With Hideo Kojima off with the fairies or something, it's up to others within his studio Kojima Productions to take up the Metal Gear mantle.
With Metal Gear Solid: Rising, the multiplatform sword slicing hack and action game (more on that later), creative producer Shigenobu Matsuyama is answering the call.
Here, Matsuyama tells Eurogamer why star attraction Raiden is worth a second chance, reveals in detail the mystery surrounding Hunter Stealth, and dismisses the reveal trailer as an "exaggeration".
Eurogamer: How did you come up with the idea of doing an action slashing game within the Metal Gear universe?
Shigenobu Matsuyama: First of all, on the technology side, we were experimenting with cut at will - that you could cut anywhere. That technology came into place, therefore I thought if I made this as a game it would be very interesting.
The second point is, the same with MGS2, I wanted to have Raiden play a stronger role. What if we made Raiden the main character? I was thinking about that. So with that and the technology, this concept of MGS Rising came up.
Eurogamer: What are Raiden's strengths and weaknesses?
Shigenobu Matsuyama: Raiden's weakness is his self, his will. His strength, from the story side, is he's grown up as a trained child soldier. Now he's become one of the strongest soldiers you see in the MGS series.
In MGS, Snake is getting old, as you know. I want to contrast that. The user will play and feel the younger blood, which is Raiden. That's probably another strong point of Raiden.
For the weakness, about the will, in the team we call it "himself". We want to put this on a theme that he will try to go through his weakness, to go through his will. It's one of the themes we're thinking we want to put in the plot.
Eurogamer: Will we see Raiden as a child warrior? Where does this game sit in the MG timeline?
Shigenobu Matsuyama: First of all, your question: will we put in more background story, what I'm thinking is I would probably present that kind of background as a setting but not draw on the story directly.
The game's chronologically set between MGS2 and MGS4. However this is not a spin-off of the MGS universe. Also I don't want to make the users feel they can't enjoy it unless they know MGS or 2, or they haven't played 4. I don't want to puzzle people who never played MGS too much.
Therefore I will not lead directly to MGS4. No is probably the answer.
Eurogamer: Is the game mostly hack-and-slash?
Shigenobu Matsuyama: It will be pure action, with the sword katana action. RPG or build-up elements will not be in the game.
However, with MGS Rising, the key word is zan-datsu. "Zan" means to kick and cut and "datsu" means to take. We will have the stealth element as well. It's not the stealth you normally have played in MGS. It will be purely based on action. I call it the Hunting Stealth. You will be the hunter. You will hide because you don't want to be spotted by the enemy.
So you will hide at high speed and hunt down your opponent. It's not like waiting stealth. It will be high speed and acrobatic. When you punch, you're trying to absorb the energy or weapon or item. You're not just waiting, still. It's fast paced action stealth so you can hunt without being noticed.
Those are the two key elements in Rising.