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Infiltrating Kojima Productions: Ryan Payton Talks Metal Gear Solid 4
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Infiltrating Kojima Productions: Ryan Payton Talks Metal Gear Solid 4

October 15, 2007 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 6 Next

Sony announced the DualShock 3 yesterday [at TGS], and obviously you are already supporting it. It seems that Sony has been using this game at the TGS as "the DualShock 3 title," to show it off. There's also a history with MGS; with MGS1 and the original DualShock. Did Kojima Productions influence the decision to introduce DualShock 3?

RP: I think Sony has always wanted to have rumble in their controllers, and for obvious reasons there was a problem that prevented them from having it at launch. We're really happy that they were able to get it into the controller just in time for us to be able to support it in the game, because if the implementation was just a few months later, it wouldn't have made it in time for MGS4.

This will be the premiere DualShock 3 supporting game coming out within the next six months. Gran Turismo 5 is, I'm sure, going to be impressive, but we've got some things that I can't talk about that people are going to really dig. What's funny about the DualShock, though, I realized yesterday when some writers came in and I just placed the controller in their hands and had them play MGS4; for some reason it took them like ten or fifteen minutes to realize that the game had rumble. They would stop and say, "Oh! This -- you've got the DualShock 3!" And it's funny because you don't really realize it unless it's not there.

It's something you don't really notice until it's gone.

RP: Yeah, basically. It's hard to appreciate, because you're not always thinking about it -- but when there is a big explosion and it doesn't rumble, then you notice. So it's kind of an interesting thing that people are so accustomed to it now.

Something about this game that seems Japanese or, at least different, to, say, GRAW -- is its sense of humor. What do you think about that?

RP: Humor is very important for Metal Gear. Without it, without Hideo's signature humor, it wouldn't feel like a Metal Gear game. That's the thing that I tried to address with Portable Ops -- it was an issue of timing. I thought there was a lack of humor, and a lack of jokes, and the quirky details that make a Metal Gear game. We did have a few of them, but I just didn't feel it was enough.

And, thankfully, with MGS4 we're taking the time to implement these things that gamers appreciate. Because this is a war game, but we kind of take a step back, and throw in a few jokes here and there. That's just what Metal Gear is all about. It's about Snake vomiting, and we have a character who's got a lot of problems with diarrhea. Some of this is potty humor, but, like I said, it's Metal Gear. I think people would be upset if it wasn't there.

But at the same time, what we know of the story is very serious. The whole "private military corporations" thing is something that not a lot of people know about, but is really seriously relevant right now in the real world. Can you talk about that story element?

RP: Sure. Yeah, this is the first time for a Metal Gear game that the subjects have been very relevant to the time that it was being released.

Yeah, "genetically engineered soldiers" was not really that relevant.

RP: No. [laughs] Or, like, the nuclear threats based on MGS1: that was more of a Cold War thing that they brought back. And then, with Snake Eater, we literally went back to the Cold War. But with MGS4, we've been doing a lot of research on what's going on recently. Recent conflicts in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq, where real private military companies are being used to fight wars.

And obviously there's that whole issue with Blackwater, and that controversy. This is becoming a very relevant issue. It's tough for the writers, and guys like me, who are involved with the story, because new information is coming in almost on a daily basis. We were literally days away from finalizing MGS4 story, and the text, and going to record it, and Hideo comes by our desks and says, "Did you see the news on NHK today? We've got to put that in there too. Make some kind of reference to that in the story." And we've done that. So it's very up-to-the-minute in the story, and we've been keeping watch of what's going on in the world.

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