While Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid franchise received worldwide mainstream attention in 1998 when it debuted on the original PlayStation, it was, in fact, the third installment of the series as a whole. While there were two Metal Gear games that came out on the NES in the 1980s outside of Japan, Metal Gear Solid was more a direct sequel to two games for the Japanese exclusive MSX console (and the NES ports are very different to the point that Kojima doesn’t recognize them as part of the Metal Gear canon). Metal Gear Solid or MGS for short, is famous for allowing players to act as Solid Snake (or as Raiden or Big Boss depending on the game), an operative that specializes in sneaking operations and the novelty of the game is to accomplish your objective without being caught by the enemy. This allows players to sneak around by hiding in a cardboard box, crawling through vents, or hiding in lockers.
Along with the evolution of technology between the PS1 and PS4, it allowed the gameplay to evolve as well. If the player kills an enemy and leaves his body out in the open, the rest of the guards in the area become more vigilant. The game continued to evolve up until Metal Gear Solid V by becoming an open world experience. In addition to its deep gameplay and unique enemy AI, Metal Gear Solid has also been praised for its distinct storytelling of nuclear proliferation, government conspiracies, Cold War politics, honor, and sacrifice. On the same token, the game has been heavily criticized for its rather long cut scenes and how the sci-fi aspects of its story can be over the top.
With Kojima now gone from Konami and with the company still having the rights to the Metal Gear trademark, many dedicated fans wonder if it will maintain its quality. Though Konami is releasing Metal Gear Survive, some wonder if it will live up to Kojima’s distinguished creativity. If it doesn’t work for you upon its release, we have some recommendations you may try in case you already have or haven’t.
Similar Games to Metal Gear Solid
1. Alpha Protocol
- Platform: Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
- Release Date: Jun 1, 2010 (US)
While this game has been subjected to mixed reviews by the gaming media and a careless launch, we cannot deny Alpha Protocol’s similarities to Metal Gear Solid in the operative stealth genre. In this game, players assume the role of rookie agent Michael Thorton, and in his first mission, he already has to save the world from conspiracies and terrorists. His travels will take him to the Middle East, Russia, Italy, and Taiwan. Much of the gameplay and exploration is similar to that of MGS4, MGSV, and MGS Peacewalker where you have a third person view and can shoot people when necessary. And like MGS3 and up, Alpha Protocol also uses a hand-to-hand combat system like CQC but instead gives Michael flashy martial arts moves similar to that of Jason Bourne.
While some of the action is buggy and has a controversial AI, we cannot deny the quality of its story telling. A majority of the appeal of this game is the dialog system where players have options on how to interact with NPCs. You can play it cool and cheesy, be level headed, or come across as a bit more aggressive. Depending on how you choose your words, it can affect the outcome of the game and your relationships with various characters Michael interacts with. The game allows you to have contacts in the underworld and for the right price, they can give you valuable intel for certain missions or can provide you with the right supply of guns. And just like James Bond, players also have the option to try and woo women. Though this game may not be perfect, its distinct qualities and story should hopefully be enough to make up for its flaws.
Alpha Protocol trailer
2. Batman: Arkham City
- Platform: Multiplatform
- Developer: Rocksteady Studios
- Release Date: Oct 18, 2011 (US)
If you’re looking for an open world game where stealth is the ultimate weapon, look no further than Batman: Arkham City, the second installment in the Arkham series. While other Batman games on older consoles have been Beat ‘em Ups or generic platform games, Arkham City allows players to fully explore the dark alleys of Gotham, sneak up on enemies from the shadows, or from high roof tops. In addition to fighting your typical thugs, it features other Batman villains such as Bane, Penguin, Hugo Strange, The Joker and a series of riddles from The Riddler.
When fighting the likes of Mr. Freeze, trying to go toe-to-toe with him isn’t going to work. Instead, you must escape from his sight and use the underground vents to get behind him and work your combos. Much of its combat system is easy to use and takes influence from the choreography of Nolan’s Dark Knight series of using the close range Keysi Fighting Method, a street fighting style that allows you to defeat your opponent as quickly and brutal as possible. In addition to playing as the Caped Crusader, players also have the option to play missions with Catwoman, Nightwing, and Robin. So if you want to strike fear to a superstitious cowardly lot, Batman Arkham City hits the spot. And in case some of you didn’t know, the game features the voices of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and Joker from the 1990s Batman Animated Series.
Batman: Arkham City trailer
3. Hitman (2016)
- Platform: Windows, PlaysStation 4, Xbox One, Linux
- Developer: Io Interactive
- Release Date: Mar 11, 2016 (US)
While the Hitman series has been around for over a decade with numerous installments, Hitman 2016 takes the series in an episodic direction but maintains its core basics as a game of covert assassination. With Hitman, you play as Agent 47, an assassin for hire and the player is free to do the job by any means necessary or do it in a certain way and they cannot be caught! You can either kill your target from a distance like an elite sniper, or you can get up and close and personal with a blade. In some instances, you can even put poison and drink! Being caught can sometimes mean you failed the mission. Like how Metal Gear has progressed by introducing open world elements by becoming less linear, so has Hitman.
And just like you have to with Snake and Raiden, with Agent 47, you must not leave any evidence of your presence! In some instances, you must infiltrate by disguising yourself as one of the guards. This can be done by eliminating one of the guards and taking his clothes. So the concept of stealth in this game offers a unique novelty with a distinct comparison to Metal Gear Solid. While Metal Gear Solid 3 and 4 has a camo system, sometimes the best way to hide is to be out in plain sight, but make sure no one knows it’s you.
Hitman 2016 trailer
Any Games Like Metal Gear Solid ?
4. Syphon Filter
- Platform: PlayStation, Android/PlayStation Xperia
- Developer: Eidetic
- Release Date: Feb 17, 1999 (US)
Shortly after the grand smashing debut of Metal Gear Solid, out came Syphon Filter, which would also become a hit franchise. While a good majority of the MGS games used an overview layout, Syphon Filter was the first to use third-person before Metal Gear Solid 3 Subsistence. Plus, it was using first person aiming before MGS2 introduced it. In this game, you also assume the role as an intelligence operative who must go on missions around the world to stop terrorist attacks. It also introduces also distinct features such as being able to use narrow wall space to do a bit of crawling by having one leg on each side of the wall. And when a patrolling guard slips by without noticing you, you can just sneak up for the kill!
Though it does have its variety of firearms, it doesn’t go all out like MGS with whatever weapons you can choose and customize but whatever it offers, whatever you got equipped it gets the job done. But if in the event you take out an enemy, you must still conceal his body. The game also comes with its own difficulties. On some difficulties in MGS, if in the event you’re caught, it’s an automatic game over. While with Syphon Filter, if in the event you fail any objective in regards to the mission of the level, it’s an automatic game over. So if you want something with a lot more authenticity, Syphon Filter might be the game for you.
Syphon Filter trailer
5. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
- Platform: Multi-platform
- Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
- Release Date: Nov 12, 2002 (US)
Eastern Europe is collapsing and pretty soon, so could the whole world. So the US government needs to send in Sam Fisher to fix the situation and save the world. But along the way, he learns more about how deep the US government and its operatives are in on the take and must do everything possible to save his fellow Americans and the world before it’s too late. While Metal Gear Solid is known for its crazy selection of firearms at its disposal, Splinter Cell emphasizes on less is more. The game encourages its players to stay in the shadows as much as possible and with the limited ammo you are provided, it is best to stay out of sight.
Splinter Cell emphasizes a lot more on the player’s usage of light and shadows to further distinguish itself as a stealth/espionage game. But don’t worry, you can use night vision goggles in case you can’t see in the dark. In addition, the AI is pretty excellent and guards will act and react in certain realistic manners while patrolling. Last, this game also discourages you from killing your enemies so when you can, try to use sneak attacks and choke them out as opposed to using any kind of weapons.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell trailer
6. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
- Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
- Developer: Eidos Montreal
- Release Date: Aug 23, 2016 (US)
If there is any game we can make a more direct comparison to Metal Gear Solid with, it has to be Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Although, this game introduces some of its own distinct elements. Like some installments of MGS, Deus Ex takes place in the near future and the world is falling apart and it is up to one man, Adam Jensen, to save the world from evil terrorists. In some ways, it takes a lot of influences from the traditional Metal Gear Solid series with military tactics and some elements of Rising with some of it's over the top action sequences and use of technology through hacking. And just like Metal Gear, you can actually beat the game without killing anybody!
Just like you see in Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain, this edition of Deus Ex does try to explore themes of prejudice and other topics that have been met with fierce controversy. Just like how Kojima intended to push the envelope with MGSV, Deus Ex manages to succeed the same feat by addressing past and present issues about racism such as apartheid in South Africa, and the Black Lives Matter movement in the US. However, the developers said the phrase Augs Lives Matter was included in the game’s program long before Black Lives Matter took off and it was an unfortunate coincidence. So if you want a game that offers stealth and a story that pushes it, you can probably enjoy this game.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided trailer
Stealth games can be expressed in numerous ways. They can be military in nature, or they can be old school with ninjas like Tenchu, a very honorable mention we would like to make along with Assassin’s Creed. The novelty of accomplishing your mission without getting caught is a quality that progresses with technology. Metal Gear has its thing and the rest of these games have their own characteristics to the point that you can’t exactly call them rip-offs. While it is tragic that Kojima has no part of Metal Gear anymore, no one will ever forget it is his baby.
Can any other stealth game live up to it? That’s really hard to say because other stealth games just offer something different and still fun. Even with no more Kojima, we can still pop in the previous games to our consoles for fun, or we can try the other games on this list.