Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Director Hideo Kojima has a long history of devising solutions to improve the controls of his games, and today he shared more details on Twitter about what we can expect from the game, and on the evolution from the first title of the series:
Metal Gear Solid is often mistakenly considered too complicated in its controls. Simply more buttons are available in order to change camera or give the player more actions to chose from.
I tried to configure the controls for instinctive gameplay as much as possible. Ground Zeroes performs smoothly and conveniently like a representative of the new generation. It’s hard to go back and play the old Metal Gear Solid games after you get used to Ground Zeroes.
Back in the nineties, changing from the main screen to a secondary screen to switch weapons was the mainstream. This was distracting to players as they needed to switch between different screens back and forth. So I invented the weapon switch that can be done with one hand by clicking over the game screen in the first Metal Gear Solid. I also made background icons transparent.
In Metal Gear Solid I had to chose a special button configuration to change weapon quickly (select a button as you hold another pressed). No other game had done the same before, so it kinda made everyone anxious. Well, you should be careful in Ground Zeroes because the game keeps going while you’re switching your weapon.
Kojima continued by mentioning that the one-handed system initially originated from Policenauts, and then carried over to Metal Gear Solid, then moved on to explain the need for constant awareness in Ground Zeroes.
In Ground Zeroes you should be careful even while you switch items, check the map or listen to the walkman, the game isn’t paused and the world around you keeps going on like the real world.
Of course there’s a pause button. You can even pause during cutscenes. Players can go to the bathroom or take a break. However Snake in Ground Zeroes can’t take break, so you can’t play the game while paused.
Personally, I’m quite eager to try out the new control scheme and to see if it works as well as Kojima says. I always found the controls in previous Metal Gear Solid games quite natural anyway. The need for constant awareness is also quite a refreshing change, as my only complaint about the older games of the series is that at times they felt a bit predictable.
We’ll have to see how the premise will translate into gameplay, but it definitely sounds promising.