Video game publisher Konami didn’t gain any fans when it cancelled Silent Hills earlier this summer. The game was supposed to be a new take on the aging survival-horror franchise, helmed by gaming auteur Hideo Kojima—known mainly for the Metal Gear Solid games—not to mention Guillermo del Toro.
Kojima is known for lengthy cutscenes (think several hours’ worth per game), hard-to-follow stories and making sure every Metal Gear Solid game includes at least one poop joke, but his legions of fans would have crawled across battlefields and infiltrated oil rigs until the Gekkos came home if it meant seeing what the Japanese game development icon could do with Silent Hill.
Thanks to his fallout out with Konami, it seems Kojima will never leave his mark on the Silent Hill series—or any of the many other Konami games that could use a refresh. As tribute to those unborn titles, here are five games that could have really used a Metal Gear Solid makeover—and how they would have been influenced by Kojima’s very unique sensibilities.
’GETTING TOO OLD FOR THIS’
Main inspiration: ‘Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’
The future. A military force known as Contra fends off aliens threatening Earth, its last line of defense. But for alien-killing soldier Lance, PTSD sets in hard after his partner is killed when he accidentally touches an electric fence while crawling through an alien tunnel, and Lance loses a limb trying to save him.
Unable to continue, Lance retires to simpler life with a dog and a farm. On Mars. Because it’s the future. But aliens don’t just take a time out because your best friend turned into an appetizer. They keep coming. And they kill the dog. It’s emotional.
With the fate of humanity in the balance, Lance is pulled from retirement despite being, just, so ludicrously old. In order to circumvent the ravages of time, he sacrifices his humanity to military science, becoming a cyborg capable of exploiting the aliens’ one known weakness: getting repeatedly sliced up by a robot ninja with a katana. Lance cyborg-slices his way through the alien ranks in hopes of saving the world, but one question remains: will he be able to cyborg-slice his way through his own personal demons?
’FROGGER: ELITE SPECIAL FORCES UNIT’
Main inspiration: ‘Metal Gear Solid IV: Guns of the Patriots’
When the world is at war, the world will wage war. On war.
In a dystopian future in which conflict grips the globe and war profiteers abound, even wildlife has been weaponized. But despite having explosives strapped to his body by soldiers, one frog refuses to become another amphibian IED for the sake of the ever-growing military industrial complex.
In a quest to reach a place of freedom and security, the frog must cross a warzone littered with enemy combatants, and every road crossed is a chance at a new life—or a squishy, explodey, roadkill death. There’s no end to the danger, be it from bullets, bombs, marching feet or the ever-terrifying truck tire. But if this frog fails, it’ll mean more than his life, it’ll mean someone else’s.
Through his tribulations, the frog goes on to unite other animals in the cause of peace. But will they ever be free to cross from one pond to another without the chance of exploding, or is this even a world that’s worth saving?
’CASTLEVANIA: GUNS OF THE VAMPATRIOTS’
Main inspiration: ‘Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater’
The famous vampire hunter Simon Belmont is hired by the U.S. government to dispatch the tyrannical warlord Dracula, who has taken up residence in an Eastern European country and turned all of its residents into fanatical vampire soldiers. Now he’s preparing a weapon that will turn the world’s population into vampires, enacting an Omega Man scenario. Only Simon can stop him and his giant bat-shaped bipedal robot tank.
Except it turns out that, upon nearly defeating Dracula, Simon learns the supervampire is misunderstood, and Belmont’s own masters are not what they claim to be. Instead, he’s being manipulated by a shadow government—a secret group of evil Catholic priests bent on enacting their own brand of control all over the world. They’re looking to commit genocide against the mostly peace-loving vampires, and Simon is forced to choose: become a sexy vampire to impress his girlfriend, or save the world from a bloodthirsty fate.
Spoiler alert: Dracula is also Simon’s father.
’DANCE DANCE: THE REVOLUTION’
Main inspiration: ‘Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker’
The constant threat of global nuclear terrorism has turned Earth into a totalitarian wasteland, where every government has placed security over freedom. Art is abolished, fun no longer exists, and entertainment has been replaced by work.
In their struggle for security, the people have forgotten what life used to be like. But for one young rebel, there’s a weapon that can remind the people of what they’ve lost.
It’s dance. The weapon is dance.
That’s right, in a joyless world only the joyful are truly free, and through rhythmic expressions of flexibility and bodily coordination, a small force of fleet-footed revolutionaries (the Danseurs Sans Frontières, or “Dancers Without Borders”) are slowly building up the popular support they need to take the world back. Soldiers, politicians, and corporate goons alike are being reminded of the humanity they discarded in favor of greed and bloodlust—but only if you’ve got the moves to open their minds.
There’s also a really great workout mode using motion controls.
’PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER SOLID’
Main inspiration: ‘Metal Gear Solid’
Soccer: the gladiator blood sport of the future. In a world where governments need to control their people, the increasingly brutal and intense sport of soccer is the perfect means to placate the masses, and keep the best and brightest focused on surviving their mandatory 10-year team sentences.
Soccer is also big business, which is why teams have taken to genetically engineering the perfect players, creating them for the singular purpose of taking sweet penalty kicks and enacting perfect slide tackles. You are one such player: bred for perfection, born for a single purpose, a slave to the corporate overlords of soccer. Too bad your secret dream is to open your own vegan cupcake boutique.
But when the players of rival squads start to die around you, a secret conspiracy becomes clear: you haven’t been bred to be the perfect player, but the perfect weapon to be used against rival squads. Suddenly, the only path to freedom and cruelty-free confections is to play in the yearly Shadow Moses tournament, defeat the world’s greatest teams, and destroy the evil Lords of Soccer to finally free the world from their tyranny.
Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer and the co-author of “So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel” and “The Space Hero’s Guide to Glory.” He was hoping the latter would help him get Han Solo hair, but so far he’s been unsuccessful. He lives with his wife and annoying cats in Los Angeles.
The 6 things gamers should stop complaining about