Konami, once a powerhouse in the gaming industry, have had their reputation tarnished many times over the past decade. The neglect they show towards their franchises actually reminds me of the book A Child Called It, which really is a sad state of affairs. It is hard to believe that not so long ago, Konami published a legacy of groundbreaking titles like Castlevania, Contra, Silent Hill and of course the masterpiece that is the Metal Gear series. After recent events which saw the Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima leave Konami, it would have been reasonable to assume that the one legendary publisher was ready to creep away into the shadows like some sort of Renfield type character. However despite already breaking the hearts of fans by scrapping the Kojima/Del Torro title Silent Hills, it looks like they’re ready to strike again by converting Metal Gear into the most generic and overused genre in existence: zombie survival co-op.
The news of Konami and their continuation of Metal Gear Solid V broke on IGN today, in the form of Metal Gear Survive. Before we even talk about the abysmal trailer for this game, we need to address the fact that the title for this game is as creative as calling your cat Kat. This title doesn’t sound catchy, interesting or even make any sense in terms of what ‘Metal Gear’ even means, I mean even calling the game ‘Metal Gear Gear Revolution’ and turning it into a dance mat game would be easier to understand. In terms of what this new game actually is all about, the trailer that was posted by IGN exclusively shows us the reality of the damage Konami can do. If you like mucky brown colour palette and generic undead deformities then you’ll probably think the trailer is okay at best, at worst you’ll feel like someone set fire to your favourite pair of shoes. This game is supposedly an alternative reality sequel to Ground Zeroes, which only really seems to be a reference to the name and Snake being in the trailer for 5 seconds. The rest of this trailer reminds me of when children play with themed action figures, ‘I can’t afford a Solid Snake figure, but we can just make Action Man and Quiet fight Boglins instead!’. IGN reported that the European president for Konami said that the game will involve the usual stealth mechanics “but within a unique co-op setting that is designed for a truly engrossing multiplayer experience.” This quote totally contradicts the trailer in the sense that it’s as stealthy as ED-209 in Robocop , it has all the usual bullet storms and zombie screams that these games usually have, with a distinct lack of anything Metal Gear related. Basically the only information we have at the moment on this new game is that it’s branded as Metal gear and appears to be set on the same map as MGSV, the real question is will this game actually survive the hoards of angry fans?
The trailer on IGN’s YouTube account currently has 29,721 dislikes, as oppose to 5,992 likes, which really speaks for itself in terms of how the franchises fan base has reacted. It’s understandable to see why people would be so upset, Konami haven’t even attempted to give the majority of gamers what they want and have instead focused on what other games have had success with. It’s not to say that developers haven’t done a great job of spin off titles with contrasting supernatural themes in the past , as Rockstar created the amazing Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare by doing something similar to what Konami are attempting. Where Konami differ however is their artistic intentions, as Konami haven’t announced this game as a fun take on the main series, but rather a half hearten attempt to cash in on consumers need for new Metal Gear Solid games. They could have easily created a completely separate game with the theme of survival co-op, which would probably have at least showed they were trying to be slightly original. Instead of this however, Konami have chosen the path of the reckless, which brings into question whether this game will even see light of day.
Konami aren’t shy to cancel games, as shown by destruction of Silent Hills, which due to it’s vastly popular playable trailer (P.T) was looking to be one of the most anticipated games in the series. It brings into question the fact that if fans are already rejecting the idea of this new Metal Gear, is there a possibility that Konami might abandon ship? At the end of the day, it all comes down to a question of money. If it wasn’t for the fact that they had already invested in Metal Gear Solid V, you would probably find that Konami wouldn’t be spending the money on any new developments. However since they still see a profit in rejigging something they already own, it’s highly likely they will see this game through to the bitter end.
To be fair, we have very little detail on what Konami plans with this new title, for all we know this game could reinvent Metal Gear and open up new possibilities. Although if I am being honest, I am one of the angry fans who can’t quite get over the fact that Metal Gear is being used to exploit and cash in. As bitter as it is, I really hope this project fails, as our only hope for our beloved franchises such as Castlevania or MGS coming back to life, is through the death of their maker. It is far too late to be the voice of reason, at this point we can’t give second chances, can’t pretend we’re getting what we want and can’t keep giving triple A developers an excuse to become lazy money grabbers. So my advice to you is this: grab your MSX, grab your PlayStation and remember how unique Metal Gear was, before Konami turn it into another Mickey Mouse of video games.
*Source information via http://uk.ign.com/articles/2016/08/17/gamescom-2016-konami-announces-metal-gear-survive
*Trailer via YouTube