Home Gaming Can Metal Gear Solid combine open-world with coherent story-telling?

Can Metal Gear Solid combine open-world with coherent story-telling?

1 min read


Hideo Kojima has made some big promises for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Beyond realistic horse mechanics, we’ve been shown all kinds of open world elements. At the same time, Metal Gear Solid will be based on a solid and coherent storyline. But this isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Taking to twitter, Hideo Kojima explained the balancing act. I won’t embed all the tweets, but rather quote them together as if they were one giant explanation for ease of reading. Of course you are welcome to read the tweets instead over on his timeline.

MGSV allows you free stealth mission in open world. Not only broad map but also infiltrate routes/transport methods depends on you. We must compensate spontaneous freedom in order to avoid incoherency. What I’m doing right now is to solve such problem. Let’s say we plan on climbing mountain. We start from preliminary investigation, training, mapping, getting gear, simulating before action. But unexpected happens (different map, bad weather, dead-end road, wrong gear, thin air, someone gets sick) when actually climbed. It is the same as game/movie creation. We encounter many various problems during dev from big to small but it never completes unless solving this problem. No point/choice of return. It’s only how we beat our brains out and aim the top of the target, that’s the best part.

I think this is an important question to tackle and I’m really keen to see how Kojima deals with it. Most games with vast open-world gameplay lose the thread of continuity for the story. It either leads to an artificially closed off world, or a story that never really seems to have any urgency. Perhaps Kojima will find a brilliant solution for this and other studios can adopt the new template.

Last Updated: February 26, 2015


  1. Blood Emperor Trevor

    February 26, 2015 at 15:33

    He should ask Uncle Peter for help, he’s not doing anything.


    • Hammersteyn

      February 26, 2015 at 15:40

      Last I heard he’s recycling cans


      • Dutch Matrix

        February 26, 2015 at 15:53

        And it is going to make a great game, all them cans!


  2. Umar

    February 26, 2015 at 15:34

    Fully agree Zoe. This is extremely important when it comes to open-world design and I’m interested to see how he tackles this.


    • Matthew Holliday

      February 26, 2015 at 15:46

      open world needs focus.
      a world to enhance the story, but not get lost in it.


      • Umar

        February 26, 2015 at 16:02

        Well said, these are the things devs should focus on for next gen. Sure we want shinier graphics but things like this, how to improve game design is what I would like to see more of.


  3. Jac7

    February 26, 2015 at 15:36

    Metal Gear Solid and coherent story telling should never share the same sentence. As much as I love the games, my head hurts when I try to keep track of what the hell is going on.


    • Umar

      February 26, 2015 at 15:40

      It’s completely coherent though convoluted, and extremely deep, but bogged down by the series silliness.


    • WitWolfy

      February 27, 2015 at 07:59

      Your joking right, just because the game doesnt follow a traditional numeral coherent story pattern doesnt mean it isnt there…

      One day I tackled MGS Wiki and by the end understood everything from where the Virtuous mission began until the final battle between Liquid/Ocelot and Old Snake.

      Its quite an epic story


  4. Viking Of Science

    February 26, 2015 at 15:56

    @disqus_3ihQj32EWp:disqus, “metal gear solid” and “coherent storytelling” in one sentence? Blasphemy!


  5. Marcus

    February 26, 2015 at 16:08

    Quit fucking with games and release games that work from day one. Once you have mastered that, then you can try new things. This day one patch habit is getting old.


    • Guest

      February 26, 2015 at 16:09

      Also, this probably has nothing to do with the pasted story…


  6. WitWolfy

    February 27, 2015 at 08:11

    I still hate the fact that they got rid of the codec sections… It just aint MGS without it…


  7. Jonah Cash

    February 27, 2015 at 14:12

    If anyone is going to get it right it is him!! I have faith in him!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Blue Box Games to hold Q&A session amidst Silent Hill rumours

Don’t get your hopes up though, this is the type of Q&A where they dispel rumours, not con…