I wrote another thing about Metal Gear yesterday

You know, something besides another dumb joke about how much it supposedly borrows from Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe comics.


Ground Zeroes includes some really dark supplemental material that has turned off a number of people from the game and the series. The material in question is pretty awful, but it honestly does offer a realistic look at some of the depraved atrocities that take place in war. The problem, though, is that a series as goofy and preposterous as Metal Gear has no business taking a sudden left turn into unflinching realism. Hideo Kojima hasn’t built the proper groundwork for this sort of content; remember, the game to which Ground Zeroes serves as a direct sequel had you battling a giant singing robot powered by a digital simulation of Big Boss’ mentor, shooting dinosaurs, and airlifting people out of heavily guarded enemy bases by slapping balloons on their backs. The audio content in Ground Zeroes betrays the series, in a sense – the implicit contract with the player that serious topics would be couched in abstract, fantasy-inflected terms.

I’m not angry about it or anything, but I do think it was a major miscalculation. There’s a time and a place for an unfiltered discussion of war crimes, but… maybe a silly cartoon of a video game isn’t it.

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