A next Metal Gear is….

…completely unnecessary, to be honest. Does the cryptic new Metal Gear teaser mean the series is coming to Xbox 360? iPhone? Wii? The Internet is abuzz! But they seem to be overlooking the more important question: why even bother making “a next Metal Gear” to begin with?

The obvious answer is “to make money,” which is sort of a given. But for the first time since I played the original Metal Gear on NES, I’m not at all looking forward to seeing another iteration of the series, because anything more in the saga would be pretty much pointless. And I mean “since the original MG” literally; I remember sitting around in algebra class 15 years ago doodling maps for my vision of “Metal Gear 2” on the graph paper I was supposed to be using for quadratic equations or whatever. (This is probably why I ended up not doing so well in math, but I can’t help if numbers aren’t as interesting as walking nuclear battle tanks.) Since then, every Metal Gear entry has left me wondering where the series will go from there.

Maybe my lack of interest is somewhat due to residual irritation over Konami’s botched handling of the media’s Metal Gear Solid 4 review process, but it has much more to do with the fact that the story is complete. MGS4 was a quality creation, but the things I want to see preserved and expanded across further games have little to do with its intrinsic Metal Gear-ness and are more about new or refined play mechanics which were frankly uncharacteristic for the series and would probably do better isolated and separated from the ludicrous foibles that stem from Hideo Kojima’s increasingly self-indulgent sense of narrative. There is nowhere to go from here, except down. An MGS4 port to Xbox 360 would be fine, since it would open the series to everyone loath to buy a PS3 strictly for the sake of playing MGS4 and Valkyria Chronicle…but only if it’s less of a technical disaster than the Xbox port of Metal Gear Solid 2.

Otherwise, the Metal Gear saga is over and done with, so far as most people are concerned; Snake’s story is definitively wrapped, the Patriots are taken care of, and everyone got their happy ending or noble self-sacrifice or whatever. What can a new game offer? Needless filling in of minor backstory elements that’ll simply make everything even more convoluted and obtuse? A way of undermining the last game’s handful of genuinely great story moments? Oh, and of course lining corporate coffers at the expense of diluting the value of one of its best-loved franchises. Metal Gear is already ballooning toward a Star Wars-like creative self-destruction, and it’s not too late to turn back! But alas, there’s money to be made while some people still give a crap about the Metal Gear name. Plenty of people are speculating that the choice of the color green for the teaser image above was meant to tie into the Xbox 360, but I’m taking it as a more honest expression of the publisher’s intents: i.e., fat loot.

MGS4 is a good stopping point for the series. I’d much rather see the team responsible for its creation to take its collective skill and knowledge and create something new and similar, yet not bogged down by 20 years of history, expectations, and (something akin to) continuity. There were some great ideas in MGS4, and if they hadn’t been interrupted by Kojima constantly butting in to say, “Is this cool or what! Hey, remember that one part from Metal Gear Solid? Check it out, I do too! Wow, widescreen graphics mean splitscreen graphics! I AM AWESOME”….

Man, that would have been an amazing game, rather than an amazing game determined to trip itself up at every turn.

Although I guess I couldn’t complain if this Talking Time thread were on-target and Metal Gear is about to go all Mexican pidgin mash-up on us. A Robert Rodriguez take on the series would, let’s be honest, be a whole lot more palatable than its current direction.

15 thoughts on “A next Metal Gear is….

  1. Why can’t Kojima just make another Zone of the Enders game instead?

    Oh wait, you already mentioned money. Nevermind!

  2. If they were smart, they would do an alternate version of the Metal Gear world; think the Ghost in the Shell movies and the Stand Alone Complex series. Like you, I hope they just leave this world alone, since MGS4 really did wrap up just about everything you could think of, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

  3. One of the more logical guesses that I saw over on Kotaku was actually the idea of an Ac!d-related title (hence the exclamation mark) on the iPhone (hence the “i”). It does want to make sense, considering the sheer number of Apple gadgets that were present in MGS4. Also, it would please the spiteful bastard in me to see Xbox fanboys get their panties in a wad (again).

  4. Yeah, that Kotaku idea of either a new Ac!d or a port of it for the iPhone makes a whole lot of sense. Even though I still don’t quite understand the Power button symbol.

  5. There are still plenty of great stories being told in the Star Wars canon. But I guess I see your point.

    I don’t think it is impossible for a good story to be told in the Metal Gear universe post-MGS4, but, like you, I don’t have high hopes.

  6. is this the episode where a sentient metal gear travels back in time to assassinate Snake to ensure the line of events leading to its creation are not disturbed? Or is it the one where Metal Gear travels back in time to have Snake’s baby so it can inculcate all the genetic coding comprising Snake’s superior abilities into itself? That’s weird tag line BTW. ‘A next metal gear is…’ After the last one, I surmise its ‘gay’. Its the cosmic bane of the entire US military and Westboro Baptists. Who needs nukes when gays frighten God more?

  7. I really hope the power button means that they are SHUTTING THE SERIES OFF.

    Or at least rebooting it. MGS4 left a bad taste in my mouth. It’ll take something excellent for me to care again.

  8. I had to check the title after reading this article to make sure you had not put alexb on the front page crew. He said some of the same things in the “Random discontent” thread, but with lot more vitriol.

    Part of me wants to see when Big Boss made his “villain” turn, but I feel like it would run the same way the Star Wars prequels did.

  9. I agree about the series being done and I want nothing to do with a game that continues/expands upon the narrative because… yeah. This is Kojima. He’s gonna stupid the whole thing up.

    I don’t even know how to feel about Kojima anymore. On the one hand, I’m glad I played the Metal Gear games, I enjoyed them and for the most part, I enjoyed the story.

    But I never want to play through another Kojima story again.

  10. I’d pay $60 for a Metal Gear game where Kojima plays the role of Snake wanting to destroy Metal Gear just to get his creative freedom back. All contacts on his codec could be the disgruntled former Konami employees that went on to form Treasure. The goal would be to make a Metal Gear sequel so bad, not even insufferable diehard game fans would defend it.

  11. Moran: I thought that was the point of MGS2, and we saw how much of a success THAT was at killing the series. *rimshot*

    Seriously, though, it would be saddening (though humorously ironic) for an honest attempt to keep the series alive and explain more of the storyline be the game that kills the fans’ interest for good, when MGS2’s apparent attempt to beat the fans away with a stick failed to dissuade them from demanding another sequel.

    And for the record, I LIKED MGS2 and the whole series so far, but I have to agree that MGS4 should really be the end of the main series, and I’m really hoping this announcement is indeed another Ac!d.

  12. Agreed. Splinter Cell games are dull. I like Metal Gear because it is so stupid. I love that the worlds best soldier spy is reduced to sneaking around in a fruit box. And then dogs pee on him.

    What were the issues with the X-Box port? I played MGS2 mostly on X-Box, and All I noticed was in the opening sequence, the rain was different. And maybe the relative clarity of the X-Box video card made big shell look a little too clean and sterile.

  13. The XBox version had some significant framerate slowdown that the PS2 version didn’t, mostly in scenes with rain or large-ish numbers of characters. I wouldn’t call it unplayably bad, but I would say it was damned annoying, not to mention just plain inexcusable given that the XBox had the more powerful hardware. It was worth playing for the extra VR missions, though.

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