The tension between Hideo Kojima and Konami is well-known throughout the gaming industry. He had a falling out with the company during the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Kojima eventually left before the game launched, and then his following project, Silent Hills, was abruptly cancelled. Hideo Kojima is often revered by gaming journalists and fans alike. While his style isn’t for everyone, there is no doubt that Kojima is an expert in his craft and delivers completely insane experiences.
When Metal Gear Survive made its debut during Gamescom 2016, the reception was less than stellar. After all, how could there be another game in the Metal Gear franchise without Kojima? I remember watching the announcement trailer in anger. I’m not the biggest fan of the series, but I do appreciate what Kojima brings to the table. How could Konami mess around with the world he brought to life, starting with the 1987 video game, Metal Gear? I’m all for different things in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. After all, one of my favorite experiences from Platinum Games is the fantastic Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Kojima took the opportunity to distance himself from Konami’s forthcoming game Metal Gear Survive, a spin-off from Kojima’s acclaimed Metal Gear series. When asked whether the idea for Survive had come from Kojima himself, he replied, “That’s nothing to do with me! “The Metal Gear games are about political fiction and espionage,” he continued. “Where do zombies fit in with that?”
These quotes right here can tell us that Metal Gear Survive will be nothing like the popular Metal Gear Solid franchise. I’ve been wondering, is it fair to already dismiss the upcoming cooperative zombie game. Every part of me wants to say yes, but I don’t think we should turn our back on the game just yet. Sure, does it suck that Hideo Kojima is no longer a part of the series? Yes. Does his exclusion mean that the game will be terrible? No. See, Kojima is not the only staff member on the development team. Developer Konami Digital Entertainment is made up of a lot of people who are working hard to meet deadlines and provide gamers with a memorable experience. These people are not to blame for the fallout between Kojima and Konami. These are people who are just doing their job.
Yesterday, IGN debuted the first single-player gameplay trailer for Metal Gear Survive. The thumbs up/thumbs down ratio is alarming. As of the time of publishing, 4,971 people approved of the trailer while 13,506 people dislike the footage. This is essentially the first official look at the game, but gamers who voted on that video don’t seem to like the game. I wonder if this has to do with the bias towards the Konami/Kojima situation or if there is a genuine dislike for the game.
After watching the footage, I became slightly entertained by what I saw. Metal Gear Survive appears to be a mixture of crafting/tower defense games like Fortnite and 7 Days To Die and silly action games like the Dead Rising franchise. While the main character looks generic, and there are too many gameplay elements in the overall package, Metal Gear Survive seems action-packed, absurd, and entertaining. There’s a multiplayer mode in the game as well. If it allows me to fight swarms of zombies with friends, I’m sold on the newest installment in the Metal Gear franchise.
Listen, Metal Gear Survive launches on February 20th. In just a little over a month, we’ll see if Konami can successfully make a game in the Metal Gear universe without Hideo Kojima’s input. I wasn’t planning on buying the game, but the trailer left me intrigued, and I think I’ll purchase it down the line. The future of the franchise is really up to the fans. The phrase “vote with your wallet” means a lot when it comes to Metal Gear Survive. Depending on how this game performs will determine if we see countless sequels or other games in that universe. If it fails, the chances are that we won’t see Metal Gear for a while. There are a lot of negatives if the game fails, but the biggest is that people may lose their jobs. Look, the whole Konami controversy is upsetting, but don’t take it out on the development team for something that the publisher did.
Metal Gear Survive could be a fantastic game. We just have to wait and see. But don’t dismiss the game because of personal biases. Please, take the time to research the game, watch videos, and read reviews as they come out. Who knows, Metal Gear Survive may end of being the surprise hit of the year. We’ll find out next month when it launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.