Kiefer Sutherland Describes Playing Role of Metal Gear Solid’s Snake


Konami’s decision to replace David Hayter with Kiefer Sutherland for Metal Gear Solid‘s Snake role has been met with a lot of controversy. As questionable as the decision was, the world is yet to see what sort of impact this daring move has had on the franchise. Director Hideo Kojima has called it a success, noting Sutherland’s work as a reason for the next Metal Gear “raising the bar” for the award-donning franchise. But what is it like from Sutherland’s perspective?

Kiefer Sutherland recently had a chance to sit down with IGN and talk about what his experience has been like voicing Big Boss for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. He explained the facial motion capture work first, saying:

You know, I’ve got, like, 50 metal dots on my face, 50 cameras recording my every facial movement. The process and the technology and what I have to go through just to do a line, and what the engineers and technicians have to do, it’s unbelievable. But then when I saw it… There was a guy who was applying the dots and was just in charge of that part, and he was making his own game; he’s some technical wizard, and this game is supposed to be really cool.

He then described what he’s seen of the game so far:

But they were showing us some stuff that they had just finished in Japan, and they were showing it back to us. It was this one little clip that’s final, final, final, and it’s me on a horse. I’m riding the horse, and then I go from a run to a lope to a walk, and then standing still. I don’t know a lot about games, so I’m watching it, and the guy who’s watching it with me goes, ‘Oh my God. Your ears moved.’ Then he was looking at the throat, and he said, ‘You can see the pulse.’ I mean, it was so real, and all I kept thinking was, ‘This is how they’re going to make movies soon.’ They’re halfway there now, you know, but they’re going to make films like this. This is not far off. 

The previous voice actor, David Hayter, earned a lot of fans during his tenure. I’m one of those fans, and can say with confidence that his voice is synonymous with Snake. Hearing a different tone come out of Snake’s mouth will take some getting used to.

Thankfully, Kiefer Sutherland is just about the best actor for the role. He’s portrayed characters very similar to Snake/Big Boss for over a decade. He’s a top talent that could, alongside the push for open-world gameplay, improve the formula of Metal Gear Solid dramatically.

As great of a job as I’m sure Sutherland has done, some fans will be preset on disliking the change and there will be no convincing them. That’s the price Konami will have to pay. Hopefully the casualties are limited.