The Future of Metal Gear: Survive isn’t it, but there’s hope

To kick off Kojima week on Pause Resume we start with looking forward. Does the series that has always had Kojima at the helm have a future? As someone who’s always been a big fan of the franchise, Craig looks at the future of Metal Gear …

While it hasn’t been praised in all quarters, there’s something to Metal Gear Survive which helps it to appeal to at least some.

There have been a number of influencers (formerly known as YouTubers) who have openly slated the game, but there’s enough about Metal Gear Survive to show that the series that’s famous for strange plots, lengthy cutscenes and general nonsense, may have a future.

While Hideo Kojima may not be at Konami anymore, you can see from Metal Gear Survive’s opening moments that not everyone left Konami to join him on Death Stranding. Survive’s producers: Yuji Korekado and Noriaki Okamura are Metal Gear veterans, with Korekado working on the first four games in the Solid series, while Okamura produced a number of the series handheld games; most notably Metal Gear Portable Ops – a fine game, even if I do say so myself.

The opening hours of Metal Gear Survive is littered with cutscenes and light-narrative details, all of which have hints of Kojima’s past-influence. From dramatic close-ups to intense slow motion and a range of different angled camera shots; had you been told that Kojima had a hand in Survive, there’s a chance you’d have believed it.

It’s clear that Metal Gear Survive has come about as a result of the lack of use the FOX Engine has seen and an attempt from Konami to push out a game that costs little to produce. In essence, it’s a Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain mod. Which, isn’t necessarily a terrible thing as there’s enough in the game itself to prevent it from being an outright cash grab, instead leaning towards a good use of resources in order to make a profit. Even if from the outside, it does feel a bit lazy.

Metal Gear Survive is a game that, despite the restrictions placed on the development team in terms of the resources that were available to them is serviceable and at times, quite enjoyable. The Phantom Pain is a wonderful game that plays like a dream and while Survive never had a hope of reaching those levels due to its budget nature, it leaves hope that a Metal Gear game that focuses on the tactical stealth espionage gameplay we all know and love is a distinct possibility.

After spending years allowing Kojima and his team to create the FOX Engine, it would be a shame if it were restricted to just a new PES game every year and Metal Gear Survive. The Metal Gear name still holds weight in a world where thousands of games are published every year. It’s a name that’s carved its own niche out in a crowded market and you can’t just buy a reputation like that. Sure, the Kojima saga has undoubtedly hurt Konami, possibly irrevocably in the eyes of many. But if Metal Gear Solid 6 is released and turns out to be good, then isn’t a world where good Metal Gear games are still being produced and Kojima can go do his crazy thing with Sony better than combining the two?

Metal Gear Survive isn’t perfect. It was never going to be. However, the amount of Metal Gear veterans still working at Konami have been able to produce a decent game within a robust set of boundaries. In terms of graphical assets barely any of Survive is new. Perhaps with Metal Gear Solid 6, the team will have more free-reign over their unique ideas, especially now that the father of the series doesn’t have his iron fist gripped around the series anymore.

What’s clear is that a Metal Gear without Kojima, will certainly be an interesting proposition and I can’t wait to see how it’s all going to pan out.

We’ll continue to play Metal Gear Survive and hope to publish a review this week

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