The Metal Gear franchise has been one of the most recognizable gaming franchises for some time now. Series creator Hideo Kojima has gone on to become one of the most well-known gaming figures, thanks in part to his great work with the series.
However, it seems as if the series is on its last legs, with publisher Konami reportedly licensing out the Metal Gear franchise. A sequel could possibly turn out to be great, as there are a number of studios that seem perfect for developing the next Metal Gear game. However, the possibility of receiving another Kojima-led Metal Gear Solid seems extremely slim, which makes it an opportune time to reminisce about the series.
It wouldn't be an understatement to say that series creator Hideo Kojima is a mastermind when it comes to fantasizing fictional espionage storylines and characters. The first Metal Gear Solid game was highly influenced by Kojima's keen interest in cinematography, and a lot of subtle touches to the games clearly demonstrate this. The very first game in the franchise, simply titled Metal Gear released in 1987 for the MSX Home Computer. The limited availability meant that the game was an obscure gem of a title, but attempts to continue the series definitely paid off.
The breakthrough title was definitely the PS1 exclusive Metal Gear Solid, subtitled famously as "Tactical Espionage Action." The game started the series theme of convoluted storylines, which can be hard to follow at times. On the flip side, fans get to meet a diverse cast of characters which can be really strange such as the original's Psycho Mantis. The beauty of Metal Gear lies in extending the weirdness from its narrative to the gameplay, introducing out-of-the-box ideas with every entry without sacrificing its stealth roots.
The sequels continued to follow in the footsteps of the original, with each game receiving great critical and commercial acclaim. However, the series seems to have found an untimely demise, with the swansong being 2015's Metal Gear Solid 5.
The development history of Metal Gear Solid 5 is quite rough, often discussed by hardcore fans. Responsibilities for developing the next Metal Gear Solid game went to Konami's Kojima Productions and the project was led by series creator Hideo Kojima. During mid-development, higher authorities at Konami wished to pour more resources into the mobile market, as games for that platform were easier to develop and brings in more revenue consistently.
This directly clashed with Kojima's ambitions, who needed more resources than ever as the series was going open-world for the first game. The final stages of development saw the team's role reduced greatly, which inevitably created some inconsistencies in the final game. Cut content and recycled missions are some of the standout examples in the final release version. This doesn't imply that the game is bad by any means, far from it. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain garnered massive critical acclaim and won a lot of awards, but Kojima's following departure hurt the series and fans a lot.
Konami's attempts to continue the franchise with 2018's Metal Gear Survive failed miserably, as fans were furious to see how drastically different and worse the spin-off was. The Konami-Kojima breakup has made the prospect of a Metal Gear Solid 6 seem highly unlikely, but rumors of a Metal Gear Solid remake collection for the PS5 have been running rampant for some time now. Hopefully, fans get treated to a brand new entry in the franchise sooner, rather than never.
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