Hideo Kojima helmed the Metal Gear series from its inception on the MSX2 back in 1987 all the way up through the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain last year, just a hair short of three decades. Despite throwing some really bizarre minigames into the series over the years, including a skateboarding minigame and one based on the Ape Escape games, Kojima never made it as far as zombies despite their overwhelming popularity in popular cultures of both Japan and the west.
When asked about the recently unveiled Metal Gear Survive, Kojima was dismissive according to IGN.
“That’s nothing to do with me,” he said, suggesting that Konami isn’t exactly working off of old design documents from the director. “The Metal Gear games are about political fiction and espionage. Where do zombies fit in with that?”
As Kojima was unceremoniously pushed out of Konami and has now started his own studio, mincing words and being diplomatic aren’t exactly necessary at this point, and that comment highlights exactly the concerns of many fans of the series.
Metal Gear Survive takes place briefly after 2014’s Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and has the player stepping into the shoes of a one of the soldiers of Militaires Sans Frontieres, Big Boss’ military force. A wormhole pulls the player and other soldiers into an alternate timeline and forces them to fight against zombies (or, at least, zombie type monsters).
While Metal Gear Rising was a huge departure for the series, it attempted to deal with political themes like child soldiers, so it fit into the overall ideas of the Metal Gear name. Metal Gear Survive feels more like a way to use the FOX Engine and art assets that powered the last couple Metal Gear Solid games for a bit more money. Fan reception of the game so far has been overwhelmingly negative.
This will mark the first Metal Gear game without Kojima in charge or, at the very least, involved in some way. It’s headed for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2017.