Gamescom 2016 saw the announcement of Metal Gear Survive, Konami’s first venture into the Metal Gear franchise since the ‘corporate restructuring’ last year that led to the loss of creator Hideo Kojima. It seems that despite Konami’s revelation that they will be focusing on mobile platforms, Metal Gear Survive will be coming to Steam, PS4 and Xbox One with a 2017 release.
When Metal Gear is mentioned, the images conjured are of Solid Snake, innovative storylines and boss fights, stealth and hiding in cardboard boxes. However, the first trailer for Metal Gear Survive served only to introduce the setting and the enemy. Interestingly, Konami have opted to place this new game after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes; Mother Base soldiers are sucked up into a wormhole and an alternate reality is created. Tampering with the Metal Gear Solid timeline is serious business for fans of the franchise, and with significant concern about the future of Metal Gear after Kojima’s departure, it’s fair to expect Konami to produce something spectacular to justify such drastic changes, especially with the company’s current state of disrepute among a section of the gaming community.
Disappointingly however, it would appear that the timeline has been altered to make way for a zombie game that has the word survive in the title. In fact, details of the survival portion have not been revealed. The announcement trailer showed surprisingly little of substance and, according to Eurogamer, Konami are currently reluctant to share any other details. What is apparent from the company’s press release, however, is that Metal Gear Survive is being developed as a co-operative multiplayer game for up to four players, showing further diversion from the previous Metal Gear formula.
Predictably, the announcement trailer garnered a generally bleak response with reactions ranging from anger to disappointment, suggesting that Metal Gear Survive may fail to garner sales from fans of the franchise. Realistically, an announcement is all we have so far, and a lot could change over the course of development. Somewhat promisingly, Konami did also state in an interview with Eurogamer that this latest venture will not retail as a full price game, although no actual price estimates were given.
In order to determine whether this new game will be a success overall, it’s important to consider the prospect of the game in its own right. Unfortunately, even if franchise involvement is disregarded, the trailer didn’t highlight anything that hasn’t already been seen in the zombie games which have become commonplace in recent years. With the prospect of solely co-operative play and a lack of imaginative concepts, it feels unlikely that the game will have a lasting impression on players. However, it does indeed have the benefit of franchise association, and that’s why some gamers are understandably angered; Metal Gear Survive looks set to do a disservice to a series which has provided innovative gameplay for decades, which is far less than Metal Gear deserves.