Iconic as Snake as he may be, Kojima decided to let Hollywood actor and director Kiefer Sutherland take over veteran voice actor David Hayter’s position. What does this mean to us at SGCafe? What do we think about it?
Some of us here at SGCafe have played some of the Metal Gear Solid series, and we have our likes and gripes about each particular Metal Gear Solid. The first Metal Gear Solid was perfect for its time, but 2 had whiny Raiden, 3 was solid but peppered with a lot more pop-culture jokes than 1, Peace Walker’s storytelling was superb, but the frequent use of artistic slide shows (reminds me of Shaft, the animation company that brought us Bakamonogatari). Metal Gear Solid 4, to me, was 40% movie, 60% video game. Almost something like a 90s action blockbuster movie peppered with Jackie Chan-style humour. That you can play. 60-70% of the time.
Metal Gear Acid? No thanks, I do not fancy integrating card games into my Metal Gear experience. However, Metal Gear Rising was something that I have been waiting for so long, ever since Raiden wielded a katana in Metal Gear Solid 2. It was a great 3D action platformer that I enjoyed reviewing, despite the constantly crappy camera angles and campy Raiden voice-acting.
No doubt about it: I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of the main Metal Gear Solid series, but the abovementioned are some of my likes and gripes. All of them had Kojima’s style in it, and David Hayter was there to present Snake in Kojima’s envisioned vocal representation of Snake throughout the years. What I think is that, with the new FOX Engine, Snake needs to keep up with the times, and David Hayter probably isn’t as seasoned in acting out his emotions through his expressions compared to Kiefer Sutherland. Kojima probably thought about this, and he wants the best man suitable to represent Snake.
Kojima constantly interacts with fans of his works through Twitter; no doubt he knows what fans want. But how much is Kojima willing to sacrifice the fan favourite Hayter to push a new and better experience for gamers to experience the ‘new’ Snake? Choosing Sutherland over Hayter was a difficult decision to make for Kojima, given the assumption that Kojima truly knew what his fans wanted.
Hayter is good, no questions asked. But given the fact that the voice actor now also needs to be an actor – facial expressions only – is something that we feel that Kiefer should be able to pull off quite convincingly.
How about fans who grew up playing the Japanese version of the game? Akio Otsuka is definitely still voicing Snake – the Snake in Ground Zeroes trailer is proof.
Fans from various message boards have come up with interesting speculations on what Hideo Kojima has in store for us.
Hopefully, a demo showing actual footage of the gameplay (even better, a playable demo at Konami’s E3 2013 booth) should quell all the doubts raised by fans. The change in voice roles proves that Kojima is willing to take risks to provide a better experience that not only current fans can appreciate when they experience the change, but creating new experiences as well.