To say I am a Metal Gear fan would be an understatement. Since my introduction to the series in 1998, I have credited Metal Gear Solid as being the game that dragged me into the abyss that is the life of a gamer. I followed the series even when I had no clue whether or not I would own the system the next installment would be released on, I collected what little trinkets I could through the years, and, hell, I even wore a bandana for a short while in school. So why, then, do I find myself distressed by the news of a fifth installment into the series? I’ve trusted the series’ director, Hideo Kojima, this far; so what about this fifth installment makes me weary?
At the close of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, I, like many others, felt it to be the perfect conclusion to the Metal Gear Solid saga. All storylines were brought to solid, definite conclusions and each of the game’s antagonists were resolved either through death or eradication. How, then, will Kojima justify brining back the Metal Gear Solid name if everything Solid Snake and his comrades were fighting for are no longer a threat? Even the game’s title character (spoiler alert!) faced certain death within the coming months. There wasn’t a story left unfinished – a truth that a new Metal Gear Solid, along with November’s Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, threatens to overturn.
As his fans know, Hideo Kojima is known for throwing curve balls from left field, so there is always the possibility that not everything was as it seems. Solid Snake’s situation may far less grave than initially led on, or maybe Otacon had an agenda all his own. Even with these possibilities, though, bringing back the old man would just negate all of the emotion and sorrow gamers experienced for the aged warrior in Guns of the Patriots, turning the epic title into nothing more than an unnecessary bundle of emotional and often depressing scenarios.
Of course, all of this speculation and unease comes at the very brief news Kojima let out about bringing the title character back. The director gave no mention as to whether the legendary soldier would be playable again or if his corpse would simply serve as the catalyst for another series of games, much like the “corpse” of Snake’s “father”, Big Boss, did for Metal Gear Solid. Some could speculate that, if still alive, Snake could even defect, going the way of the game’s former adversaries; but plenty of care and consideration as to “why” would need to be taken if that be the case.
Personally, I think it’s time to let solid turn to vapor and let the series dissipate into video game history. What do you think of the prospect of a new Metal Gear Solid, and how do you think Kojima Productions will handle the hero’s return?