Could the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Remake Reignite the Series Again?

Could the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Remake Reignite the Series Again?

Josh Wise

This week, the PlayStation Showcase unleashed a number of intriguing things upon us. Bungie is bringing back Marathon, the shooter that defined the studio before Halo: Combat Evolved, and the trailer was a treat. Robotic caterpillars; people born, or forged, in plastic pouches; a figure shot and slumped in a milky pool, lifeblood leaking out in blue swirl; all accompanied by what sounded like an extremely angry dial-up modem. Meanwhile, the presentation closed with a lengthy reveal of Spider-Man 2. This featured not only Spider-Man but Spider-Man in an oily suit and a bad mood, and Spider-Man – the Miles Morales Spider-Man – not just swinging but gliding, courtesy of some silky underarm webbing.

The presentation was upheld at its midpoint by another trailer, that of Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater, a remake of 2004’s Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Several things are notable about this. First, the title: not “Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater” but “Metal Gear Solid Δ: Snake Eater,” the nifty little triangle signifying the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet, rather than a river delta, which, given the game’s jungle setting, would also make sense. (According to a note from the Metal Gear Twitter account, “The Delta symbol (Δ) was chosen because its meaning fits the concept of the remake project. Delta means “change” or “difference” without changing structure.)


Second, the trailer depicts the food chain in all its tactical espionage action. We begin with a platoon of ants, marching toward the corpse of a frog, which is then plucked skywards by a lime-green parrot, which is, moments later, almost swallowed by a snake, which, in turn, is snapped up by a crocodile. All of these beasts then give way to the ultimate predator: a man, sneaking doomily through the dark, his face caked in mud. This, naturally, is Jack, better known by his code-name, Naked Snake. Third, the details: from the Shagohod, just visible in the background, being tugged through the stormy heavens by a squad of choppers, to the petals at the end of the trailer, first moon-white and then blushing into a freshly spilled shade of red.

Obsessives will have nodded in appreciation of these minor flourishes, just as they will have slipped into a state of blissed-out cardiac arrest at the opening chords of “Snake Eater,” the game’s Bond-like theme song, belted out by Cynthia Harrell. (It remains a perfect parody of its subject.) Then, the final touch. This wasn’t so much something that was in the trailer, rather something that was missing: the name of Hideo Kojima, whose long-time relationship with Konami came to an acrimonious close in 2015. Konami owns the rights to Metal Gear but has only published one entry since Kojima’s departure: the deeply underwhelming Metal Gear Survive, from 2018. Hence the rush of shifting emotions that greeted the more zealous fans: the joy, the pain, the fury, the sorrow, and, in the end, the fear.


In short, are we in good hands? For that matter, whose hands are we in? After some prodding, on the part of Geoff Keighley and Kotaku, Konami revealed that the remake is being done by “Konami’s development team who is involved in the development of the Metal Gear series,” and that it’s being fully supported by Virtuos, which is a development company that has been cooperating with the past Metal Gear series.” Hmm. Fine. But why all the stealth? Clearly, Konami isn’t keen to point up the absence of the game’s creator, and thus to stoke our apprehension at the notion of a Kojima-less Metal Gear. Compare the company’s approach to the upcoming remake of Silent Hill 2. Bloober Team is making the game, but Akira Yamaoka and Masahiro Ito, the composer and the art director, respectively, on the original, have been brought onto the project. Their presence, Konami is surely hoping, will soothe any worries of inauthenticity. Evidently, the fog of hostility between Konami and Kojima has yet to burn off.

It’s a surreal thing to be looking forward to the release of a Metal Gear game, doubly so one from which Kojima has been excised. I have always imagined the series at once aching from his absence and haunted by his presence. And yet, I can’t deny the jolt of excitement that shot through me at the sight of that trailer. Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater cannot, by definition, surpass the original, but what it can do is provide us with a fitting ode to it and – who knows? – perhaps prime us for new chapters in the series. It isn’t as though there haven’t been any good Metal Gears without Kojima; one of my favourite offshoots is Metal Gear Acid and its sequel, both of which were directed by Shinta Nojiri. Likewise, the often-overlooked Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, though produced by Kojima, was directed by Masahiro Yamamoto. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, meanwhile, came out of PlatinumGames.


The difference between then and now is the bad air that wafts over Metal Gear. Before, one could imagine Kojima gazing at Metal Gear Acid, for example, and nodding in approval at its quirk and its dreamy story. Now, however, any moves that Konami makes unfold in an atmosphere of burnt egos and soured trust. But it needn’t be that way. Kojima Productions is in fine fettle. Death Stranding was a fascinating game, and there is a sequel on the way. Plus, the studio has other projects in the works. However bad the breakup, the fact is that Kojima has finished with Metal Gear. His saga was complete. The coiled stories of his dual heroes – the twin Snakes, Naked and Solid – had both wrapped.

It sounds as though Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater is going to be a faithful retread, rife and steamy with graphical life; but maybe the joy of seeing that trailer comes from a deeper place. Maybe it comes from a craving to be excited at the idea of looking forward to Metal Gear, rather than looking back. Maybe it isn’t just the prospect of Snake Eater that makes the heart leap but the longing for something new, something we haven’t yet seen. What a thrill.

  • I hope it's a success and they'll remake the whole franchise chronologically so we'll be able to follow the story without having to read through whole texts online on what happened in previous parts and where one game fits in the story line. They could expand on the games a bit and add some new content, but creating a whole new entry seems like a bad idea (for now).
  • If they put the camera over the shoulder or FPS then no.
  • The only reason I'm looking forward to MGS Delta is because it's just a polished Kojima MGS.

    But I don't know how excited I would be for a non-Kojima Metal Gear, to be honest. I have a hard time imagining that I would look all that forward to it.

    MGS is my favorite game series, but maybe I'm more of a Kojima fan than a MGS fan. I mean, he's probably the only guy who could get me to fall in love with a package delivery game.
  • MGS 3: Snake Eater is a legendary title and one of the best in an already outstanding series. If there's ever an MGS game that will 'reignite' the series or bring it back, it's probably this one. I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing more about this remake. If they make it a polished remake that runs smoothly then it'll be really tough to beat.
  • If it's a good remake I don't see why they wouldn't do the other games as well
  • Don't forget how they didn't even want to invite the man (Kojima) himself to accept his own award at that award show. And now, they're tampering with iconic games that revolutionized his place in gaming history, solely to remove his signature. Laughable - especially when a majority of us never threw away our PS2 versions of the game. Will love to see where this goes and how widely accepted it becomes. Kojima never believed in putting micro-transactions in his games, but I know Konami wouldn't hesitate when that's THEIR signature.
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