Metal Gear Rising had finished script, bosses and levels ditched when Platinum took over
Speaking to OPM UK, Kojima Productions producer Yuji Korekado and Platinum Games director Keiji Saito revealed that Metal Gear Rising was at a playable level of development when Platinum Games took over from Kojima productions – and had designed a number of boss battles you’ll never get to see.
Metal Gear Rising early stages
“The script was finished and the boss concepts were finished,” says Korekado. “The design was finished with those levels, and the levels were at the point where we could play it through in a white box – but we couldn’t come up with a core concept to tie it all together. In the end, we couldn’t finish the game.”
Korekado’s obviously rather proud of the early bosses Kojima Productions designed, too: “Just to brag a little bit about our designs, we believe that the bosses we created for Metal Gear Solid: Rising were probably some of the best in the series, but Saito came in and said, “We’re not going to use these bosses.” So you’ll not be seeing them this time around.”
It’s a question of building the right boss to suit the game and its mechanics, says Korekado: “the bosses in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance are very unique characters, and are game design-driven. As an action game, we believe that the bosses should resemble the dynamics of the design, and although they’re very unique, we believe that these characters very much fit into the Metal Gear world. And we hope you guys feel the same when you see them.”
Well, it’s not like MG:RR’s boss fights have looked like drab affairs, to give credit to Platinum and Kojima Productions. In among all the robo-tentacles and towering cyborgs there’s a promise of enjoyment beyond chipping away at really big health bars.
Keiji Saito suggests that in the early days of Rising, the bosses were much more like traditional MGS foils that required stealth and cunning to beat, and felt a bit out of place in such a frenetic action title: “as Korekado says, the boss battles and the bosses in general were completely different at the time. There were a lot of stealth concepts that were [being done] internally at Kojima Studios. Now that it’s an action game we had to revamp that, and Platinum Games provided a lot of input and a lot of ideas.”
Saito also describes the collaboration between the two studios as surprisingly easy, considering their radically different approaches to gameplay: “we believe there’s a lot of flexibility for both sides. Boris was included in the initial Kojima Productions concept, and is included in Revengeance as well.
We did, of course, look at [the initial version of the game] and refer to it, and there are some characters we reused from the original concept. Ultimately, the most important concept that we needed to stay within is the Metal Gear world.”