Metal Gear has always been one of Konami’s most important properties. It started out in 1987 with the classic first title on the NES, and since then has ballooned into a hugely popular franchise thanks to the Metal Gear Solid games. In the past few years Konami has started a tradition, showing some flashy new Metal Gear Solid trailer at each E3, a trailer that will attract hundreds to their booth whenever it rolls, and this year is absolutely no different.
The big news this year is of course Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Set sometime after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty,MGS4 takes place in a bleak future, where war is waged for countries by third-party corporations. Only hints of storyline have been revealed at this point, but by the sounds of things an alliance of those third-party corporations has risen up to threaten the world, and playing as an older, grayer Snake (as well as possibly a few other characters), you’ll be called upon to stop that threat.
The game is not playable yet, but the thrilling and lengthy trailer shows off some very impressive graphics, all purportedly rendered in real-time by the PS3. An action-packed sword-fight featuring Raiden from MGS2 taking down a hoard of walking tanks is about as intense a moment ever depicted in videogames, and the trailer also features some of series producer Hideo Kojima’s patented humor.
But, this was far from the only Metal Gear-related item at the show. Konami is also launching the first proper Metal Gear Solid title on the PSP, called Portable Ops. The Acid games on the PSP have been fun, but haven’t done much for gamers craving traditional Metal Gear-style action. Portable Ops takes place between the latest Metal Gear title, Snake Eater, and the original, helping to fill in some of the questions raised there. (You can see sample screens here and here.)
Additionally, Konami will be launching an interesting project called simply Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel. This is basically the story of Metal Gear Solid told via comic book on UMD, merging simple animations and great sound effects with a gorgeous, hand-drawn look. It’s an odd concept, and one that sounds like a bad idea, but when you see it in motion it’s actually very compelling.
The UMD comic will be out this June, while you’ll have to wait until sometime this winter for Portable Ops. As far as Metal Gear Solid 4 goes, all we know is to expect a release sometime in 2007.