In the beginning, there was Metal Gear Online

Metal Gear Online. Man. It's been a while.

First established as the online multiplayer counterpart featured in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. It featured intense combat that hinged on who can be sneaky when, and how much damage can be done where.

It had its faults. It was easily glitchable. You could find yourself up against an entire team of lag-switchers and even find people that could wiggle their characters inside of geometry and see everyone on the map. But outside of those faults, when Metal Gear Online worked, it worked well.

Pictured: Rowdy Reiko and her special "taunt" where she... does that.
Not too long into its life cycle, Konami pulled the plug. They would later go on to say that this Metal Gear Online was just a widescale beta for their next, "true" entry into the online multiplayer world with the "MGO" that would eventually launch with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

I'm beginning to notice a trend here...
This Metal Gear Online was a lot different, while keeping the same core gamplay intact. You could aim down the sights and move this time, whereas you couldn't in the original. You could use nanomachines(Because of course you could) to "link up" with your team and see them throughout the map, knowing where they are and what they are doing at any time. It was a neat little feature that allowed you and your team to be constantly aware of each other, and when they when down, you knew when and where it happened and to ready yourself for a fight.

The beauty of this iteration of MGO, named "MGO2" by the community, was the freedom of control. You could a bunch of other things here that you couldn't before. You could roll on the ground, you could stick to walls and then pop out gunsablazin', you could use barrels to run over enemies and leave them exposed on the ground.

As the wave of nostalgia rushes over me, I realize I could talk about MGO all night, so I'll cut this short by saying: MGO was a flawed masterpiece. It merged action and stealth together in ways that made total, perfect sense, and the way Konami ended up handling the game is a damn shame. MGO2 could have been so much more(Which, ironically, it was... in Japan) and lived a long and healthy life. But like the original MGO, it too was shut down just a few short years ago.

So today it brings me great joy to make a blog about the next generation of Metal Gear Online, just announced yesterday at the Video Game Awards.

In development by newcomer studio Kojima Productions L.A., Metal Gear Online 3(As I'm almost certain the title seems to imply, as the "E" in Metal Gear Online is cut in half, looking like both an "E" and a "3") looks to break out into the mainstream by not pulling any punches. Just look at the trailer below.

It begins by showing off what seems to be a great deal of character customization, as certain characters appear to share similar clothing items, yet no two people look the same. This is the most immediate and exciting feature to me, as I really loved the character customization from Metal Gear Online 2. Although it was implemented quite poorly with their "point reward" system that rewarded people for playing in official tournaments with a form of currency, which could be used to purchase clothing options/colors/camo's. The main problem was: They gave people miniscule amounts of points and the items were far too expensive. So it took forever to get anything and when you did, the damn game was being shut down.

Not only does there appear to be character customization, but there also appears to be some sort of armor and weapon system as well. In the trailer you can notice heavier armored players carrying heavy weapons, which are almost completely absent from Metal Gear Online history. Aside from the occasional flamethrower and M60 and RPG, the MGO system has been pretty much SMG's, Assault rifles, handguns, sniper rifles and grenades. So to see them shaking up the very foundation from the get-go is very interesting to me.

I call them "Sneaky Snake and the Funky Monkey's"(Copyright trademark pending)
 Another interesting facet: It seems that MGO's Special Characters are coming back as as player can be seen as Big Boss, and another as Ocelot. In the original MGO, the special characters were Rowdi Reiko, another Reiko, Ocelot, Naked Snake, Raikov and Sokolov. In MGO 2 they were Old Snake and Metal Gear MKII, Johnny Sasaki, Merly, Vamp, Raiden, Mei Ling and Liquid Ocelot. They all had unique abilities and all played very differently from each other(For example, Vamp couldn't die, so when a player would "kill" him, he wouldn't respawn across the map, he would just stand back up after a short amount of time had passed. And as for Raiden, he could deflect bullets using his sword, making him a very dangerous person to go up against without backup). It's exciting to see how these special characters will play out with so many new gameplay possibilities to choose from, and I can't wait to see more for myself.

As the trailer plays out, you can see teammates marking enemies, which makes me wonder how stealth will work afterwords. If you've been marked for the whole team to see, how exactly can you hide from there on out? MGO2 for example featured a perk that allowed you to "mark" enemies that you attack so you can see where they go if they manage to survive. It only lasted a few seconds, which was always usually the key amount of time it took your team to surround them and finish them off. But now, with being able to simply "mark" enemies right out of the gate, it draws to question the synchronicity of battle. The ebb and flow, if you will.

SniperJim making sure that crafty looking hillside doesn't try anything funny...
Classic MGO games seemed to hinge on stealthy players praying on run-and-gunners, with skill coming between the two. You'd see glorious firefights of people using tranq guns and stun grenades contrasted against the backdrop of shrapnel grenades and shotguns. The very unique flow of combat that I haven't seen in any other game. Then again very few games actually allow you to stun and then disarm enemies rather than downright kill them. In fact, you get more points for stunning enemies than you would killing them in MGO, which could be the deciding factor in the matches that last an upwards of 99 minutes.

Not too long in the trailer, you can see two very interesting mechanics. 1: A player uses stealth camo to game the upper hand against an enemy.(Which I should also point out that he strangles the enemy quite fast. In other MGO games, it would take quite some time to knock players out)

Funky Money's never disappoint.
And 2: Fulton launcher turrets!
The Funky Monkey walks into the turrets range and...
Sneaky Snake has to once again step in and save the day
It could be traditional multiplayer trailer "fluff", but it at least appears that voice commands return. In previous MGO's, you could hit the "Select" button to open up a menu that allowed you to issue commands to your team based on several scenarios. It's very possible the communication from the trailer is being issued by the players.

Also of interest: The voices seem to be affected by the masks you wear, as the voice actually sounded like it was coming from someone wearing a mask. It's a very nice addition to help immerse players in the game.

It should have been obvious by now, with MGSV going open world, but there appears to be vehicles around the map as well. What function they play right now is unknown, but if I had to wager, it would be driving places.

They begin their infiltration by throwing Enemy Locator grenades, as featured in MGO2. As the name implies, you throw the grenades and they begin a scan of all enemies within range, highlighting them(Or in this case, tagging them) for your entire team to see.

The enemy team begins to set up their bases defense, which include the most powerful weapon in the universe...

The weapon to surpass Metal Gear...
Once inside, one solider goes down, prompting the other to... throw himself at his comrade's body and explode. Then Big Boss and co do a triple takedown and move to secure the package, only for a soldier to get caught in the ultimate trap, by the ultimate weapon... love...

Metal Gear Online immediately posing the metaphysical question that haunts us all, "Can love bloom on the battlefield?"
(The answer is no, by the way). From there, a small mech appears.
Merry Christmas! I got you a faceload of lead! Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY THIS YEAR!
Then, once Big Boss realizes he's in quite the pickle, he uses some kind of co-op teleportation device to go get behind Mr. Mech and his Christmas spirit, before stabbing the ever loving shit out of him and jacking his ride.
Sneaky Snake, living up to his namesake
I liked this part a lot because it reminded me of all of the wacky co-op items you could get in Peace Walker, like the fulton net that allowed you to straight up steal tanks and armored vehicles. To see this in the multiplayer excites me because it shows they are willing to get goofy with the technology. Who knows just what else we'll be seeing in the multiplayer.

The trailer ends with shit getting real. Once Big Boss's improvised mech bites the bullet(Or, rather, rocket), he decides to get cool and strike a pose.

Sometimes you just gotta look cool as fuck, you know?
And then Ocelot.
That sound you hear is the sound of wet panties dropping all around the world.
All in all, I really like what I see. The new team at Kojima Productions L.A. seem to have captured the core mechanics of Metal Gear Online while enhancing them with the new technological advancements the FOX Engine allows.

I hope they don't splurge on intense action shooting and leave room for the stealth that made the other MGO's so much fun. But that's the unique balance Metal Gear Online brought, it allowed for everything. The tide of battle could change at any given second, people could decide fuck sneaking and rush into combat with M4's and AK's. It's all about what the situation calls for, and with the introduction of vehicles and mechs, who knows what situations can arise in this new Metal Gear Online. But I can say I am excited to see more.

My name is Ryan. I like to play video games and Dungeons and Dragons and all kinds of other cool stuff. I also like to write. This is my website, it's nothing special, but I write about topics from time to time that probably make no sense. But if you think they do make sense, then hang around and check out some other articles. My friends call them "blogs" but goddamnit I've got a URL and everything, so they're "articles".