Today, Metal Gear celebrates its 35th anniversary. That was brought to our attention back in April when a thoroughly debunked anniversary website appeared online, purporting to be an official creation of developer Konami in advance of the July 13 celebration. The site was adorned with a massive exclamation point, prompting the punctuation to appear above our heads alongside the obligatory audio sting in the moments that followed.
Konami has since confirmed that the Metal Gear 35th anniversary site was a fake (opens in new tab), but that hasn’t stopped our imaginations from running wild. After all, the website may be fake but the anniversary itself is very real. It’s a huge milestone for one of the video game industry’s most acclaimed franchises, one which is currently on ice following 2018’s Metal Gear Survive’s failure to… well, survive.
So with that Metal Gear 35th anniversary here, here are five ways Konami should have celebrated Solid Snake’s first mission into Outer Heaven.
1. Bluepoint remakes Metal Gear
Walk with me into the land of wild speculation. To your left is Metal Gear Solid 6 developed by Remedy Entertainment and to your right is Bluepoint Games with a remake of the original Metal Gear for PS5. While rumors have long circulated suggesting that the master of the remaster – who last gave Demon’s Souls an impressive glow up before PlayStation Studios acquired the group – would one day tackle a Metal Gear Solid remake, I’d rather see the original Metal Gear given some love.
Metal Gear launched in 1987 on the MSX2 home computer, was later ported to the Famicom and NES, and is now immortalized in the MGS: HD Collection. The game tracks FOXHOUND operative Solid Snake as he embarks on a solo infiltration mission into Outer Heaven. There’s a Metal Gear to destroy, banter with Big Boss over the radio, and you even get to meet Frank Jaeger before he gets that rad Gray Fox moniker and accompanying exoskeleton. It’s a great game weathered by time, making it the perfect candidate for a generous remake.
2. Metal Gear Solid returns
While the 35th anniversary of Metal Gear should focus on the genesis of the series, I wouldn’t be opposed to Konami showing the legendary Metal Gear Solid some love. It’s one of the best PS1 games out there and needlessly difficult to actually get hold of and play today, and is well deserving of a little care and attention – particularly as it has a 25th anniversary of its own to celebrate in 2023.
Whether that’s something as simple as Konami ensuring that Metal Gear Solid drops into PlayStation Plus Premium or something more ambitious, like dragging the fantastic Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes remake out of the archives and giving it another chance at life on Nintendo Switch or, better yet, doing the necessary legal wrangling to get the infamous GameCube remake out there on other platforms.
3. Konami reconciles with Hideo Kojima
Following the release of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain in 2015, Konami broke with Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima. It was a messy end to a fruitful partnership. Kojima Productions was later reinstated as an independent entity, with Kojima collaborating with PlayStation Studios to develop Death Stranding. We have no idea what the studio is working on now but, you know what they say, time heals all wounds.
Given Konami’s reluctance to do anything with this franchise, you have to wonder if the publisher would even consider handing the reins back to Kojima Productions, or if it would even want them after everything that went down. It was only in 2014, a year before The Phantom Pain released, that Hideo Kojima was openly expressing interest (opens in new tab) in developing remakes of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake to resolve some of the plot discrepancies that had emerged over time. He wants to do it, we want to play it – make this a birthday party to remember, Konami.
4. Oscar Isaac gets in the suit
I’m pretty sure that there’s been some version of a Metal Gear Solid movie in production for the last 16 years. But hopes of seeing a Shadow Moses set improved significantly in 2020, when Oscar Isaac signed on to play Solid Snake. Kong: Skull Island’s Jordan Vogt-Roberts is attached to direct the untitled, undated film and… well, that’s all we know about it. This Metal Gear Solid film is likely years away from release, so chances of seeing anything outside of new concept art as slim.
But then again, we’re in the business of dreaming big here, so why not hope for a look at Isaac dressed in a Sneaking Suit – bandana flowing in the wind, slow drag on a cigarette, turn to camera, and a “Kept you waiting, huh?” Job done, internet goes wild, our ending love for Oscar Isaac continues. When The Batman director Matt Reeves took to Twitter (opens in new tab) to reveal what Robert Pattinson looked like in the Batsuit, he did so with a short, implausibly dark, camera test clip. 55 seconds of very little, but it got the job done.
5. The anniversary passes without incident
The future of the Metal Gear series is uncertain. I wish that weren’t the case, but that’s where we are right now. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain released to critical acclaim in 2015, debatably without its intended ending, and the series has barely been seen or heard from again. The problem for Konami is that bringing the series back in any capacity, particularly without Hideo Kojima or the current incarnation of Kojima Productions at the helm, will be heavily scrutinized.
The Konami of 2022 is vastly different from the Konami of even 2015. It’s largely out of the AAA game development space, and has heavily increased its output on mobile platforms. Not every anniversary has to be celebrated and, the truth is, unless Konami plans on investing heavily in the series, outsourcing the IP to an external studio, there isn’t any harm in letting the Metal Gear 35th anniversary pass without incident. After all, Konami did celebrate Castlevania’s 35th anniversary by auctioning off NFTs (opens in new tab), so, you know, maybe silence isn’t the worst thing in the world.
While we’re waiting for the anniversary, why not check out our ranking of the best Metal Gear games.