Friday, August 10, 2007

Kojima's Final, Legendary Tale - The Guns of the Patriots

Otacon from Metal Gear Solid 4: Observe the Facial RenderingIn 1987, in a fit of creative frustration and inspiration, a young Japanese game developer named Hideo Kojima decided that the Famicom Entertainment System was capable of delivering video games as an artform rather than a simple pastime. Scouring his own passions and dreams, he emerged with a simple idea: intelligence. He felt that intelligence was completely absent from the gamut of twitchy arcade-based shooting games that dominated the Famicom at the time. Fusing his uncanny knowledge of fun with his desire for complexity, Kojima conceived of a new, artistic video game experience with intelligence, depth and precision. This Famicom game would be called Metal Gear, and would later be released in America for the Nintendo Entertainment System to critical acclaim.

Mashing together a globe-spanning plotline with the personal story of a soldier, Kojima's first masterpiece augmented truly revolutionary gameplay with the passion of a single man. The story revolved around Solid Snake, a United States Foxhound Secret Operations unit rookie embarking upon his first mission into Outer Heaven. Through the twists and turns of his story, he emerges to find that Outer Heaven is the realization of the dreams of renegade soldiers worldwide: a land where war is the rule. A place where warriors could reject those in the lands of peace who had rejected them. Where they could use the skills that had grown unnecessary during these global ceasefires. Penetrating further into this twisted oasis, Snake emerges to find that Outer Heaven is in fact the dream of his own mentor at Foxhound: Grey Fox. The game closes with their final, epic hand to hand duel in a disintegrating Outer Heaven. Among other things, Kojima paints the battle as the one between justice and freedom.

Over the course of 20 years and 4 sequels, Kojima has expanded his tale to encompass many themes: honor, nationalism, freedom and love among others. Expertly weaving the tale of the individual through the tale of nations, Kojima has brought the character of Solid Snake through the many epiphanies of life that the author himself must have had.

Finally, next year, Solid Snake, his predecessors and descendants have finally come to see their conclusion in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Genetic clones, the nature of identity, the corruptibility of government power, the value of our DNA, family and death are a few of the ideas that Kojima is to imbue into this final tale. Armored walking tanks fused with biologically grown legs (show above), robotic viruses with the power to eliminate infected people at the push of a button, hormone-controlling microchips, war nations (similar to Outer Heaven) and walking Nuclear Tanks are his modest contributions to the world of stealth gameplay.

To me, the man's a genius.

To see a cinematic trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, click here. To see a high quality version of the first gameplay movie for this radical new game, click here.


Fez said...

Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck

I wanna playyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the BEST game in the world!

Lauren said...

"Among other things, Kojima paints the battle as the one between justice and freedom."

This thought struck me. I've often, in my vague notions of what is true and right in the world, tied these two concepts together: freedom is and always should be the ultimate goal of every individual on the planet, but only achieved through avenues which are just and serve the common good (i think justice does this, but with the current penchant for semantics in politics that could be debatable).

To witness a battle where these two notions are at odds with one another, embodied in two warriors staunchly defending their viewpoints, would be spectacular. It really made me think of the points of departure, freedom from justice... an interesting idea that i may pursue does the battle end? I assume Solid Snake (geeeez what a name, I want that guy on my side) would be the victor, amidst the collapsing dystopia around him. Does he ever reconcile justice with freedom or are they forever at odds as you follow him through his adventures in the other titles in the series?

Dude, these graphics look mindblowing. I'm not one for games that rely too heavily on militaristic themes (read: the concept of the ever-loyal soldier fighting for his country is not one that I can ever truly lose myself in) but if this is as stunning graphically as it is thematically, then I might like to give it a whirl! :)

Anonymous said...

too bad Hideo Kojima is one of the biggest names in the video game industry to publicly say that games aren't an art form at all...

whatever, he creates one of the most compelling arguments that video games are an art form

JayBonerTron_teh_Robodick said...

eva was hot


JayBonerTron_teh_Robodick said...

and id ont care if those breasts arent real! theyre real to me!