The venom that the trailer for Konami’s latest entry (and first post Kojima) surprises and doesn’t surprise me. The rage and animosity over the nature of Metal Gear mastermind Hideo Kojima’s departure still resonates with a lot of the fans, so it’s understandable that backlash and vitriol will be paramount, probably forever. But things eventually have to move forward, and if Konami sees themselves as producers and manufacturers of video games, then that is what must be done. Perhaps rushing out a Metal Gear game so close to the critically acclaimed Phantom Pain is probably the most WRONG thing you could ever do. I would be like stabbing Orson Welles and immediately making Citizen Kane 2: Electric Boogaloo (I know that analogy doesn’t work, since Orson worked independently, rendering a need for a studio to take his intellectual property…never mind, I just needed a name and I’m full of very dated references. I’m not cool and hip, I get it!). The issue is, Metal Gear has kept Konami relevant, arguably it’s all an entire generation that didn’t grow up with Castlevania, Contra, or Gradius would know them for, so why not go back to that well? Now we run right back into that wall made entirely out of very angry human bodies, some with cardboard boxes covering their entire person and half naked male Quiet cosplayers (not confirming that’s a thing). How do you convince them that a new Metal Gear game is a good idea? You took the promise of Silent Hills P.T. away from them, embarrassed a well liked and well respected director. Sounds like a daunting task. And in 2016, hyperbole runs completely rampant. Everything is the new worst thing ever without any real perspective as to why. IGN scores something people have been salivating for a respectable 7/10, and fans want to have the editor taken to the gallows, because they don’t share the same opinion as a fanboy. Growing up, a game scored 7/10 still meant very darn good. Where did that sense of entitlement stem from? The reactions for Ghostbusters 2016 and Call Of Duty Infinite Warfare prior to their releases just means judging book by its cover has become the same thing as hands-on experience.
So Metal Gear Survive will suffer the same treatment as the aforementioned. While I have no problem with people finally shouting from the rooftops and not swallowing whatever a development team gives you, this prejudgment makes me laugh, especially when the subject matter isn’t all too different from what game developers have been shoveling out for the last 9 years. If you haven’t seen the trailer (doubtful) here goes:
The first thing I thought, and I voiced this on social media, was it looks like Asylum Films started a game development studio that focuses on making mockbuster video game titles, and this was The Very Few Handful Of Us. Ask gamers, and everyone HATES it.
I get a good laugh out of this attitude, and I hold nothing against people who feel this way. I want to ask…Why? Hideo Kojima has moved on, shouldn’t we? Yes, Konami spent the better part of 7+ years making asses out of themselves, but they’re making a GAME, something that isn’t Pro-Evolution Soccer or pachinko. Is it just because it’s called Metal Gear? Is it too soon? Like Capcom’s continuation of Devil May Cry after Hideki Kamiya’s departure, Resident Evil post Shinji Mikami, or Dead or Alive without Tomonobu Itagaki, the show must continue, and the company owns the property, not Kojima. So a new entry isn’t outside of the realms of possibility. If they called the game Phil’s Comfortable Underwear, maybe the backlash isn’t as poignant. I’m not really jumping to this game’s defense, merely providing perspective. Metal Gear Survive fits the criteria of the generic modern day template of bland game design;
- Third person shooter possibly featuring stealth elements. Check
- Guns. Check
- Inventory management. Check
- Goddamn ZOMBIES. Check
This is what people demanded and they got it for years, suddenly there’s a problem? But because Metal Gear is one the title, it’s disparaging the great name of the franchise. Don’t worry, your old games and memories won’t disappear because this was conceived. And even if Konami is doing this to spite Hideo Kojima, whose head has been held remarkably high in light of all of this, has found a new home, and a new job; making Walking Dead actors look completely ridiculous as he laughs at them!
In closing, I just wanted to say, if Konami actually believes they can win back fans after treating them like garbage for well over a decade, let them try to climb that uphill battle. You don’t have to buy Metal Gear Evil 6, but why not try to see if Konami has another outlier working in their midst. Those odds are low, but everyone is allowed at least one shot at redemption. But the game will probably be very generic. LOL