The director of the Metal Gear Solid movie is going out of his way to ensure that the film’s writers fully understand why Metal Gear Solid is a widely renowned game. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, whose most recent work is Kong: Skull Island, said it’s impossible to show what makes the Metal Gear Solid games special in video summaries online. To address this, Vogt-Roberts designed a course to educate interested writers of his film.
Vogt-Roberts told Glixel in an interview that he wanted his writers to understand not only the ideas behind Metal Gear Solid, but also gaming per se. To do this, he made his potential writers play the first parts of the Metal Gear Solid games.
Metal Gear Solid 1 to The Phantom Pain
“As I brought in writers, I basically took them on this weird journey where I brought them over to my house and I designed this weird course where I would load up the original Metal Gear and I would have the writer play that for a while, and just teach them this idea of stealth gameplay,” Vogt-Roberts said. “I would let them play that, and generally, anyone was able to play that because anyone can pick up a game of that era and understand the mechanics of it.”
After showing the first Metal Gear Solid game, Vogt-Roberts would shift to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain to show how much the series have evolved, allowing the writer to see “both ends of the spectrum.” He would then put back the first Metal Gear Solid on the PSOne to show how basic and accessible the first game was.
“Your camera’s more locked, it doesn’t have as many complexities of a Phantom Pain and people were able to pick that up pretty easily. It’s still working off of those basic regular Nintendo mechanics, but I would take them through it because the first hour of that game pretty clearly makes a thesis statement for why this franchise is so important. You get into some pretty powerful cutscenes right away, you’re thrust right into the gameplay right away, and people were able to get into that.”
Metal Gear Solid 2
According to Vogt-Roberts, he devised this course to help his writers understand that “gaming is a language.” After allowing his writers to see the highlights of the first Metal Gear Solid game, he then moved to Metal Gear Solid 2.
“I actually found that was almost the sweet spot for a lot of people. You weren’t fully in control of the camera, you didn’t have to independently move it around, so it was just really interesting watching non-gamers, and seeing where modern games became difficult for them. I think people ignore the fact that gaming is a language.”
Hideo Kojima Quality
It remains be seen whether Vogt-Roberts’ course works in helping create the first good video game movie. Nonetheless, it’s clear that Vogt-Roberts is a fan of both the Metal Gear Solid games and the director behind it.
“It’s such a sprawling, incredible thing, and the thing that I always talk about is, unlike a comic book or Batman or something that’s had writers upon writers and different people taking different stabs at it, Metal Gear fundamentally has come from a single voice, and that is Kojima. We’re talking about an auteur and someone who was able to excel at the highest level in terms of both gameplay and creating something with a cinematic quality.”
Vogt-Roberts has been assigned to direct the film since 2014. A release window has yet to be announced for Sony’s film.