Hello! I'm Tom. I designed a game called Gunpoint, about rewiring things and punching people, and now I'm working on a new one called Heat Signature, about sneaking aboard randomly generated spaceships. Here's some more info on all the games I've worked on, here's the podcast I do, here are the videos I make on YouTube, here are some of the articles I wrote for PC Gamer, and here are two short stories I wrote for the Machine of Death collections.
This post is part of a series. I mention abilities and tools but no story spoilers.
If you have keen eyesight, you might have noticed that the person in my screenshots is not straggly-bearded horned male Venom Boss Big Punished Ahab Snake. She’s Amber Fox, a low level support officer I think I extracted on an early mission [update: Andy tells me you get her by importing your Ground Zeroes save], along with another Fox with the same tattoo who might be her brother. She’s not a story character, just one of hundreds of recruits I have milling around my base.
Once you unlock the ‘combat’ bit of your base, you can choose to play as anyone you station there instead of Big Venom Punished Ahab. This is bizarre for many reasons.
Anyway, I’m absolutely delighted that they did it despite all of this. I hate playing as grizzled old men in general, and the ridiculous miscellany of costume-shop accessories on Snake Boss’s face made it hard to forget: “You’re playing Hideo Kojima’s alternatingly extremely silly and extremely self-serious fantasy.”
Amber Fox just looks cool. It’s nice to be a woman in what is not only typically a man’s role, but in this case actually is a specific man’s role. I like when people call her Boss. I ret-con that she really was just some random recruit, given one field op to test out the new combat unit idea, and pulled it off so spectacularly that she became the organisation’s primary operative, and now everyone’s just kind of in awe of this very sensible, very practical, mysterious woman who just showed up and killed it. It made stories like this one all the more exciting for me, because I wasn’t playing as some superhuman legend, I was just a new recruit who had to nearly break herself to get the job done, and came out bleeding and gasping but triumphant.
This was the last game I expected to let me write my own story.
More Metal Gear Solid V
Agent: I'd like to point out, as a fan of all the the Metal Gear games, the whole “You’re playing Hideo Kojima’s alternatingly extremely silly and extremely self-serious fantasy.” is exactly the part I like.
Matt: I've tried to staff my Combat Unit with as many women as possible. Seeing as though most of the people I pick up from Prisoner Extraction missions are women, I like to think putting them on combat duty lets them collect penance from their aggressors.
Apropos: While it's something I would never really indulge in myself, it really does appeal to me that they include this as an option.
It does create some rifts in the reality of the game, but as has been said elsewhere, the game is as much about being a game as it is telling a silly story about flaming whales.
Algiark: Damn, everything you said about "not be that person", and considering the game's ending... Now I wonder if The Phantom Pain is Kojima's biggest middle finger to the fourth wall.
Darkath: Just to point out, just like the character creation system used to make your face at the beginning of the game (which actually isn't used at all). It would seems crazy from a project management point of view to create full blown features that doesn't have any purpose in the game.
But actually most of them were developped in parallel for the upcoming competitive multiplayer mode Metal Gear Online. Those features were then fed back into the main game. That's why you can play amber and that everything you can do with snake, you can do with a female character with proper animation and voice.
Ultimately it's also possible that Kojima had larger plans for the combat unit in the game, but was eventually had to cut down on features for a game that is already a magnificent example of feature creep (and i love it)
Bludgeon Paragon: Playing as soldiers other than Big Punished Vic Venom actually increases their statistics over time depending on certain achievements (eg. finishing a main story mission before the actual protagonist nets a stat boost).
Amber Fox levels up to A-rank in combat after obtaining all combat medals, and her top-tier stat levels up to A+, making her a valuable staff member almost all the way to end-game. (It also helps that she basically has the Kojima Productions logo tattooed on her face and that she looks super-badass)
heine: i bought gunpoint and it wont open so i cant play it :(