Last summer we learned that Hideo Kojima took part in motion capture for Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, prompting many fans to wonder whether another cheeky cameo was in order.
Having emerged from a lengthy Ground Zeroes preview session, I can confirm that Kojima does indeed star in the upcoming stealth 'em up... in his most overt and hilarious role yet!
In addition to the main canonical storyline mission, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes features several non-canonical 'Side Ops' stages that task players with fulfilling varied objectives within the military base at different times of day. From assassination to anti-air gun destruction, there's plenty of variety on offer... but one particular mission involves the urgent extraction of a mysterious double agent from behind enemy lines.
As you provide assault rifle and underslung grenade cover fire from a hovering helicopter, you'll help this shadowy operative survive an ambush and secure a jeep, which then makes its way though the base under intense attack. After several minutes of tense shooting, however, the vehicle is destroyed, forcing you to land, leap out and carry your critical target to safety.
At which point, I rushed over to him, shot the last few enemies and saw his face. "Oh no," I thought. "Surely not. Surely it isn't..."
Yes, the double agent is none other than Hideo Kojima himself, fully motion-captured into the FOX Engine.
Forget subtlety, though, because the cheeky auteur decides to take centre stage this time. Snake spends a full thirty seconds fondling Kojima's trademark pair of custom glasses in the pre-mission cutscene (while the camera zooms in to show off the eyewear to advantage), which he then ceremoniously hands to his creator once safely aboard the chopper. After completion, Kojima then sits behind Snake in the helicopter main menu screen - trendy specs and all.
Hideo Kojima starred as a recruitable soldier in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, but now, it appears that he's willing to enjoy the limelight. For many die-hard fans, I daresay this might be worth the price of admission.