Over recent months, the team behind Hideo Kojima’s next installment in the renowned tactical action saga Metal Gear Solid have brought us an abundance of fresh, franchise-refining features and an entire smörgåsbord of interactive possibilities with the development of the fifth major chapter in the title, The Phantom Pain, along with its soon to be released prequel Ground Zeroes.

Though steering from the newly introduced open-world and equestrian transport, it appears Kojima-san is also hoping to trim down the franchise’s infamously long cinematic sequences. Quoted from his official twitter page, Kojima goes on to explain his intentions further.

“Since Metal Gear Solid V is a realistic stealth simulator, the degree of freedom is important. Therefore in most situations cutscenes and gameplay are connected in a single shot. It’s almost a single shot from the opening to the end, aside from your input.

The opening of Ground Zeroes also shows that intent. Gameplay and cutscenes use the same camera. That way there’s a sense of realism. In addition the opening of Ground Zeroes is set in a way that makes you understand the position of the imprisoned Chico.”

If we can expect anything from the approaching chapters, we can certainly expect it to be different. Those twenty to thirty minute interludes you spent eagerly awaiting the resolve of a tense dialogue, or for the baddies to deliver another ominous speech on global annihilation? We may very well be kissing them goodbye, but if this means more time in the field for us along with a much more flexible theatrical deliverance, then I’m not complaining.

Though since the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, we’ve already seen Kojima steadily incorporating a more fluid narrative into high-octane gameplay, with several real-time sequences playing out in front of the player to expand the environment aesthetically and reduce the linear nature of its predetermined characters, whilst the change received mixed opinions from fans and critics alike, it’s evident that due to the franchise’s sudden boost in popularity, Kojima feels confident pushing the envelope even further.

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is scheduled to land on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and PS4 toward the end of March this year, with The Phantom Pain leaping into cardboard boxes either by the end of 2014 or early 2015.

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