How to Fix “Metal Gear Survive” – Backseat Gamer

Aug 18, 16  | posted by Craig Taylor (1146)

There's still time to save this sinking ship.

The recently-announced Metal Gear Survive is in pretty shitty standing with the public as of right now, mostly due to Konami’s bad decisions on how to present the first post-Kojima Metal Gear. The trailer below shows a lifeless game, devoid of any intelligence or fresh ideas.

And a part of me gets it. Konami would be fools to let a property like Metal Gear waste away, and we should be thankful they didn’t attempt to make a new Metal Gear Solid. Just because it’s not a stealth game shouldn’t immediately discount it in peoples’ eyes. The fact that it’s titled simply “Metal Gear” should indicate that Survive isn’t trying to mimic the artistry and finesse of the Solid games. It’s important to give every game a chance, but this is just a bad trailer.

As fun as it is to pick apart everything that’s wrong with this reveal, there’s some potential in the concept of MSF soldiers being sucked into an alternate timeline. Ignoring the people who are (understandably) going to hate Survive regardless because of how Konami treated Kojima near the end of his time at the company, it’s possible for this idea to turn into a game worthy of the Metal Gear name. Here’s how.

img10

1.) New character-focused trailer

First thing’s first, next time you show off this game, make sure you do it right by giving people some sort of personality or flair. In a 4-player co-op format, you want to create characters that friends will fight over playing as. Show off each soldier’s uniqueness in the trailers, and make that a focal point of how you sell this game.

Pitching it as some weird one-off Resident Evil game like Survive comes off as in this trailer is the absolute wrong way to do it. No one is impressed by some asshole with a explosive bow-and-arrow that we don’t know or care about. If Konami thinks that hinting at a crafting system will get people excited about another co-op zombie shooter, then they’re severely underestimating the intelligence of the video game community.

Highlight the personality of the new characters, but maybe also tease us with some elements from the old games; something like an alternate-reality Big Boss would provide a link to the rest of the series. Ending a new trailer with Kiefer Sutherland reprising his role but as some sort of villain would make this new Metal Gear feel organic, and might win over some of those angry fans.img01

2.) Get good writing talent

Most of these types of 4-player co-op shooters have shitty, forgettable scripts. The cooperative components are the big sell for these types of games, and the story usually takes a backseat. Make Survive the game to change that, and give us a story that plays with the Metal Gear universe in interesting ways.

There aren’t a ton of great “alternate-reality” video game stories which twist the characters and settings of established franchises, but comic books have been doing this sort of things for years. Writers like Brian Michael Bendis, Geoff Johns and Mark Millar have little video game experience, but are known for their ability to revamp existing stories and create something original and exciting. Any of them could potentially add something to a project like this and make the narrative something substantial.

Don’t try too hard to recapture the tone and complexity of the Solid games, and instead focus on working with the elements the franchise already has. Without Kojima, the in-depth, political sciencey subtext Metal Gear was known for should be left in the past. Even still, don’t just give up on trying to tell a mature story. Get a professional, not some schmuck who’ll write a lame, utilitarian script.

img02

3.) Stop telling us about stealth

This may have been the point of creating something as divergent as Survive, but the stealth-action games that Kojima made are impossible to recreate. In their press release for Survive‘s announcement, Konami stressed that it will still maintain the stealth mechanics core to the Metal Gear series, but in a new format. This is stupid.

Sure, throw some stealth sections into your game, who cares. But almost every two-bit AAA game has sneaking mechanics in it, so pointing to that every time someone asks you why the hell this is a Metal Gear game is meaningless. Acting like stealth was the only thing that made Metal Gear unique is idiotic and shows that Konami does not understand the series. Metal Gear is mature, it’s provocative, it’s artistic. It’s so multifaceted that dumbing it down to a bunch of soldier shooting guns at zombies is what pissed people off so much about this game in the first place.

The direct game play comparisons need to stop, because Survive clearly will never be tactical espionage action. Don’t pretend like it is.

img05

If nothing else on this list, just don’t make it dumb. Period. If there’s anything Metal Gear isn’t, it’s brainless, and that’s exactly what this game looks like. Next time we see Survive, create a trailer that begs questions, not one that brandishes pre-order bonuses. Give us something beyond the ordinary, and you’ll have captured the essence of Metal Gear.

 

Vote: 2 0

You must or to vote.

Source:

Did you know you can report news for us too? Anyone can report the news, or post a review on gamelust.com, AND have a chance to become featured on our homepage! All you need to do is or with us and add your voice today!

Upvotes

elheber
xsuicidesn0wmanx

Comments

10

672 days 21 hours ago

Posted by elheber

My goodness… “Backseat Gamer” holy shitpickles I look forward to seeing more of this, Craig.

As for this game, I can only see it as a low effort cash grab. Everything said and shown about the project so far is uninspired. I mean, are we even sure the characters shown in the trailer aren't create-a-character avatars instead of actual designed and written roles? My earnest hope is that this is a quick and dirty internal project for Konami to find talent within the remaining staff in their studio, but so far everything screams that the concept of this game was created by the business side of the company.

If two of the solutions involve getting rid of the political/sci-fi subtext AND the tactical espionage action, then what's left for this to be called Metal Gear? The story seemingly even moves out of the franchise's timeline. I can understand if your proposed backseat solution is for this game to NOT be Metal Gear… I totally get that; call it a spinoff and move on. But I kind of want the first non-Kojima MGS game to be a proper Metal Gear Solid game. A good one. Even though it's an unrealistic dream at this point. I'd scrap the co-op survival zombie thing altogether. I'd make a game where you play as Quiet. It's not a “fix” as much as a complete do-over. A man can dream, though.

Great friggin' article, Craig.

You must or to reply.

672 days 4 hours ago

Posted by Craig Taylor

Thanks for the kind words, man. Yeah, I mean I'm sure there's a million better ideas for a new Metal Gear, but if they're this far in development and have to stick with this co-op survival premise, I think there are ways to make it bearable. I do agree with them simply calling it “Metal Gear” though and not “Metal Gear Solid”, because I feel like a “Metal Gear” game could stay in-universe and experiment at the same time. Just look at Metal Gear Rising.

To be honest I don't think anything on my list is going to happen the next time we see this game, but maybe Konami will shock the world. I highly doubt it though.

You must or to reply.

674 days 2 hours ago

Posted by mastermetal777

If Konami actually cared, they'd sell the rights to Metal Gear to someone who actually cares about the franchise. Same goes with Castlevania and Silent Hill, because they've constantly proven that they only care about the bottom line in a manner that would make even EA or Activision say, “dude, what the hell?” This just solidified that feeling to me, and I sincerely hope Konami loses money on this idea to help them realize that following trends without any consideration for the soul of a game is ALWAYS going to backfire.

You must or to reply.

673 days 10 hours ago

Posted by xsuicidesn0wmanx

The sad thing is that the result of this game failing will only further enforce Konami's belief that there is no money to be made in video games. It will mean the death of more than just Metal Gear, but also Castlevania, Contra, Suikoden, Silent Hill, Zone of the Enders and a bunch more.

I think Konami should bring back the old Ultra games brand, and put all of their franchises in that brand and sell it wholesale to someone who wants to resurrect those brands as a 3rd party(meaning no Sony or MS).

You must or to reply.

672 days 4 hours ago

Posted by Craig Taylor

I like that idea of pooling the classic games into something else entirely if Konami just wants to focus on mobile and Pachinko. Let someone else bear the financial risk.

And is there any precedent for selling a franchise like that and giving it to someone else? I feel like it's happened before, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

You must or to reply.

672 days 1 hour ago

Posted by xsuicidesn0wmanx

Not with selling it, but there is precedent with major developers taking on the IP of another company. I know the last Metal Gear side story was made by Platinum Games(MG Rising). Platinum also made the newest Star Fox game for Nintendo. Star Fox Assault on Gamecube was also a Namco Bandai developed title. Capcom licensed out the Devil May Cry game to Ninja Theory for DMC.

As for the idea of using Ultra, in that sense yes, Ultra Games was formed by Konami because back in the 1980's Nintendo limited how many games a publisher could put out on the NES per year. Konami formed Ultra Games as a publishing arm to bypass that restriction, which at the time published Metal Gear and Skate or Die!, and the TMNT games among other popular Konami franchises. That was pretty much where I got the idea. They did it once, why not do it again, just put the financial burden on someone else and keep a stake in the company.

You must or to reply.

674 days 4 hours ago

Posted by xsuicidesn0wmanx

Now that is a great idea! Backseat Gamer! I love it!

You're also on point. This looks like a cash grab, and the last thing Konami can afford to do is give off the illusion they don't care about the person buying the product. They're in hot water and this only turned up the heat.

You must or to reply.

672 days 4 hours ago

Posted by Craig Taylor

I agree, the way they went about this just baffles me. I guess it's wrong to hate a game before it has the chance to come out, but this might be an exception.

You must or to reply.

672 days 21 hours ago

Posted by elheber

How are you inserting line breaks into your comments? My comments all come out as a single paragraph.

You must or to reply.

672 days 4 hours ago

Posted by xsuicidesn0wmanx

I press enter twice.

Boom!

You must or to reply.