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How Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Predicted The Future

It's no secret that the "Metal Gear" franchise has never shied away from politics. Set in an America that's slightly left of reality in terms of weaponry and technology, the "Metal Gear" games have been the vehicle for some pretty intense sociopolitical commentary from renowned series director, Hideo Kojima. Spanning from the consequences of the Cold War to the heavy topic of eugenics, each title in the series always has something to say about the military politics of the United States; and despite being developed by Platinum Games instead of Kojima Productions, "Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance" is no exception.

In fact, those who've played it for the first time after the 2016 federal elections will find something eerily familiar about the main antagonist. Senator Steven Armstrong of Colorado is a boisterous, all-American man who dreams of taking the presidency to create a "new America." With the highest contempt for bureaucracy and law, he believes in a near Darwinist state where "the weak will be purged and the strongest will thrive — free to live as they see fit, they'll make America great again!"

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? For a game that came out way back in 2013, it sure seems to have hit the nail on the head about what was in store for the United States.

A wild guess from Metal Gear?

The funny thing is that the iconic slogan of the 45th US president isn't entirely original. Ronald Reagan, during his Presidential campaign, used the phrase "let's make America great again." While Donald Trump has vehemently denied that the modern "MAGA" was anything but an original creation (per The Hill), it's undeniable that the 40th and 45th presidential campaigns were based on the same principle: restoring America to some previous "greatness" that has been perceived as being lost along the way.

This is a sentiment that Armstrong very obviously shares. He's likely meant to be the embodiment of the home-grown disillusionment concerned with the idea that "Big Government" and its bureaucracy has stifled the fundamental freedoms of what it means to be American. The desire to take power from the federal level and the "media" to give it back to the everyman is a repeating rhetoric that's long haunted US politics in the form of nationalist nostaglia (per Frontiers in Psychology); the fact that "Metal Gear Rising" drew on this to create this antagonist isn't too hard to believe. 

What it says that a fictional caricature of the modern American Ideal resembles an actually elected president up for debate; but in the grand scheme of things, the seeming prescience of the game isn't all that surprising. The "Metal Gear" series has always had insightful and sometimes scathing commentary on the state of the United States, after all, and this wouldn't even be the first time the franchise very nearly predicted a major political event (as noted by USgamer).