By Mark MacDonald 07/24/2007 At its Metal Gear 20th Anniversary Party earlier today in Japan, Konami revealed a brand new Metal Gear game for the PS3, this one entirely focused on online multiplayer. Metal Gear Online will allow for up to 16 players in a game at once, though the demo we saw today was 6 on 6. Two players on stage were the leaders of the two factions, while the rest of the players were back in the Kojima Productions offices nearby.

The main idea of MGO is hide and sneak. When the game came on screen, five players were visible, all in 3rd person. Four of them had their name and 'kojipro' above their heads -- up top was the time remaining, 11:02, and the score for each side (red and blue). It looked like it was all tied up at 99.

As the teams began to move, the player could see where his teammates were as their silhouettes would pulse every few seconds. Konami demonstrated how you can see them through walls, through cardboard boxes -- anything, basically. The effect looked really cool and seemed like a really great idea -- it brought to mind Halo 2's teammate tag, but here you could see actual silhouettes so you could know what each teammate was doing.

Orders were barked back and forth between soldiers via an auto menu. And a map in the upper right of the screen showed the level close by and the location of the teammates. They spotted some mines planted by the enemy and shot to take them out. Series producer Hideo Kojima explained that the game system allows you to gather information by scouting, and you can automatically share it with your teammates. The game is usually viewed from a detached third person perspective, but zooms in close when you aim your weapon, ala Splinter Cell. You can also go into first person.

After death, the player got a menu of items and weapons to choose from before respawning. Kojima chose a nudie mag again and planted it -- an enemy quickly fell for it. While he was busy looking, the solider jumped on him just like snake did in the MGS4 demo, strangling him until he was unconscious. While he was down, the player rubbed it in by actually 'spanking' the other player.

The level we saw was a broken city, but not dusty like MGS4. It was more dark dirt and pale gray concrete -- a completely war torn city. The graphics looked to be on a similar level to MSG4, and likely used the same engine.

There was also a way to scan your enemies' information and steal it from them. If you could hold them for a certain amount of time, you would get the same vision you have for your teammates, but for your enemies as well. They would pulse orange while your friends would pulse blue, so you could see all of your enemies wherever they were, even through walls, etc. Konami announced that they would start a closed beta test for the game today, July 24th and end it on August 6th. Unfortunately, there was no information about a release date for MGO.

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