Perhaps the biggest surprise out of Gamescom last month was the fact that Konami wasn’t done with the Metal Gear franchise, as many had predicted after the legendary stealth series creator Hideo Kojima departed the company in acrimonious circumstances. The games publisher, seemingly done with console gaming outside of Pro Evo, stunned fans with the reveal of Metal Gear Survive, a stealth co-op game set shortly after the events of last year’s Metal Gear Solid V. Except without Snake, Kaz, Ocelot, or any other character that made the series what it is. And loads of zombies in their place.
It’s a strange decision on Konami’s part, not least because the game seems to ape Capcom’s disastrously received Umbrella Corp, a co-op shooter set in the Resident Evil universe which also did away with its main characters. Unsurprisingly, fan reaction online has ranged from the puzzled to the outrage. Perhaps it’s not all bad though; Pro Evo is better than ever, while Metal Gear Solid V was in many game of the year lists in 2015 (well, the bit that was finished, anyway). Still, we’d much rather see Konami focus on making any of these games next based on other beloved series in its arsenal.
Ah, P.T. The greatest, scariest demo ever to be cancelled, then scrubbed and erased from the internet by its creators. Gamers around the world exploded from hype overload when it was revealed that this terrifying playable teaser was for a Silent Hill remake, helmed by Hideo Kojima in collaboration with horror movie-meister Guillermo Del Toro and Walking Dead star Norman Reedus. Then everything went awry, the project was axed, Del Toro walked and Norman Reedus was last seen in Kojima’s new, decidedly non-Konami game, Death Stranding, rolling around naked in the mud with some USB cables coming out of him.
Here’s the thing though. Unlike Metal Gear, which will always be Kojima’s baby, no matter how bad the divorce, Silent Hill is not. There’s no reason the studio couldn’t return to the classic series; the survival horror genre is in desperate need of revitalisation, after all. We can’t help but wonder just how spooky the extra power of the PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One Project Scorpio could make it.
Metal Gear Solid VI
Yes, Metal Gear Solid wouldn’t be the same without Kojima’s eclectic taste in music, as well as his even more surreal scripts, but what better way for Konami to draw a line in the sand after the auteur’s departure than by making a mainline MGS game without him. The gameplay is already there, Konami just needs to actually finish the game this time. Put some clothes on Quiet, bring back the adorable D-Dog, sign up Keifer Sutherland, something something nano-machines and FOX is your uncle, you’ve got yourself an instant AAA blockbuster for Holiday Season 2017.
Metal Gear (reboot)
Look, we appreciate the above is unlikely. What seems more plausible, and much more tantalising than Survive, is a return to the original Metal Gear games from the Nintendo Entertainment System days. Either a full on remake (Konami actually shuttered a fan-led remake not too long ago), or a continuation of the early entries’ gameplay would be a welcome change – Konami could even hark back to its roots with a top down, 2D approach to stealth (Hitman Go, anyone?).
It’s telling that Konami’s latest entry in its legendary vampire action-adventure series is a pachinko machine. It seems to be the case for lots of Konami properties, but when there’s a dark, lore-infused series that’s begging for a new entry, it surely makes sense to put that FOX Engine to use and make a slick new Castlevania game, right? While Konami’s latest take on the franchise with the Lords of Shadow sub-series hasn’t been as critically acclaimed as PS1 classics like Symphony of the Night, there’s room to take the 3D third-person romp out for at least one last outing, or Konami could make a 2.5D side-scrolling adventure that harks back to the classic whip-cracking games of the past. Basically, a brand new Castlevania, on consoles or on handheld, please.
Adventure games need to make a bigger comeback: we’ve seen the likes of classic franchises like Broken Sword make a return recently, while the likes of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney are still appealing to fans around the world after 15 years and Telltale Games make a living by crafting excellent adventure tales for you to explore. Which is why we reckon Konami could bring back its classic 80s cyberpunk adventure, Snatcher, which Hideo Kojima wrote and designed, and give it to a brand new audience. A new sequel could be daring, or Konami could just remake the original game for modern consoles with its beefy FOX Engine and call it a day – we reckon that’s probably a safer bet.
Metal Gear Risinger: Strike Back With Revengeance
Okay, so Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was actually developed by brawler specialists Platinum Games, rather than in-house at Konami, but it would certainly be a welcome property to revisit. Shoe gazing robo samurai Raiden was the perfect vehicle for Platinum’s trademark insane third party beat’em up action, its gameplay matched only by its five-year-old’s-fever-dream of a plot in which it turns out that (spoiler alert) an American senator is actually a really evil robot with biceps the size of the Lower 48. There was also a robot dog thrown in for good measure. Clearly, a Rising sequel is the true Metal Gear spin-off we need; the only question is just how silly the name can go.
After the roaring success of Niantic’s location-based Pokémon GO game, Konami would be remiss to sit out on an opportunity to capture some of that same magic. The publisher still has the rights to make video games of Yu-Gi-Oh!, which is basically just Pokémon with playing cards instead of animals held captive in appalling conditions (and more hair gel). So why not make its own augmented reality card game, where you can only do battle at real world locations? Better to get there first before Digimon or Beyblade do, we reckon.
Pro Evolution Soccer Survive
FIFA’s gone big with a story mode this year, which means Konami will have to strike back with something different – and Pro Evo Survive would be just the game. Much like Metal Gear Survive, this is a co-op team shooter; one player takes on the role of Joe Hart, trying to survive in a new Man City squad under Pep Guardiola. Everyone else plays a new signing at the training ground; you each take penalty kicks at the England goalie until he’s unceremoniously cut and packed off on loan.
Literally anything else in its library
Konami has a large library of renowned classics in its back catalogue. The likes of Gradius, Contra and Frogger are just three classic franchises that Konami has the rights to that many would love to see a modern take on, and they’ve largely been sat dormant in the vaults – even more modern fare like Zone of the Enders could do with a brand new entry. An alternate universe Frogger with zombies sounds like an instant win, while it’s about time the series that pioneered the Konami Code had made a comeback – you could probably rebrand Metal Gear Survive as a Contra title and it’ll do much better. Let’s just hope that the famed Konami Code is a cheat in Survive that turns the game into MGS V’s episode 51...