Hideo Kojima, if anything, is sort of a trickster. I mean, who heavily markets a game as great as Metal Gear Solid 2 was solely around playing as Snake, then pull off one of the greatest switcharoos by playing mostly as new character Raiden? The latest news out of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain strikes the right nerve of Kojima’s funny bone, as he revealed a brand new chicken hat initiative for gameplay.
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Thanks to some translation help from Kotaku East (repackaged over at regular Kotaku), it appears as though the chicken hat does provide an important gameplay utilization. If one is stuck on a level due to getting captured or killed too many times, the game will offer you the hat in order to help you out. Agreeing to wear the hat, enemies will have a harder time noticing you, reacting to you and the hat will glow in the dark (without enemies being able to see it). However, you will be stuck with it for the rest of the level, even during important cutscenes.
It’s exactly what the Golden Tanooki was for Super Mario 3D World; a boost for less-skilled players to help them get through something they can’t power through over time. However, in my mind, Kojima’s added aspect of (slight) humiliation towards wearing the chicken cap makes more sense. Games shouldn’t tailor regular play to weaker players just because they don’t want to encounter challenges in gameplay, especially in a game like The Phantom Pain. Throwing disincentives for taking that path promotes overcoming difficulties in gaming, which is a big aspect of what makes the interactive medium great.
Look, not everyone can be skilled at certain games. I can’t lay my hands on a keyboard for an RTS or MOBA due to the sheer amount of confusion and information being thrown in my direction. However, I’m sure as hell not going to want them to casualize themselves in order to tailor to my needs. I will do my part to stay away from those games, or play the easiest version of those titles. The Phantom Pain, if it’s anything like Ground Zeroes or the rest of the series, will offer multiple difficulty levels for players to explore a gameplay feel that suits their needs. “Cheat modes” in games defeat the purpose of play, so at the very least they can slightly mock users who utilize them.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is scheduled for release in 2015. It will be headed for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 and Xbox 360, although it is not clear which versions will see release at which times, if not at the same time.
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