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Home » Metal Gear Survive Review – A Mish-Mash of Genres

Metal Gear Survive Review – A Mish-Mash of Genres


Metal Gear Survive

Serving as the first installment for the Metal Gear saga after Hideo Kojima’s dramatic and tumultuous departure from Konami, Metal Gear Survive marks a rather severe departure from their usual formula. Konami took a big risk in changing the familiar landscape that Metal Gear fans have grown accustomed to—the convoluted yet charming stories; the extremely dramatic cut-scenes; the devious plot twists and turns—everything’s changed. The question is, does it work?

This new offering is the merging of Metal Gear, with…you guessed it, aspects of survival games. The amalgamated combination is…wait for it…the most imaginative title in gaming history… Metal Gear Survive! (get it?). Much of the touchstones of survival gaming can be found in Survive, including searching for resources, hunting for food and water, and combating zombies…er…Wanderers, as they’re known in this game.

The storyline is rather odd—a group of people are suddenly teleported away to some mysterious land (or perhaps another dimension?) where boatloads of skeevy looking monsters called Wanderers dwell. The survivors (you and your cadre) must defend their main base, find resources to upgrade it with, and eventually find a cure for a horrific pandemic.

This may sound all fine and dandy, but the overall gameplay seems to be stuck in a quagmire. Your usual survival tasks seem unnecessarily tedious and drawn out. It’s as if Konami wanted to inflate the most mundane of duties with as much filler as possible in order to extend the game’s tepid gameplay. Progression is also quite retarded and it’ll take some serious time input in order to feel like you’re getting anywhere. Although the act of gathering resources is indeed slow, when you do finally apply them in order to upgrade base structures and equipment it feels pretty satisfying (maybe because it takes so long?).

Like Ubisoft’s mediocre title, Tom Clancy’s The Division, the majority of Survive’s missions feel very similar to one another. Let’s just put it this way, you’ll spend a ton of time defending your base as well as a few other key areas. To the game’s credit, there are some missions that’s get your adrenaline pumping, but that may just be because they’re a break up in usual monotony.

True to form, there are quite a few cut-scenes, but there are also a lot of static images with cheesy dialogue drizzled over them. The backstory seemed pretty shallow at first, but the more I played Survive, the more the narrative picked up.

One of the primary trappings of all previous Metal Gear games is how the developers infused so much uniqueness into each type of enemy that you faced. You even had to be careful around the usual grunt-types because of how advanced (and unpredictable) the AI was. Not so much here. In Survive, although stealth-gameplay is encouraged, my cohorts and I found that erecting a fence around our base and then poking enemies through it with spears, was all that we needed to do to ward them off.

It was so bizarre. We’d advanced to the point to where we were manufacturing all sorts of high-speed firearms, demolitions, and other weapons—but we found out that spearing our assailants through a fence was the most effective tactic to utilize. Part of the reason for this is that it takes a lot of resources to craft even a few bullets, let alone a single assault rifle. With simple spears, all we needed was the spear itself. Voila! So, in other words, while it is fun to destroy your enemies using different sorts of weapons, the most efficient way is to utilize the spear/fence combo.

In the gaming community (at least in North America), there has been a recent, massive trend towards expecting things for free. If the game itself isn’t expected to be free, certainly DLC or any extra content should be. If not those, then all in-game content should be free. The opposite of this, of course, are games which feature micro-transactions.

In the current gaming landscape of “free, free, free,” Konami made the curious decision to include micro-transactions in Survive. This hasn’t gone down well. And they aren’t subtly implemented either. You want an extra character slot? $10. Want to speed up the tedious wait time between end-game zombie attacks? Better be ready to shell out some mean green. Although previous Metal Gear titles have featured micro-transactions as well—coupled with this game’s pandering to the survival gaming masses—this feels more like a quick cash-grab.

Overall, Metal Gear Survive isn’t a terrible game. It looks and feels like the most recent Metal Gear games, so it’s got that going for it. However, there isn’t anything particularly mesmerizing about it either. As a survival title, it’s decent, if a little grindy. But what survival game out there right now isn’t? I’d recommend either waiting until there’s more content (or game modes) for the game, or maybe catching it on a sale.

SCORE: 67%

Metal Gear Survive features outstanding graphics that make its survival gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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