Metal Gear Solid 5: What’s Next?
Beating Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots felt a lot like graduating from high school. You spend one last night with all of the characters you've grown attached to, yet you get the feeling that you will never see these people again, and in the end, the protagonist doesn't get the girl. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots felt like the end of an era, but the developers would have fans believe otherwise... Last year, Hideo Kojima announced that he was planning to make Metal Gear Solid 5. With the absences of any major Metal Gear Solid game at E3, fans are tearing their hair apart trying to figure out what could Kojima possibly have in store for the next installment of the Metal Gear Solid franchise.
Before diving into the possible story details of a new entry, we should first talk about the game that has already been announced: Metal Gear Solid Rising. The game promises to take place in-between Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. It will explain how the pretty boy operative, Raiden, went from doing cartwheels naked to becoming the killing machine cyborg we saw him as in the fourth game. While it could be just a spin-off story, I doubt Kojima would pass up an opportunity to set up the events of Metal Gear Solid 5. If anything, Metal Gear Solid Rising could be an opportunity to introduce new characters without wasting the exposition needed to introduce them in another installment. With Liquid dead, introducing a new villain, and giving his backstory in Metal Gear Solid Rising, could give developers more room to dive deeper into the villain's actions without wasting time on their history in a Metal Gear Solid 5 game.
Metal Gear Solid 4: The Guns of the Patriots didn't leave a lot to suggest a sequel. As a matter of fact, if Kojima hadn't already announced a fifth game, I wouldn't believe one was coming out. Therefore, nitpicking Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is quite the difficult task. The biggest hint of a sequel is the dialogue at the end of the credits, where Solid Snake reveals he wants to “see this new age off.” This leads me to believe the most likely scenario for a sequel will be with what Kojima did for the second game: There will be a new main character.
Perhaps the new game won't even be called Metal Gear Solid. Not so much symbolizing a new series, but that the torch is being passed to a new character. “See this new age off” makes me believe that the new main character could be a student of Solid Snake. The story could even revolve around him not being able to follow in his mentor's footsteps.
But who could take the responsibility as the new protagonist of the series? It is unlikely that it is someone completely new. One reason why fans didn't like Raiden as the hero of the second game was that he came out of nowhere. He was never in any of the other games, and it took a while for fans to warm up to the idea of playing as him. While that is a risk that Kojima has proven in the past he is willing to take, using a character within the universe would make interacting with past characters more feasible.
My money is on Metal Gear Solid 4's Johnny, also known as Akiba, becoming the new main character. The game often focused on Johnny more than other major characters who were much more vital to the plot, not to mention the game made a big deal about his face being revealed. While Johnny has been in all of the Metal Gear Solid games, his role has always been minor. Why give him such a vital role for the supposed last game of the series?
The idea of Johnny going off to train with Solid Snake could add a lot more layers to the Metal Gear Solid mythology than introducing a brand new character. Johnny's comedic relief, and slacker persona could be the change that Solid Snake's replacement would need to possess in order to make fans feel like they are playing a fresh experience, and could add to an underdog dynamic that would make him more likeable. Plus, Metal Gear Akiba reads just as catchy as Metal Gear Solid.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots wrapped up the series in the best possible way, which is why the announcement of a fifth game is making a lot of gamers curious. It has been a long time since fans got a taste of the Metal Gear Solid world, and the eagerness is only going to grow. There is a good chance more information will be released at the Tokyo Game Show, stay tuned to unWiredTV for all your Metal Gear Solid news.