Konami is jumping back into AAA development with the revival of Silent Hill, and there are legions of fans who’re hoping that Metal Gear Solid will be the publisher’s next franchise to rise from the ashes. Leaks have certainly claimed time and again that an MGS revival is very much on the cards, and that a Metal Gear Solid 3 remake is in development and due to be announced in the coming months. But hypothetically, are there perhaps other games in the franchise that remakes would make even more sense for?
For instance, take the original Metal Gear Solid. Now two and a half decades old, MGS1 remains one of the greatest games ever made, and in spite of its age, going back to it to play it in today’s day and age is still a hell of a lot of fun. But it’s also the sort of game that would benefit massively from a big budget remake in the hands of a capable developer. The most obvious reason for that is the the massive visual and technological leap that a hypothetical MGS1 remake would take over the original, to the point where it would almost feel like a new game, much like Resident Evil 2 and its 2019 remake.
One would imagine that a modern Metal Gear Solid remake would also make plenty of changes on the gameplay front. The series has, after all, evolved drastically with each new instalment over the years, and those improvements and evolutions would likely retrofitted into MGS1 to bring it more in line with what you’d expect to see from a AAA stealth game today. And again, much like the gameplay changes that 2019’s Resident Evil 2 made, such changes in an MGS1 remake would have a ripple effect on other things on the gameplay front as well, from boss fights to level design and more.
All of that sounds incredibly exciting, of course- after all, who wouldn’t want to plan an expanded, enhanced, and modernized take on one of the greatest games ever made? So yeah, it’s exciting- but it’s also just a best case scenario. Yes, a Metal Gear Solid 1 remake in the hands of a developer that was up to the task would be something to behold, but the chances of a development team actually being on that level and sticking the landing in all the ways it would need to would also be quite thin. Especially given the fact that series mastermind Hideo Kojima would be very unlikely to be involved with any such project, the risk of messing things up and not being able to do justice to the source material might perhaps be too much to cope with.
Interestingly, MGS1 isn’t the only retro entry in the series that Metal Gear fans would like to see remakes for. Many in the fanbase have often floated the idea of Konami going back even further and developing a combined remake of Metal Gear 1 and 2, taking the MSX duo and reimagining it completely as a modern AAA stealth experience that stands toe to toe with the games it spawned over the course of decades. Much like Metal Gear Solid 1, a remake of Metal Gear 1 and 2 would bring with it a completely overhaul of the gameplay, visuals, and design- maybe even to a greater degree. In fact, a similar overhaul might also be needed for the story and the way it’s told, especially if this hypothetical remake sets out to connect the original duology’s story with future instalments in a more cohesive fashion.
But again, a remake of this nature would be quite a risky proposition, even if for different reasons. Metal Gear 1 and 2 obviously don’t have the kind of legacy that Metal Gear Solid 1 does, so a combined remake of the two maybe wouldn’t be as beholden to the source material, and might have more freedom to change things on a wider scale. But given the level of kind of changes such a remake would be making, would it even still be Metal Gear 1 and 2 anymore? Above all that, do the two MSX games even have the kind of mass market pull that Konami would want from a major new Metal Gear release? Would such a project even be greenlit?
That leaves us with Metal Gear Solid 3- which might actually have been the safest choice for Konami in terms of deciding which game to remake. If reports of Metal Gear Solid 3 being remade are indeed true, then it’s not hard to see why Konami greenlit the project. It’s a widely beloved game, to the point that the majority of the fanbase considers it to be the series’ best instalment, so the hype and excitement that a Metal Gear Solid 3 remake would generate already gives it a massive leg up over most other games in the franchise. It’s also easy to imagine how a well-made bid budget remake could improve and expand upon a game that’s already an unabashed masterpiece.
At the same time, however, modernizing MGS3 wouldn’t be as risky and as monumental of a task as modernizing something like MGS1 would be. Yes, Snake Eater is a nearly two decade old game, and there’s a lot about its gameplay – especially its camera and movement – that hasn’t aged well, but it’s also much closer to modern design sensibilities than the original Metal Gear Solid was. The scale of changes and overhauling that would need to be implemented in a Snake Eater remake wouldn’t be nearly as daunting as it would be for MGS1, in terms of story, design, or mechanics.
The question, once again, is whether there’s a development team out there that’s up to the monumental task of doing justice to Metal Gear Solid 3 with a modern take on it. If leaks are to be believed, the remake is being developed by Singapore-based studio Virtuos, which has spent the majority of its time over the years working on ports and remasters. Is a studio like that equipped to deal with a massive AAA production, especially one that has so much riding on it? Sure, it’s likely that Konami will be exerting plenty of creative control over a project such as this one- but given the last decade or so, it’s not exactly easy to place too much faith in Konami either.
The truth is that without Kojima involved, any new Metal Gear Solid project is going to be received with its fair share of skeptics and doubters, and given how crucial the man has been to the series and its very identity for so long, it’s easy to understand why. Given these circumstances, Metal Gear Solid 3 does seem like a smart choice for the game to bring the series back from the dead- it’s the series’ most beloved entry to date, it’s old enough that a well-made remake could make some significant improvements over it, but not old enough that the changes would have to be too radical. The elements are certainly in place to make an excellent remake that helps reverse the franchise’s fortunes. We just hope Virtuos proves equal to the task at hand- if the leaks are accurate, that is.
Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.
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