Metal Gear Solid: Rising Producer Talks Accessibility, Misinterpretations Abound
"To answer your question about returning characters, we're probably not going to show too many characters in Rising because, since it's a new part of a series, we don't really want to refer to and dwell upon the Metal Gear saga so much.
We want newcomers to the game to come in and play freely without needing to know and understand the background of the whole Metal Gear Solid universe ... We don't want to have it all tied up with the story from MGS2 or MGS4 and make it too complicated."
Given the fertile storytelling possibilities for a game set between MGS2 and MGS4, these statements have some fans in an uproar, many of whom are questioning why Kojima Productions is even trying to make the game canon in the first place or wondering why they would want to set it in such a pivotal point in Raiden's character development. Others are wary of a "watered-down" storyline acting as a follow-up to the extremely complex and metaphysical plot of Metal Gear Solid 2.
On the other hand, less concerned fans feel that there is no need for a huge cast of returning characters given that the "family-reunion" plot was already covered in MGS4 (supposedly occuring only 5 years after MGS2), incorporating characters who had been introduced as much as 50 years before MGS4 took place.
Many fans have even misconstrued Matsuyama's words of "not going to show too many" as meaning "not featuring any past characters at all." Even worse, some fans have assumed that the words "we don't really want to refer to and dwell upon the Metal Gear saga so much" and "play freely without needing to know ... the whole Metal Gear Solid universe" mean that Rising will not connect to the rest of the series at all. Such exclusive statements are not made anywhere in these quotes; and, in addition, if there are to be other games in between MGS2 and MGS4, it does not necessarily make sense for Rising to fully connect those two games, either.
If anything specific has been suggested in Matsuyama's interview, it is that you won't need to be a Metal Gear expert to understand the game. It is still entirely possible for the game (and good stories) to be written to cater to multiple audiences in a way that 1) does not confuse and turn off newcomers, 2) fits within the constraints imposed by prequel and sequel canon storylines, and 3) has additional meaning to gamers more familiar with the Metal Gear universe as a whole. Of these 3 possibilities, none are excluded by Matsuyama's statements.
Other fans are even more hopeful that if Metal Gear Solid: Rising proves successful (or even ends in failure), Hideo Kojima will be more encouraged to step in himself to fill in this part of the timeline with a follow-up game similar to how Peace Walker took place after the non-Kojima Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. To some fans, it even makes sense for Rising to be connected to canon (albeit loosely), while a potential Kojima sequel could be heavier in the messages that cater to the traditional Metal Gear audience.
All in all, Matsuyama hasn't given away enough concrete details for most of the statements that have fans in an uproar, short of his failure to confirm that their fears will not happen. The playing field is still wide open for Metal Gear Solid: Rising to cater to existing fans within traditional Metal Gear canon while also garnering the attention of new fans as well. What is certain is that the game will not be a traditional Metal Gear game, and while that has many fans fearing the worst, it has others really excited for something new and unique to enjoy. Given that Hideo is most likely going to make (or is even making as we speak) at least a few more Metal Gear games and that the library of 20+ years of previous Metal Gear games isn't going anywhere, maybe this isn't such a bad thing (or a big deal) after all. What are your hopes and fears for Metal Gear Solid: Rising?
Source: Connected Consoles