Konami is really taking the 25th anniversary of Metal Gear very seriously. First, we have the announcement for a potential movie adaptation, and now, another Metal Gear Solid game. I have spent the entire day wailing in a feminine fashion due to the sheer amount of excitement I have for the series.
Titled Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, the upcoming entry to the franchise is speculated to feature even more adventures of Big Boss aka Naked Snake. It is also the first Metal Gear ever to incorporate an open-world environment. *gasps* The concept behind Ground Zeroes is a “game without game over”. Talk about an interesting idea.
Those who attended the event have reported that a brief, live gameplay session was shown. It features Snake avoiding searchlights, killing enemies, and for the first time in Metal Gear history, driving a jeep as he calls for an evac. The playthrough also showcased how the new Fox engine can handle weather, clothing textures, and lighting, among many other visual elements. The game ran on a PC capped to the specs of the current-gen consoles.
Since there aren’t any leaked footages on Youtube yet, I can’t do a sort of in-depth analysis. However, I can always make speculations.
First and foremost, it is speculated that the game will be revolving around Big Boss simply because of the hints present in the promotional art. Notice bits of an eye patch being covered by a pair of night vision goggles. There is also a Military Sans Frontiers patch on his sneaking suit, indicating a post Peace Walker, pre-Metal Gear setting. Note that the image is mirrored.
Further supporting this prediction is Snake’s choice of gun. He is wielding what appears to be a FNC in the picture. Developed by a Belgian arms manufacturer known as FN Herstal in the mid-70’s, the rifle is a favorite among many police and military forces around the world. (Trivia: It is also known as Vincent Hannah’s choice of weapon in the classic Heat firefight.) From that piece of information, it is safe to assume that the game is going to be set at a time post mid-70’s. Coupling that with the fact that Snake still looks young (ish) in the picture, it is reasonable to predict that the game will take place no later than the end of the Cold War.
The title Ground Zeroes is also a point of interest. According to Wikipedia, ground zero refers to the spot on Earth’s surface that is closest to detonation. Perhaps, this is a reference to deployments of nuclear weapons. It is also interesting to note that two of the more prominent figures in the Metal Gear series use “Zero” as their codenames. They are Major Zero and Null aka Frank Jaegar aka the Cyborg Ninja respectively.
I have always felt stories set in the Cold War period are the most fascinating. You have all the espionage going on in many places, with countries taking sides. It’s like watching a chess game in a much larger scale. This is why I loved Metal Gear Solid 3, in which Cold War politics and ethics are thoroughly examined. There is a charm of this era that could not be found in other conflicts. I am interested to see how this game turns out.