Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear series is entering new ground with upcoming release MGS Rising. The trademark stealth mechanic has been abandoned for Platinum Games’ riotous over-the-top action. Aside from a few handheld experiments, this is the first time a Metal Gear game has crept into a new genre. With such a rich and varied universe of characters and conflict, there’s plenty more scope for branching out into even more genres.
Here are a few suggestions, some serious and some not, of genres I could see a Metal Gear game in.
1. Real-Time Strategy
We’ve already had MGS Risk, so why not take that strategy element and ramp it up with some real-time ‘Tactical Espionage Strategy’. An ideal time period would be the lead-up to MGS4, with five PMCs all battling for a chunk of the global war market there is a ready-made group of diverse factions. Take control of one, invest in some tech, and command away. Such a title could even Borrow a little from Command and Conquer, with specialist units (remember Tanya?) such as Meryl, the Beauty and the Beast corps, plus Metal Gear Rex and Ray. With such a rich amount of original military hardware to choose from, an MGS strategy game could be fantastic.
2. Giant Mech Action
Obvious? Yes. Awesome? Very much so.
Metal Gear is synonymous with giant robots, so a game all about piloting them makes perfect sense. There’s a large number of mechs outside of the obvious Rex and Ray – Peace Walker alone had a considerable amount that Big Boss found himself up against. Take one part Armored Core and one part Steel Battalion (the good one, not the Kinect one) and you’d have a game that the Japanese market would go crazy for. The rest of us? I’d imagine it would be an acquired taste.
In keeping with this generations penchant for expensive limited editions, how ’bout that old Steel Battalion controller gets one last outing?
3. Visual Novel
I’ll refrain from the overused joke that Metal Gear Solid games could be classed as a movie due to their copious cut-scenes. However, Kojima’s affection for a long-winded narrative means that a visual novel could be an ideal genre for him to play around with. There have already been the (very) limited interactive comic books, so why not take the concept a step further?
Virtue’s Last Reward on Vita is a good template for such a title to follow. A multi-branching narrative that spans a number of decades (from say, Naked Snake era, to Big Boss, to Solid/Liquid Snake) is feasible, given that an existing engine could be used to animate everything. With no game mechanics to program as such, all the focus can go on the story and the choices available. 3DS and Vita would be frontrunners to host such a game.
4. Beat ’em up
The above is Mugen mod whets the appetite a little for:
Super Snake Bros Brawl; featuring all the Snakes, Vamp, Solidus, Raiden et al. Hire Seth Killian and watch the cash flow in. Throw in some bombastic super attacks, CQC combos and tag matches and I’ll buy two. Final boss should be MGS3’s the Boss, hard as nails and makes Bison/Vega look like a wimp.
Also, how cool would a MGS-themed arcade stick be? That’s another limited edition sorted then.
5. First Person Shooter
Everyone else is making them! Ok, throw the FPS saturation to one side for a minute. Taking the role of a PMC footsoldier, the player has to survive conflicts all over the world. Multiple weapons, perk system, squad mechanics, the lot. It could be a pseudo-revival of MGS Online.
The game should focus on making the player feel just a part of a wider conflict – a few set pieces that link into major events in MGS4 would be nice. Given the subject material, an FPS seems an ideal fit.
The main argument for this is it would be so damn cute. Plus, seeing a Lego-fied Solid Snake throwing pieces together to make a cardboard box would be pretty much the best thing ever. It’s not as ridiculous as it first appears, this could work.
*Pic by Chocobrick Customs
7. Kart Racing
I’m kidding, kind of…