HomeGeneralMetal Gear the Trajectory (1987 to 2015)
All about the development of Metal Gear, the franchise that changed the gaming market.
Metal Gear is one of the most popular franchises of all time, always led by its creator Hideo Kojima. In the very first games we could see the genius and great vision of its creator who managed to bring a story and an ingenuity to a game at a time when this didn’t exist yet. Today we will talk about how this franchise has evolved and often dictates the elements of the gaming market.
Metal Gear 1987
Young Hideo Kojima released his first game project for MSX2 and later for NES. Despite having worked at Konami for years, Kojima had never finished a game, so he was given a no-claims project where he would have complete freedom. As a movie fan, he incorporated a standard narrative of the movies of the time into the game, with spy mechanics trying to simulate a silent invasion and lots of dialogue (which drew criticism at the time).
Simple but revolutionary mechanics
However, Metal Gear’s great insight wasn’t content with making an epic action game, but tried to emulate the experience of the movies of the time. So goals like trying to pass the level unseen, attacking enemies from behind, and using the alert system that forced the player to clear the area so they could continue were some of the mechanics that got players excited about the game being a success.
In 1990, the sequel Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake was released, which would continue the storyline of the first and expand the universe. Borrowing from the classic tales of the time and improving on the mechanics of its predecessor, the sequel was a huge hit just like the first.
Metal Gear Solid 1998
The release of Metal Gear Solid 1998 took place more than 10 years after the first game in the franchise. On Sony’s powerful platform, the Playstation 1, Hideo Kojima is just as creative (if not more so) than he was in 1987. Following the narrative line of spy films like 007 and Mission: Impossible, he created a masterpiece, a game that easily becomes the best games ever made in history.
In this sense, he managed to continue the storyline of the last game, achieving incredible graphics for the time, alongside mechanics that made the game a different experience. The game still had a narrative capable of creating an immersion rarely seen.
There are so many new mechanics that contribute to the storyline that it’s hard to list them all. Stealth has been taken to another level with the influence of ambient noise, footprints and the use of camouflage, as well as a large arsenal of firearms that are very good at targeting soldiers, tanks, planes, etc.
But the main thing was the ability to create unusual and exciting situations, such as sniper duels, car battles, fights against a cybernetic ninja, and even good old one-on-one. The creativity shown in this game to bring in cinematic elements is surreal.
Metal Gear 2: Sons of Liberty 2001
In 2001, it was the Playstation 2’s turn to receive the game. Sons of Liberty had a noticeable visual improvement and showed how that power could be translated into even more polished mechanics. So this version had everything that was presented in the previous game, only better and more functional.
Metal Gear 3: Snake Eater 2004
Also dubbed as one of the best games of all time, Metal Gear 3 managed to get the most out of the Playstation 2. Here the action takes place in the past and shows the beginning of everything, and what makes the graphics better is the art direction that manages to create some of the most beautiful scenes of the period.
Once again, the mechanic accompanies this aesthetic perfection, with mechanics for feeding in the wild and health care to avoid the flu. In addition, it has a percentage camouflage system that had a lot of synergy with sniper battles and a very rewarding ending.
Metal gear 4: guns of the patriots 2008
Here we see another leap, one of the first games for Playstation 3. The graphics quality of this game was amazing, since at the time PCs that could produce such good graphics were not seen (this was the last time this happened). Metal Gear 4 was the conclusion of the great Solid Snake saga and also had great in-game mechanics such as drone controls and stealth that once again adapted to the location in real-time. However, what stood out most in the game were its presentations. It had huge and extremely shocking cutscenes that don’t leave game store screens.
Metal Gear 5: The Phantom Pain 2015
The final title of the saga marks the beginning of the career of its first major villain, Sneak, and also marks the departure of Hideo Kojima from the Konami company, owner of the franchise. Metal Gear 5 has an absurd maturity in gameplay, bringing the game into an open world where the possibilities were almost limitless. Still with very well polished mechanics, the game managed to combine several of the classic actions of the previous games. However, it evolved in such a way that it even allowed for the creation of its own soldier base, which would one day be the stage for the first game in the storyline.
The game was a farewell to Kojima, who delivered a polished game with a very fine balance between stunning graphics and modest requirements. However, it could be seen that he couldn’t give all he had himself as he was likely already affected by the already announced Konami departure. Despite this, this is a historical game to complete one of the largest and most complex game storylines.
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