Ok, so before I begin with this first impressions piece I’d like to get two things out of the way.
First off, I never played Metal Gear Solid, so I don’t have any preexisting affinity for the franchise, and second off, I understand the reasoning behind why this game is receiving such so much hate from the community (and yes, it I do agree that what Konami has done by slapping a ‘Metal Gear’ sticker over a Zombie Survival game is a pretty shitty move – especially considering how gamers across the world regard the Metal Gear Franchise as one of the most influential series in the stealth genre – of all time), but I’m not going to let that bias my opinion. I’d like to give a first impression on this game for what it is – a Zombie survival title.
So, lets begin.
Metal Gear Survive takes place after the events of Metal Gear Solid V. The game starts off with a ridiculous amount of cutscene setting up for considering how bland the story is. Mother base is under attack, a portal opens up in the sky and people start to get sucked into this wormhole. 5 minutes in I found myself mashing the ‘skip cutscene’ button because the cutscenes were so damn long and boring. I just wanted to head in and play, not receive a visual thesis trying to link these two clearly separate games together.
Fast forward in time, you are now in another dimension filled with zombies and this deadly fog. I’ve nearly finished the game and I can honestly say that the story really doesn’t get any better. The plot falls flat, the characters are unmemorable, the voice acting is at times utterly ridiculous and the dialogue is more cliche than Kim Kardashian’s Instagram. Now with that out of the way, let’s get into where the game shines:
Personally, I dig survival games, I don’t mind the grind, I’m cool with managing resources and I’m all for progressing your significantly weak character into a Bear Grylls badass throughout your playtime, and I must say that using the Fox engine, Konami managed to create a pretty substantial survival game.
Every time I ventured out into the mysterious fog, there was always new stuff to uncover: vehicles, new equipment, weapon recipes ect. Maybe it’s because the fog is disorientating or you have minimal mapmaking capabilities which might have made me feel like I was consistently visiting a new location when In actual fact I just had forgotten the previous area I hadvisitedd, either way, it felt like a fun, new experience whenever I went out.Stealth killing zombies, scraping together resources, holding off hordes as you link teleporters back to the main base while your oxygen sinks below 10% – it’s a ‘solid’ survival experience (I had to, sorry).
As you get better at scavenging you’ll be able to upgrade your base capabilities (which is a pretty fun minigame if you are into building sims I guess). Water Purification tanks, farms, radio towers – soon enough your team will become pretty sufficient and the only real venturing out that you’ll need to do is for rare resources.
What I found disappointing, is that the multiplayer is far more one dimensional than I thought. Band up with a team of 3 others and, well, survive against waves of zombies. That’s it. You’ll make use of the resources you’ve scavenged in singleplayer over in multiplayer. but that’s basically the entire multiplayer segment. Personally, I thought I’d be experiencing as a far multiplayer centered game or at least co-op integration into the singleplayer. I think mucking about in an open world with a friend would offer far more fun than this sort of competitive survival multiplayer mode.
That being said, the multiplayer is still a great experience. Setting up your defense, heading out to do mini missions before the next wave, acquiring tons and tons of loot after successful games, working together with 3 other random players. I’ve yet to have a multiplayer match I didn’t enjoy – I just honestly thought there would be a little bit more on offer.
Konami’s take on the whole ‘survival’ concept with fox engine usage works really well. I found myself glued to my PS4 for most of the weekend wanting to upgrade my character, kit him out with all of the ammo in the world to blast the crystal head zombies back into the void. And when I got bored of that, I’d just fire up multiplayer and do some senseless killing with random people
I think If you view Metal Gear Survive without the link to Metal Gear, maybe as a standalone title, then I think you’ll have a pretty fun time playing it – I understand the hate towards the game and the lack of support from the community but I still think it’s a decent game for what it is. I’ll continue playing this game for quite some time until I get twitter hate or glaring eyes from the rest of the team at Gameranx.
Disclaimer: a review code was provided by the publisher.