Hideo Kojima Talks Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes on PS4

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Hideo Kojima Talks Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes on PS4
Hideo Kojima Talks Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes on PS4

Set after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker but before those of the upcoming MGS5: The Phantom Pain, MGS5: Ground Zeroes gives the player total control over how, where, and when to execute espionage-focused operations. Playing as Snake, aka Big Boss, players will sneak into enemy encampments, stalk targets, interrogate enemy agents, and recover secret intel while piecing together the game’s story mission by mission. The result is an open, fluid adventure that will play out a little differently each time.

On PS4, Kojima’s proprietary FOX Engine coats the game in a convincing layer of next-gen grit. Eerily lifelike character animations bring new punch to the game’s CQC, while a new global lighting system means that day and night pass realistically, complete with changes to guard behavior and visibility. FOX Engine brings a host of other benefits, including an upgraded weapon physics system that accounts for bullet drop. This will be a profound change for fans of the tranquilizer gun and other low-powered projectile weapons, which now require far more finesse to use at extreme distances.

Just before PS4’s North American release on November 15th, I spoke with game director Hideo Kojima to learn more about Ground Zeroes and his plans for PlayStation’s next-generation console. Also, be sure to catch the new gameplay video that shows off 12 minutes of PS4 footage.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on PS4

PSB: We’re seeing a different approach to cinematics and storytelling. Have you re-evaluated your approach?

Kojima: It’s going to be freer, more open, and we want to player to create their own strategies as they infiltrate, and also create their own stories as they try to get out. It’s very different from a linear game, where you go from place to place and cutscenes are triggered.

Within a mission you can do whatever you want, freely. There are a lot of interactive elements, there’s scattered information within each mission, and if you put all of these elements together, and from there the player will put a story together. That’s the way I’ve intended to tell it this time.

PSB: It definitely looks more emergent. How do you see Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain working together? Why make them two different experiences?

Kojima: To release them together would be an ideal case for us. But Metal Gear Solid 5 is going to be a huge, a massive scale game. So the development is taking some time. That said, PS4 is launching now and it’s big. A lot of people have been asking for a new Metal Gear Solid experience, so we at least wanted to release a prologue so that people get to know what people will be, experience a chunk of the story. So that guided our decision to move forward at this time.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on PS4Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on PS4

PSB: What do you think of DualShock 4? Are you exploring any concepts for use with the light bar, the motion sensor, the touch pad…?

Kojima: We are trying to take advantage of as many things as we can, but we also want to focus on keeping the experience as close as possible on both platforms, between PS3 and PS4. More than that, I would recommend that people who are looking forward to the next generation having a tablet next to them, taking advantage of those capabilities. I think there are things that people will enjoy there.

PSB: What do you think of Remote Play and PS4? Are you thinking about supporting it?

Kojima: We’re still trying to put together how much we can fit into the next game. We’re running tests, and Remote Play is impressive and I like it. So we’re running tests and still working on the game.

PSB: From a hardware perspective, are you pleased with PS4? Is it easy to tap into the system’s power?

Kojima: We used to run into some difficulties from PS3 that made us push it to a new level. Now we’re focusing on a multi-platform approach so we’re working on PCs. PS4 has fantastic specs that make it really easy to the transition from high-spec PCs to PS4. We expect that we will have very good results with PS4.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on PS4

Also, I’m a huge fan of the analog sticks on PS4. That is structurally, the way they feel, the way the player uses them. I have more in mind for the analog sticks, and I think it will play very well. That is a huge advantage for PS4, the DualShock 4.

So for example, we have a guy [at Kojima Productions] who specializes on DualShock 4 and what we can do with it. So for the motions that are unique to DualShock 4, you will get something that is very detailed and varied.

PSB: What are you most proud of in Ground Zeroes? Something big, something small…?

Kojima: One thing is the searchlights. There are a lot of searchlights in this game. We were able to accurately describe, in a physical way, the way the shadows and lights interact. Twenty six years ago, I wanted to originally put this in the game: moving through searchlights without being spotted. We were finally able to put it in the game.

And also, since it’s an open-world game, there are all these different vehicles, different weapons, you can use turrets…as a player, you’re constantly tempted to use them. However, you’ll be spotted by the enemy as soon as you use them, you’ll be in trouble. So we give this choice to the player: you can use the turrets, the explosions, but they shouldn’t. So I’m happy to have this in the game.

PSB: With launch upon us, are you interested in any other PS4 games?

Kojima: Well, I’m always excited by the games that will only be available on PS4. Graphically, I’d like to see what Killzone Shadow Fall can do. And I’m very excited for Knack, I want to play it with Mark Cerny.

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5 Author Replies

  • Will Ground Zeroes be available at retail for PS4? I really don’t like digital games.

  • I am definitely ready for more TEA. TEA is awesome.

  • MGS 4 is looking more and more like a great point to stop playing this series. Peace Walker was just broken since it required me to play with others. I’ve never felt more alienated by one of my favorite series. Now we’re seeing this lean towards cross platform friendliness that won’t take advantage of the DS4…. what’s the point other than to see a prettier MGS game in an open world? I think I’ll pass.

  • Kojima my Man !! <3

  • @3 — I’m an antisocial gamer as well, but had no trouble playing Peace Walker on my own. I actually enjoyed the game a lot. I played the PS3 HD version, not the PSP version; I need dual analog sticks.

    Speaking of which, you know what would be a great game to play with dual analog sticks?


    Please, let’s just get this done already.

  • @Sid, you tell Hideo from me; tell him. AnoyoIkari wants a Ground Zeroes PS4 when the game launches. I know it’s digital only, but throw a voucher in the box and give it a cool paint job. Tell him that. Tell him I also want a PS Vita metal gear game. A new one, with streamers on the handlebars.

  • @3 I never played CO-OPS or VERSUS-OPS, but Peace Walker on PSP was my favorite in the series.

  • I can hardly wait I love the mgs series and this one looks like the best one yet and the main game I want next year

  • @T3DV0L70L1N4, ah yes, PW on Vita is quite fun; I’ve sunk quite some time into it since it’s portable – and with no hassle due to the dual sticks. I also can’t wait for more CQC action, with all the new moves and that… So much to look forward to with Kojima.

  • Hey PSB, next time you interview a major person in the gaming industry like this, about a new game he’s making, don’t just ask them about how awesome working on the PS4 is.

    Next time focus on the GAME ITSELF!!!!

    What a terrible Q/A

    • I had about 10 minutes to talk and we were seeing PS4 for the first time, so it made sense! There will be lots more to come, promise.

  • @KazeEternal

    That’s the most ridiculous thing I think I’ve ever read. Peace Walker was far from “broken.” I played the entire game from start to finish by myself. It did not require me to play with other people to complete the main story. PW is one of the best in the series in terms of gameplay. And this is coming from a person who has played and completed every MGS game multiple times.

    That said, I am pumped for Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain.

  • well, not every game should be open world. and in this footage i find its boring, there is no “wow moment” and it does look like a cheap game.

  • @10 — Thanks, I was thinking the same thing! What a bunch of non questions and non answers.

    Right now they only have retail prices for PS3 version. PS4 version only has digital prices… So maybe we will only get a digital support of Ground Zero :x

  • I’m not interested until they rehire David Hayter or get a new JP Voice actor. Because it’s not ethical to fire the US one but keep the JP.

  • Why not offer Cross-Buy for the MGS5 Ground Zero then for PS3 and PS4 sense we are only getting part of the game then. If not then gamers can wait for the MGS5TPP with ground zero together then.

  • Please consider releasing the games on disc for the PS4.

  • The title itself let’s a person know that this was going to be about the functionality of the MG5:GZ on the Ps4. However, I would of liked to hear more about the exclusive content coming to the Ps3 & 4 from the official blog rather than finding it somewhere else.

  • Thank for what you could manage Sid.

    MGS info seems to be harder to find than some series so I was expecting more than I should have perhaps when I saw this blog post.

  • That fox engine is a sure beast, I have seen nothing like it.. Consider it bought. And only for playstation 4. Those guys who worked on this game deserve a raise. I really don’t see many game topping this unless they put gta5 in 2-4k or something.

    Btw im not playing the other 2 msg, I will buy them just to collect. No offense, they will be very very good in the franchise and my collection. But this one is the one I’m getting and playing.. I know a good thing when I see it

    vp- ps legonairee group

  • Can’t wait for this! But pleaaaaaase try to get this in disc form for PS4. Don’t have a problem with digital but there are some guys you just gotta have in physical, together with the rest of your collection!

  • To Game Designer Hideo Kojima


  • I’m most excited for the new mgo, can you ask if it will be included with ground zeros?

  • FYI it’s a FACT that this won’t sell as many PS4 copies if there isn’t a disc version.

    PS4 games so far are quite big.

    Canada has a lot of places with NO Unlimited internet option, no matter what you want to pay.

    So in Canada (some of it) as well as many other places, people won’t be able to buy this game because of very restrictive bandwidth issues. Issues the customer can do nothing about.

    The only one that can fix this is the developers by always releasing a title (particularly on the new system with huge games) Physically.

    At least until more of the World and even just North America, get unlimited bandwidth options/less insane overage charges.

  • Japan has an amazing retail version of ground zeroes both standard and limited edition. it’s beyond bull****.

  • Please, I would really like to start a petition and hopefully this makes it to Kojima’s ears : I want the Japanese voice-over for MGSV GZ and Phantom Pain. I’m sorry, but I just can’t take Sutherland as Snake, not after 15 years of David Hayter, I’d rather go with the original Japanese actor Akio Otsuka, at least he’s still the true Snake for Japan. Not to mention the Japanese voice over seems way better than the English one this time (if you watch the English dubbed trailer for GZ, “Skull Face’s” voice and acting are so out of place it is cringe-worthy. If Kojima won’t include it in-file or in-disc, then at least make the Japanese VO a DLC for a decent price, I would pay for it and I’m sure many more would too.

  • Really can’t wait to play this. The only thing I dislike is that it’s digital only on PS4. I would rather buy it retail. Please make this happen Konami.

  • What about fans who will be getting Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain on current gen consoles? Will there be equal support, hard work, and treatment to the current gen versions? I hope Kojima and his team will make the current gen versions just as good looking as the next gen. My worry is that they may only focus on next gen versions when it comes to graphical fidelity and quality? Do us current gen owners have to fear about watered down versions of GZ and TPP?

  • This game looks radical! Metal Gear never fails to impress me.

  • Digital for the west is such BS. Japan is getting a retail PS4 release… =(

  • Uh isn’t the ps3 last gen and the PS4 current gen? Now

  • Since the PS4 is out

  • Just chiming in to say I would also like to see a PS4 retail version of GZ.

  • @sid Any news on multiplayer, MGO2 (from MGS4) was hands down the best multiplayer i have ever played due to the level of character customization, the in game currency to buy custom gear, the level ranking system which was based on recent form (which ment you could also lose level if you were playing bad). Clan system was amazing, with survival and the weekly tournaments, the clan logo system etc, just the all round level of detail that the players were given made this such a unique and amazing game for me. I just hope that in the next MGO, that it doesnt get “noob’ed up” by making the game less skillful to play and be good at and some of the good features taken out of it, really hope there is a big learning curve to be good at it and not just anyone can instantly be good and go around guns blazing like cod or other generic shooters.

    Looking forward to this game more than im looking forward to my ps4 (UK).


  • Im really excited about MGS5,im finally getting a PS3 this summer after so many years of waiting to play MGS4,and probably play MGS GZ on it as well,tough im kind of dissapointed that the 2 games come out as separate,and that there probably will be at least 3 parts,I kind of have to ask,dont you think they will release a version with all the MGS5 chapters?,something inside me tells me that that´s gonna be the case :P,also another think that I always feel curios,since now they only way to tell how visible you are is trough the ligh things,then what´s up in the day time?,are you just completely screw?,anyway it was a rather interesting Q/A!


  • Mr. Shuman, I would totally appreciate it if you could ask Hideo Kojima to include MGS GZ WITH MGS PP just like he did with the MGS Legacy Collection 2 disc set!! Please Reply ASAP

  • The Governor is back you know what I’m talking about lol.

  • This will be amazing, Hideo KOJIMA is a genius. I have a PS4 now so let the amazement begin!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I’m a college student, an artist, and a hardcore gamer. I suffer with Retinopathy of Prematurity- a disorder I’ve had since birth that is one of the most common causes of visual loss in children and can lead to lifelong vision impairment and blindness. This hasn’t stopped me from doing what I enjoy- gaming. All my life, games have helped give me a creative and immersive look into worlds that I unfortunately haven’t been able to experience myself.

    I am a cartoonist/illustrator and due to my vision, I have worked myself through countless migraines, however, video games have helped me realize that I have talents and skills that I have honed despite my condition. The most inspiring artist I have never had the chance to meet is the great Yoji Shinkawa, character designer for the Metal Gear series; first seeing his artwork in my teen years made me want to push myself as hard as I could.

    METAL GEAR SOLID was the first game to ever immerse me and make me forget about problems that I had going on. I love Kojima and his staff for that. It’s worth so much of the pain my eyes give me with the migraines and I work through it all to be a better artist because of those people. :D

    I simply can NOT wait for this game.

  • I would love to see more MGS and Kojima related posts on the PS Blog, they hardly post things and reply as well here.

  • With the Digital copy on PS4, does this mean that 50GB of my hard drive is all too Kojima.

  • @Sid How do you like Keifer Sutherland’s voice as Big Boss? I personally think it brings a new perspective to the game and will interact will Snake’s mouth movement and facial expressions better, despite the fact that they have the motion sensors on his face. I believe his voice sounds perfect for the time frame Snake is in.

  • I mainly want to add with the others that I really want PS4 retail version. I don’t want to play an “inferior”( of course it will still be great :P ) copy, but even more than that I don’t care for buying mainline games digitally.
    Other than that, I’m extremely excited, loving open-world MGS, but I am really hoping we still have some cinematic moments here and there.

  • Why is Kojima developing these 2 games for both systems (PS3 & PS4)? Wouldn’t that limit what he could do for the next gen consoles? It would be like upscaling GTA 5 for PS4; I would assume that they’re not utilizing the PS4 hardware to it’s potential.

  • No Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes disc-based version for PS4™? Thumbs way down for developing a digital version only. I agree 100% with entries #s 1, 17, 21, 24, 25, 27, 30, 33, and 44. I still prefer owning the optical disc rather than a digital-only format. I think it’s because of the real sense of ownership when you own physical media of some sort. I’m surprised that a number of gamers are for supporting physical copies (myself included). It seems that some game publishers and game developers dream of a purely digital generation in the future, which grants companies more wielding power over digital content (e.g., digital rights management (DRM), shutting down servers for online support, expiration dates on vouchers for downloadable content, copyright issues, re-licensing issues, etc.) and supposedly digital distribution of media is future-proof by denying all ownership to consumers.

  • Can you please ask him to comment on why David Hayter is not at least showing up for the Deja Vu content? It feels like a direct slap in the face to fans who are supposed to enjoy the nostalgia. I’ve accepted the fact that Kiefer Sutherland will be playing Big Boss, but I really don’t understand why he can’t at least reprise his role as Solid Snake..

  • When does this game come out?

  • Another vote for asking him to get David Hayter, the true voice of Solid Snake, back.

  • when will hideo make a hd remake of the MGS that came out originally for PS1

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