Raiden not playable in MGS4, and that's not all

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will not feature Raiden as a playable character, director Hideo Kojima has confirmed. However, the flopsy-haired agent everyone loves to hate will "play an active role in the story," says Kojima, and we can "expect to learn the reason behind [Raiden's] character design through the course of MGS4's story."

Kojima revealed this info during a staged interview with Show Maybe?, a Konami-created spoof version of the daily newsletter produced for and circulated at last month's E3 show (be sure to check out theonline versionof it). He also fleshed out the plot of his latest masterpiece. MGS4 is set five to 10 years in the future, where "all of the weapons and war zones are controlled by nanotechnology" and the business of war has been taken over by "private military companies."

Liquid Snake returns as commander of the private military company Outer Heaven, wielding "military strength equivalent to the rest of the world's combined power." Solid Snake is sent "somewhere in the Middle East" by the United Nations to foil Liquid's plans.

But, as recent MGS4 trailers show, Snake's clocking up the years. "Snake's vigor - his existence - has started to wither," Kojima explains. "His face has aged a lot, but he's actually much younger than he seems. His body suffers from accelerated aging because he was born from the genetic engineering project, Les Enfants Terribles."

Finally, Kojima lists the recurring members of Metal Gear's cast. Naomi Hunter is back, having "successfully escaped after having been captured in Metal Gear Solid," and Campbell returns, old but "more vigorous than Snake." Meryl Silverburgh, who also played a big role in the PSone Metal Gear Solid, will finally resurface, this time as a commanding officer and leader of FOXHOUND.

MGS4 is likely to be the final episode of Snake's adventures - though that's what was said about MGS3. "I had actually intended to complete the series with MGS3," Kojima says. "I decided to make MGS4 because so many mysteries still remained, and I couldn't ignore all the people who had requested a new game."

June 16, 2006

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.