Metal Gear without Hideo Kojima is like a pizza without marinara sauce. You’ll still eat it without thinking, but it’ll lack any of comfort you’ve come to expect from the product. Metal Gear Survive appears to be exactly that. A surprise announcement at this year’s gamescom, Metal Gear Survive was revealed to a flurry of angst from fans of the series and intrigue from the rest of us.
Luckily, we were able to sit down with Konami at gamescom to have another look at the release trailer and a brief presentation to find out more.
But, before you expect a full rundown of the details and ‘must knows’ about Metal Gear Survive, it’s important to note the obscure meeting we had with Konami. The community manager, who was holding the presentation, made it clear that there were a number of questions he couldn’t answer. So what do we know?
Well, we have the premise, which follows from the events of Ground Zeroes. After Mother Base is attacked by XOF with Big Boss and the like escaping in the knick of time, it all goes a bit sci-fi. A giant portal opens up, sucking a number of soldiers through, spitting them into a desert world where the remains of Mother Base lie, swarming with ‘zombies’. Of course, they’re not zombies by definition. Instead they appear human except for their head which is essentially a horn. They look very similar to the infected troops in the Phantom Pain, though we’re told they have no relation.
Though the trailer is very stylish and focuses on the typical Metal Gear tropes of drama, action and emotion, stealth is still ever present, despite being a zombie survival-type game. With up to 4-player co-op you have to work intelligently together, utilizing each other’s skills to take down the threats. So, without being told in black and white, what we’re looking at is a Metal Gear meets Left 4 Dead type game, where you play the role of characters that look like NPCs from the series.
Weapons vary from the usual slew of firearms that you’d assume a Mother Base soldier would have at their disposal, to blunt iron pipes, knives on sticks and an unusual rotating bow and arrow, all of which you can see from the launch trailer. What the trailer also hints at is larger, ‘boss’ style enemies which the players will face, again a typical trope of the franchise, though whether we’ll see alternative dimension versions of previous bosses is a whole other question.
So what do we (and don’t we) know about this game? We’re not told if the team who worked on The Phantom Pain is working on this, but that a team in Tokyo is handling its development. Konami also refused to answer questions on whether Metal Gear Survive was something that was always planned or if it was a change of course following the departure of fan favourite and series creator Hideo Kojima.
All in all, Metal Gear Survive looks like a way to keep the series alive on a short term basis while the fallout of Kojima settles. It looks like assets are re-used, mechanics remain the same and though it’s essentially a Left 4 Dead, it’s trying to stay as Metal Gear as it can. Would this have been announced and released if Kojima never left? Nobody really knows, but if you’re a fan of the series and interested to see how drastically different it can be, this is certainly one way to achieve it.