Hideo Kojima details Metal Gear Solid 5's episodic structure, theme of race and revenge

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will take an episodic approach to its structure, says series creator Hideo Kojima, who likens the upcoming tactical espionage operations game to that of a television series.

"Think of past Metal Gears as like movies, you just move along and really enjoy the ride," Kojima said in a roundtable interview at E3. "And think of Metal Gear Solid 5 as a TV series."

Instead of implementing a linear structure to Metal Gear Solid 5's story, Kojima Productions is breaking the game down into a missions which players can play in the sequence they choose.

"Each mission is an episode," Kojima said. "Now there might be independent stories within each mission. Of course it's not linear, you can play any mission, any episode at any time. But ultimately when you play all of them and get to the core of the story, everyone will get the same viewpoint [of the story]."

The mission-based structure affords Kojima Productions the chance to make a realistic espionage simulation, he said. Kojima said The Phantom Pain's open world and mission-based structure was in part inspired by Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series.

"Creating that kind of freedom [for the player], I think that's the future of games," Kojima said.

Before E3, Kojima announced that the overarching theme of Metal Gear Solid 5 would be about race and revenge. Previous entries contained similar themes, like "gene" (Metal Gear Solid), "meme" (Metal Gear Solid 2) and "scene" (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater).

"For the past 25 years, all my Metal Gear games have included a theme," Kojima said. "For MGS5, I wanted to write about race and revenge. This is ultimately where all of it leads to. Past Metal Gears, I wanted to talk about the foundation where of all these battles and where hate comes from. Differences in culture, differences in race, the cycle of retaliation, it's ultimately caused by race."

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