGS or Eva in MGS3, but making this a priority for character design shows yet again possibly a tendency to try and sell the game more to a new western audience that didn`t play MGS games before. I didn`t enjoy previous games because female characters have been sexy or because I wanted to buy the figures for the characters. I enjoyed the games for the story and for the well done character design that was fitting for the universe and story because those characters haven`t been design in the first place to make people cosplay as them or to sell their figures.
Right now I`m not sure about the shift of the series towards trying to appeal more to a western audience and an audience that didn`t want to play MGS before. That was not the appeal that got me to play every game in the series. It is a tactic that reminds me to some extend of Capcom and the recent change of the Resident Evil series to appeal to a larger audience. MGS5 could still turn out as the a great game and the best in the series, but for the moment I`m very cautious.