MGS V: The Phantom Pain Will Favour Player-driven Narrative
One thing that fans picked up in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was the lack of cutscenes. One could take the cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 4 and stitch them together to make several feature-length films but Ground Zeroes had precious little else besides an opening and closing cutscene.
That trend is one which will continue in The Phantom Pain, the game to which Ground Zeroes is merely a prologue.
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In an interview with Eurogamer, Kojima Productions designer Jordan Amaro described how the developer will be “reducing the amount of cutscenes.” This is being done to accomodate the variety of playstyles within the game. As such, player-driven narrative progression will be favoured over your standard “get from point A to point B, engage cutscene, feel emotions.”
“When you are in our environments, you need to observe, use your binoculars, mark the guys and say, okay, what do I do now?” Amaro said. “There’s no obvious road.”
Having formerly worked at 2K, Crytek and Ubisoft Amaro had some adjusting to do.
“I would start working on missions using my westerner’s knowledge,” Amaro said. “I was designing with the player as my main preoccupation. All I did was for the player, the player was at the centre of the game. And I was getting it all wrong, this goes against the vision for MGS5.”
By making The Phantom Pain’s gameplay “not just about the player,” Amaro said Kojima Productions is able to focus on creating an environment in which players can craft their own stories through the game’s systemic mechanics.
“We get rid of all the narrative burdens, like, Sam Fisher or whoever has to go through this emotional state or has to reach that guy,” Amaro elaborated. “We just go for non-dependent objectives, and we just get rid of all that narrative burden and just focus on what makes the mission good at the core level.
“We hope to reveal Snake’s character through the players’ actions in those spaces that are smart to traverse. That’s pure game storytelling, although it’s still primal because the odds are what they are.”
It sounds like a good approach and a great way to make the open-world more relevant and impactful in terms of not only player experience but narrative.
As a fan perhaps you have some different notions about this decision.