Hideo Kojima posted a message on his Twitter shortly after the controversial Metal Gear Rising re-reveal, stating that a new traditional Metal Gear will eventually come out as well. What possibilities are still there for the series? In this article I break down my view on this, listing three possible directions he could take the series, and an explanation of each.
Remake of Metal Gear 1/Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
I’m not going to type that out here, since I already did an extensive article about this. If you’re interested in my ideas regarding a remake of the original Metal Gear games, you can go here.
New installment with an existing character
There are multiple options with this direction. Plenty of characters still have (partially) unexplored background stories, with lots of potential. Exploring them would not only create great games, but also add depth to those characters, and the existing timeline.
Solid/Liquid’s first missions
One of the possibilities is to go back in the timeline rather than forward, and take for example the time when Solid Snake was a very young soldier as a point of departure. This was even before the Outer Heaven events, and Snake and Campbell touch on it very briefly in the Mission Briefing of Metal Gear Solid 1:
Campbell: Liquid Snake. The man with the same codename as you.
Snake: Tell me what you know.
Campbell: He fought in the Gulf War as a teenager, the youngest person in the SAS. His job was to track down and destroy mobile SCUD missile launching platforms. You were there too I believe. Didn’t you infiltrate western Iraq with a platoon of Green Berets?
Snake: I was just a kid myself back then.
Campbell: The details are classified, but it seems that originally he penetrated the Middle East as a sleeper for the SIS.
Snake: He was a spy for the British Secret Intelligence Service?
Campbell: But he never once showed his face in Century House. He was taken prisoner in Iraq, and after that there was no trace of him for several years. After you retired, he was rescued and became a member of FOXHOUND.
What is interesting here, is that both Liquid and Solid were in Iraq at the same time, without even knowing the other existed. They could build on this by possibly have the player control both characters throughout the game, switching between one and the other to show their story and perspective on the setting.
It’s also nice that this short piece of information is the only story written about this particular event, which would leave Kojima with a practically blank slate and a lot of creative freedom to write the story for this game.
There is a piece of dialogue, uttered by Liquid in MGS1, that is never fully explained.
Liquid: But…I’m the one father chose. [...] He always told me I was inferior.
It isn’t really explained how Big Boss ‘chose’ him, when that happened and in what context. It is also interesting that apparently Liquid did meet Big Boss at some point in his life. So maybe this could be further fleshed out, in whatever form.
It would also be nice to see what Solid and Liquid are like as very young (teenage) soldiers and how they see the world at that point.
EVA: You think you know him, but I know him better.
Another possibility is a game that focuses on Revolver Ocelot. He has a rich history, and is one of the most interesting characters in the Metal Gear universe, who really does what he wants and actually answers to no one.
Ocelot has been all around and the world and fought plenty of wars, as he makes clear in Metal Gear Solid 1:
Ocelot: I’ve fought wars in Afghanistan, Mozambique, Eritrea, and Chad. Among the Mujahaddin guerillas, I was known and feared as ‘Shalashaska’.
Now that the original build of Metal Gear Solid: Rising has been cancelled and the story has been changed, the original script that took place between MGS2 and MGS4, about Raiden’s transformation into a cyborg ninja, won’t be used. I think this is a shame, since it was a very interesting concept that I would have liked to see in a game. But the script is already finished, so hopefully Kojima Productions will pick it up somewhere down the line.
Rose: After the Big Shell Incident, he became… unstable.
There’s also the option of making a prequel in which you play as The Boss. An example is her World War II efforts, and her mission to kill The Sorrow (maybe combined in one game).
Of course, making a game about The Boss is risky, it could take away some of the mystery surrounding the character. But it’s still an option, and seeing how successful Kojima was in making a Big Boss game, it could be done. Kojima said he actually had plans for a game about The Boss and the Cobra Unit during the invasion of Normandy, but the team didn’t feel they could do it without him.
The Boss: Then two years ago, I faced The Sorrow - my old comrade – in battle. He was my friend. But one of us had to die.
In June of 1944, the Cobras and I took part in the landing at Normandy. We’d been given a top secret mission to locate and destroy enemy V2 rocket installations.
Drebin briefly talks about his past at the end of MGS4.
Drebin: My earliest memories are of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army)… They kidnapped me… Forced me to fight. Yup. You’re staring at a former child soldier. My parents, brothers and sisters… All killed in the war. Guess that makes me what you’d call a war orphan.
This could make an interesting game about a child soldier trying to survive in Uganda.
The FOX Engine demo Kojima showed at E3 2011 sort of looks like this concept (but it was just a tech demo with placeholder characters in it).
A game with a new character cast
Another possibility is for it to take place after Metal Gear Solid 4, and focus on a new protagonist. Depending on the time between this game and MGS4, it could have Solid Snake as a CODEC contact, possibly as a weapons expert. It could create a new story arch within the existing Metal Gear universe, focusing on a new group of characters and perhaps some old overlapping ones (like an older Sunny and Little John).
According to Liquid-Ocelot (after beating him), the world is on the brink of being reborn, and at least partially returning to its former glory. It will be ‘the wild west all over again’, and ‘father’s will, his Outer Heaven, is complete’. He thinks the world will know ‘chaos and honor’ again, with The Patriots system gone.
Liquid-Ocelot: This is only the beginning, Snake. America will descend into chaos… It’ll be the Wild West all over again. No law, no order. Fire will spread across the world. The people will fight… And through battle they will know the fullness of life. At last… our father’s will… his Outer Heaven… is complete.
This could be a great setting for a new game. He probably doesn’t know that Sunny kept part of the system intact to make sure modern civilization will continue to exist, but that doesn’t mean the transition won’t go without a few problems along the way. This is also acknowledged by Drebin at the end of MGS4, when he says:
Drebin: The White House might’ve lost its taste for unilateralism… Started to rebuild. But there’s a lot of failed states out there that went bankrupt from their PMC habits… And they owe a shit load of money. Now only question is… Who’s gonna pick up the tab? I’m sure these new governments will try and keep it under control with PMC corporate reform laws… But it ain’t gonna be good enough. They’re all sunk up to their eyeballs in the war economy. Might not be a New World Order… But the old order under the war economy’s gone for good.
This power vacuum and the inevitable struggle that will follow all over the world could be a very interesting backdrop for an all new chapter in the saga.
So these are a few ideas I had, which I think could work if executed properly. Kojima said he wants the series to continue, and I think there’s still a lot of potential in it, wether it will be one of these suggestions or something entirely different.