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Tactical espionage: How Kojima planted clues for Metal Gear Solid 5

MGS5 broke cover this week, but as PSM3 discovered, it has been leaving clues for over a year

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6. It'll examine the foundation of Outer Heaven and Big Boss' war against Major Zero and the Patriots

The entire MGS series timeline, as 'resolved' in MGS4, revolves around a philosophical dispute between Big Boss, and Major Zero (from MGS3). The point of contention is their differing interpretations of The Boss' (the female defector/villain/hero who sacrifices all for her beliefs in MGS3) will, and the best way to achieve 'peace'. Zero and Big Boss started the Patriots together in 1970, but Big Boss split away after the 'Les Enfants Terrible' project in 1972.

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The what project? When Big Boss' was injured and fell into a coma in 1972, Zero panicked about his potential symbolic loss to the world, and hatched the 'Les Enfants Terribles' project that gave birth to Big Boss clones Solid, Liquid and Solidus. This proved the final straw for (a now recovered) Big Boss, who set up the MSF, and in turn the concept of Outer Heaven after the events of MGS Peace Walker in 1974. Phew.

Outer Heaven philosophy was of absolute freedom and anarchy, as the best means to establish a soldier's haven and maintain global equilibrium. Zero's Patriots, however, believed the only route to peace and stability was control and manipulation (as featured heavily in MGS2 and MGS4). Broadly, it's freedom vs control in the battle to become the dominant mechanism to run the world, with neat modern day echoes of Friedman free market views (right wing) vs Keynesian intervention (left wing) as ways to approach a global economy. Or it's democracy vs totalitarian control - another contentious global issue.

It builds to a potentially major clue in the GDC ad, and the words 'Development without borders'. The Patriot's philosophy was to use ultimate control to provide the illusion of peace and a 'world without borders'. Big Boss' Miltaire Sans Frontieres operates under the principles of 'Soldiers without borders', hinting that the 'next MG' will focus on the philosophical dispute brewing in the '70s.

Note the fan responses to the ads Kojima chose to retweet (RT):
"RT Just finished the HD trilogy... but to play as Big Boss again is AWESOME!"
"RT Big Boss begins his war on Zero's Patriots? Outer Heaven begins? I request Ocelot in his prime..."
"RT Does it mean MGS5 with Big Boss or young Solid Snake?" They're only fan's wishes, but Kojima retweeted them, not 100s of others - that's not an accident.

In gameplay terms, this could create a dynamic where Big Boss' mercs pick up missions facing off against Zero's Patriots. It's possible that Diamond Dogs is Big Boss' version of Foxhound (a unit he started, before defecting to start MSF and later regaining control of Foxhound in the '80s... ARGH!), and the two lock horns. Picking up mercenary missions across Africa might suit Skyrim-style, open-world gameplay, which is where things get really complex...

7. The next Metal gear is open world, and built for next generation games consoles

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Hideo Kojima often tweets of working on a game called 'Project Ogre'. What isn't clear is whether it's a Metal Gear game - it seems more likely that they're separate projects (more later). What is clear, is that 'Project Ogre' uses Kojima's new Fox Engine graphics technology, as debuted in a pre-E3 2011 teaser video; featuring an MGS3-style jungle scene with a small boy and a horse.

Speaking to CNN in November 2011, Kojima said "(Ogre) is some game that has a very wide entrance, a very open entrance", hinting at an open world. "Rather than make something cinematic, (I plan to) make something very free," he added. Kojima explained that players should be able to find new sights and adventures after having played for as much as 100 hours. Talking to OPM magazine, Kojima described Project Ogre's feel as 'subdued', and only similar to his past projects on the surface; underneath it would be different.

While Project Ogre probably isn't the 'Next MGS', an open world would be ideal for picking up missions across a huge African setting. One Fox Engine test image shows a MG-style figure sneaking past a tank in a dusty setting, with mountain ranges. It could be an Angolan diamond range, or somewhere in Africa. It's described as "New title run by FoxEngine" not as 'Project Ogre', perhaps reinforcing their separate status.

21st century Fox
While such an ambitious project might be possible on current consoles using Fox Engine, it'd clearly benefit from more power. Test images from the recruitment ad of, er, a boardroom full of weird objects (and a horse, like the one seen in the FoxEngine demo at E3 2011), show off its potential. At a glance, you can't tell the real-life photos from the FoxEngine renders, with lighting that looks beyond existing console technology.

The GDC advert seeks engineers for 'the latest MGS targeted for high end consoles and PC', plus 'next- gen game engine technology for use with FOX Engine'. Given that the 'next MGS' or 'Project Ogre' are yet to be confirmed, the sensible bet would be on an E3 unveiling for one (or both). Note: E3 might play host to a new console debut, be it Microsoft's 'Project Durango', or PS4. With PS4 being tipped to be like a PC in terms of specs, Kojima's job ads are even more tantalising.

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