Metal Gear Solid 4 has been officially announced at E3 for the PS3. The game is being created by Kojima Productions, the new development studio formerly known as Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and being headed up by legendary designer Hideo Kojima himself. Also, he happens to be directing the game, despite rumors to the contrary.
It's a shame we didn't get to see any of the actual game today; it's possible MGS4 doesn't even exist outside of Kojima's head at this point. But Konami did show off a hilarious video at its press conference that announced the game and also filled in a few details about its production. Kojima is technically serving as the game's design director and producer, while Zone of the Enders 2 director Shuyo Murata will share co-directing duties. Long time character designer Yoji Shinkawa will return for the new game as well. When asked why Kojima is again spearheading MGS development after previously stating he was moving on from the series, he said that the insistences of his own development team and especially the series' fans convinced him that he should again take the reins.
So what do we know about MGS4 at this point? Not a whole lot. It's on the PS3, and given Sony's explosive showcase of the new system yesterday, it will no doubt be a graphical masterpiece as usual. It's set a few years after the end of MGS2, and Solid Snake is confirmed to be the main character. The current tagline for the game is "no place to hide," begging the question: Will it even be a stealth game? If we've learned anything from Kojima's past games, it's that we won't know the whole truth until the game lands in our hot little hands.
The cast of characters revealed so far reads like an all-star line-up of the series, with Otacon, Revolver Ocelot, and even Meryl Silverburgh confirmed to be in the game. Konami's press booklet for the game contains Shinkawa art depicting several other characters, including a long-haired soldier cradling a baby with one hand and holding a katana in the other, and a mysterious-looking woman shrouded in a body-length cloak and hood. No specific story details were discussed, but we'll sure be glad to chase down that damn Ocelot and settle the matters left unresolved at the end of MGS2.
At the end of the presentation, Kojima again referred to the theme that Solid Snake will be "going where he can't hide," so we're expecting a definite twist on the series' familiar gameplay. Then he stated that we will have to wait all the way until E3 2006 to get a look at the game itself. In the meantime, you'll have to subsist on the riotous announcement video, which Kojima told the audience contains plenty of Easter eggs that would be hard to catch on first viewing. Watch it early, watch it often, and stay tuned for us to bring you every available detail on Metal Gear Solid 4 we can gather.