• Shigenobu Matsuyama on Brutality in MGS: Rising

        No one's forcing you to slice up folk

        If you played Metal Gear word association, you might come up with the words "Snake," "Kojima," and "stealth" right off the bat. But if you've been paying attention to information about the upcoming Metal Gear Solid: Rising you'll know that those words apply less now than ever before.

        The man in charge at Kojima Productions this time is Shigenobu Matsuyama, the protagonist is Raiden, and the genre is action. The trailer shown at E3 was built around Rising's "cut at will/cut what you will" gameplay, with Raiden manically yet precisely slicing opponents in ridiculously stylish ways. Matsuyama himself has stressed that the title "will be pure action . . . RPG or build-up elements will not be in the game."

        But while some gamers gravitate to over-the-top violence, and the trailer itself revels in it, Matsuyama is conflicted about the message and worries that Rising may fall victim to a Grand Theft Auto III-style backlash. He mentions GTA prominently as an influence, due to the unprecedented level of freedom it brought, but he pays homage to that freedom in a particular context.

        One of the game philosophies I have is I want to recreate the feeling you get that, oh, I made a mistake. . . . For a gun-shooting game, you accidentally shoot a normal civilian. Nowadays it's normal, but in the past it was almost a taboo. I wanted to represent - not because I wanted to shoot civilians - but I wanted to make people be careful, get the feeling of, 'Oh, I made a mistake.'

        I thought it was very important. But [in the past] I also added a non-reward when you do that. When you shoot a civilian, your rank becomes lower from a police officer to a junior police officer. You're punished when you do that.

        It's the same with Rising. I want to recreate a feeling that you made a mistake and you feel like you made a mistake, not to the extent that you're going to hate the game, but people will think, 'Okay, next time I will try to not make a mistake and I want a challenge.' That feeling is very important to a game, and I want to put that in Rising. Keeping the tension of that feeling is important as well.

        So running around like an idiot on amphetamines will cost the player in different ways. As seen in the trailer, the innards of a cyborgs can be harvested for resources, but the cut has to be right. More significantly, killing humans with the same extreme offense will not be rewarded. Raiden can cut the weapon out of a human's hand, and the implication is that the game will make it preferable to do so.

        So why reveal Metal Gear Solid: Rising with a hyper-violent trailer on the biggest stage in gaming? Matsuyama says it was to show off the freedom of the game (you can pretty much cut into anything, even chopping vehicles into pieces with demonic speed) and to make a big splash. In fact, he says the trailer is almost an exaggeration of what a player can do.

        "We do not recommend you play like the trailer."

        Read the entire interview with Shigenobu Matsuyama at Eurogamer.
        Comments 1 Comment
        1. James's Avatar
          James -
          MGS: Rising is why I'll eventually own a Kinect. Being a cuisinart on legs or a cool professional who only kills as necessary isn't a choice I'm worried about, but it's nice that it's there.
      Games.com logo