There's probably a very good book waiting to be written about development of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, the Kojima Productions spin-off spared from destruction by Bayonetta developer Platinum Games.
Cobbled together from insider gossip and tearful interviews with Kojima himself, it'll be a tale of squandered dreams and souls buckling under the weight of commercial realities. Is it too much to ask for a film adaptation, with Dustin Hoffman starring as Kojima and his Platinum Games opposite Atsushi Inaba a dashing Tom Cruise? We don't think so, but then we've eaten rather a lot of sugar this morning. Those two-for-one M&S confectionary deals are criminal.
This 24 minute Q&A video, released overnight, will have to do for the moment. We've had a look through, and we've isolated a number of key data-strands for your kind attention. Find them below the video player, along with a few Revengeful cullings from the web at large.
1. Kojima Productions messed the game up...
There's no hiding from this one, Metal Gear disciples. Under Kojima Productions, Rising was as dead as a Dodo. The game was conceived (following Kojima's Metal Gear Solid 5 pitch to Konami circa 2008) as a way of diversifying the franchise beyond its stealth-action origins while giving the bossman time off to work on Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. But the relatively untried Rising team floundered in the absence of their great chief.
"In the summer of 2010, the team made a presentation for me, and I realized the game design still wasn't there yet," Kojima admitted. "As the young staff said to me, they wanted a good game that just felt good moving around, and we would never get that, so I decided to cancel the project." Many elements of Rising were worth saving, however. "Motion capture, a lot of good story, the view of the world inside the game, and I wanted to use that somehow. I wanted Rising to be born again, so that's when I decided to contact Platinum Games."
2. ...but Platinum wants to spare Kojima's blushes
Platinum's coyness over what it brings to Rising is rather disingenuous. The re-reveal trailer suggests a game very much in the Devil May Cry mould, with the promised stealth not so much conspicuously under-played as chopped into a million pieces, but the studio is keen to over-emphasise what this owes to Kojima and the original concept. Sensible, that. In the eyes of the Metal Gear faithful, Almighty Hideo can do no wrong. You don't mess with the true believers.
"My job is not to change the original concept," Inaba explained in the video. "It's to take the concept and make it something fun. So for Metal Gear Rising, I'm working on the same concept, just trying to make it something that you can, from the screens, see is fun." Later he went further, remarking bashfully to Kojima: "we are just tools for your revengeance, right?" And to complete the self-effacement process, here's a nugget from Inaba's Twitter account:
"It seems there are some who wish to imply Platinum Games was able to achieve what Kojima Productions could not - interviewers among them. This notion is spurious. Clearly, we have not yet produced any results in the world of Metal Gear." Putting Rising back on the agenda surely counts, Inaba-san.