For professionals and press in the gaming industry, as well as gaming enthusiasts, Gamescom is one of the most highly anticipated gaming events of the entire year. Taking place in Cologne, Germany, Gamescom has grown to be the world's most popular event in the industry after its kickoff year in 2009. Many developers take this opportunity to show off their new games and products, ranging from debuting new interactive properties to showing off finely polished titles that are already prepped for release just a few short weeks after the event concludes.
Under normal circumstances, hearing of a new entry in the Metal Gear franchise would bring a smile to many fan's faces. Unfortunately, it seems that the debut trailer for Metal Gear Survive has left fans' opinion of Konami only slightly better than Hideo Kojima's - that is to say, they didn't like the trailer.
Many are claiming Metal Gear Survive confirms the fears that gamers have had since Hideo Kojima - the mind behind the Metal Gear games - officially split ways with Konami at the end of 2015; Konami has no idea what to do with the world of Metal Gear, but they do know that it makes a ton of money. Oh, and apparently they have figured out that kids these days are pretty fond of killing zombies too.
Taking place directly after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, we see surviving crew of Militaires Sans Frontières thrust into a black hole that drops them off somewhere in a universe with what appears to be some form of a zombie. Although not necessarily a zombie, these enemies appear to be more like clickers from Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, sporting some type of glowing red crystal in lieu of a forehead and eyes.
As far as gameplay goes, the title has been confirmed to be a four player cooperative-heavy experience, much like the zombies mode from the Call of Duty franchise. Although few details have been revealed as of yet, it's worth noting that Metal Gear Survive isn't a sequel to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but rather it is going to function similar to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. However, instead of functioning as a $30 demo that gave some background to the story that was to come later with the full release of MGS:V TPP, Metal Gear Survive is shaping up to be a zombie-themed Metal Gear experience that few people - if any - really wanted.
Only time will tell if Metal Gear Survive turns out to be the red headed stepchild of the franchise or an unexpected hit with fans. However, it is clear that Metal Gear is changing now that Hideo Kojima has moved on to other projects. Instead of sticking to the franchise's stealthy roots grounded in special operations missions, Konami may in fact choose to explore different settings and scenarios with Metal Gear going forward. If Metal Gear Survive's zombie adventure proves to be monetarily successful - even if not critically successful - it wouldn't be out of the realm of reason to expect alien, mutant, or post-apocalyptic themes brought into small experimental titles that may or may not fit into the overarching timeline of Metal Gear itself.
If Metal Gear Survive does bomb with the critics when it hits store shelves, the game will still remain historically significant. As the first Metal Gear title to be released after the parting of ways between Konami and Kojima, Metal Gear Survive will give a glimpse of where Konami plans on taking the beloved and iconic gaming franchise going forward. If this spin-off title proves to be a one-time trial project for Konami, it will still show off the technical threshold that Konami is shooting for with the Metal Gear titles from this point forward.
For those looking forward to seeing more on Metal Gear Survive, expect more news on the title coming from Gamescom 2016 over the course of the next few days as well as over the next months in preparation for its 2017 release.