The dormant Sony series would be the perfect fit for the next Hideo Kojima game…
Legendary game director Hideo Kojima is finally free from Konami after a lengthy and petty break-up. The new Kojima Productions is now teaming up with Sony for a Playstation 4-exclusive game Kojima is describing as “edgy” and “smaller-scale.” It’s not really clear if even he knows what type of game he wants to make next, but given his track record, it’s going to be great.
But if Kojima is still looking for ideas about this next game, then I would like to humbly offer my own suggestion to Kojima Productions and Sony:
Please, please team up to reboot Sony’s Syphon Filter series.
The History of Syphon Filter
For those of you unfamiliar with the Syphon Filter games (and that’s perfectly understandable given that there hasn’t been a new one in almost a decade), they told the story of Gabe Logan, a secret agent who used both stealth and more aggressive tactics to take out enemy soldiers and save the world from the deadly Syphon Filter virus. They were kind of like Metal Gear Solid games, if you replaced the giant nuclear mech with a virus.
The first game came out for the original Playstation in 1999, just a few months after Metal Gear Solid. Five more games followed on the Playstation 2 and Playstation Portable, the most recent being 2007’s Syphon Filter: Logan’s Shadow (half-heartedly ported to the PS2 in 2010). The games, particularly the older ones on the PS1, haven’t aged terribly well, but they consistently received high review scores at the time of release.
The mix of stealth and action in the games was always praised, and often compared to the Metal Gear Solid games. In fact, the Syphon Filter series usually relied a little more on action, a direction the MGS games didn’t really take until this year with The Phantom Pain.
Why Resurrect Syphon Filter?
Even though the Syphon Filter series was great for it’s time, there’s not exactly a huge fan following begging a sequel. So why bring it back now? And why put Kojima in charge of the franchise?
Well, Kojima has repeatedly said that he’s done making Metal Gear Solid games, and that’s definitely true now that he no longer works for Konami. He doesn’t have the rights to MGS, so he can’t make a new one. Over the years, Kojima has also been involved in directing or producing some other great, unique games like Boktai, Zone of the Enders and most recently Silent Hills.
But Kojima seems to really, really like making Metal Gear Solid games. You can tell he genuinely enjoys coming up with new ways to explore stealth-action and make the gameplay more realistic. And he has a special talent for coming up with bizarre and intricate stories about the nature of war, the military-industrial complex, and whatever weird stuff is going through his head on a given day. I’m not sure that Kojima is even capable of making a game that isn’t like Metal Gear Solid anymore.
And that’s exactly why the next Hideo Kojima game should be Syphon Filter. Throw out everything that came before in the series. There are very few people who are really attached to that story anyway. But let Kojima turn Gabe Logan into a new Solid Snake, a battle-hardened hero who must repeatedly save the world from a deadly virus. And instead of the forgettable enemies of the previous Syphon Filter games, just let Kojima go crazy creating new bosses with unique supernatural abilities like he did in the MGS series.
Yes, I’m saying just let Kojima turn Syphon Filter into Metal Gear Solid, but is that such a bad thing? Sony seems to have no other plans for the series, and have you played Metal Gear Solid V? It got a little lost among all the other big releases this year, but it’s easily the best game in the MGS series, and a strong candidate for best game of the year. Kojima has revolutionized stealth-action and sandbox style games with something that truly lets you complete any mission any way you want. Few games match its freedom and emergent gameplay. I was a little worn out of the series, but for the first time in years, I actually want to see what Kojima could do with another entry in it. Of course, that’s now impossible since he’s split from Konami. And that’s why Sony should give him free rein to build on everything he did with The Phantom Pain in a Syphon Filter reboot.