Today, a Kojima-less Konami announced a new installment in the Metal Gear franchise, Metal Gear Survive. Taking place immediately after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, the new game thrusts the surviving inhabitants of Mother Base through wormholes and into an alternate reality full of zombie-like creatures.
The idea of a Kojima-less Metal Gear game set in a terribly set up alternate reality has many franchise fans looking at this thing with white-hot hatred. This is hardly surprising, given Konami’s alleged transformation into just a gambling company—like pretty much everyone else, I’ve bemoaned Metal Gear’s pachinko future and assumed the video game series was dead. And yes, as we know it, the series is still dead. But Survive is an unexpected move, and you know what, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be a good game. There are a lot of things we don’t know, but there are also plenty of factors that make me say, “Ok, show me what you’ve got.”
I was mad about the future of Metal Gear being in pachinko parlors, judging that as a waste of the franchise that I had supported for years. With Survive, Konami is calling me out.
I’d love to have another Kojima-directed Metal Gear Game, but I’m also happy to see him move on. And as bad as the set-up for this game is, at least it removes it from Kojima’s timeline. We don’t need to worry about it ruining his Metal Gear. MGSV:TPP‘s open world and gameplay was begging for co-op, and this game potentially delivers on that. I have tons of questions about what we will be doing in Survive (zombies? survival?), but I’m not ready to completely dismiss it. It probably won’t be a great Metal Gear game (I’m still not convinced Metal Gear Solid V was), but it might end up being a fun video game.
Honestly, my biggest concern for Metal Gear Survive is Konami’s recent use of microtransactions. To me, that is the biggest threat to the quality of this game, not the dumb premise.