As confirmed during today's Pre-E3 show from Konami, replacing David Hayter as Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be none other than Kiefer Sutherland. Sutherland, who admits to never having played a game, claims he's become quite attached to the character on a personal level while working on the project. Metal Gear Solid V is planned for release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3... eventually.
According to Hideo Kojima, the decision to hire Sutherland as Snake was a result of several changing themes in Metal Gear:
"The themes are a little different from previous games in the series. We're taking on some heavy subjects, like race and revenge. As a result, I wanted Snake to have a more subdued performance expressed through subtle facial movements and tone of voice, rather than words."
Due to Metal Gear V taking place in 1984, Kojima decided he wanted an actor who could accurately portray the voice and mannerisms of a man in his late 40s. That meant going beyond the way they approached the character in the past and finding someone with serious acting chops.
During the preview in the Konami livestream, we see Kiefer Sutherland covered in motion capture equipment -- several dozen metal diodes to record is facial movements. Kojima went on to say that due to the facial expressions of Sutherland and the new Fox Engine, much of the dialogue and voicework could be outright removed.
Sutherland, perhaps understanding how touchy of an issue the change will be with gamers, made the following comments:
"It's an honor to be able to play this character. He has an unbelievable legacy. I'm not a gamer and I even knew about this game. I was certainly keenly aware of the legacy and the success of these games."
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is planned for released on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Considering no release information was shared during the livestream, I expect we'll hear more news during either Sony or Microsoft's E3 press conferences.