A Metal Gear Solid 3 remake has officially been announced under the meaningful, if odd title Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater. Metal Gear Solid 3, first released on the PlayStation 2 in 2004, serves as a prequel to the rest of the Metal Gear series. It follows recurring antagonist Big Boss, codenamed Naked Snake, as he infiltrates a Soviet lab to retrieve a stolen nuclear device, reluctantly clashing with his former mentor, The Boss. Baffling naming conventions aside, it was critically acclaimed, and is still considered one of the best Metal Gear games. It barely needs a remake, but with no activity in the franchise since 2015’s Metal Gear Solid 5 (excluding 2018’s critically panned, non-canon Metal Gear Survive), any news is good news.
It’s a fittingly unusual title for a decidedly unusual military stealth game. The symbol Δ, pronounced “delta,” has provoked plenty of confusion and speculation online. On one hand, it wouldn’t make too much sense to newcomers for a reboot franchise to start from MGS3. Since it’s the first game chronologically in the series, however, the Delta title might just serve an alternative to the number three, signaling to first-time Metal Gear players that this is an acceptable starting point. On the other hand, there may be greater significance to the use of this symbol in the remake’s title.
Per the official Metal Gear Twitter account, the use of delta in the title reflects the developer’s desire to change certain things about the original MGS3 without altering its overall structure. The fourth letter in the Greek alphabet, delta is often used in mathematical formulas and the sciences to mean “change.” When placed adjacent to another variable, it signifies the change in that variable, rather than its static value, should be inserted into the equation. Indeed, there will probably be many changes to MGS3 in the upcoming remake, though the lone trailer so far has yet to confirm how much will be altered.
Besides shiny new graphics and, most likely, an all-new game engine, modern tastes and the remake’s home on current-gen hardware necessitate a lot of adjustments, major and minor. The original MGS3 used a fixed, overhead camera perspective, which has long since fallen out of fashion in action games. Its frame rate was locked at 30 FPS, far lower than the 60 many prefer. It also made use of a unique feature of the PS2’s controller, in which pressing a button halfway down would often have different effects than pressing it fully, a potential snag for input devices other than the PS5’s DualSense, which has been utilized for multiple inputs in games like Returnal. There are surely other changes planned, but they haven’t yet been announced.
However, it doesn’t seem like Konami wants to make any sweeping changes to MGS3. The overall story and structure will probably remain the same; it’s hard to imagine MGS3 as anything other than a stealth-based third-person shooter. The original voice cast will return in the remake, including David Hayter as Snake, though there has been speculation that Konami is simply using the original game’s audio files. If not, this will be Hayter’s first time playing the character since the recast in MGS5, where actor Kiefer Sutherland took over the voice and motion capture. MGS3 was widely praised for its engaging narrative, which has inextricable ties to the rest of the Metal Gear series. Changing MGS3‘s story would have greater implications for the series as a whole, and that might not be what Konami has in store.
The delta in the MGS3 remake’s title may mean change, but it could also have broader implications for the rest of the franchise. MGS3 is, in some ways, a strange choice for a sudden remake after eight years of radio silence. It looks great for a PS2 game; if upgraded visuals were the primary concern, starting with the first Metal Gear Solid and its blocky, PS1 facial expressions would make more sense. With the first volume of the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection, which includes HD remastered versions of the first three games, scheduled for release this autumn, there’s no need for a purely aesthetic remake of MGS3 – there may be something larger at play.
Choosing not to number the MGS3 remake means that there may be further remakes planned for a later date. Set in 1964, it’s the first game in the series’ timeline, so that makes it a likely candidate to kick off a series of remakes. The next candidates would be the handheld spinoffs Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Peace Walker, which continue Big Boss’s story. These games are an important part of the Metal Gear continuity, but are only playable on PSP and, in the case of Peace Walker, PS3 as part of Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection. Since those respective consoles are harder to come by two generations on, a PS5 remake/remaster would be a welcome surprise.
A Metal Gear Solid 4 remake or remaster, however, would be even more interesting. Released on the PS3 in 2008, it’s never appeared on another console, not even receiving a PS4 port. While MGS3 is one of the most beloved entries in the franchise, MGS4 is anything but. It’s widely considered one of the weakest titles in the series, an unnecessary button on a story that already had a satisfactory conclusion. The time is right for a reevaluation of MGS4, especially in the context of everything that MGS5 boldly changed about the continuity.
However, MGS4 is the last game chronologically, so if Konami is following that timeline for its release order, an MGS4 remake is still a long ways off. There’s still hope, though, that it could appear as a remaster in volume two of the Master Collection.
Whatever the plans are for the rest of the franchise, the MGS3 remake is a sure thing – but without a release date, for the time being. The reveal trailer shown at the May 2023 PlayStation Showcase was remarkably short, and didn’t show much more than a pan across the forest floor, some of its insect and animal inhabitants, and a brief glimpse of a high-definition Snake. Whatever Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater has in store, it’s unclear for the time being, much like the full meaning of its title.
Source: METAL GEAR OFFICIAL/Twitter