"From FOX, Two Phantoms Were Born"
Hideo Kojima has finally announced Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain during his GDC press conference. Precisely no-one will be surprised that the mysterious Joakim Mogren was Kojima himself under all those bandages, but you might be surprised to learn that Metal Gear Solid V is in fact Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain combined. We've got the details and a trailer after the break.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is an "open world game " that starts with an all-too familiar tutorial based on the Phantom Pain hospital scenario. After nine years in a coma, Big Boss/Snake wakes up in a hospital under attack, and assisted by the bandaged Ishmael (who appears to be voiced by Kiefer Sutherland). Snake has lost much of his movement capabilities due to nearly a decade of atrophy, meaning that he's only capable of crawling, making the opening "more of a rail game" as he clambers ineffectually about to escape from nightmarish visions, psychic female troopers and a burning adversary who's a little reminiscent of Volgin.
Once Snake escapes the hospital, he's unleashed into an open world. "From FOX two Phantoms were born... FOX vs. XOF," hints the trailer in a suitably maddening way. Interestingly, David Hayter hasn't been confirmed for MGS V, and Big Boss may well be voiced by Richard Doyle who performed the role in Metal Gear Solid 4.
You'll also find numerous references to Major Zero, from a Union Jack to the 'Diamond Dogs' - another Bowie song alongside the more familiar Major Tom. Here's the trailer in full (we'd love to get your input on what "V has come to" means...).
The real-time demo, running on PC, shows off the advanced capabilities of the Fox Engine. A level and cutscene editor (the 'Marvelous Designer') is built directly into the engine, allowing Kojima Productions to easily create content using real world examples of materials, objects and lighting.
Kojima Productions followed up with a staggeringly in-depth presentation about shaders, linear workflow, lighting, ambience, luminescence, day/night cycles and other very technical reasons why the Fox Engine is probably going to be a bit of a looker. I'm not going to go into a huge amount of detail... mainly because I can't pretend to understand what "irradiance is generated from the cube maps" means. The level of detail is set to be exquisite, however, since the artists even disassembled clothing and real-world objects to better understand how they're put together, which will factor into the models and textures.
Kojima Productions also announced that they've launched a Los Angeles division - colloquially called 'Red Fox.' Kojima Productions Los Angeles plan to "become the top creative development studio in the world," by delivering high technical quality and emotional experiences. They're hiring, in case you're interested.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is set to release on PS3 and Xbox 360 - PC and next-gen consoles have yet to be announced.