The unveiling of Metal Gear Solid during E3 1997 made a significant impact on the gaming industry, particularly on one Sony developer who was actively working on an espionage-themed action game at the same time.

The design lead on Syphon Filter at Eidetic, Richard Ham, shared his experience with Retro Gamer, expressing how Metal Gear Solid’s trailer captivated the audiences at the convention. Konami’s decision to showcase the trailer every hour on a massive screen greatly contributed to the hype surrounding the game. Ham described the trailer as “next-level” with its cinematic feel and unique camera angles, making it a standout presentation at E3.

Ham acknowledged the similarities between Syphon Filter and Metal Gear Solid, both being semi-political thrillers with a combination of stealth and action elements. The visual resemblance, including the grey jumpsuit worn by protagonist Gabriel Logan, added to the challenges faced by the team at Eidetic in distinguishing their game from Konami’s highly anticipated release.

Ham revealed that achieving a cinematic gameplay experience was a key goal for the development of Syphon Filter, drawing inspiration from action cinema and directors like John Woo. The pressure to deliver a unique and engaging gameplay experience intensified after witnessing the overwhelming response to Metal Gear Solid’s trailer at E3.

Despite initial concerns about competing with Metal Gear Solid, Syphon Filter went on to enjoy critical and commercial success. The game spawned multiple sequels in the years following its release, showcasing the creative vision and dedication of the development team at Eidetic. While Syphon Filter may not have reached the same level of global recognition as Metal Gear Solid, its impact on the gaming landscape was undeniable.

The unveiling of Metal Gear Solid at E3 1997 left a lasting impression on the development of Syphon Filter. The influence of Konami’s highly anticipated title challenged the team at Eidetic to push the boundaries of cinematic gameplay and storytelling in their own game. Despite the initial doubts and comparisons, Syphon Filter emerged as a successful franchise in its own right, showcasing the resilience and creativity of the developers.


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