Recently Hideo Kojima, the creator of the Metal Gear Solid series posted on his Twitter account a very interesting tweet about his new project that may lead some to think that he could be planning a possible 5th Metal Gear Solid game.
“I asked Mr. Omori who wrote the unique calligraphic character for MGS4 to write some “reconstruction character.” Work in progress.”
Kojima is an amazing game director, influencing a whole new generation of gaming with his very awesome, elaborate storylines for Metal Gear but I truly think that he should stop at Metal Gear Solid 4. Some of you may disagree with me, hell, all of you may disagree but fanboy hysteria aside do we really need a new game in the series? Let’s take a look at why I believe Kojima and Kojima Productions need to set their minds in another direction.
1. Old Snake.
When I first heard the news about Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriot I was pretty ecstatic. We finally are done going back in time playing as Naked Snake/Big Boss (MGS3, Acid, Portable Ops) and going back to the good old times of Solid Snake. I found out that the 4th game takes place 9 years after the first game (Metal Gear Solid) and 5 years after the second game (Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty). Cool. Snake will still be relatively young; maybe they’ll give him a shaggier beard this time around. Finally they rolled out more information and pictures of Snake and well…let’s just say I was not expecting to play an old man. We learn that the reason he’s so old in the 4th game is because genetically he was made to have a short life span and he has rapid aging and technically he’s a 42-year-old dude in a 70+-year-old body.
As much as Solid Snake is by far one of my all-time favorite video game characters, it was hard watching Old Snake cough and wheeze his aching body through the game because that’s NOT the Snake that we’ve all known and loved. It’s like having us play as a young Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Yes, the man looks like Solid Snake but he just isn’t Solid Snake; I felt the same way about Old Snake. There’s something familiar about Solid Snake and Old Snake, to me, felt like a completely different person.
Ryan Payton of Konami did state that Guns of the Patriot would be the final game in which we see Solid/Old Snake as the lead character and even Kojima himself said that he doesn’t want anybody else handling the character but can we really trust that from them? Solid Snake is their staple mascot with countless magazines and websites declaring him as one of the greatest video game characters ever. Are we really to assume that Konami won’t try and make Kojima bring back Old Snake for one last mission? One last 5 million-unit seller for the PS3? Let’s all hope for the best that Kojima stands his ground. This brings me to my next point.
2. No Solid Snake? What’s the point?
Yes, I said in reason 1 that I wasn’t entirely big on playing as a rapidly aging Snake but I’d much rather play as Snake than as Raiden. I’m sure most of you would agree with me that playing more than half the game as Raiden in MGS2: Sons of Liberty was a freakin’ joke. Even to this day, I have a bad taste in my mouth every time I see that guy in any Metal Gear references and to think he’s going to be getting his own game. LIGHTNING BOLT ACTION! Back to the point, a Solid series game without Snake is like giving Luigi the main character role in a Mario Bros game (think ‘Mario is Missing’). As much as I loved Snake Eater I knew I wasn’t playing as Solid Snake. I knew that the character on my television screen was a young Big Boss. So Big Boss and Solid Snake have the basic same genetic code, it doesn’t make them the same person. They lived different lives and turned out looking like completely different people.
I guess when you take a character to heart you just can’t imagine another character taking over the game/series. The fact that I was only able to play as Snake for a bit of the beginning sequence and maybe the last third of MGS2 was pretty disappointing. I’m sure a big chunk of the Metal Gear fan base would also be sadden too if they weren’t able to play as Snake anymore. As much as I feel that Metal Gear Solid: Rising will be a big hit, it’s also not Metal Gear Solid. It’s an entirely different game in the form of a fast-paced action slasher. A game which may soften my dislike for Raiden…maybe. That game can be its own little entity right there but a true Solid series is that of the “Tactical Espionage Action”. I can’t imagine any other character that could take over that role that Solid Snake has paved the way for.
3. David Hayter’s going to die.
Okay, so I’m exaggerating a bit but the guy behind the voice of the English version of Solid Snake must be hurting. He’s probably put a strain on that legendary voice he created. I remember hearing that he’d take a shot of scotch to prepare himself to talk like he does in the game. After years of making his voice raspy and deep I’m quite sure it’s taking a big toll on him. I know he loves the character but I don’t blame him for not wanting to continue doing that. I’d like to see him do other voice work or even go back into acting. The man played the Guyver back in the days, for Christ’s sake.
4. Kojima needs a new IP.
It’s been a while since Kojima really had the time to make a new original IP. In fact, the Metal Gear Solid series have been his central focus for writing and directing for almost the past decade. I wouldn’t mind if he went back to doing something with the Snatchers or Policenauts games, even another Zone of Enders would be great. It’s time for him to move onto something different. I enjoyed the fact that he decided to help produce the latest Castlevania game. A talent like Kojima should be able to spawn other new ideas. I’m interested in seeing the day when he finally breaks free of Metal Gear and starts developing content for other things. The guy can write a good story and he’s meticulous at what he does. If there was another big Metal Gear Solid game it’ll just push him back from giving us a new major innovation in gaming.
Metal Gear Solid 5 may or may not happen but if it does get made I’ll still enjoy it, it is Metal Gear after all. I wouldn’t be disappointed if the rumors were false and it gets passed along though. The series definitely needs to an end and I believe that MGS4 is an appropriate and proper way to end the series.