Kojima disowns Metal Gear Survive's zombies

September 19, 2016 // 9:51 a.m.

Tags: #metal-gear #metal-gear-solid #metal-gear-survive #parasite-unit #zombie #zombies

Companies: #hideo-kojima #konami

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has responded to former paymaster Konami's announcement of a zombie-themed entry in the franchise with surprise, claiming that the game's premise was not his idea.

Following the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Konami's decision to shift its primary focus away from video games and onto pachinko machines for the Japanese market, Hideo Kojima left the company - despite its claims otherwise - to form Kojima Productions. In doing so, however, he left the rights to Metal Gear, the franchise he launched with Konami back in 1987 with the release of a top-down stealth-action game for the MSX2, with his former employer.

Now, Konami has confirmed that it plans to continue the Metal Gear franchise even without Kojima, releasing details of Metal Gear Survive. A four-player cooperative game, an unusual mix for a Metal Gear title, the biggest surprise of all was the inclusion of everyone's favourite overdone gaming and film trope: zombies.

'That's nothing to do with me,' Kojima remarked at the Tokyo Games Show 2016, attendee IGN has reported. 'The Metal Gear games are about political fiction and espionage. Where do zombies fit in with that?'

Kojima's comments, however, come across as somewhat flippant when one delves into the content of his games. While it's true that the basic plot of the Metal Gear franchise - if such a complex and overwrought universe could be said to have such a thing - revolves around political fiction and what Kojima has long described as 'tactical espionage action,' the franchise also includes giant robots, people with plant DNA who need sunlight to heal, a character literally called Man on Fire who is - you guessed it - permanently on fire, and rather embarrassingly an entire cadre of 'Parasite Unit' soldiers, known as the Skulls, who have the ability to infect nearby enemies to turn them into 'puppet soldiers.'

These 'puppet soldiers,' the Metal Gear Wikia explains, are exactly as they sound, with 'behaviour and abilities borrowed quite heavily from the traditional zombie "clich├ęs" in media, in which they mindlessly sauntered about in a zombie-like gait. They were incredibly durable, withstanding any attack so long as it didn't impact their brain, and would break out into an animalistic sprint upon spotting Snake, violently swatting at him, and would sometimes get a hold of him and tried to feast upon him. They flailed their arms as they ran and stumbled as they walked.'

In short: while it may be true that Kojima had nothing to do with the development of Metal Gear Survive, to say that zombies have no place in the Metal Gear universe is perhaps forgetting his own contributions to canon.

More information on Metal Gear Survive, due to launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PCs in 2017, is available from the official website.
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