Daily Reaction: We Talk Metal Gear Solid, Movies and David Hayting

Daily Reaction is a PSLS exclusive feature where Sebastian Moss & Dan Oravasaari discuss today’s most hard-hitting topics every single weekday.

Today, Konami and Hideo Kojima not only announced the long awaited next iteration of the Metal Gear franchise but also the much rumored movie. Shown behind closed doors in a 20 minute presentation unveiling Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. The next installment puts Big Boss into an open world setting, a first time for the series. Also announced was a movie based off the franchise, set to be produced by Avi Arad and in association with Sony’s Columbia Pictures – who have had a hand in numerous comic book related films.

Dan: Having been looking forward to the next installment for the MGS series, I can’t help but be a bit tired of the time shifts from its non-linear production. Understandably with things ending the way they did with MGS4, it would be weird to continue the story after that fact. Yet, with games like Snake Eater and Peace Walker, the flipping around in the already convoluted story just becomes aggravating to anyone who even tries to keep up with the story. My only hope that image we have been shown of Big Boss is only the tip of the iceberg and Kojima has a surprise similar to what we experienced in MGS2, although I could do without the naked flipping this time.

Having the MGS in an open world setting is either a brilliant move, or is going to be the death of the series – I am just not sure what to think, mainly due to how much faith I have in Kojima. The ability to traverse an open area, to scout and dispatch foes, all without being noticed, isn’t exactly groundbreaking to the gaming industry, as open world games have taken over almost every genre. Yet, MGS has always been about the tight spaces, narrowly escaping being caught, and playing chess type game on each area. So, if those aspects disappear with this latest installment, I am not sure the series will ever come back. Especially with a push of the series into the silver screen, finding an actor who portrays the meticulously quiet Snake or Big Boss, will be a difficult transition for general audiences – that is unless they use the MGS4 monologues of Old Snake.

Seb: Haha, I so hope they go with Old Snake, and really stick to the character. I’d love to go into the cinema with a bunch of non-gamers, and see when they realize that he is going to be talking and talking and talking and talking for the next 3 hours. But really, who doesn’t think this movie will be awful? Of course it’s going to suck, game movies always do, and MGS is something that doesn’t work very well as a plot if it’s less than 30 hours.

Plus, I don’t see why everyone’s hyping Avi Arad as the second coming of Steven Spielberg just because he’s been involved with a few good comic book movies like Spider-Man. You know what he’s also been involved with? Daredevil, Hulk, Elektra, The Punisher and Bratz: The Movie… all classics. And he’s working on the inFamous movie which has made absolutely no progress, and the Uncharted movie that at one point had Mark Wahlberg tied to it to make an adventure-romp with the Drake family, and now is virtually back to the drawing board. So yeah, this movie probably won’t even get made, and if it does, it’ll probably be terrible.

But luckily I have high hopes for MGS Ground Zeroes – how can you not be excited for an open world MGS title that’s probably for next gen consoles? The Fox Engine looks absolutely gorgeous (probably better than the movie will), so I can’t wait to see how that looks on such a large scale game. Japanese games are back baby.

I do agree, however, that the time shifting is a bit annoying, especially considering the convoluted plot that came out of Kojima’s crack-addled brain. I’m going to have to do some serious revising and relearning before I play this game…

Dan: I can’t not agree that the chances that the MGS movie has of being completely terrible is higher than I would hope for. Although, the reason why Avi Arad is something fans are excited about its simply that his name is not Uwe Boll, and that reason alone gives us hope. Even though he has been tied to some of the worst Marvel flicks we have seen over the years, like Daredevil and Elektra, there is a chance that if they can get a good script together – we could be proven wrong. In my opinion the only person that needs to be added to this project is David Hayter, who could be a perfect writer for the project. Most people may know him as the actual voice of Solid Snake and Big Boss, but he is also a motion picture writer who has been very passionate about the series since he voiced Snake in the first MGS. Having even taken a substantial pay cut to help procure the rest of the original voice cast for the remake – Twin Snakes. So as unlikely as it is, I can only hope that they can avoid enough of the Hollywood fluff, to not absolutely destroy the hearts of fans across the globe.

One thing that could be interesting in this series is to dive more into the origin of Frank Jaeger, or Gray Fox as some may know him. Having later been turned into Cyborg Ninja, the character has become a cult favorite and his history while having been touched on in previous titles has not had as much limelight as other mainstays – could be an interesting way to add more depth. Although, given what we know of his past I am not sure how exactly it could be fit in, nor am we sure of the timeline that MGS:GZ falls in. So the one thing that we can be sure of is that Kojima has a plan, lets just hope that its a good one.

Seb: Kojima’s plans make as much sense as a map drawn by MC Escher, but that’s why we all love him. Yeah, I’d love to see more about characters that haven’t had as much focus, and I’m hoping that by being open world, this gives Kojima a ton of space to shove in every single thing he ever wanted and actually make this his real final, magnum opus, ultra awesome MGS. Back when he started MGS4, he was told the PS3 had unlimited power and designed a game to take advantage of that, but then had to scale back when he realized there were limitations. I want this to be next gen, and I want there to be nothing left out that he couldn’t fit in. Then maybe he can go back to making Zone of the Enders

As for the movie, I think we could all agree David Hayter should be a part of it in some way or another (although he did co-write The Scorpion King). Another possibility is that they ‘Resident Evil’ it (also Columbia Pictures) and make a movie that’s vaguely watchable and makes money but has about as much in common with the source code as the Vita has with Swiss cheese.

So to wrap up – awesome game announcement that’s super exciting, although I’d obviously love to know more, and a movie announcement that has me already predicting it’ll be terrible, but still hopeful. But the real question is, with Kojima in control of the first, and considering the development track record of game movies, will either of them even be released this decade? At least it takes my mind off of Rising.

Are you excited about a new MGS game and a new MGS movie? Or have you been disappointed by overhyped announcements one too many times? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to read Seb and Dan’s recipe of cumin mixed with ground zeroes.