I’ve done my best to make peace with the Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater remake. I tried to ignore the leaks and rumours, but the evidence piled up so much that it became irrefutable. Like it or not, we’re getting a new version of Snake Eater without its creator Hideo Kojima.
Such a phenomenon is not unusual and is not even a cause for concern. This year’s Dead Space remake was developed without the input of original creators Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, and it turned out great. The new Dead Space is even better than Schofield’s The Callisto Protocols, showing how much auteurship really matters when it comes to remakes.
Metal Gear games look different though. Kojima’s fingerprints are firmly imprinted on Viper, and it seems unlikely that anyone else could match his style without looking like a weak imitation. The most accurate adaptation of Snake Eater you can make will still not have the signature of its creator. Kojima and Metal Gear are inextricably linked, so it was hard for me to accept that the studio best known for porting The Outer Worlds to the Switch was now remaking one of the greatest games of all time.
But we can’t hide from the truth forever, so let’s talk about what a Snake Eater remake should be. Admittedly, Metal Gear Solid 3 is a perfect candidate for a remake. Snake Eater is currently only playable on PS5 via PS Plus, making it the oldest game in the series that cannot be purchased digitally (GOG has both 1 and 2). Considered by many to be the best in the series, it is also chronologically the first game in the timeline. Snake Eater straddles the line between retro and modern, making it a great place to start for an unproven studio like Virtuos. It could probably get by with updated visuals and cutscenes remastered without touching the gameplay at all, but then what would be the point of remaking it at all?
Even though I’m dubious about remakes of beloved games, I can’t deny that the new Dead Space did a lot to set itself apart from the original. The Dead Space remake isn’t just a fresh coat of paint, it’s a reimagining that echoes the original’s combat, level design, and playthrough while maintaining the style and tone that make Dead Space iconic. The remake has a Dead Space feel to it despite the many changes to it, and the same can be said for the Resident Evil 4 and Final Fantasy 7 remakes.
What makes these remakes great is that they don’t focus so much on recreating every aspect of the original that they end up feeling stuck in the past. Instead, they build on them as a foundation and build on the qualities and lessons learned from other games in the genre to become something that pushes the art of game design forward, just like the originals they’re based on did. Resident Evil 4 Remake will have the same impact on the action-horror genre as the original Resident Evil 4 because it didn’t settle for just being a faithful remake or ignore how far the genre had come from the first original. came out so many years ago.
A successful Snake Eater remake should do the same. Virtuos needs to not just recreate Snake Eater, but look at the games that were influenced by Snake Eater and use those lessons to take tactical stealth games one step further. Metal Gear Solid 3’s system world, CQC combat, and survival mechanics were revolutionary when it came out in 2004, but in the decades since, other games like The Last of Us and Hitman, as well as the MGS games that followed , all based on the things that Snake Eater created.
There are countless examples of stealth games that learned from what Snake Eater is known for. Hitman: World of Assassination Trilogy has taken the immersive simulation qualities of Snake Eater and amplified them to create scenarios that truly feel alive. The Last of Us 2’s mix of outdoor stealth, melee combat, and third-person shooters is an evolution of Snake Eater’s gameplay with more refined physical and combat capabilities. Viper will need to delve deeper into the world’s systemic features to give Snake a bigger toolbox and smarter enemies that feel like they’re on the ground, and pay more attention to fluidity in order to make Snake feel like the legendary CIA operative he was meant to be. be.
So many mechanics of Snake Eaters can be improved by incorporating ideas from those games. The camouflage system is very similar to Hitman’s cloaking mechanics, while the wounding and healing system can be improved and optimized by adapting TLOU’s crafting system so that you can navigate the crafting menu without interrupting gameplay. And thanks to the progress made in Metal Gear Solid 4 and 5, as well as the Resident Evil Remake of the following installments, the Snake Eater remake can further utilize all the great ideas that came after it.
To be realistic, I don’t expect much from a Snake Eater remake. The legendary Mass Effect proved that we still have an appetite for purely visual updates to classic games, and there’s no reason to expect Konami to go above the bare minimum. That said, the bar has been raised by games like Dead Space and Final Fantasy 7 that show what a remake can be, and the Snake Eater remake deserves the same level of attention and care. Resident Evil 4 Remake is proof that a remake can surpass the original, but only if it refuses to stay in the past.
further: Grand Theft Auto 6 may wake up crying about it