December’s issue of Game Informer features an in-depth interview with Metal Gear Solid guru Hideo Kojima, in which he discusses Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. One of the PS3’s most highly anticipated titles, as well as what is to be the last game in the Metal Gear series with Kojima at the helm, MGS4’s dev team is pulling out all the stops to ensure that this game will be one to remember. Notable among Kojima’s remarks regarding this next entry in the series is the introduction of psychological warfare—not just for the NPCs, but for the player as well. According to Kojima, enemy AI in Guns of the Patriots will be so advanced that each character will react as an actual human would in a combat situation, meaning that outwitting your enemies will likely become a key facet of gameplay. However, in an effort to keep the game balanced, the enemy Metal Gears will play tricks with your mind as well.
Rather than attempting to heighten the player’s paranoia (as the horror genre has done so often in the past), the enemies in MGS4 will instead endeavor to lull you into a false sense of security and actually ease your tension before engaging you in combat. In Kojima’s own words, ”in the trailer, there is a new Metal Gear. When this comes closer, it makes the noises of a cicada. To most Japanese people, this sound makes you think about your childhood days, because you were going outside into nature and catching cicadas.” Furthermore, the sound of the Metal Gear walking will resemble the clopping of horse hooves, and that bellowing noise heard in the trailer is supposed to be reminiscient of the noises made by a cow. Kojima contends that, ”so combined, these three aspects, the sounds of the cicada, the horse, and the cow makes the person who hears the sounds a little bit peaceful, because it makes you go back to your childhood memories. You’re supposed to feel tense in a battlefield, but when you hear this, it really cuts the tense feeling. And when that happens, the Metal Gear attacks you.”
Although, perhaps this is just me, but when a two-legged mechanical monstrosity plummets out of the sky and emits a deafening roar straight out of Jurassic Park, I am not immediately put at ease. More accurately, it causes me to hearken back to my childhood, when, growing up in southern Kyushu, cows would fall from the sky and fire missiles at me. Needless to say, my cicada collection was ruined. For localization, might I suggest the Metal Gears play an endless loop of the Super Mario Bros. theme? Doot, doot, doot, doot doooo doo BOOM.