Saying goodbye is never easy, but our beloved 28 year relationship with Metal Gear Solid is about to come to a close. It might come back at some point down the road in a new shape or form, but in the eternal words of one Mr. Don Henley, “A little voice inside my head said, ‘Don’t look back. You can never look back.'”
There is zero subtlety in this trailer. Where it fails to explains Metal Gear Solid V and set up the story or gameplay in a way that a launch trailer should, it succeeds at pulling at the heartstrings of those who have been there since day one. In my aging years, I have forgotten the thrill of playing through the first Metal Gear Solid for the first time; the cinematic camera angles, the blocky polygons.
Why is a trailer for a brand new game firing up those 20 year old memories like a blast furnace?
From there, we tackle the sequels, with the immortal highs of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and the middling inconsistencies of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Snake Eater might be Metal Gear in its most refined, explosive, and downright fun form, but it’s also the only game in the main series I ever played through once. It is the other two imperfect ones that I have more memories of.
Big Boss has memories too, and none of them are pleasant. Following the nostalgic roller coaster of the first two minutes, we witness right before our very eyes the true hero of this franchise morph into the villain he started this whole roadshow as in the very first game. His face slowly contorting, gathering scars, growing a horn in his head, blood flowing from his scalp, walking into the flames. The devil himself.
The actual launch trailer jumps in at the 3:10 mark with Big Boss battling a giant mech with a gun protruding from his crotch. No doubt a touch by Hideo Kojima, exactly the reason we’ll all miss him. Thanks a lot. It’s been a blast.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain launches on Sept. 1 for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.