Spotify can sometimes take you to places you haven’t been for a while. Recently it’s taken me back to Shadow Moses.
Boy did it take me back. Pretty sure we’re nudging 30 completions at this point. An hour in and I’m already facing Sniper Wolf (Braggy McBraggison). It’s been different this time though and at first I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was it because this is the first time since playing MGSV? Had I just grown a bit more and my perspective has changed?
It hit me. As I was playing the game I was linking characters to incarnations I’d now met in different time periods. I’ve fought both against and alongside Ocelot at various points and met younger versions of Liquid and Psycho Mantis. I always figured that once I’d seen the whole story I’d gain a new appreciation for these characters and their death’s later in the timeline would mean more to me.
I was wrong.
Rather than appreciate the characters more I now realise that I didn’t need to see them in other situations. Metal Gear Solid may hint at a much broader world with it’s ‘I’ll eat my dinner whilst this plays’ cutscenes but the story is actually very self contained and lean. Listening to Otacon or Liquid monologuing is more about the message Kojima is sending and less about the events in the Archipelago itself. The rest of the saga isn’t required to make sense of it. If anything, attempting to marry up the version of Ocelot that traded bullets around Kenneth Baker with me to the Ocelot I rode around Afghanistan on horseback with only ends up being confusing and frustrating.
It looks as though the Metal Gear series, in its solid state at least, has ended. Kojima is off at this own company doing his own thing and Konami have moved onto…zombies. I’ve played 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and Peace Walker. I’ve found plenty to love and hate across all of them. This isn’t a dig at the other games though. They aren’t a waste of time or worthless. A franchise was always going to spring up around such an interesting game.
No amount of prequels or sequels could detract from the experience in Metal Gear Solid. They just can’t improve it either.