Today (and yesterday), Kojima announced two projects that his studio is working on, specifically concerning the Metal Gear franchise. Luckily for me, neither title presents a topic to directly rage out about, but I do have thoughts on them nonetheless.
First and foremost is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Though this game is what's regarded as a true sequel to the franchise, I’ve already seen an alarming number of people disregard the existence of Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Even in the context of the series own little flustered narrative canon, it’s a significantly relevant part of the series. Peace Walker seems to be wearing the badge of Naked Snake (now Big Boss) on the path which will eventuate in the establishment of Outer Heaven. Given the further insight that was given into Snake Eater’s experience by Portable Ops, I’m curious as to how they’ll craft yet another intriguing tale for Metal Gear fans. I’ve no doubt KP will push the PSP’s talents to its limits either. Portable Ops already implemented a number of useful mechanics popularized in MGS3: Snake Eater, which is an accomplishment on any front. Some tiny observations in the Peace Walker trailer indicate that Snake will retain his crouch movement that was added in Guns of the Patriots (which was carrying on the stalking Mechanic from Snake Eater).
Second is Metal Gear Solid Rising. This is the one I’m a bit worried about. Not because of Raiden, I’ve made clear that I’m actually a fan of the character. No, I’m worried about this because of the context in which the game has to be set. The shots indicate that Raiden will be subject to or around his appearance in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Rising may very well be centered around the mission in which Raiden was tortured and had his head and spine removed from his body (that’s the only part of his original body in Guns of the Patriots). I’m just automatically suspicious of anything that penetrates the “Solid Snake Era” of the franchise. If KP can pull off their tagline (“Lightning Bolt Action”), I’m all for it…but I remain very hesitant towards this one.
There is a third title however, and it remained the only part of E3 I was disappointed with. No mention at all was made of the enigmatic “MASK” site that’s been up along with the Kojima Productions webpage. Extrapolating from some rumors, my guess is that it’s a new installment in the Castlevania franchise, or at least a Castlevania type game. Apparently, the revelation will accompany the June 18th release of PSW’s (Playstation World) latest issue. Either way, it’s been a while since someone has had a crack at a 3D console iteration of the Castlevania universe, and I’d like to see what a company like Kojima Productions could accomplish with it. Not to say that I hated Lament of Innocence or Curse of Darkness, but compared to how high of a regard that some of us hold Castlevania in, it’d be nice to have a 3D console title actually match those expectations. Lords of Shadow apparently, only time will tell.