Earlier last week every Metal Gear fan burst with excitement when it was reported that Hideo Kojima was looking for a studio to remake the original Metal Gear Solid using Kojima Productions’ new Fox Engine. The possibility of seeing a fan favorite title running on modern and advanced hardware is always exciting for the industry, and with a game as critically acclaimed as Metal Gear Solid, this announcement was a dream come true.
However, it was soon after revealed that Kojima was not actually actively looking for a studio, and that the report was simply an issue of mistranslation. But in typical Kojima manner, he took to Twitter that he would be open to the idea of a remake, saying:
Well, if there's some creator or team in this world who has love and passion to remake "MGS1", I would love to ask for it.— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) June 27, 2013
The act of remaking any game stands as a large feat and is more than simply adding a coat of new paint and calling it HD. The Metal Gear franchise is no stranger to outside studios with Silicon Knights’ original remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, for the Nintendo GameCube in 2004, and the more recent spin off, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, by Platinum Games. So what current developers would we trust with remaking a game as sizeable and revolutionary as Metal Gear Solid, and who do we think would deliver the best possible experience?
Just Add Water
As the first studio to publically express a desire to remake the game, Just Add Water earns a spot on our list. In an open letter to Kojima, Just Add Water cites their experience with the Oddworld franchise and states that many members of their team are “huge Metal Gear fans, with very good knowledge of the source material.” The fact that a letter was posted publicly on their website means that it is probably not the action of one executive thinking it would be a good financial decision, but likely was first discussed with a development team who was able and eager to rise to the challenge.
Many gamers and industry analysts argue that Naughty Dog is one of the best developers of our time, so it’s no surprise that we’d love to see what the team can do with the Fox Engine. Known for pushing limits of hardware and creating masterful cinematic experiences in games like the Uncharted series and most recently The Last of Us, Naughty Dog has our complete support and confidence with the Metal Gear franchise. With experience including sneaking mechanics to action and survival games, we’d love to see what it does with an engine built specifically for that gameplay strategy. In what would likely be a PlayStation 4 exclusive, this hypothetical remake would make a nice addition to Sony’s next-gen lineup.
Based in Kiev, Ukraine, developer 4A Games is known for the Metro 2033 franchise. The studio has proven experience with balancing the feeling of being a hunter versus being hunted, which we think would translate beautifully in a ‘tactical espionage action’ game such as Metal Gear Solid. Through demonstrated use of game mechanics like taking control of light and darkness when approaching enemies, we would expect a new twist on sneaking through the Shadow Moses facilities in the Fox Archipelago. 4A Games is great at building a sense of consistent risk in its games, and with a game like Metal Gear Solid that has a ticking clock built into the narrative, we suspect the tension would be at an all-time high.
Typically known for high octane action games, Ninja Theory might seem like an odd choice at first glance. One could argue the team is better suited for a game in the style of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, but let’s not dismiss the possibility completely. More often than not, Ninja Theory’s games are beautifully polished and presented with unique design elements that make their titles stand out in the crowd of your typical gritty brown action game.
By using emotion to build not only character, but relationships as well, the player experiences a sense of immersion that sticks with them after the game is finished. Yes, Metal Gear Solid is a solo stealth action game, but the villains and allies Snake encounters on his mission possess a level of depth very unique to typical video game narrative.
While some options may be more likely than others, it’s always fun to dream. So what studio would you like to see remake Metal Gear Solid and why?