Let's All Calm Down About Metal Gear Survive

Let's All Calm Down About Metal Gear Survive

Seriously, is a Metal Gear Solid V spin-off really that offensive?

In case you haven't noticed, people on the Internet are angry.

That may be true literally all of the time, but today, a massive amount of rage has been reserved for Metal Gear Survive, an upcoming spin-off of last year's Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Just a quick Google search for "Metal Gear Survive" yields dozen of snarky articles, hundreds of scathing tweets, and even a few overwhelmingly negative YouTube videos hosted by people who are sincerely mad about a video game trailer, and not at all faking their emotions for the sake of outrage appeal.

Rest assured, it's fine to feel ways about stuff. And Konami certainly deserves more than their share of scorn; the past decade has seen the Japanese publisher cast off beloved franchises, only to awkwardly shoehorn this abandoned IP into pachinko machines (and in the case of Castlevania, sexy pachinko machines). By far, Konami has become one of the more notably evil corporate entities in the video game industry, to the point where they have a lot of work ahead of them if they ever want to regain the trust of their former audience—if they even care about these people anymore, that is.

To put it lightly, I'm no fan of modern-day Konami. But when I watched the trailer for Metal Gear Survive out of morbid curiosity this morning—and expecting the worst—it honestly didn't come off as some great sacrilege to the Metal Gear Solid name. For all of its self-serious melodrama, Metal Gear has always been just a little bit stupid. So, just as Snake himself captured Ape Escape monkeys in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence and fought Monster Hunter monsters in Peace Walker, throwing zombies into the mix doesn't seem like an incredibly odd fit for Metal Gear. And it should be noted The Skulls from Metal Gear Solid V were practically zombies in all but name; even if the idea was a little silly, these enemies gave pacifist players (like me) a chance to use lethal weapons during missions without being punished.

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Even if you're not down with a Metal Gear not led by creator Hideo Kojima, there's still so much we don't know about Survive: how it plays, where these so-called zombies fit in, and which key members of The Phantom Pain's staff will be working on it. That last part is especially important, because for as much as Kojima lends his distinct personality to the games he directs, he's not the one who's down there in the programming trenches putting the individual pieces together. And it was the sheer mechanics of Metal Gear Solid V that kept me returning to the game for 100-plus hours, long after I tuned out the story out due to lack of interest and some particularly embarrassing moments. Honestly, the play of The Phantom Pain combined with the stellar Fox Engine is just too great of a combination to only exist in one game. If Metal Gear Survive wants to be the bizarre-yet-compelling VR Missions take on The Phantom Pain, so be it.

By all means, have a healthy sense of skepticism about new releases—and be sure to shovel some shit in Konami's direction, because they've certainly earned it by now. But, despite the baggage carried by Metal Gear Survive, it's entirely possible this production is being put together by people who want to make a good video game, and certainly people who have made good video games before. As it stands, we have less than two minutes of non-gameplay footage, so for the time being, can we reserve our rage for things that actually exist and deserve it? Lord knows I have.

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