As soon as the teaser trailer for Hideo Kojima’s upcoming video game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released earlier this year, gaming news websites and message boards exploded, partly because it was clear that David Hayter, the voice actor who had played the character of Solid Snake since 1998, had been replaced, but mostly because the new voice in the video sounded an awful lot like that of world-famous actor Kiefer Sutherland. Earlier today, those rumours were finally confirmed: Jack Bauer is Snake!

“It’s an honour to be able to play this character,” said Sutherland in an official video from Konami, the Tokyo-based company behind the hugely popular stealth action series. “This character has an unbelievable legacy, but there’s a real personal quality to the character that I’ve connected to.”

In the video, creator and director Hideo Kojima describes how he wasn’t certain at first whether the actor would be interested in the role, but decided to approach him since he felt that Sutherland was “the perfect fit in terms of age and performance.”


The news that Kiefer Sutherland will voice the game’s lead character will likely come as little surprise to many gamers, who were convinced from the outset that the new voice they were hearing in the teaser trailer belonged to that of 24‘s Jack Bauer, and that Konami was simply remaining tight-lipped as a way to build tension. With the E3 trade show in California due to open its doors in just a few more days, it’s clear from this announcement that Kojima’s hype machine is already running and in full, working order.

As celebrated an actor as Sutherland is, many gamers are still unhappy that David Hayter, who voiced the character in all of the previous Metal Gear Solid games, was so unceremoniously dropped from the cast.

“It’s a new type of Metal Gear game and we want to have this reflected in the voice actor as well,” Kojima explained earlier this year when questioned about the sudden change. This may well be the case, but it will likely come as little comfort to Hayter and his fans, especially since Akio Ōtsuka will continue to voice Snake in the Japanese version of the game as he has done since 1998.

Pockets of resistance aside, the game is shaping up to be one of the grittiest in the series’ history and we can’t wait to see more of it at E3. We’ll leave you now with Konami’s Pre-E3 announcement video. The best of luck to Kiefer–we have no doubt that his performance will ultimately win over even the staunchest Metal Gear fans, but it certainly won’t be easy.

【Update: Sutherland will, in fact, voice the character of Big Boss, also known as both “Snake” and “Naked Snake” in the game rather than Solid Snake. David Hayter previously played both roles. Apologies for any confusion caused!】

Source: Game Spark (Japanese)
Video: YouTube Konami