"Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots" is finished, announced series creator Hideo Kojima at Konami's press conference in San Francisco last week.
The last adventure of Solid Snake is almost ready for gamers. It's been a long time coming -- more than four years of development -- but on June 12, "MGS4" will finally become a reality on PlayStation 3s worldwide.
Fans can stop worrying, though; this isn't the last "Metal Gear," explained associate producer Ryan Payton in an interview with MTV Multiplayer. "I think there's been some misconceptions that this is the last 'Metal Gear,'" said Payton. "This is really just the last chapter of the saga of the Solid Snake story."
But if this is Snake's story, what's up with the inclusion of Altair's costume from "Assassin's Creed"? And how did Kojima get Ubisoft and Konami to cooperate?
"The "Assassin's Creed" costume was one of the last things we put in the game," he said. "It was kind of a last minute thing [and] we were really lucky enough to have Ubisoft be so enthusiastic about this kind of cooperation. They worked overtime to get that costume into the game."
Kojima and "Assassin's Creed" producer Jade Raymond were introduced at E3 last year. The two met again during Tokyo Game Show and a mutual admiration for each other's work blossomed. Discussions started about a collaboration. This turned into Altier's costume being a bonus in "MGS4" at the last second.
"Normally, we don't do that," said "MGS4" producer Ken Imaizumi.
"It's very dangerous because of the code and bug checking," added Payton.
As top-tier third-party publishers, Konami and Ubisoft are technically in competition with one another. I wondered how Kojima and Raymond managed to convince their respective employers to find a way to make this creative exchange work.
"I think it's a testament to the Ubisoft Montreal team," said Payton. "Ubisoft -- which is a very dynamic company -- I just don't see them getting stuck in all that red tape. Rather than try to figure out some royalty sharing it was 'let's just do this, this'll be fun.'"
Fun aside, now that "MGS4" is completed, Kojima finds himself at the juncture he's talked about for years. Kojima can finally create a game that doesn't have Solid Snake at the helm. But with his iconic character out of the picture, Kojima has effectively removed a safety net for the future.
"[Solid Snake] was a burden [for Kojima] because of all those loose ends," said Payton. "So when you play "Metal Gear Solid 4" and when you get to the end, I think you're going to feel that 'wow, this is a nice closure.' All of the weird stuff that's gone on in the past, it's all coming to an end. All those weird questions -- everything is answered."
But, c'mon, Kojima has famously said he's putting Solid Snake behind him before. Payton said Kojima is adamant about moving on, even if it's uncharted territory.
"I think he is kind of nervous about it," he said. "You can't continue from this step. You can't start next chapter. We really do close up the story."
Next month, we'll find out how Kojima pulls it off.