What Should Konami Do with Metal Gear?
Credit: Tech Times
July 7th 2017 will mark the 30th anniversary of the Metal Gear franchise. Most gamers, however, are more familiar with the Metal Gear Solid franchise, which was released for the Playstation 1 in 1998. The series originally started 1987 and has lasted up till 2016. As of recent, there was a new installment in development titled Metal Gear Survive.
The series has had various titles, and is known to have a pretty convoluting narrative.
But with Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear series, recently leaving Konami, what will Konami do with its flagship franchise? And what should they do?
To start, let's discuss the recent release: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. This game was highly anticipated by fans. Once it was released, it received generally positive scores all around, up until people got to the conclusion.
Although the conclusion had answered many questions fans had and had made the game come full circle, it still left lingering threads that never got brought back to light within it.
We had gotten news of Kojima’s disassociation with the company prior to release, and people dug into the game’s files, finding content for an unfinished Chapter 3 which wasn’t in the main game. It felt as though Konami released an unfinished game on purpose.
It’s one thing to leave a story open ended a bit for someone to deduce their own takes, but it’s another to throw in new narrative arcs that never again get touched upon or given a slight conclusion.
So with Kojima gone, and side arcs left lingering, what’s Konami to do with their franchise now that’s it most creative mind isn't allowed anywhere near the company?
I feel they should have done one of two thing: Either given the fans what they want, and remake the original NES Metal Gear games, or even remake the originals, but with a different protagonist.
*Potential spoilers* At the end of The Phantom Pain, we see we have not been playing as Big Boss (Naked Snake) the entire time. We were instead playing as a medic from his unit in the title Ground Zeroes who ended up in the helicopter accident with Big Boss himself.
After being in a coma and having plastic surgery to look like Big Boss, they instilled the bosses' memories within him, so when he awoke he would think he is Big Boss.
Although this was pretty obvious early on, it was still a good twist in the end. This twist explains how Solid Snake had to take down Big Boss a second time after seemingly killing him in the first.
However, they handled Huey's arc a little roughly throughout the course of Phantom Pain, and we never hear of what happened to Liquid Snake after he stole Snake’s Sahelanthropus, or where the real Big Boss is. So what should Konami make next?
By completely remaking the original Metal Gear stone by stone, it would gives fans what they wanted for years. They could also carry over the previous assets and work from most recent games to help fully flesh out the story. We already know one of the bosses' Solid Snake kills in the NES games is the duplicate Big Boss.
By using the the model of Snake from Phantom Pain for the remake, we would be able to distinguish the two apart more easily considering Phantom Snake has a protruding horn.
Also fans who began following post-NES games (the Solid series) would be more caught up to speed considering not everyone has access to the originals, or wants to play through the old styled games. Now they could take another route after The Phantom Pain story.
Konami could take what fans wanted and tweak it around so it feels fresher, and only contributes more to the lore itself.
What if we had a remake of the originals, but soon as we start playing, we see ourselves playing from Big Boss' perspective opposed to Solid Snake’s. The Metal Gear series is known for fleshing out characters, so us playing as the Big Boss from the originals as he’s working on his base would be interesting to see.
Also, it would be a fun idea in the end to have to face the main hero Solid Snake, only to lose to him no matter what. This would give fans, in a way, a remake they have been seeking, while letting the developers craft a character driven story, possibly even having us sympathize with Big Boss in this tale of tragedy as we see it from his perspective. Kojima may have left, but the resources are at their disposal.
But what do we get?
We get Metal Gear Survive, a game that is to be taken as a “parallel side game” to the series. We get to customize a character, manage resources, fight horde based waves of zombie like beings.
There has been massive backlash to this announcement. I do not like judging a book by its cover usually, but this just screams that Konami does not know what to do with its series now that Kojima is gone.
We have plenty of games in this genre, do we really want that for our Metal Gear? Is it what makes a Metal Gear Game? Even a lackluster attempt at staying with the Metal Gear series would please fans more.
Survive in my opinion is not the direction Konami should be taking. They have the resources to bring that full circle narrative fully around, all the while possibly enhancing it, and they should fully look into it.
What do you think Konami should be doing? Let me know in the comments.