Hideo Kojima remembers Metal Gear Solid 2
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 second of several mini interviews where he looks back at his games. (He also remembers MGS1 and talks about doing a total remake, admits MGS3 was the easiest to HD up and talks about how he wasn’t happy with MGS4.)
After the incredible success and blistering quality of the first Metal Gear Solid, the eyes of the gaming world were waiting to see what would come next. And the first public glimpse of MGS2 was – and perhaps still is – one of the most talked-about E3 appearances of all time. A ten-minute debut trailer showed just how impressively the game had leapt from PS1 to PS2, looking better than anything we’d seen before and full of unprecedented environmental destruction. Oh, and the ability to shove dead bodies into lockers. Obviously.
The success of the first game helped to lay the foundations for all of this, as Kojima explains: “It was pretty easy to carry over into 2,” he says. “The first game did very well, so it became possible to meet more expectations and commit more to the sequel – there was a bigger budget, so we could implement more things. For example, the music: I wanted to use really big-name composers and have it really epic. We couldn’t do it on 1 because we didn’t have the numbers to back it up, but for 2 that became possible.”
It also helped him to source some A-list advice: “It was very useful when I would go to Hollywood and talk to movie people about certain things. They would know the game already, so it was beneficial – it helped me to meet people.”
Now released as part of Metal Gear Solid HD and scoring a favorable 9/10 review, how does Kojima think it holds up? “Revisiting that top-down camera was a little difficult,” he says.” We experimented with putting a 3D camera in there, but you’d see things you weren’t supposed to see and it threw off the balance. My concern is that I don’t know how modern players will accept that top-down view if they’re playing for the first time. If you were to compare it to cars, one is manual shift and one is automatic: there are things that are good about driving a manual, but at the same time it’s harder for people to get into. Then there’s automatic: it’s easier for people to get into but at the same time it loses a little bit.” Our thoughts precisely.