Metal Gear Survive Review – Such A Lust For Cash

Metal Gear Survive is a third-person survival simulator in the skin of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Taking place right after Ground Zeroes, Survive is set in an alternate universe separate from the main series. After Mother Base is destroyed, a player controlled MSF operative is sucked into the sky by a large portal leading to a wasteland populated by mindless zombies called Wanderers.

The player is forced to gather resources to build defenses and weapons all the while managing food and water till they find a way out of there. Meanwhile, something big is hiding beneath all the dust of this alternate decrepit world.

Platform Reviewed: PS4
Platforms Available: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Price: $39.99
This review is based on a retail copy provided by Konami.

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How is the Game?

I honestly can’t say it’s as bad as I expected it to be. I genuinely did have fun and had some intense moment at gameplay. That’s not to say the game is good however as it does suffer from a lack of originality and freshness.

The game already borrows from Phantom Pain’s gorgeous FOX engine so it doesn’t have any problem looking graphically good. In fact, one could say that it takes way too much from Phantom Pain. It didn’t even bother to make a map of its own and just copy and pasted Phantom Pain’s Afghanistan map with a few worn down buildings here and there scattered around the place.

If you’ve played Metal Gear Solid V, you’re bound to find pretty much all notable locations to be very familiar as you most likely have already been to them.

What’s Good:

Survive does have its good points.

Generally, the game is about the thrill of the grind. Playing this game is all about making your character stronger, faster, and more ready. I personally like the outfits you can craft and I was satisfied with the way my character looked.

Crafting here is pretty basic and has been done better somewhere else but I do fancy it. Gathering materials can be pretty fun yet tedious since they’re scatted pretty much everywhere for you to pick up. I still get that giddy sense when I finally find something I can use to craft a more powerful weapon and upgrade my stuff. But that may just be me.

I’ve heard a lot of people not really liking the Dust area, and I can see where they’re coming from. It’s poisonous, dangerous, and too tedious to explore. Air often depletes too fast here and requires you to spend Kuban energy in order to refill. Your mark on the map disappears on this area and nine times out of ten you will be lost.

But oddly enough, I like this part of the game. It forces me to have to prepare for an exploration if I want to head over there and really use my head in order to get around. Generally I use flags since they’re the only things we can see on the map to figure out where we are and try to locate which direction is north and south based on where you left your last flag. This forces me to think or even retreat if I realize I’m too underprepared for an extended venture.

What’s: Bad:

Metal Gear Survive doesn’t really add anything to an already overbooked genre. At its core, it is a generic zombie shooter. That isn’t to say that it can’t be fun, but there are so many other games out there that offer something better.

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At its worst, Survive just seems like a highly glorified mod. With pretty much every asset taken from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Survive just seems like the type of game you would find in a fan made mod website…only with more microtransactions.

That’s one other thing about the game that can turn away a lot of people. Konami’s priorities are made very clear with this installment. With you having to pay an addition $10 for every new character slot that you want to fill up. Additionally, you also have to pay for more equipment loadouts. What should be a basic feature of any game is locked behind a paywall.

Survive, despite having its intense moments, is strangely easy making it feel a conflicted game. The most difficult part of the game winds up being a tedious gathering of supplies like food and water, as you easily get hungry and thirsty in more than just a few minutes. The Wanderers, the main antagonist of the game, is quite easy to exploit and is all around dumb despite being able to take you down in a few hits.

One other thing that makes the game really difficult is the checkpoint system. It’s quite absent in this game. You die out there and you have to reload to your last save (which is usually back at the base far away) or return back to base camp (which is pretty much the same thing). Having to backtrack all the way to where you last where can really be frustrating and not in a good way. Survive needs to have a better checkpoint system.

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When I got the game, I seem to have gotten the wrong impression at least when it came to multiplayer. I thought that it would be a massive open world for you and your friends to explore and cooperate but it seems that it wasn’t even that. Multiplayer in this game is essentially the same as in the beta: you and another three are dropped into a single small area to defend the digger as it gathers materials for you. And that’s it. I thought multiplayer would be the highlight of this game but it seems that it was more focused on the single player story experience. Multiplayer isn’t really fun and is just a way for easy material gathering and kuban energy.

The single player experience isn’t exactly all too stellar either. The story is a bit bland and characters are for the most part just really there. Only one character really caught my eye.

If you choose to buy this game prepare to be annoyed by this thing:

“Captain, we detect that you are hungry. Please eat something…”

By all means, this AI is the worst part of the game. It will constantly nag at you, tell you the obvious, and tell you to stay hydrated, well fed, and have oxygen for what feels like every five seconds. You water intake drop below 50% (which happens often, mind you)? This thing here will remind you fully voice acted to keep a lookout on your thirst. The same goes for your air when you head into the dust and your hunger.

Final Opinion:

Metal Gear Survive isn’t as bad as some might say it is. But that doesn’t mean that the concerns of everyone else aren’t justified.

Konami has been the subject of some serious talk lately, and you have to be living under a rock to not have heard about all of that. They’ve received flak for a lot of poor and unsavory business decisions. One of which was to turn a much beloved legendary franchise into a slot machine.

You can see why Metal Gear Survive isn’t so well received.

It all boils down to whether or not you should buy the game. And I think that’s the worst part about it, is that there’s really no real reason to buy it. There are many more zombie shooter survival games out there that does this a whole lot better. Why buy Metal Gear Survive?

 

Metal Gear Survive - Review
Score Definition
You better have to choose if it’s worth spending your spare cash, because it might not be the game for you and it might be for others.
Pros
Solid Game Mechanics
Crafting and Grinding
Cons
Kind of Bland
Too Easy Enemies
Lack of Checkpoint System
Niche Multiplayer
6
Justified