The “Predator” series involves the protagonists up against an alien trophy hunter-or hunters, who use stealth and unique weapons to take out their prey-usually those who are armed (soldiers, mercenaries, police officers)-to give it ‘sport’. Like a lot of 80’s action films, it’s influence can be felt on Metal Gear. Heck, the mercenary character Jungle Evil was originally titled Predator in the initial release of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.
Although Metal Gear doesn’t involve any aliens, it still has a lot of sci-fi trappings-and a lot involving stealth. Dutch and his team of course incorporate stealth tactics in addition to firepower-distraction, silence etc. although Dutch takes it a bit further with the Predator, using mud to confuse the Predator’s sensors.
Big Boss and Snake of course use camo, but this is really just common sense for steath ops anyway…
(Here’s a fun fact-apparentally Kojima toyed with the idea of giving 60’s era Big Boss an Arnold-like physique, but instead just decided to have him more or less be a bearded Solid Snake).
The main comparison comes from the technology involved. Most remarkably, the stealth camo, which makes Snake mostly invisible, and is used effectively not only by Solid Snake, but by Otacon, Grey Fox, and other characters both good and bad in the series. It’s perhaps most notably used in Metal Gear Solid II, where Snake memorably jumps from the George Washington Bridge unto a tanker housing a Metal Gear.
It also appears in most of the other games-and it of course is used by the Predator, in one of the film’s most memorable moments.
The Predator is perhaps most recognizably homaged with the character of “The Fear”, one of the Cobra Unit from Metal Gear Solid III. Like the Predator, the Fear tends to hunt in the trees, and has stealth camouflage. However, one thing is inverted…
Booby traps. In “Predator” we see Arnold use these to try to capture or kill the Predator. His first few attempts are unsuccessful (and lead to Poncho getting badly wounded) although his final attempt is successful and kills the Predator.
In Metal Gear Solid III however the traps are set by the Fear to kill Snake-including a swinging log.
Of course, the ultimate tribute to Predator-although not necessarily in the mind of the developers-is the playstation 3’s Trophy achievement for defeating the Fear-“If it bleeds, we can kill it”
There’s some other similarities too. Although this is often a cliche with a lot of action movies, both Dutch and Solid Snake are pretty much sent on their respective missions over false pretenses-left in the dark about the mission’s true goals. In Predator’s case, it’s the fact that this wasn’t a hostage rescue, but an attempt to gather intel.
This pretty much happens in every Metal Gear game. In the original, he was sent by Big Boss to Outer Heaven, whereas it was Big Boss’s fortress all along. In Metal Gear Solid, he’s left in the dark over the fact that a Metal Gear is being developed. In Metal Gear Solid II, Solid Snake is lured into a trap and framed, and Raiden is a pawn of the Patriots. In III, the nature of the Boss’s true mission isn’t left to Big Boss until the end. In IV, Big Boss is unaware of Naomi Hunter and Ocelot’s true intentions to remove the Patriots, in Peace Walker he becomes a pawn of both the KGB and also Cipher…and in V, Big Boss is lured into a trap that leaves most of his men dead, and him in a coma for nine years. Kaz Miller, Big Boss’s second in command, states it quite well:
….and last but not least, both have awesome “bro” handshakes.