The Metal Gear Survive previews and the public beta are live, and the general consensus seems to be that’s it quite good fun. Especially if you’re into survival games.
It’s not surprising really. Anyone who played Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain can tell you that it’s one of the most well built and mechanically capable games made to date. The shooting, sneaking and just the general controls are masterful. In fact, it was because of this that MGSV was able to be one of 2016’s best and simultaneously most disappointing games. And that’s if we exclude the “breathing through her skin” nonsense.
And yet, in spite of the clear winning pitch and framework, Metal Gear Survive was met with a level of disdain on par with Call Of Duty Infinite. “It’s not the Metal Gear I played”, “Metal Gear has never been this stupid, it’s supposed to be mature”, “Konami is just doing whatever they want with the franchise to make money”, “You’re killing Metal Gear ” etc etc. It’s just like when a new Star Wars movie comes out and certain “fans” try to boycott it. Upset people start screaming because its existence offends them and is supposedly pissing on their childhood.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit it was the “mature” angle that caught my interest in the original Metal Gear Solid. Not Kurt Russell has to neutralize a terrorist threat while people talk about super serious things like nuclear weapons, genes, and war? It blew my little mind.
But anyone who has spent any length of time with the series past their teens must be well aware that MGS is ridiculous. Fun, but ridiculous. One game featured a vampire, a bullet dodging, railgun touting swimwear-model and a roller skating fat man, inventively called Fat Man. And nobody can forget that time they hunted dinosaurs with a rocket launcher. I mean for goodness sake; Metal Gear isn’t exactly The Godfather, is it?
People’s contention with Survive has nothing really to do with the premise itself. Survival games are popular, so one that doesn’t play like a mid-2000’s movie tie-in/cash grab is a win in and of itself. Metal Gear Rising, for example, had a great reception and was infinitely more stupid, a Platinum Games spectacle fighter that even “predicted” Trump’s MAGA campaign with its cartoony villain. It’s all to do with Konami — public enemy number one for many of Kojima’s biggest fans.
The unanimous condemnation of Konami from all sides of the Western gaming community is unprecedented. A community that is unable to agree on any issues whatsoever: whether or not loot boxes are bad and are technically gambling, if the selective treatment of Nazis in games and movies is desensitizing us to the fact that the Nazis/alt-right are actually human and also very, very bad. Whether or not net neutrality is a good thing, if MGSV was a finished game (it wasn’t) and even most recently the issues surrounding Quantic Dream and David Cage.
The accusations do share the similarities of an alleged toxic workplace although admittedly in a wholly different way. In fact, seeing as the public prosecution office of Paris has opened a preliminary investigation, you’d think these accusations would be taken a little more seriously by the community. Yet we still have people searching Twitter and going to bat against anyone saying a derogatory word against Cage or Quantic Dream.
So it looks like not everyone is condemning Konami for the same reason. While many are horrified by the alleged working conditions and abusive treatment of staff, it seems others, those who are currently filling my inbox as a result of my opinions on David Cage, are more outraged at the mistreatment of a perceived industry icon. In Konami’s case, Hideo Kojima. It’s the new cult of personality.
The fact of the matter is, Metal Gear Survive’s quality as a game is irrelevant. It’ll be a cold day in hell before the Kojima fans ever admit it’s any good. Just look at Ninja Theory’s DmC; arguably the best Devil May Cry game to date, but many long-time fans of the series wrote it off immediately as a result of the main character’s redesign.
Metal Gear Survive looks like it’ll be a treat, one I’m intrepidly looking forward to, but it’s a shame so many will refuse to play it. Not because they are “standing up to Konami” and their alleged business practices, like some understandably are. It’s not because it has as of yet undetailed microtransactions, much like MGSV. No. It’s because it’s not the Metal Gear fans have grown up with and enjoyed for the past two decades. Metal Gear Survive’s biggest crime, like DmC before it, is it’s not the old Dante with the white hair.
Image Credit: JesterTG