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Five Solid Ideas For Where Metal Gear Can Go Next

by AJ Moser on Aug 23, 2016 at 05:00 PM

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain served as Hideo Kojima’s swan song for the beloved franchise he created. There was a great deal of controversy surrounding the game, including production troubles during the buildup to release, culminating in Kojima parting ways with Konami to pursue new ideas at his own studio. However, before The Phantom Pain released, a statement from Konami said the company would be making new Metal Gear games even after Kojima was done with the series.

Earlier this summer, the trailer surfaced for a pachinko game based on Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Die-hard Metal Gear fans reacted negatively to the trailer, expressing that this was not the future they wanted to see for the franchise. A Konami employee took to Reddit after the backlash over the pachinko game to assure fans that Metal Gear would be properly supported on consoles moving forward. We were recently given our first glimpse of the post-Kojima Metal Gear world with the trailer for Metal Gear Survive. While zombie survival may not be the way many expected a new Metal Gear to look, there are still a number of great ideas for a proper spin-off. Here are just a few directions a new Metal Gear game could take the series in.

The Joy
Metal Gear Solid 3’s pachinko treatment has fans particularly upset because it teased a revamped version of what some consider the best entry in the series. While the updated graphics and cinematics for the game are exclusive to the machine, there is no reason certain aspects of the story can’t be revisited in a future Metal Gear game. The most intriguing story that can spin out of Metal Gear Solid 3 would explore the history of The Boss (also known as The Joy). Her actions in Snake Eater set the entire Metal Gear Solid storyline into action, but it is her exploits in World War II that made her a legend on the battlefield.

Players encounter The Boss through the eyes of Naked Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3. By this time, she has served as a mentor and role model to the young soldier for a number of years. Players are told how adept The Boss is in battle, and see it demonstrated through CQC takedowns and her expert tactics. During World War II, The Boss led the Cobra Unit the beaches of Normandy under the codename; a game that follows these events could offer a grounded look at war for the Metal Gear series, and tell an intimate and personal story that explores how this talented leader became one of the most important characters in the entire series.

Diamond Dogs
War is ever-present in the Metal Gear series, and some of the best explorations of the consequences of war in games have come in the form of first-person shooters. A hypothetical first-person shooter spin-off could run parallel to the most recent entry, The Phantom Pain. During the story of that game, players built and managed a private army of soldiers known as the Diamond Dogs. They took part in missions, collected resources, and maintained the conditions of Mother Base. A game focusing on the lives of the Diamond Dogs would offer a gritty, realistic vision of war set in the typically over-the-top world of Metal Gear.

Tweaking the objectives and missions from Metal Gear Online, this kind of game could focus on squad-based missions and cooperation, in addition to standard multiplayer gameplay modes. Ideally, these missions would feel like Grand Theft Auto Online heists or Destiny’s raids, emphasizing coordination and communication between a team. The dramatic setting of the Metal Gear universe could benefit by granting players control of regular soldiers in the world of nanomachines and giant mechs.

Check out our ideas for strategy, adventure, and action games on the next page!

Tactical Strategy Operations
Though typically thought of as a cinematic action-adventure, Metal Gear works well on handheld platforms. Both Portable Ops and Peace Walker were well-received and offered interesting and entertaining shifts in gameplay from the standard Metal Gear title. Even Snake Eater was ported to the 3DS with success. With mobile gaming becoming bigger and bigger and Konami having already confirmed its focus on the platform, moving to smartphones may be in Metal Gear’s near future. This idea may initially sound like a turn-off for die-hard fans of the series, but there are promising directions for a mobile Metal Gear game.

Games like Clash of Clans dominate the mobile gaming space and the looping nature of micromanagement and cycling rewards keeps players tapping back time and time again. This kind of gameplay was present in Metal Gear Solid V’s Forward Operating Bases, and it seems like an easy fit to adapt for a mobile platform. You can easily imagine getting sucked into the process of establishing a base, adding platforms, managing individual soldiers, and stockpiling resources. Setting this kind of game in the Metal Gear universe offers fans a fun exploration of the series at large, with an incentive to check back daily, provided there’s not an over-reliance on microtransactions. Rewards and unlocks could be tied into heroes like Snake and Ocelot showing up to offer massive bonuses.

Metal Gear Rising 2
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance put players in control of the cyborg ninja Raiden and was fairly divisive on launch. While Platinum Games’ standout action-focused gameplay was a highlight of the spin-off, the cheesy story and dialogue served as a major point of contention. Excellent soundtrack aside, Revengeance fell just short of being the impeccable action experience pushing Metal Gear forward that many had hoped it could be. Still, the game was far from a critical failure and could be improved greatly were the idea revisited.

As it stands now, Metal Gear Rising is the furthest entry in the Metal Gear timeline, set after Metal Gear Solid 4 in the year 2018. Cyborg technology and private military companies have popped up all over the world, spurring the economy of war once again. While Revengeance’s ending was conclusive enough for a self-contained story, questions still loom about the world at large. Players have been invested in the world of Meal Gear for a very long time and would relish the chance to further explore the consequences of all the previous games’ events. From a gameplay perspective, Raiden’s cyborg body can be modified and upgraded to further expand the variety of combos and moves players can pull off. Revengeance wasn’t perfect, but connected with Metal Gear fans, and it would be a shame to never return to this side of the series.

Ocelot's Adventures
One of the most prominent characters in the entire series, Ocelot flipped his allegiances so often that his nickname “Revolver” wasn’t just a reference to his choice of gun. Over the course of the series’ timeline, Ocelot worked both with and against the player, whether they were playing as Solid Snake or Big Boss. Right up until the climactic moments of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Revolver Ocelot’s true motivations were a mystery. He appears in almost every main entry in the franchise, and remains one of the most beloved characters by fans. A game that focuses on making decisions and choosing dialogue as the craftiest spy in Metal Gear’s history would be wish fulfillment for a number of longtime fans.

Taking a page from Telltale, an episodic series that followed Revolver Ocelot in his early KGB days would be an entertaining and interesting look at the young soldier. His tendency to double, even triple-cross the people he worked with opens the door for sequences of dialogue that could range from intense to light-hearted, depending on how choices were made. Players would need to think fast and creatively with their responses as Ocelot. To ground the humor, this potential series could even further explore the backstory and relationship with his parents. Metal Gear has never shied away from completely flipping players’ perception of its characters, and Ocelot is already one of the most compelling soldiers in the series.

What kind of Metal Gear game would you like to see in the future? Would you play any of these games? Sound off in the comments below!