In Metal Gear Solid for the PSX, it was revealed Solid Snake is a genetic clone of Big Boss, the result of a secret government project. For Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, it was revealed at E3 that it is actually a clone of about 40 different Dynasty Warriors games; the result of Hideo Kojima withdrawing from the directing role to an executive producer role. We have seen in the past what happens when a brilliant mind takes a back burner approach to a project. For example: Steven Spielberg directed a movie about an alien that was nominated and won multiple Oscars. He also was an executive producer on a movie about alien robots which featured the likes of deep characters such as skids and mudflaps, so never let the name fool you.
An announcement that came out from the Konami camp late last year notified fans Kojima and his team were passing the baton on to Platinum Games, creators of titles such as Bayonetta and Madworld. From its original unveiling back in 2009 where we were shown the complete control of Rising’s main character (and Metal Gear alum) Raiden, it was clear that Hideo Kojima’s ambitions were high. Featuring a demonstration of the sword play capabilities that would be in the game in an early on tech demo, we saw where you could use the PlayStation Move to dissect a watermelon. From a man who has developed deep, involved characters and generated innovative ideas like the Psycho Mantis battle in Metal Gear Solid or the Vamp battle in Metal Gear 4: Guns of the Patriots, these sort of standards were nothing new.
From the first introduction of Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, it had been an uphill battle for stateside gamers to buy in to the character. After his revamped display put on in Guns of the Patriots, there was new hope for the kid. The idea of a full-blown Metal Gear game with him as the main character now seemed like an appetizing thought. Then, like going to an upscale top rated restaurant, the waiter shows us steak and potatoes on the menu and we were ready to sink our teeth in to this title. We grabbed our forks, looked down, and there in our mashed potatoes was a dirty greasy hair. This dirty greasy hair was now Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Take everything that was good about this franchise: the stealth, the movie-like story line equipped with beautiful cut scenes, the intensity of a character driven piece. Now remove that, add a hack-and-slash battle system with God of War like boss battle prompts, and we are now left with this ridiculous piece of trash. Have we not learned anything from the past? Case in point: Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus. Not only is there a hair in our mashed potatoes, but we come to find out the chef knew about it and told the waiter there wasn’t enough time to make a better batch.
I have never been rendered speechless, but that was exactly what I felt while watching the first trailer released nearly a year ago, after the announcement of the change in developers. I do not want to fall in to the category of a fanboy who criticizes a franchise for trying something new, but there is nothing new about this formula. This has been one of the most amazing rides of any IP in video game history, and initially I applauded the idea of Kojima not committing to directing the game if you aren’t going to release what your real vision is. However, stamping a executive producer credit on it and still allowing it to use the Metal Gear brand is evidence of a pure fiscal decision.
Hideo Kojima is currently working on a new project that takes a different approach to the type of game he wants to release. He was quoted as saying: “There are a lot of real world issues I want to address, but the reason I kept making the MGS saga and its sequels is that it allowed me to explore my ideas. But now I’m starting a new series, focusing on new set of issues. It’ll probably be different to what MGS addressed. Of course, I’m turning 50 now, so if I’m going to approach new topics, it might be something more on a human level, like the concept of love, or rearing a family, things of that nature.” Giving his overall body of work and commitment to groundbreaking gaming, I have no doubt that his new project, dubbed “Project Ogre,” will give us more of the same forward thinking gaming.
None the less, no matter how many times I watch the trailer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, I still find myself unable to defend it at all. At the end of this trailer, the tag line for the game is “Make it Right.” Maybe Kojima should take that advice.