Konami just doesn’t seem interested in making games these days.
Its one title on display at E3 this past June was Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, the fourth in the annualized series to make use of its in-house FOX Engine, which ousted project lead and former vice president Hideo Kojima had purpose-built for IPs Metal Gear and the since-cancelled Silent Hills. The studio didn’t even showcase its Metal Gear Solid 3 pachinko machine, a weird enough repackaging of a critically-acclaimed game that it might’ve garnered attention on the show floor just by dint of novelty.
Well, as it turns out, Konami did have something in the works — something more than a pachinko machine, at least. This morning at Gamescom, the Japanese studio unveiled Metal Gear SurVive, a four-person co-op zombie survival shooter set in a parallel Metal Gear universe, with zombies.
Early reactions deeming this “weird” or “innovative” miss the point that there is nothing so astoundingly cynical as a zombie shooter game in this, the year 2016. The genre was on its last legs over a decade ago already, its creative currency deeply in the red almost from the outset. But it’s a tried and true formula, and for Konami it represents a minimal investment of new development and so: here we are. This isn’t trying to up the ante on Metal Gear‘s silliness; it’s just trying to recoup investment by recycling existing Metal Gear Solid V assets.
The announcement trailer (above) does little to suggest the actual gameplay or scope of SurVive’s setting, which appears to take place in an alternate reality where Big Boss’s Outer Heaven was (prematurely) destroyed and his shrapnel demon horn thing has become some transmissable virus corrupting the bodies and replacing the heads of buff dudes, cordyceps style. We see some THRILLING action as a band of rugged survivors shoot at a bunch of these horn zombies FROM BEHIND A FENCE, as all action heroes do. Whee.
Look: all criticism of the trailer aside, maybe it’ll be a fun four-person co-op! It is not a bad thing for a game to be either brainless fun or a quick cash grab using minimal retrofitting of a previous game. Konami is a business and quite clearly has no particular love for the Metal Gear IP — or any of the series it owns, honestly — so it’s within the company’s prerogative to put out something quick and hopefully profitable.
We all knew the post-Kojima Metal Gear games would be something like this, just maybe not so unabashedly this.
Metal Gear SurVive is currently slated for a 2017 release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.