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With the new trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Rising revealing that the game is now called Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and that it’s being made by Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Vanquish) and not Kojima Productions, there are a lot of Metal Gear fans feeling confused. And in some cases, irritated.
Obviously aware that the trailer would prompt a number of questions, Konami invited members of the media to a press conference, which they held on Monday in Los Angeles. During it, they showed a twenty minute long documentary on what happened, followed by a Q&A session with Hideo Kojima and Platinum’s Atsushi Inaba.
According to Kojima — who was busy with Peace Walker while Metal Gear Solid: Rising was being made — there were elements of the game that worked well, but it was not coming together as a whole. “We have brilliant staff when it comes to art and technology, we just needed someone to make the decisions about game design,” he admits. Seeing that the game was not coming together to anyone’s satisfaction, “I decided to cancel it.”
Though almost immediately, he says, “I started to wonder if there was a game designer out there who could make this game. Because we had all the parts.” His first thought was to ask a Western developer, but he soon realized that the game’s ninja action demanded it be made by a Japanese developer. He ultimately went with Platinum, in part because of friendships he has with people there, though also because, as he says, “they are the best in Japan when it comes to action games.”
Interestingly, both Inaba and Platinum CEO Tatsuya Minamani had the same reaction to Kojima’s offer to take over the game: “We thought it was a joke.” But after realizing that Kojima wasn’t kidding, the Platinum people got to work, and not only had a coherent plan within a week but had a working alpha build within months.
“I saw what they had done before,” Inaba says, “and I could see that they were having a hard time. [But] our job is not to change the original concept [of the game], but to take the concept of Rising and make the game fun.”
Of course, that’s what Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford said about Duke Nukem before that game came out. But Inaba and his team aren’t being as slavish to Rising’s original design (it also helps that Kojima and crew are still helping). For starters, they’ve eliminated the stealth aspects of the game in favor of pure hack & slash action, a decision that Kojima cites as a prime example of the decisiveness that had been previously missing from the game’s development.
Revengeance is also now set after Metal Gear Solid 4, while the original version of Rising took place before it, while the addition of the word “Revengeance” comes, Kojima explains, because, “the game is about Raiden getting revenge.” Though since living well is the best revenge, we’ll have to wait until the game comes out next year to see how he’ll get revenge against those who couldn’t finish his game right the first time.