Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Features for PS4

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9Out of 10
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It only takes a few words from Hideo Kojima to set the internet ablaze, and he duly did recently when he toyed with the idea of having someone remake the original Metal Gear Solid. Again. Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty developers Just Add Water has already publicly petitioned for the job.

We'd urge him to rethink his words. It's not that Metal Gear Solid can't be remade - it already has, of course - it's that it probably shouldn't be (again). Or, at least, not without substantial reworking - which has its own problems.

Take the last effort, 2004's Gamecube exclusive MGS: The Twin Snakes. Arriving on a crest of hype - GameCube exclusive, developed by Silicon Knights before it went totally Kurtz, and overseen by both Kojima and Miyamoto (the games industry equivalent of Audioslave, as it turns out). It also had redesigned and directed cutscenes by famed Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura, and incorporated systems from Metal Gear Solid 2.

The best game ever, right? On paper, it's not too far off. In practice, it was apparent that MGS 2's mechanics - first person aiming being the primary one - didn't suit the original game's stages, which were built for a top down view. By aiming down the sight, players could simply shoot their way through the game with a silenced pistol, before hiding the bodies in lockers. (Boss fights became exceptionally easy as well, reducing the level of tension that the original game cranked up so perfectly.)

Sure, you didn't need to shoot everyone - you could instead sneak past guards, much the same as before. The problem, however, was that it wasn't the same. For MGS fans, every little change from the revered original irked. Musical cues were changed thanks to copyright disputes, Naomi Hunter lost her British accent, and the new cutscenes went down like a fart in a crowded cardboard box - this one in particular seemed to offend pretty much everyone.

So, how would Kojima ensure that any re-remake didn't fall into the same traps? Well, the easy answer is to make it exactly, exactly the same, but with shiny new graphics. But then, many will moan that it's too old-school. Change the layout of the levels to fit in with new mechanics and it won't be MGS, and you'll still have the problem, like in Crysis 2, that one-shot kills with the silenced pistol make it the best weapon in the game, breaking the weapon progression (granted, that's less important here, but still).

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Remaking for nostalgia's sake never really works, because invariably some things change - just look at Tony Hawk HD, which lost some of its music (and just wasn't very good). Others have faired better: Zelda 3DS worked, and the anniversary editions of Halo/Tomb Raider where also well received.

The king of all remakes, of course, is Resident Evil, also on Gamecube. But there's a reason for this: it took an already scary game, and made it scarier still via the confines set by the original game: pre-rendered backgrounds, static cameras, tank controls. That framework enabled Resi to easily be updated: simply replace lower-resolution backdrop with new, higher resolution one, add a few new puzzles (that are still in keeping with the ones that came before) and you're done. Capcom could do that now.

Remaking MGS, on the other hand, will require more than jamming new into the old - what's there simply can't support it. It'll have to be a reimagining, to incorporate modern systems and graphics into a game that is, for all intents and purposes, played on a 2D, grid style system, at heart if not in actuality.

Either way, it's a tough job, and one I suspect might not be worth all the effort.

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User Comments

mikelgear's Avatar


the only way i would like to see a remake is if they gave keifer a chance to do it his way, it might not be good but it might be really cool. i think he`ll do a pretty good job as big boss and if he played snake in mgs that might be pretty cool too but on saying that i dont think people really get excited about remakes when the last remake wasnt that long ago and in my opinion that came out too soon after the original too. Just my opinion but i think they shouldve waited for that and they should wait a long long time for this too and in 6 or 7 years when they announce the remake of metal gear solid with keifer doing the voice and all new combat system and looks i'll be pretty exited about it but for now i dunno arent they just about to release legacy?? that means that for anyone who hasnt yet played it ( or hasnt played it for a while) then they'll be playing it again in like maybe a year ? two? give it a chance to leave an impact then bring out the new version once people need reminded of how amazing it really is.

ps i liked what bc_animus said though about playing the shadow moses incident from another perspective just not meryl in a bikini is all (meryl's chest is by far not the reason i like this game)
Posted 12:52 on 02 July 2013


I kinda already said my piece on the Twin Snakes, lol...

I will concede that one cutscene with the Hind, jumping on the bloody missile, took things just too far for Solid Snake, but I'm happy with pretty much everything else.

Other cutscenes more than made up for it, like the addition of seeing Grey Fox butcher his way through that corridor.
That scene might not have the tension or mystery of the original game, but they knew that.
Making TTS, I think they worked under the assumption that everyone had already played the original game, so they didn't want it to be 1:1 alike.

Honestly, the original MGS wasn't even about gameplay for me.
Just wasn't the games strong suit.
That was a game I played to get totally immersed in the story.
I don't really care that the Ocelot battle battle was ruined with 1st person aiming (seriously, that was the only one really affected)
Posted 11:54 on 01 July 2013
IronMit's Avatar


Being stuck in top down view bordered on frustration in a few areas in the original. The twin snake mechanical changes had some pros and some cons. They balanced themselves out in my opinion.

I think adding the analogue stick controls more then make up for the difficulty. No longer could I just sprint behind someone and choke them in the same fashion.

Also I found the original a bit jarring when cyborg ninja was flipping around at the speed of light when I was controlling clunky snake. And then somehow beat him in a fight by punch, kick combo. Watching Snake in twin snake cutscenes standing his own against Cyborg ninja made it a bit more believable -but I understand it lost some of that tension that bordered on horror.

Yeah the original is better but I in no way dislike Twin Snakes.
Another remake with the fox engine with the new enhanced mechainics, AI, level design could be pretty fun.

Also MGS3 subsistence or HD with the 360 camera was soooo much better, and suited that game more.
Posted 17:40 on 30 June 2013
BC_Animus's Avatar


Remake the original, but have you play as Meryl in a bikini. Call it Metal Gear Solid: Extreme.
Posted 11:56 on 30 June 2013
AlecRoss's Avatar

AlecRoss@ Bloodstorm

Yeah, Twin Snakes and the remake of Resident Evil One, yet another good reason to own a gamecube
Posted 05:31 on 30 June 2013
Bloodstorm's Avatar


I second the sources of your claims. Everyone else i've spoke to (fans, "journalists" and first time MGS players) loved it, including me. To me it was the second best reason to get a gamecube at the time.
Posted 00:31 on 30 June 2013
AlecRoss's Avatar


I had no idea Twin Snakes was despised so much. What are your sources for this dislike of the cutscenes. I love the MGS series, and I thought Twin Snakes did a decent job of updating the original without forgetting what made it great. As a fan of the original, I didn't expect much more than a rose tinted version of it, and so I was happy with what Silicon Knights delivered.

I'm sorry, but I find this article a little bit unjust.

On the otherhand though, it shouldn't be remade again. Just leave it be.
Posted 22:56 on 29 June 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar


You can't remake originality and expect it to be received with "Wow, this is original!" comments, that's why we now have Metal Gear 2, 3, 4, and 5.

Having said that I did buy the Halo remake, and that's probably a stand out example of how a remake should be handled. MGS with cheevos and trophies? There's a market for it.
Posted 18:29 on 29 June 2013

Game Stats

Release Date: 01/09/2015
Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami
Genre: Unknown
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 113 2
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