The next Metal Gear Solid game was announced today, under the name Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes. At the Metal Gear Solid 25th anniversary event, footage of a tech demo was shown along with the game’s announcement; however, the public at large has had to be content with a single, incredibly beautiful real-time image (And a poster, but I care little for it so too bad). So now seems a good a time as any to look at what this image means for the series, and what we can and should expect in the future for Metal Gear Solid from the revelation of this game.
|This image is apparently the mirror reverse of the actual image|
|How could you tell she’s a rookie?|
The Metal Gear Solid, and Metal Gear franchise has been split between two main protagonists (Ignore Raiden as you should). Solid Snake was the main character in the Metal Gear series and Metal Gear Solid 1, 4, and partially 2. Going from a fresh rookie in Metal Gear, to a dying old man in Metal Gear Solid 4 seems to have been the end of his arc. However, Hideo Kojima, the creator of all things Metal Gear, is known to be a flip flopper and has stated that Metal Gear Solid 4 is not necessarily the last time we’ll see Solid Snake; although, whether this means that we’ll get to play a game with him past the timeline of Metal Gear Solid 4 remains to be seen. The other major protagonist of the series is Big Boss, also known as Snake, also known as Solid Snake’s clone daddy (Don’t ask). As a left turn in the series, Metal Gear Solid 3 was set in the sixties with a different Snake, and he has been featured in games in that time period ever since (Metal Gear Portable Ops, Metal Gear Peace Walker).
|This is Big Boss, and he’s better than you.|
|Seriously, this needs to be remade.|
As both Snake’s look the same you may be tempted to think this could be either; however, the Militaires Sans Frontieres patch on Snake’s sleeve means that this is most certainly Big Boss and not Solid Snake. This means that this game will be set in an earlier time period and will probably forgo a lot of the sci-fi elements present in later Metal Gear Solids… although that didn’t stop Peace Walker. The other telltale sign that this is Big Boss is the name of the game, as Major Zero is a big player in the past timeline and we haven’t seen too much from him. Also, if you look at the image, you can see Big Boss’ eyepatch. Finally, if you still aren’t convinced, Kotaku straight out says that it’s Big Boss. All of that evidence together makes it very unlikely that we’ll be seeing Solid Snake in this game in any way other than as a cameo. It is very significant that we continue to play as Big Boss. After all, Big Boss does eventually turn into the villain for the original Metal Gear, which may lead to a modern version of the ancient NES game if we are lucky.
|Yes, he his entirely based on Snake Plissken from Escape from New York/LA.|
The second thing that must be addressed from this screenshot is the American flag on the left. Does this mean that the game will take place in the US? It is hard to say. The rest of the image looks more like a prison camp or military base, both of which are standard Metal Gear Solid locales, and the US has military bases all over the world. The game may be still set in South America like Peace Walker, but there is a chance that they’ll be bringing Big Boss back to the States. An American-based game would make it more isolated for Snake as he would be cut off from his allies and Mother Base, his base of operations.
|Gargoyles, the greatest stealth invention ever.|
From a conceptual level, Kojima has called this an open world game, and has added exciting new elements. It is unclear at this juncture how open world the game will be, but it is likely that it will set Snake in a large area and just let him complete various objectives, or simply explore. This could work very well, or it may be unfocused. Fortunately, Kojima’s track record leads be to believe the former. The other major aspect of the game leaked is that getting caught won’t be the end of the game, and that escaping will play as big a role. This could be a major shot in the arm to the stealth genre, which has been getting stale over the past couple of years with no real innovation after someone invented climbable gargoyles for Batman.
The biggest question for this game is what platform will it be released on. The game runs with Kojima’s Fox engine and it looks beautiful, far too beautiful to be a current gen game; however, apparently it was made with the PS3 and 360 in mind. I would be very, very surprised if an open world game could look that good in real-time using current gen technology. My bet would be on a next gen game, but it isn’t impossible to believe that it will be up and running before this gen expires, just unlikely.
|Of course, Metal Gear Solid 4 is still beautiful, so maybe it can be done.|
The Metal Gear Solid series seems to be picking up quite a bit after sitting out a lot of this gen. With the announcement of this game, the upcoming release of Metal Gear Solid Rising Revengeance from Platinum Studios, and the newly announced Metal Gear Solid movie, it looks like Metal Gear Solid fans have a lot to be excited about. As there has not been a single miss in the series’ entire history (Possible exception for Portable Ops), it is great that the series is continuing strong. After all, it practically invented the stealth genre, and it seem fitting that the series should continue to dominate it.
– Mistranslations for the Modern Gamer