…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.