Metal Gear Survive is a name that’s been floating around the gaming community for a couple of weeks now. While the outrage has cooled down a bit as gamers realize they can’t actually expect anything from Konami anymore, fans are still understandably upset that Konami focus tested the beloved series the route of co-op zombie shooter.
Konami is still spouting off promises about the game, like that it will still be stealth oriented and it will only be a lower priced smaller companion piece to a much larger feature game, because in Konami’s eyes Ground Zeroes worked so well, but a Konami promise is like a promise from your drunk deadbeat uncle at a Christmas party. It probably means nothing, and I think it’s time to let Metal Gear go as a franchise for more than a few reasons.
Metal Gear Survive is the most horribly mishandled use of a relevant IP in years
Some may argue that the Konami pachinko machines are worse, but I would argue that they aren’t.
See, Castlevania pachinko and its erotic violence and the like (including Metal Gear’s) are very much soulless gambling machines designed with profit alone in mind, but they aren’t a mishandled use of an IP. They’re targeting a different crowd, and while it may be a kick in the crotch to see Silent Hill’s proper reboot get scrapped in favor of an embarrassingly silly pachinko machine, they aren’t for you. They’re for gamblers and at the core they’re a solid business model.
However, Metal Gear Survive is not only cynical but bad business and incredibly misguided. Nothing about the launch trailer was even remotely reminiscent of Metal Gear aside from the initial destruction of Mother Base. After that, it’s just a group of nobodies fighting a bunch of weird looking zombie unicorns that could’ve been ripped from any dime-a-dozen zombie game already present on Steam. Don’t believe it? Check it out for yourself.
While a zombie survival shooter using the incredibly impressive Fox Engine isn’t a bad idea in itself, to release a trailer for one using the Metal Gear moniker after stabbing its fans in the back by maliciously firing Kojima and allegedly cutting out the third act of Metal gear Solid V is a bad move on Konami’s head, not to mention the mixed reception fans had to The Phantom Pain to begin with. It’s absolutely not what fans wanted, and while that isn’t a terrible thing in itself, to do it a year after decimating consumer faith and respect is a bad move altogether.
Konami couldn’t even take the route of Yakuza Dead Souls and have you playing as recognizable characters from the franchise, it’s just four generic dudes you probably just fultoned out of the battlefield on accident in The Phantom Pain.
Konami Simply Doesn’t Know How to Make Games
After a heavy amount of whistle blowing from Konami employees to one Jim Sterling, which I won’t too far into because you can simply learn about it from the source here, it’s apparent that the success of Metal Gear can be attributed to one man; Hideo Kojima.
The “little birdies” made it apparent that Konami higher ups not only treat their employees like easily replaceable garbage, but that they also genuinely don’t understand what makes a game good.
To sum up the video in the link above in case you simply don’t have time to watch a twenty minute video or simply (and understandably,) dislike Jim Sterling’s work, it can be recapped in a series of quotes from the little anonymous birdies accusation’s in Jim’s video. Konami engages in practices that cause “mental, physical, and emotional damage…” has “a structure that actively discourages communication between departments,” Konami has genuinely “no sense of history/legacy…” and that Konami genuinely believes that anybody can make a good game, going as far as to downplay the importance of legends like Kojima and Yamaoka.
There’s more there, but out of those four things it’s apparent they simply don’t understand game development, or worse, simply don’t care.
Without Kojima to pull the strings, Konami will only see Metal Gear as a game with name recognition that is a potential for boundless amounts of income, rather than a cherished and revolutionary series that many consider to be one of their favorites. It’ll just be used until it turns into the same hollow husk that became of Silent Hill.
New Entries May Tarnish What the Series Once Was
Silent Hill was once a great series. A decade ago it was the height of the survival horror genre, a young man in his prime if you will. Silent Hill’s latest mainline entry, Downpour, was a messy excuse for a entry in a series with a legacy like its namesake. Silent Hill was outsourced to the point of being a joke, with terrible movies and entries is hard to envision it as a titan in the gaming world, and rather much easier to envision it as a washed up celebrity drinking itself to the point of falling asleep face down in its pool.
Modern Silent Hill is a joke with little to go for it beyond simple name recognition, and seeing the way Konami is handling Metal Gear with the soulless cash in of Metal Gear Survive, that’s exactly the road Metal Gear is headed down.
Metal Gear is an old dog, and without its owner to teach it any new tricks after almost thirty years its about time to put the poor thing down no matter how hard it might be to accept.