It turns out that it’s not just Metal Gear Solid fans who mourn the – relative – death of the classic stealth franchise. In fact, even some of Solid Snake’s industry rivals bemoan the unfortunate circumstances of his retirement.
We mentioned earlier that the next Ghost Recon Wildlands DLC release will feature an appearance by none other than Splinter Cell‘s Sam Fisher. Well, there’s a small cutscene in that release that seems to pay pretty obvious homage to Solid Snake and the Metal Gear Solid series. You can check it out below if you’re not afraid of minor spoilers:
The clip above features Sam Fisher suggesting to an associate that they don’t make them like him anymore. He then casually mentions some “Army infiltration” operative who wore a bandanna that he seems to consider to be one of the best. When the associate informs Fisher that the operative in question has supposedly retired, Fisher verbalizes his sudden realization that “It’s only me…”
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That moment is poignant for a few reasons. The most obvious being that the Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid franchises were once rival stealth series engaged in a duel to the retail death. There were a few times in the past when both games would reference the other in a joking fashion. While the Splinter Cell series has always been pretty great, it didn’t attract quite the same level of fan devotion and critical acclaim that the Metal Gear Solid franchise did. As such, it’s a bit shocking to us – and Fisher – to realize that Splinter Cell has technically outlasted MGS.
What makes that realization all the more emotional is the fact that it’s the original Sam Fisher voice actor, Michael Ironside, delivering this surprisingly emotional line. We don’t know if Ironside is even aware that a series called Metal Gear Solid exists, but he delivers the line with the appropriate amount of emotion nonetheless.
Finally, there’s the tragic subtext of Fisher’s statement. Some are saying that his comment isn’t just relegated to his and Solid Snake’s relative active status, but that it’s a comment on the state of the stealth genre as a whole. There really aren’t that many high-profile stealth games on the market, meaning that Fisher really is among the last true stealth heroes left in gaming.
Of course, Fisher still needs to appear in a game of his own in order to retain that status. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about that at Ubisoft’s E3 2018 presentation.