Various logos from games within the series
|Developers||Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
|Platform of origin||MSX2|
|First release||Metal Gear
July 7, 1987
|Latest release||Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection
July 9, 2013
|Official website||Official website|
Metal Gear (Japanese: メタルギア Hepburn: Metaru Gia ) is a series of action-adventure stealth video games, created by Hideo Kojima and developed and published by Konami. The first game, Metal Gear, was released in 1987 for the MSX2. The player takes control of a special forces operative Solid Snake who is assigned to find the titular superweapon "Metal Gear", a bipedal walking tank with the ability to launch nuclear weapons. Several sequels have been released for multiple consoles after requests from Konami to produce new Metal Gear games. The sequels expand the original game's plot adding new characters opposing and supporting Snake, while there have also been a few prequels exploring the origins of the Metal Gear and recurring characters. Various parts were inspired by Hollywood films with character's names, settings and artworks often referencing them.
The series is famous for pioneering the stealth game genre, in which the character initially has only one weapon and has to go through the game to accomplish his mission by himself. Other notable traits are cinematic cut scenes, intricate storylines, offbeat humor and exploration of political and philosophical themes. The game franchise has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, with individual installments being critically acclaimed and receiving several awards. The franchise has also been adapted into other media such as comics and drama CDs.
Hideo Kojima designed the original Metal Gear, which debuted in Japan and Europe in 1987 for the MSX2 computer platform. A separate team created a heavily modified Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) port of the game that was released in Japan, North America and Europe. Konami then produced a NES sequel titled Snake's Revenge—in whose development Kojima was again not involved—that was released in North America and Europe in 1990. One of that game's designers became acquainted with Kojima and asked him to create a "real Metal Gear sequel". In reaction, Kojima began development of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which was released in Japan in 1990 for the MSX2.
Following Metal Gear 2's completion, Kojima worked on other projects before directing his third Metal Gear game, Metal Gear Solid, which was released for the PlayStation in 1998. The success of Metal Gear Solid resulted in a series of sequels, prequels, spin-offs, ports and remakes for Microsoft Windows, the Game Boy Color, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Playstation Vita, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS. Metal Gear Solid was followed up by the sequel Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty released on November 2001 for the PlayStation 2. A remake of the original Metal Gear Solid called Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes was made for the Nintendo GameCube in early 2004. Later that year, the third numbered entry, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, was released for the PlayStation 2, this was the first prequel which was set before all the previously released Metal Gear games and acted as an origin to the franchise.  These games were followed by a sequel to Snake Eater titled Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, which was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2006. The series' main storyline was concluded in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the PlayStation 3 in 2008. The game featured a multiplayer spin-off called Metal Gear Online. In April 2010, another sequel to Snake Eater titled Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker was released for the PlayStation Portable and was set shortly after the events of Portable Ops. The latest game in the series, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, was released in 2013 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the game is set after Guns of the Patriots and stars Raiden, the protagonist of Sons of Liberty who turned into a cyborg ninja.
Expanded re-releases of games in the series were produced as well, such as Integral (Metal Gear Solid), Substance (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty), and Subsistence (Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater). The series' portable instalments are usually set outside the main storyline. Metal Gear: Ghost Babel was released for the Game Boy Color, and several titles were released for Sony's PlayStation Portable. In a departure from the series' style, Metal Gear Acid and its sequel used turn-based strategy mechanics based on collectible cards.
On May 18, 2009, a teaser site for the following installment in the Metal Gear series was uploaded by Kojima Production. The site has so far consisted of a series of countdowns leading to several flashing letters and the images of two characters looking like a middle-aged Big Boss and a cyborg Raiden. An article published in the July 2009 issue of Famitsu PSP + PS3 covers the content of the site and features an interview with Hideo Kojima. The interview, revealing many details, is heavily censored and was published that way as a request by Kojima, who is directing and designing the new game. Famitsu was to publish the full interview in its following issue. The new game was eventually revealed to be Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, which was announced on June 1, 2009 at E3, during the Microsoft Press Conference.
At E3 2010, a demo entitled "Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater – The Naked Sample" was shown for the Nintendo 3DS. The official E3 Kojima site later released screenshots and official art for the demo. Kojima did state, however, that this was not a preview for a full game but just a sample of what could be done on the 3DS hardware. Another mobile port of a previously released game was shown at Sony's PlayStation Meeting on January 27, 2011, where Hideo Kojima demonstrated a possible portable version of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the upcoming PlayStation Vita.
On June 2, 2011 Konami announced the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection which was released in November 2011 for both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The collection features remastered versions of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, rendered in 720p and running at 60fps, including Trophies/Achievements, and remastered audio. On August 15, 2011 UK retailer Zavvi secured the exclusive right to sell the Metal Gear Solid: Ultimate HD Collection only available for the PlayStation 3, which was released on November 25.
In November 2011, Kojima discussed with PlayStation Official Magazine (UK) the series' future commenting an upcoming Metal Gear Solid 5. Kojima said: "I think we'll probably have to make it [a sequel to MGS4] at some point, but what that will be, we have no idea." Kojima stated that when Konami does get around to building the game, he will have less influence than he had on previous iterations in the series. After the mixed fans reaction of the reveal of the rebooted action gameplay focused spin-off Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Hideo Kojima reassured fans that an "authentic stealth Metal Gear Solid" sequel would be coming in the future.
During a discussion panel at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in March 2012, Kojima stated "I am working on something that I think will become the shining moment" for his career and the Metal Gear series. During the franchise's 25th anniversary, Konami revealed a demo for a new title in the Metal Gear series, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. A social game for the GREE titled Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops was released on December 2012.
On December 7, 2012, a teaser for the video game titled The Phantom Pain was revealed on the Spike Video Game Awards. After the teaser trailer aired, numerous video game-related websites and fansites reported the trailer's seemed connection to the Metal Gear series of video games. Although the trailer presented the game as being developed by Moby Dick Studio, there were a few hints that The Phantom Pain may have some connection to Kojima Productions and the Metal Gear series due to the protagonist's resemblance to Big Boss, as well as the head of Moby Dick Studio, Joakim Mogren's first name was an anagram of "Kojima".
On March 27, 2013, Kojima announced at GDC 2013 that Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain were revealed to be two different portions of one whole work entitled Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes serving as the prologue and The Phantom Pain serving as the main story. Snake's usual English-language voice actor David Hayter will not be returning for the role. Instead, Hollywood actor and producer Kiefer Sutherland will take over the role.
The ten games in the main Metal Gear series continuity reveal a narrative that spans five and a half decades, from the most dangerous years of Cold War, until the near future. Of these ten titles, four are prequels, playable with Big Boss, set decades before the events of the original Metal Gear.
The first Metal Gear game for the MSX follows Solid Snake, a rookie member of the FOXHOUND special operations unit. He is sent by his superior Big Boss to the fictional South African fortress Outer Heaven, with the goal of finding the missing squad member Gray Fox and investigating a weapon known as Metal Gear. However, Big Boss is later revealed to be the leader of Outer Heaven, which he has created as a place for soldiers to fight free of any ideology that he believes has been forced upon them by governments. He fights Snake and, although he loses, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake reveals Big Boss' survival. The two face off, with Snake once again achieving victory.
Metal Gear Solid elaborates on the storyline of the earlier games and reveals that Solid Snake is a genetic clone of Big Boss, created as part of a secret government project. A new antagonist is introduced in the form of Liquid Snake, Snake's twin brother who takes control of FOXHOUND after Snake's retirement. Liquid and FOXHOUND take control of a nuclear weapons disposal facility in Alaska and commandeer REX, the next-generation Metal Gear weapons platform being tested there. They threaten to detonate REX's warhead unless the government turns over the remains of Big Boss. Solid Snake destroys Metal Gear REX and kills each of the renegade FOXHOUND members with the exception of Revolver Ocelot.
A third Snake brother known as Solidus Snake is introduced as the United States President at the end of Metal Gear Solid and serves as the main antagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. During his time as President, Solidus became aware of a secretive cabal known as "The Patriots" who were steadily manipulating the course of human history. After his tenure as President is over, Solidus takes control of the "Big Shell" offshore facility, which is being used to develop Arsenal Gear, a mobile undersea fortress designed to influence human development by filtering the availability of information across the internet. The game is set several years after Liquid's death in Metal Gear Solid, and it puts the player in control of Raiden, a soldier who fights against Solidus. Raiden joins forces with Snake, and later learns that they are all being manipulated by Revolver Ocelot, who has been working for the Patriots. At the end of the game, Ocelot seemingly becomes possessed by the spirit of Liquid Snake.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, which is chronologically the first game in the series, introduces a younger version of Big Boss when he was under the codename Naked Snake during the Cold War. The game focuses on the rise of Naked Snake from apprentice to legendary soldier as well as the downfall of his mentor and matriarchal figure, The Boss. After her staged defection to the Soviet Union ends in disaster, Naked Snake is sent into Russia to kill The Boss and end the threat posed by Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin, a GRU colonel with plans to overthrow the Soviet government. The origins of Metal Gear, the Patriots, and the FOXHOUND unit are also explored in the game.
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops serves as a direct sequel to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and follows Naked Snake's life after disbanding from FOX. Not yet accepting the Big Boss codename, the plot features the origins of his mercenary unit as he attempts to escape the San Hieronymo Peninsula and does battle with his old unit.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots deals with a rapidly aging Solid Snake (now branded Old Snake) who is still on his quest to find and defeat Revolver Ocelot, now known as Liquid Ocelot. Despite destroying the Arsenal Gear in Sons of Liberty, the Patriots have continued in their plans to influence the course of human history, installing artificial intelligence systems around the world. Ocelot, opposed to this, has assembled armies with which to fight back, and intends to hijack their entire operating system for his own ends. Solid Snake's objective later changes to destroying the artificial intelligences of the Patriots and stop their oppression. After he and his allies succeed, Snake decides to live out his life peacefully.
The next title, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, is set ten years after the events of Snake Eater and returns to the story of the young Big Boss. Now the head of the mercenary corporation MSF (Militaires Sans Frontières), Big Boss discovers that nuclear warheads are being transported to Latin America and must put a stop to them. Peace Walker features an entirely new cast of characters to provide both aid and intel for Big Boss. A few characters from previous games, such as a younger McDonnel Benedict Miller and the Chinese spy Eva, make appearances in the game.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is set four years after Guns of the Patriots and stars Raiden as a cyborg ninja mercenary. Raiden joins the private military firm, Maverick Security Consulting, and is tasked with defending the president of an unspecified African country. However the situation goes astray and the president is killed by a rival PMC company named Desperado Enforcement LLC. Raiden is defeated in the battle, but decides to re-avenge his failure and is sent out with a brand new cyborg suit to fight the mysterious military group.
The upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, serves as the direct sequel to Peace Walker and is composed of two chapters similar to the Tanker and Plant chapters in Sons of Liberty. The prologue is set a few weeks after the final mission in Peace Walker, with Big Boss facing off against Cipher (Zero). Big Boss is tasked with rescuing returning characters Paz Ortega Andrade and Chico. At some point during the story MSF's mother base is attacked by a mysterious splinter organization, XOF. Big Boss then falls into a coma for nine years, which leads to the events of the main chapter. The basis of the main story revolves around Big Boss forming a new elite unit of soldiers, the "Diamond Dogs".
Tone and themes
The original Metal Gear, which was released in 1987 during the Cold War, dealt with the manipulation of soldiers by politicians of the East and West, countered by the concept of "Outer Heaven", a country without politics. Its sequel Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which was released in 1990 at the end of the Cold War, expanded on this with themes regarding political intrigue, battlefield ethics, military history, and the negative effects of warfare.
The overarching theme of the Metal Gear Solid series is that of the "gene, meme, scene, sense, peace, revenge and race, and how people are affected by these factors according to the game's producer Kojima — Metal Gear Solid deals with genetics and the moral implications of genetic engineering, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty deals with how identity can be affected by the philosophies of one's society (a 'meme') and the effects of censorship on society, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater deals with how the time and place one lives in (a 'scene') affects their identity and how politics change along with the times, and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots deals with the artificially controlled (and globally shared) sense-data of the new era's nanotech-enhanced soldiers. With Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker the plot deals with the true nature of 'peace', and the concept of conflict in human societies. In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Raiden is defeated in the beginning and feels a deep sense of vengeance, and as such exacts his 'revenge' on the group who sabotaged him, as well as his own past. The games carry many implicit parallels to Nietzschean philosophy.
In games, players control a character who has to infiltrate into his enemy's area alone to complete his mission. Across the mission, the player receives assistance by a supporting team communicated by Codec. While the team tells the player hints about the mission, it also helps expand the characters through their interactions. During their debuts, player characters Solid Snake and Raiden are meant to represent the player while in the following titles they acquire more defined personalities. A common motif in the series is the use of powerful enemies. As games were released, new concepts were given to the bosses to make them innovative and notice their strength. As the first games used humans with supernatural abilities, for Metal Gear Solid 4, the staff decided to use monsters rather than humans as enemies. A notable boss battle was The End from Metal Gear Solid 3 that was meant to differentiate it from all the other bosses in the franchise due to its strategic gameplay. Another common motif has been the transformation of a previously normal character returning as a ninja. It started with Kyle Schneider in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake when he fought against Snake as "Black Ninja". Several other characters have done the same since, including Gray Fox, Olga Gurlukovich, and Raiden.
Much as Metal Gear began as a pastiche of action movies of the time, characters were pastiches of contemporary action movie heroes. Ever since Metal Gear Solid characters have been designed by Yoji Shinkawa. Several of their real names and aliases are references to films that Kojima watched. Because of the timeskip between titles, a few of the characters have been redesigned to fit in the game's year. With the improvements from new video game consoles like the PlayStation and PlayStation 2, the staff gave the characters a more realistic look although they initially had doubts about it. Kojima's thoughts regarding Snake's improved abilities by the time of Metal Gear Solid led to the concept of cloned characters who would be able to match him in combat. By Metal Gear Solid 2, Kojima was inspired by the Sherlock Holmes novels to introduce a sidekick character in order to view Snake from a different perspective. Although the series will continue after Metal Gear Solid 4, that title is Snake's final canonical appearance as Kojima does not want future developers to handle the character.
The first Metal Gear game was intended to be an action game that featured modern military combat. However, the MSX2's hardware limited the number of on-screen bullets and enemies, which Hideo Kojima felt impeded the combat aspect. Inspired by The Great Escape, he altered the gameplay to focus on a prisoner escaping. In a series of articles written for Official PlayStation 2 Magazine, Hideo Kojima identified several Hollywood films as the primary sources of inspiration for the storylines and gameplay of the Metal Gear series. He further noted that the James Bond series is what influenced him the most regarding the creation of Metal Gear Solid. The original plot has references to the nuclear war hysteria during the mid-1980s that resulted from the Cold War. Following games would revolve around nuclear weapon inspections in Iraq and Iran, but such idea was left out due to growing concern regarding the political situation in the Middle East. Other changes to the series were made in Metal Gear Solid 2 as a result of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
After Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Kojima planned to release the third Metal Gear rehash in 1994 for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer in 1994. Besides changing the console, the game was renamed, and its subsequent sequels, were given the word "Solid" as the series started using 3D computer graphics. Games since then were designed to be more realistic to further entertain the players. Metal Gear Solid 3 was initially meant to be made for the PlayStation 3, but due to the long wait for PS3, the game was developed for the PlayStation 2 instead. As previous game's settings were indoors areas due to difficulties with the consoles, ever since Metal Gear Solid 3, Kojima wished to drastically change it despite difficulties. Since Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty had several plot points unresolved, it was originally meant to leave it to players to discuss them to come to their own conclusions. This has led to consistency issues in the English version from Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 as they mentioned plot elements that were further explored in Metal Gear Solid 4.
A novel adaptation of the original Metal Gear was published in 1988 as a part of Scholastic's Worlds of Power line of novelisations, which were based on third-party NES games. It was written by Alexander Frost. The novelization is not based on the game's official storyline, but rather on Konami of America's localization of the plot. The book takes further liberties by giving Solid Snake the name of Justin Halley, and by changing the name of Snake's unit from FOXHOUND to the "Snake Men". In Japan, a Metal Gear gamebook was published on March 31, 1988, shortly after the release of the game on the Famicom. It is set two years after the events of the original Metal Gear, and is part of the Konami Gamebook Series. A novelization of Metal Gear Solid was published in 2008. It was written by Raymond Benson, the author of nine James Bond novels. Benson also wrote a Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty novelization, which was published in 2009. Critical reaction to Benson's novelizations has been generally positive, with Bookgasm.com writing that "Benson does a fine job translating the game to the page" with Metal Gear Solid, and MishMashMagazine.com calling Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty "a great companion to the game". A Japanese-language novelization of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots by Project Itoh was published on June 12, 2008. The novel was translated into English by Viz Media and was released on June 19, 2012.
A comic book adaptation of the original Metal Gear Solid was published by IDW Publishing in 2004. It was written by Kris Oprisko and with illustrations by Ashley Wood. The series lasted 24 issues and has been collected in two trade paperbacks as well as a single hardback collector's edition which is currently out-of-print. The entire run of the comic was collected again in a paperback book titled Metal Gear Solid Omnibus and released on June 2010. A comic book adaptation of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has also been published by IDW, written by Alex Garner with illustrations by Ashley Wood. A digital version of the first comic book adaptation was released for the PlayStation Portable titled Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel in 2006. A second digital version, titled Metal Gear Solid 2: Bande Dessinée, was released exclusively in Japan as a DVD release in 2008 and features fully voiced versions of both comic book adaptations. All the Japanese voice actors from the games reprised their roles with the exception of those that have died.
A radio drama based on the original Metal Gear Solid aired in Japan from 1998 to 1999 as part of Konami's syndicated clud DB program. Directed by Shuyo Murata and written by Motosada Mori, the serial lasted over 12 weekly installments spanning three story arcs. The series was later collected as a two-volume set. The series serves as an alternate continuation to the events of Shadow Moses, with Solid Snake, Meryl Silverburgh, Mei Ling and Roy Campbell going on further missions as FOXHOUND operatives (Mei Ling and Meryl are depicted wearing a battle dress uniform and a sneaking suit respectively), although the stories are not considered part of the mainstream Metal Gear canon. The Japanese voice actors from the game reprised their roles for the series, while new characters are introduced as well.
Several promotional DVDs have been released detailing the Metal Gear series. Metal Gear Saga vol. 1 was released in 2006 as a pre-order disc for MGS3: Subsistence. It is divided into five chapters, each dealing with one game of the then five-part Metal Gear series in chronological order (beginning with MGS3), and each include discussions by Hideo Kojima. Metal Gear Saga vol. 2 was first shown at the 20th Metal Gear Anniversary Party, and then released as a pre-order disc for MGS4. In this, the video is presented as a pseudo-documentary about Solid Snake and is divided into a prologue and four chapters: Naked Snake-the birth of Snake (chronicling the events of MGS3, MG1, and MG2), Liquid Snake-the second snake (MGS), Solidus Snake-the third Snake (MGS2) and Solid Snake-the first Snake (setting the stage for MGS4).
main article: Metal Gear Solid
In May 2006, Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima announced that a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid was in development. The film was purported to be in English, said to be released some time in 2011. Kojima also announced at the Electronic Entertainment Expo later that month that he had negotiated a contract with a party in Hollywood to adapt the video game into a film. Kojima also considered Alaska as the site of the film production, due to the game's setting in the state. David Hayter, the English voice actor for Solid Snake, had submitted his take for the movie but executives have passed on his script. Kojima also denied claims that German director Uwe Boll was a possible contender to direct a Metal Gear film.
Producer Quentin Tarantino expressed interest in having Equilibrium director Kurt Wimmer write the script for the movie. Wimmer was also considered as potential director for the film. Konami's Aki Saito had commented that There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson was interested, but DeLuca dismissed the claim. Christian Bale denied rumors that he was approached for a role to play Solid Snake in the film. However, on January 11, 2010, de Luca confirmed that work on a Metal Gear film adaptation was postponed indefinitely. He said Konami expressed concern that the entire Metal Gear franchise could be seriously affected if a movie version performed poorly.
In March 2012, during The Art of Video Games exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Hideo Kojima stated, "Honestly, I'm a movie fan and that's very special to me. I honestly would love to make a movie someday, but that said, I think it has to be a certain special game that has to provide that right setting. But I don't think that game will be Metal Gear Solid. Metal Gear Solid was developed specifically to become a game. ...If it were to be made into a movie it would have to be something completely new. I wouldn't use my current scripts. I think I'd have to get somebody to get a new script and somebody else to direct it as a movie." At the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary on August 30, 2012, Hideo Kojima announced that Arad Productions, owned by Arad brothers Avi and Ari, have agreed to produce a movie version of Metal Gear Solid with Columbia Pictures. Columbia's parent company, Sony Pictures Entertainment, will be in charge of distribution. in an interview with Eurogamer, Hideo Kojima once said that he would like to see Hugh Jackman as Snake but he is also open to other up-and-coming actors to the role.
Additionally, a non-profit fan film, titled Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy, was produced. The film is set in 2007 and somewhere before or after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. The movie was well received by fans and also by Hideo Kojima, who said, after being asked by a fan if he had seen the movie, "Of course I did. It's awesome. I felt like crying for their love towards Metal Gear. It's also a well made movie. I can't wait to see next part."
Metal Gear Solid was referenced in the Disney film Wreck-It Ralph, in which Ralph finds the exclamation mark that appears above enemies whenever they spot Snake.
In 1999, McFarlane Toys, with the collaboration of Konami, launched a series of action figures depicting key characters from Metal Gear Solid. In 2001, following the success of the first series, and with the release of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, McFarlane Toys and Konami combined their efforts to produce a line of action figures depicting Sons of Liberty's main characters. Each character has a piece of Metal Gear RAY, so collecting the entire set is essential to build the robot.
Konami has also released 4" scale blind-box figures based on MGS2 released in Japan, Sons of Liberty in 2002 and Substance shortly after in 2003; the Substance series was eventually brought to the US and UK markets packaged on card rather than blind boxed. During the release of MGS3, Medicom released 12" figures of Snake as part of their Real Action Heroes line. Medicom continued to support the franchise with the release of Kubrick figures for Snake Eater and Guns of the Patriots, which also included seven- and 12-inch versions of the game's characters.
In 2009, toy company ThreeA joined forces with Kojima to make related products. The first fruit of this partnership came in late 2012, when ThreeA released a massive 1/48 scale figure of Metal Gear REX, with working LED lights. It can also be dressed up to depict REX's decrepit condition in Guns of the Patriots. The company is also cooperating with graphic artist Ashley Wood to develop a similarly-scaled Metal Gear RAY. A prototype was first unveiled at the ReVenture hobby show in Hong Kong in April 2012.
Square Enix also joined the production of toys based on the series by creating replicas of the boss vehicles and characters from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The toys, which are from Square's Play Arts Kai line, were released in 2010. The line has since expanded to include characters from Metal Gear Solid and Sons of Liberty, with the detail more pronounced than the original McFarlane Toys figures. In 2012, Hot Toys also released a 1/6th action figure of Naked Snake in his original Sneaking Suit attire from MGS3, as well as the Boss.
To celebrate the franchise's 25th anniversary, model kit company Kotobukiya released a 1/100 scale Metal Gear REX, which features small figures of Solid Snake, Liquid Snake, and Gray Fox in both standing and near-death versions. Kaiyodo produced a Sneaking Suit Big Boss for its Revoltech action figure line.
Soundtracks for the first two games were produced by Iku Mizutani, Shigehiro Takenouchi and Motoaki Furukawa. For Metal Gear Solid, Kojima wanted "a full orchestra right next to the player"; a system which made modifications such as tempo and texture to the currently playing track, instead of switching to another pre-recorded track. Although these features could not be achieved at that time, they were implemented in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Hideo Kojima chose Harry Gregson-Williams, a Hollywood film composer from Hans Zimmer's studio, as the composer for Metal Gear Solid 2 was highly publicized in the run-up to the game's release. Gregson-Williams would reprise his role in Metal Gear Solid 3 and Metal Gear Solid 4. Starting with Metal Gear Solid, theme songs have been provided by popular artists such as Rika Muranaka. Several soundtracks based on the games have also been published.
Reception and legacy
|Metal Gear Solid||(PS1) 93.24%
|Metal Gear: Ghost Babel||(GBC) 95.61%||-|
|Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty||(PS2) 95.09%
|Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater||(PS2) 91.77%
|Metal Gear Acid||(PSP) 76.70%||(PSP) 75|
|Metal Gear Acid 2||(PSP) 79.66%||(PSP) 80|
|Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops||(PSP) 86.95%||(PSP) 87|
|Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots||(PS3) 93.53%||(PS3) 94|
|Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker||(PSP) 88.98%||(PSP) 89|
|Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance||(X360) 82.56%
The Metal Gear franchise has achieved great success, selling 31 million copies as of March 2012. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty shipped over 7 million copies worldwide, and is followed in sales by Metal Gear Solid with over six million and Metal Gear Solid 4 with five million. According to Chart-Track, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was the second fastest-selling PlayStation 3 title in the United Kingdom after Grand Theft Auto IV. The PlayStation Portable games were met with notably lower sales, but it has been analyzed that this was because of the low sales of the console when the games were released.
Seven titles have been universally acclaimed by critics. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty currently possesses 95.09% on GameRankings and 96/100 on Metacritic, making it the highest scoring game of the series to date. In 2002, IGN's editors ranked Metal Gear Solid as the best PlayStation game ever. In Game Informer Magazine's list of top 200 games of all time, Metal Gear Solid 2 ranked at No. 50 on the list. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was also voted as the fifth greatest PlayStation title ever released in a poll from PlayStation Official Magazine (UK). Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2 will be featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's "The Art of Video Games" exhibition taking place from March 16 to September 30, 2012. Games have won multiple awards such as Metal Gear Solid which won the "Excellence Award for Interactive Art" by the Japan Media Arts Festival, and Metal Gear Solid 2 which was given the Game of the Year award by Game Informer.
Metal Gear Solid is often recognized as one of the key titles involved in popularizing the stealth game genre with the player starting the game unarmed. Several boss fights have been praised for their variety and strategy required to beat them. The series is notorious for its fourth wall breaking scenes. The storyline has been commented to maintain "rich characterization" as well as to touch several controversial themes. Hideo Kojima's ambitious script in Metal Gear Solid 2 has been praised, some even calling it the first example of a postmodern video game. Cutscenes have often been praised for its graphics and the characters' stunt performances. Nevertheless, a common criticism has been the scenes' lengthiness, as well as some parts of the storyline. Raiden's unexpected introduction as the main protagonist in Metal Gear Solid 2, due to his lack of appearances in the games' trailers and how he replaces fan-favorite character Solid Snake, have been deemed as one of the most controversial parts of the entire series. The series' audio has been well-received to the point of receiving awards for its use of sound and music.
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