Skip to main content

Hideo Kojima announces Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain are the same game: MGS5. Watch the GDC trailer inside.

Update #4: Hideo Kojima just tweeted that Ground Zeroes is the prologue section in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain:

"'Ground Zeroes' is a prologue of 'MGSV'," he explained. "9 years after that event will be 'The Phantom Pain'. MGSV is constructed w/ prologue and main game 'TPP'. The game play demo I presented today is the opening of 'TPP' which is tutorial that starts from crawling."

Update #3: Regular Snake voice actor David Hayter has said on Twitter that he's not involved. "Well look," he tweeted. "At least I had a good run." When asked by a fan whether he was asked to be involved at all, he replied, "Nope."

Update #2: A press release from Konami has arrived confirming that the name of the game is "Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain" and that it will be released on PS3 and Xbox 360. There's no mention of any next-generation systems at this point.

The release also offered this summary of the trailer: "First unveiled in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, the new Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain trailer shows the fall of Mother Base and provides visual hints that unveil the connection between Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. The trailer also showcases the FOX Engine's exceptional level of visual quality with seamless integration of gameplay and cut scenes."

Konami also released high-resolution still images from the trailer, which you can browse through lower down the page.

Update #1: The trailer has now popped up on YouTube. Watch it!

Watch on YouTube

Original story: Kojima Productions boss Hideo Kojima has announced that The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes together constitute Metal Gear Solid 5.

He introduced his session at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco with his head bandaged to resemble Joakim Mogren - the fictional CEO of Moby Dick Studio, which was said to be developing The Phantom Pain when Konami was still maintaining it was a different game.

He began by showing a six-minute trailer, which combined footage from Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, and eventually revealed itself as MGS5. The logo suggested that "The Phantom Pain" is the subtitle.

Hideo Kojima first came on stage bandaged up like made-up Moby Dick Studio CEO Joakim Mogren.

He then demonstrated MGS5 running on a PC, using an Xbox joypad. (Although Kojima said he was demoing the game in real time on a PC, he did not allude to any other formats. We've previously been told it's for PS3 and 360.)

The section shown begins as Snake (most likely Big Boss, actually, but Kojima called him Snake so I'm going to stick with that) wakes up in hospital after a nine-year coma and has to escape with help from a bandaged man who sounds a lot like he is voiced by Kiefer Sutherland. The first thing he says is, "Call me Ishmael," which happens to be the first line of Moby Dick.

The hospital escape constitutes the tutorial and sees Snake initially crawling on the floor with little motor function. Snake has a left lower-arm prosthesis terminating in a hook. Soon after he and Ishmael exit their ward they meet a girl in an elevator who levitates, disappears, and is then replaced by a burning man who attacks them.

The trailer had shown flashes of how Snake came to end up in the hospital, apparently rescuing Ishmael from a firefight. The two of them ended up in the trauma room at the hospital with Snake being resuscitated by defibrillator after his heart stopped. He survived, but this left him in the coma that takes you to the start of the game.

The trailer didn't show a whole lot of footage that wasn't in the previous Ground Zeroes demo shown at PAX and the Eurogamer Expo last year or in the Phantom Pain trailer released at the VGAs in December - for instance, we saw the Pegasus and giant ethereal whale thing again. But the new things it did show gave us a few more morsels to savour for however long it takes Kojima to speak about the game again.

For instance, we saw a guy with long stringy hair on a horse helping Snake further his escape after the hospital. Initially I didn't clock that he had spurs on his boots, but someone on the comments was nice enough to shout at me and suggest that it is Revolver Ocelot. Judge for yourself. While on the back of the horse, Snake leans to his left and fires a shotgun at someone chasing him.

To the sound of "Not Your Kind of People" by Garbage, we also got glimpses of an oil platform on fire. The Big Shell or something like it? It looked somehow wrong for Big Shell at first glance - maybe the wrong shape, not to mention the wrong era if the action here is meant to follow Peace Walker - but apparently that hasn't stopped me speculating. MAYBE IT'S JUST AN OILRIG, TOM. (Update: The press release describes this as "the fall of Mother Base", not Big Shell. That's what I get for never playing Peace Walker.)

Elsewhere there was a girl in a gas mask (Paz from Peace Walker?), Snake climbing out of an overturned ambulance with Ishmael - seemingly during their escape - and a final few words posted up on-screen before the MGS5 logo. They reiterated the line from the Ground Zeroes reveal, that Fox gave birth to two phantoms, then said "FOX vs. XOF", and finally "A Phantom Battle Waged by the Vanished".

Right at the end of the trailer, we saw Snake on a motorcycle sucking on a cigar and saying, "Diamond Dogs, our new home". Perhaps this is the new mother base we've been told to expect in this open-world Metal Gear Solid sequel? Then we got a flash of text saying, "V has come to". 'Come to' as in woken up? Or what? Perhaps this is a reference to the part of the trailer where the guy with sunglasses looks past Snake after hearing he's in a coma and seems to gesture to another gurney where the action is being viewed from and say, "What about him?"

The use of "Diamond Dogs" as the name could be a clue as well. Kojima previously used "Major Tom" as a codename for Zero in Metal Gear Solid 3. Major Tom is from David Bowie's song Space Oddity, which seemed to fit with the space-race era Cold War setting. Diamond Dogs is a concept album based around a futuristic dystopia (Diamond Dogs is also a song on that album) and there is even a song on the album called 1984 - so perhaps it's hinting at the year Metal Gear Solid 5 is set?

The rest of the Kojima Productions session at GDC largely focused on the FOX Engine that powers Metal Gear Solid 5. In a flurry of glorious technical jargon that included phrases such as "anisotropic specular, "view-dependant roughness" and "linear workflow", a picture emerged of an engine that's focused on creating photorealistic assets and models as efficiently as possible.

KJP's own conference room has been extensively modelled within the game both to test various lighting and texturing techniques but also to allow for artists to compare in-game objects to real-world objects in an identical setting, while a focus on deferred rendering lets the development team use a multitude of different light sources at little cost and use the same data to control everything from the time of day within a scene to the weather effects.

KJP's team is increasingly using photo-based scanning to create realistic assets swiftly and accurately, but Kojima himself was quick to point out that creating a photorealistic effect requires mediation from an artist. "The more that technology evolves, the more we have to understand our physical surroundings," he argued. "To make a quality product the artist's eye is essential. Simply recreating reality would result in a traced image. This is what we mean by photorealism through the eyes of a fox."

The session ended with the appearance of Tom Sekine, who is in the process of setting up Kojima Productions Los Angeles, a studio with a red fox logo, and a mission to become "the top creative development studio in the world". Sekine announced that Kojima Productions Los Angeles is currently hiring. "Unfortunately, we're not recruiting at Moby Dick Studios," quipped Kojima.

Read this next