It’s time to say goodbye to Metal Gear. Quick, do it before Metal Gear Survive realizes we’re here and tries to come over. Yes, that joke is half the reason this article exists. But seriously, Konami is about to release Metal Gear Survive, having announced its February 20, 2018 release date and goofy pre-order bonuses. We’re only a few months away from the Metal Gear fanbase erupting into a storm of sadness, confusion, anger, and apathy. But now’s as good a time as any to take a look back at one of the most enduring series in gaming history.
The cool thing about Metal Gear is how easy it is to get hold of the entire core series. The Metal Gear Solid HD Collection on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 actually includes the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, thanks to the its version of Metal Gear Solid 3 having all the extra content. This rolls over to the Metal Gear Legacy Collection, a PS3-exclusive set that added Metal Gear Solid 4 and a download code for the PSOne Classic version of Metal Gear Solid. Add in Metal Gear Rising and whichever version of The Phantom Pain you want, and the whole series is playable on last generation hardware.
Of course, the weird stuff can be fun too, even if it’s harder to track down. Metal Gear Solid may be an all-time classic with its over the top take on James Bond and anti-war messaging, but Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is an even more over the top version. Metal Gear Acid, two card-based Metal Gear games, were must-haves for the PSP and even the Digital Graphic Novel and Portable Ops discs have plenty of value for the hardcore fan.
Now that the series is effectively dead, why not go back and run through all of it or try it for the first time? Now is the perfect time. People will be talking about Metal Gear, and you’ll now have the benefit of approaching something notorious from the perspective of it being as finished as it ever will be. No more questions about what may happen next, at least from the original creator, Hideo Kojima.
I’m thinking about this, because being reminded Metal Gear Survive is coming is a weird and uncomfortable thing. Looking at the marketing materials; it’s clear that this game does not have a chance in the world to succeed. It’s even intriguing on paper. A multiplayer game built on the Fox Engine used for Metal Gear Solid V sounds amazing. But it’s a weird survival game, likely with tons of grinding, loot and frustration.
This is coming at a time when the “games as service” gimmick is still trying to find even footing with the gaming community. It feels like it’s out of place or time, with its pre-order bonuses offering gesture animations and “gold-plated weapons.” With all the drama about loot boxes and mobile-like gameplay infecting premium console games, Metal Gear Survive feels like it’s seriously tempting fate. The game already bears the burden of being a non-Kojima Metal Gear following a year or more of drama. Potential players being able to rope it in with controversial topics outside of that paints a particularly huge target on its back.
What do you folks think about the situation? Did you consider Metal Gear dead and buried well before Metal Gear Survive was a thing? Do you plan to give Metal Gear Survive a chance? What are some of your favorite Metal Gear games and/or memories? Let us know in the comments. But for now, I’d like to take a moment to pretend the Pachinko games never existed, and pour one out for Solid Snake.