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Upgrades Metal Gear Remake Needs

Metal Gear Solid 3 is one of the greatest games ever made. But it’s also nearly twenty years old. Things have changed a lot since 2004.


That means the recently announced Metal Gear Solid Δ Snake Eater – the actual real name of the remake – has a few easy targets they can hit to make massive improvements without doing anything controversial.

Here I’m going to be talking a little bit about options the developers have for making a Metal Gear Solid game in the 2020s that won’t break the classic.

Quality of Life

One of the biggest changes since 2004 is the expectation that things will be easy. On the one hand, that means location markers and constant hints, which I’m not sure would go down well here. On the other, it means easier menu navigation and better, smoother controls.

This is the big return to the Metal Gear franchise since Phantom Pain, and while I wasn’t the biggest fan of the story, it’s inarguable that the gameplay was excellent. To go back to a 1:1 remake of a PS2 game would be a giant step backwards.

And so some more freedom of movement will be vital, even within an exact replica of the original game’s locations. The new Metal Gear needs to come out of the gate guns blazing – else it’ll end up feeling tired before it has already begun.

And it’s not just movement. Improvements to how camo works would be very welcome. Metal Gear Solid 4 used the octocamo to avoid constant menu-ing. That won’t necessarily work in the context of this timeline, but something similar won’t go amiss.

Join Together the World

Metal Gear Solid 3 was an open world split into tiny segments. It would be upsetting to see those segments disappear, but in this day and age, we don’t need bite-sized chunks to keep the console from loading too much data.

That doesn’t mean I want to see a truly open world MGS 3. And worse, please don’t give us Gear of War and Uncharted style “open sections” either. But sew the different areas together.

That might mean some new locations to combine jungle with mountain, for instance. And I would expect that anyway.

This would be more convenient, but it would also help with the feel of being hunted. That’s especially true when you get to the boss fight against The End. It would take an already incredible fight to the next level.

Go Deeper Into Metal Gear

Oof, I hear you say. We were doing so well weren’t we?

Listen, I don’t want new story. I don’t want random soldiers standing around with exclamation marks over their heads, triggering side quests when you speak to them. And I don’t want busy work masquerading as additional content.

But this is an opportunity to go deeper than the PS2 game ever could. Maybe that’s as simple as ecosystems. Maybe animals can interact with each other and with you more, borrowing from Red Dead Redemption 2. This can give you new tactical options, or might mean you have to rethink if things go wrong.

And maybe part of that is story. I hesitate to say it, given Kojima not being involved. But a lot has happened since Metal Gear Solid 3 was released. We saw where it all went in MGS4, we saw Boss’s journey in Portable Ops, Peace Walker, Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain.

I don’t want Skull Face hiding in the bushes. But some additional content – in codec, or hidden cutscenes or even in slightly altered scripts – would give us old fans another reason to revisit.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott