“This time, with Metal Gear Solid V, the themes are a little different from previous games in the series,” said series creator Hideo Kojima in the video (shown below).
“We’re taking on some very heavy subjects such as race and revenge. I wanted Snake to have a more subdued performance, expressed through subtle facial movements and tone of voice rather than words.”
“Furthermore,” Kojima said, “the game takes place in 1984, when Snake is 49 years old. Therefore, we needed someone who could genuinely convey the facial and vocal qualities of a man in his late 40′s.”
Kojima also said that the open world game has a greater sense of tension than previous Metal Gear games, and that it would deal with themes like race and revenge.
Sutherland was considered ideal for the role because the game’s tone is much darker and it required a subtle, subdued performance.
He was “the perfect fit in terms of age and performance, so we made him an offer,” said Kojima. “We wanted to try and see just how far we could go in making a living, breathing Snake.”
He also promised more depth than ever before in terms of the new game’s storytelling and atmosphere.
As for David Hayter, who provided the voice of Snake since the first Metal Gear Solid game in 1998, he was disappointed by the news announcement but later tweeted that the game will “still be excellent” and yet different, just “like New Coke”.