We Need To Talk About Kiefer

In preschool and in daycare I would never answer to my name. I would only answer to Indiana Jones, Doctor Jones, Henry Jones Jr...etc, etc. I would pretend nearly everywhere I went that I was Indiana Jones. Sometimes I still do things like I think Indiana Jones would do them. One of the first gifts I received at my sons baby shower was an officially-licensed Indiana Jones fedora (for children) and a short leather whip, both for my son.

I might have spent a lot of time pretending I was Indiana Jones, but I never did a voice for him. Indiana Jones just sounded like Harrison Ford. When I wasn't Indiana Jones though, I was Solid Snake, and Solid Snake does indeed have a voice.

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For a large part of my life, David Hayter was probably the only voice actor I knew by name. I've carried an extreme fandom for Metal Gear Solid since I was three years old, and I first played the game by way of Pizza Hut demo disc.

Let me tell you this again: I love David Hayter's voice for Snake, whether it's Solid Snake, Old Snake, Venomous Snake, Naked Snake, Big Boss, Garden Snake, Snake a Larange.

But now Kiefer Sutherland is voicing the famous stealth hero now--and I'm really okay with that.

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I'm writing this post because I bought Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on my PS3 when it first came out, but didn't really spend much time with it for a myriad of reasons. I did recently purchase on my PS4 (and for like fourteen fucking dollars, like whats up) and have been playing it to death. Kiefer isn't a chatterbox like Solid Snake was, okay--but let's review some of the facts.

  1. Ground Zeroes is the only story mission

The inaugural mission, Ground Zeroes, is the mission that matters. It both introduces the game and shows you all of the story content their really is to see. Kiefer does a sufficient amount of talking in this, and you get to hear him more than a couple times on different cassettes. He even re-recorded the voice snippets for the Deja Vu mission! They have Kaz doing quite a bit of voice work for the filler missions, but to have Kiefer do a bunch of work for throw-away stuff like that would be a waste of resources.

2. Codec, as we knew it, is gone.

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With the removal of the Codec system, we just get direct radio in real-time, putting an end to a gameplay mechanic and interface that ran pretty much the same from 1987 until Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. No longer are we freezing time in the middle of gunfights to ask somebody about equipment, or talk about Godzilla. I'm okay with this and I'm not okay. On one hand, I really enjoyed being able to just float around and talk to people the same way I liked taking cab rides and listening to the radio in Grand Theft Auto, but I have been playing GZ with headphones and it's pretty damn cool hearing it in your headset.

3. This was a prologue.

This was a lead-in, guys. Nobody got to have an arc. Like any Kojima production, 1,000 questions are hanging in the air and this was just the tip of the iceberg. To people saying that Kiefer didn't say anything...he did, but what did you want him to say? This was a big teaser

4. At this trajectory, we might see Snake take on Big Boss soon.

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And at that point, what happens? Would we have David Hayter talking to a less-gruff David Hayter? Kojima has expressed interest in remaking certain games in the franchise, and Metal Gear Solid has already seen it's re-release even if it was years and years ago now. Big Boss wasn't voiced by Hayter at the end of MGS4 and nobody batted an eye. My guess is that if nothing else, this is a step hinting at us seeing the legendary soldier fight his clone in the near-future.


Hideo Kojima is a visionary. He's absolutely crazy, and we all love him for it. He's behind one of the most well-loved and bizarre franchises in all of video games, and he has done far wilder things than change out a voice actor with great success. He went as far as to hide the MAIN CHARACTER from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty from everyone until release! Even going so far as to swap the character model of Raiden into Solid Snake while demoing the Fortune boss fight, as seen in the Metal Gear Scanlon bonus video.

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Hayter is not a bad voice actor. In fact, he's really good! But Kiefer is an actor of a caliber that David simply isn't, and he might bring something new to this character. I don't buy that he was too expensive and that's why he has been so silent thus far--Kojima is way too indebted into what Metal Gear is to chop the script into tiny bits because he could have the Hollywood actor for ten minutes instead. Kojima is a big name, Konami is a big studio, and Metal Gear is their mealticket. I would be utterly shocked if they didn't give Kojima whatever the hell it was he needed.

To date, Hideo Kojima has given me four fantastic experiences in a row. I absolutely trust him, because he has confounded my expectations every time only to leave me in pure adoration. He is one of the last great visionaries in AAA games. I'll follow him wherever he goes.

Now, give me The Phantom Pain already!