Can Konami Survive with Metal Gear Survive?Feb 21, 2018 | 1 Votes
Metal Gear Survive is the newest installment to the Metal Gear franchise. Today, it is being treated as a make or break game for Konami and will determine the fate and direction of the series. After all, it is the first Metal Gear title that isn’t under the watch of Hideo Kojima, the series’ longtime director. The game’s open beta recently ended, and although we can mention it isn’t as bad as some people projected it to be, can we safely say that it’s heading in the right direction?
First though, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Kojima and his relationship with Konami. They aren’t exactly in the best of terms after Kojima left the company in 2015 the year Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was released. One can only speculate the reasons Kojima left and the reason for their estrangement. The Phantom Pain was one of the most well-made games in 2015, and is probably one of the best the franchise has to offer. Would MGS Survive be able to follow through?
Kojima has always been an avant-garde when it comes to game design, and is largely credited for revolutionizing and innovating the stealth genre and game design in general. It’s hard to imagine what the series’ future will be without his direction. Thankfully though, MGS Survive has given us a glimpse of what things will be.
What Metal Gear Survive is all about
To sum it all up, it’s Metal Gear with zombies, something that Kojima himself envisioned he would do. It’s a spinoff in the franchise, and its events take place (spoiler alert!) after Metal Gear Solid V: Peace Walker. During the attack on the Militaires Sans Frontieres (MSF) Mother Base, a wormhole somehow opens up above it, sucking in the base and its survivors. There, they are brought to an alternate world that is infested with “creatures”, crystalline, zombie-like beings that attack on sight.
You are dropped into the combat boots of a former MSF mercenary who, like his or her fellow survivors, are tasked with defending a central base with the ultimate goal of finding enough resources to get back home. Though there are still stealth elements, but the game’s main facet is to build defenses like chain-link fences and spiked barricades to trap and immobilize the attacking zombies. In order to build these defenses, you have to gather resources first, walk up to the workbench and create them before putting them up. All in all, the experience is smooth and quick, but...
Survive is good, but it isn’t what made us like Metal Gear
Metal Gear has always been about stealth, espionage, and using violence as the last resort. Survive meanwhile, is totally the opposite as it ditches out most of the gameplay elements the series has always been known for. Instead of moving around quiet spaces, hiding behind concealed corners, you’re charging straight in, shooting and stabbing enemies with your teammates. There’s something satisfying about taking down enemies behind wired fences and barricades with your friends. Unfortunately, this feels like an all new game series that simply utilizes the user interface and gunplay of MGS V: TPP. Even the game’s desert landscape looks more like a reskin of Afghanistan in TPP. The game feels like an upgraded and serious version of Fortnite.
Is Konami making the right moves?
Apparently, yes. Although there are numerous game designers that are as imaginative and eccentric as Hideo Kojima (Yoko Taro for example), it won’t be easy to continue what he started. With that said, Konami taking the fresh approach into the series may very well be something that it needs with Kojima busying himself with his own game development studio. A reboot of some sort could be in the pipeline, but fans might end up grabbing their torches and pitchforks if they do. It’s hard to envision the series moving forward into the next forward title without Kojima heading the team.
What Metal Gear Survive needs
Currently, Konami is going through a media PR storm, because the game is disassociated with Kojima and the events leading up to their estrangement. The company needs to weather the storm, and take the necessary steps in order to distance themselves from it. Speaking of which, they also need to distance the series from Kojima, let it branch out, and grow a new fruit. I say, retain the tactical espionage aspect and improve on that. Something like Survive is decent, but it’s not something that would be remembered for years. Konami could build on it by adding a battle royale game mode and stealth missions. Just imagine a Metal Gear battle royale. Let it sink in.
Overall, Konami can definitely make the Metal Gear series live and thrive without Kojima directing it. Survive is nothing like the previous games, but it’s a step into the right direction, which is to disassociate it with the previous title. It will undoubtedly be a bumpy road, but if they play their cards right, future Metal Gear installments will definitely be something to look forward to.