You Can Be Excited for Metal Gear Survive If You Want To (You Can Leave Your Friends Behind)
Editorial by Maxwell N, Posted on July 31, 2017
Metal Gear Survive is set to be one of the weirdest, if not the weirdest, games in the Metal Gear franchise. Not only is it a complete departure from the tone of the overall series, it’s questionable if you can even call it a Metal Gear game after Hideo Kojima’s ejection from the franchise he created some thirty years ago. While spinoffs like Metal Gear AC!D and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance stylistically and gameplay-wise branched off from the canonical series, Kojima’s involvement in these projects still made them part of his architected world. Even if you or I didn’t like any of the Kojima-approved spinoffs, his approval made them his responsibility, so to speak.
Metal Gear Survive however, is irksome. The idea of a Metal Gear title not long after Kojima’s public ousting from Konami is iffy on its own, but a game that seems to have little to nothing to do with the Metal Gear name (beyond the name itself), using the quite revolutionary FOX Engine and flipping assets from Metal Gear Solid V, is a bit offensive. Konami’s indirect assertion that they are the ones in control, the “owners” of the franchise, that calculated merchandising and licensing is more important than an auteur’s vision for his creation, makes the whole ordeal even more unsavory.
But, what if Survive is actually fun?
Look, the people running Konami, the ones involved in the whole Kojima fiasco, fucked up. Nobody is denying that; it’s probably one of the most disrespectful things I have ever seen a company do to their–let’s face it–star employee. Someone who is revered by many as the rock-star genius of his profession. It’s completely understandable if you’re on some all-Konami-boycott as a response to the events that transpired, though I’d advise you to stay clear of Las Vegas, in that case.
But, whether you participate in such a boycott or not, it doesn’t change the realistic fact that Konami still exists and will continue to exist. They will continue to produce Metal Gear pachinko slot machines; they’re not exactly a company that’s going to be losing any sleep over a few angry fans, especially since that’s not their primary market. Hell, they put a cute chibi version of Pyramid Head from Silent Hill 2 in a Bomberman game. The fuck can I do about it? Nothing, aside from pretending that such a thing doesn’t exist.
It also doesn’t change my opinion that Bomberman R is enjoyable. Obviously, the developers and artists involved in that game had nothing to do with Kojima’s firing. If your objection to buying Konami-related products is based solely on Konami being really, really shitty to its employees, well, welcome to norms of corporate Japan. The “Survive” in Metal Gear Survive might actually be a cry for help, sorta like those Chinese notes people find in their Air Jordans or whatever.
Sure, Konami might add microtransactions, a dumb always-online system or even Zuzu Boyle as a DLC soldier. Regardless, Survive could be a genuinely good time; the prospect of a game literally taking elements of stealth from MGSV and applying them to a zombie survival game does sound very promising on its own. Or maybe it’s crap, I don’t know.
Is it a Metal Gear game though? It can be if you want it to be. I personally wouldn’t even think about “Metal Gear” when playing the game, if and when I do, aside from acknowledging the poorly utilized FOX Engine and recycled MGSV assets. It’s obnoxious, but it shouldn’t get in the way of anyone’s enjoyment. At this point, it’s just words (and deeds?) that hold little to no meaning. You can personally dislike Konami’s corporate ethics yet still enjoy games published or developed under their name. Or you can actually like their ethics, it doesn’t matter much either way.
You’re not beholden to some irrational tribalism over spilled milk. You can always make cheese with bad milk… or something like that.
In any case, if you’re excited about Survive, go for it. Don’t let Internet groupthink dictate how and what you enjoy for your own reasons, or make you feel guilty for your own individual opinion. All that matters is that you know what you’re thinking and act however you want on it, for better or for worse. The choices you make will always be your own, but make sure your choices are based in fact and reality, not a result of superfluous and emotional chest-pumping.
Kinda ironic for a game about zombies.