Even though Hideo Kojima is no longer with Konami, the company is still trying to keep his brainchild Metal Gear Solid alive with Metal Gear Survive, and judging from the gameplay trailer, Konami might actually have something going for them. Is it a Metal Gear something? Well, no, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing
So, IGN recently released a five-minute gameplay trailer for Metal Gear Survive, and it looks ok. If we just take a minute and try to ignore all the reprehensible stuff Konami has done in the past, you just might see that with this game, the company is giving it the old college try.
Metal Gear Survive borrows a lot from Metal Gear Solid V‘s gameplay, especially when it comes to stealth, and tries to add in new mechanics, such as Dead Rising-esque combat to deal with multiple zombies when stealth is no longer an option. The game also adds in Fortnite-esque building and resource gathering, which is apparently designed to encourage out-of-the-box thinking. Cornered near a cliff thanks to an oncoming swarm of zombies? Set down a frictionless pad and let them slide to their doom while you hang off the edge. Want to reach a building’s roof quickly? Summon a tower with a ladder. It’s all stuff that’s been done before (in Fortnite), but copying what works in other games isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as what’s copied is utilized well.
While Metal Gear Survive uses the tired zombie trope, the trailer hints at a story that revolves around the mystery of the origin of the zombies, as well as the dying, parallel world they inhabit. In one scene, a recently deceased soldier transforms into a zombie with no seeming cause. One second he’s a motionless corpse, the next he’s got a glowing crystal where his brain should be and is trying to claw at an NPC — and I’m genuinely curious how and why that happens. Maybe it’s a good hook, or maybe I’m just not burnt out on zombie games like some others.
If I’m being honest here, I think the reason why many people take umbrage with the game is it uses the Metal Gear name and has nothing to do with the franchise. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance at least featured characters from previous games and had a plot that, while not as convoluted as other Metal Gear games, is definitely the kind of story we’ve come to expect from the series. While Metal Gear Survive definitely borrows some gameplay mechanics from the Metal Gear franchise, it could probably stand on its own two legs if Konami had developed the game as an original IP.
Some might argue that Konami slapped on the Metal Gear title to Metal Gear Survive because the company is banking on the name to sell a game that actually sucks. I argue that, given the gameplay, Konami wants to prove it can still make good Metal Gear games without Kojima, even if they are Metal Gear in name only. I’m a forgiving man and am willing to give the company a second chance. Metal Gear Survive has a beta scheduled for January 18th, which will be an excellent opportunity to see if the the gameplay lives up to the trailer.