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This Is Why Metal Gear Solid's Raiden Is Such A Controversial Character

Metal Gear Solid is a celebrated franchise with one of the great video game protagonists. Voiced by one of gaming's legendary voice actors — David Hayter — Solid Snake is a fan favorite among gamers. The series has a history of going against the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," and one of the most infamous examples of this was when Hideo Kojima pulled a bait and switch on his fans. In Metal Gear Solid 2, instead of playing as Snake, gamers were introduced to an entirely new hero — one that was a sharp contrast to the gruff special ops soldier. 


Raiden has had the honor of being one of the most controversial characters in video game history. Is all the hatred deserved? Was Raiden given a bad rap? Are fans simply upset over the fact that he replaced Solid Snake? This is the real reason why Raiden is so controversial.

Beyond the deception

The deception Kojima pulled with Raiden was indeed tremendous. Everyone loved Solid Snake, and all trailers and demos building up to MGS2's release led gamers to believe he would return as the main protagonist. You even controlled him in the beginning. But then Raiden emerged, and anyone who was excited to return as Snake was sorely disappointed.


Is that the only reason he's garnered so much hate?

In a thread for a Reddit post defending Raiden, a user named Devixicus laid down a number of reasons why the MGS2 protagonist was inherently disliked. A big part of it was the fact that players went from controlling a seasoned soldier to a newb who had "an annoying voice, a skintight suit, and long blonde hair." Another user confirmed this, stating "People didn't like the way he looked basically, and blamed Rose on him (she actually is pretty bad)." A few mentions of Raiden's "whininess" suggest that his personality contributed to his overall negative image.

The manner in which Snake was replaced certainly set Raiden up for failure, but there are some inherent qualities that turned Metal Gear Solid fans off as well. Despite all the hate, there are still gamers out there who will defend him.