Just about any fan of video games, from any era of gaming has heard of Metal Gear. The franchise has been a monolith of the industry, with each game feeling fresh and inspired. Whether it be the stealth based gameplay of the first, the world breaking tactics like unplugging controllers or turning off the console or simply due to the later entries high fidelity graphics even as a launch title. The Metal Gear franchise became known as something to always pay attention to. But after series creator Hideo Kojima was treated horribly by Konami the series has fully gone down the drain.
Kojima was disallowed from attending award ceremonies in which he was set to win for his latest game in the franchise and Konami all but sabotaged all of his other projects, forcing the creator to create his own studio and leave Konami permanently. Kojima who had been working on the franchise since he was 24 years old when he took over for the studio was sad to leave, but also ready
However, that was unfortunately not the end of the franchise. Where Konami should have simply let the series end with Kojima’s departure — they instead attempted a bastardization of the franchise that has ended horribly. The latest game titled Metal Gear Survive is a zombie survival horror game. Prior to this game Metal Gear had always been a stealth based political intrigue game. Typically taking place during wars, cold wars or at one point as a character who is being hunted by the entire world. The game thrives in its discussions about war, deterrence and what happens when one group holds the power to force a country to their knees. However, this newest entry is devoid of all of that.
It is devoid of the wholly unique characters, of the heart and messages that Kojima had become known for. It is empty in every facet of its gameplay and poor excuse for a story. The game itself is a horribly animated mess. The minute to minute gameplay features your character running through a sandstorm with no directions or maps looking for supplies which take nearly a minute to harvest all the while fending zombies off with a poorly fashioned spear. This may at first sound enticing as a harrowing survival experience, however it feels more like a luck of the draw on whether or not you will run into any zombies.
This issue is only exasperated more given the fact that zombies each take approximately 10 hits to kill with each attack taking about a second and a half. Meaning with a horde of 10 or so zombies it will take over two minutes of the same stick stabbing animation to kill them all. Meanwhile you will die in any three hits. This creates a boring dichotomy that is the antithesis of what makes games like Dark Souls, Monster Hunter and Metal Gear difficult. Fair and reasonable timing of mechanics in which knowledge is the only boon you have over your enemies. Instead this game feels like the physical incarnation of beating one’s head off of a brick wall waiting for something fun to happen.
A year ago if you had asked me what I thought the most insulting thing a company had done to one of its employees, I probably would have responded by telling you that it was Konami keeping Kojima from being rewarded for his work by third parties. Now, I am tempted to say that it is Konami corrupting a vision of something as personal and beloved as the Metal Gear franchise into what it is now. A sorry excuse for a playable experience.