Hideo Kojima remembers Metal Gear Solid 1

Metal Gear Solid 1

In issue 65 we put Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima on the cover of Official PlayStation Magazine and spent ages with him discussing all things Metal Gear Solid, plus plenty more. This is the first of several mini interviews where he looks back at his games. (You can also see what he thinks about MGS2 and it’s HD remake, MGS3 and MGS4.)

“It was a very pure experience,” says Kojima of the game that sparked his PlayStation love affair. “I was just making the game I wanted to make. Looking back, there’s not anything in particular I want to go back and fix. If you change anything, you change the game – and I want to avoid that. If you bring the gameplay up to modern standards, then you lose a bit of the original game. It was a game made for a certain era – not just the story, but the controls and everything about it reflect that era in which the game was made.”

Released back in 1998, MGS was actually the third Metal Gear game (the first two were made for the MSX2), but it shot the series to worldwide prominence. Telling the story of Solid Snake’s attempt to infiltrate an Alaskan nuclear-weapons facility, both the gameplay and the intricate story were revolutionary, and as a result it’s still held up as an all-time great. (You voted it the second-best PlayStation game ever made back in issue #50 of OPM.)

Although now available to download on the PSN, it hasn’t been scrubbed up for inclusion in the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (9/10 in our review). Is this a sign that it’s set for its own hi-def treatment further down the line? “There are a lot of people wanting remakes of the original, and as producer I want to answer those calls” say Kojima. “But as a creator I’m not very interested in going back. If we were to do it, it would have to be a total remake – the only thing that would be the same would be the story. If it happened at some point I would stay as a producer, but would have to hand off most of the actual creating.”

And like many, perhaps through a combination of nostalgia and admiration of its originality, Koj still views the first MGS game as his favourite. “It’s really tough to choose, but it would probably be 1 – because a lot of that was me, so it was very personal. But when I go back now I realise how hard it was to play!”