Spinoffs are not uncommon in gaming. In fact, many spinoffs are actually quite good and have spawned franchises of their own. The trick is to keep the game connected to the main title through characters or the world setting, go in another direction through story or gameplay, while still being something fans and newcomers will enjoy. That doesn’t sound easy and it’s not.
For the Metal Gear Solid franchise, there have only been a few characters you could base a spinoff on. Raiden, the protagonist in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, was highly controversial. His arrival, plus the fact that Solid Snake was more or less a supporting character only, rubbed people the wrong way. Yet he came back with a vengeance, and in Metal Gear Solid 4, he wowed many with his new look, abilities, and overall epicness.
This was in turn rewarded with a game of his own, truly his own, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. A game that not only connected to the main Metal Gear Solid titles, but offered a new twist on gameplay by focusing on Raiden’s sword blade instead of guns, and was heavily focused on action and slicing through enemies, rather thank sneaking around and trying not to be noticed.
Not just that though, the game delivered high-impact moments of action and intensity, such as slicing Metal Gear Ray in half with your sword, among other things! This go round, there was nothing subtle, it was all full throttle, high-intensity, high insanity, “am I really running down a building while it’s falling to pieces???” game. It was not afraid to be funny either. The main bad guy was a U.S. Senator (insert politics joke here), and he bragged about being tough because he was from Texas. The game raced you to new enemies at a blistering pace.
How does that not sound like fun? Exactly, it is!
So, why do we need a sequel? Because we need it! We need a game like this that is just pure and fun adrenaline rush. Let’s mow down hundreds of enemies with swords, slice up a helicopter (while jumping on its missiles!) like its butter, and be an epic katana wielding cyborg. Why not?
More than that though, Rising proved that swordplay gameplay at a fast pace can be fun AND strategic. You learned new moves as you went along, got Blade Mode, and much more! Imagine what they could do with a sequel!
With Kojima leaving, and Metal Gear possibly going in another direction, it’s easy for things to get lost in transition. Metal Gear Solid Rising actually teased a sequel a while back, but it’s unknown if we’ll get it. We should. We totally should. It’s fast, its fun, it’s hilarious, a sequel is there for the taking story wise, and its the game we deserve to play.