METAL GEAR SURVIVE FULL REVIEW:
Before I talk about what Survive actually is, allow me to gush for a second on how great it looks. I’m strangely into Survive’s character editor, largely due to the beauty of the FOX Engine and a jawline slider. Everything actually looks cool in-game too. Although it has the air of any generic gritty third-person shooter there’s actually some great particle effects and fantastic artwork, like the Charon Corps logo and any number of other bits and pieces scattered about Survive.
There’s also some attempt to convey a story, even in an alternate reality “this isn’t canon” sense. Yes, there is a crew that’s being tasked with mopping up whatever is left of Metal Gear — there’s a cinematic director and everything! But most of that illusion fades away after the half-hour or so tutorial, and it’s a shame as there’s a lot of potentials. Seeing your avatar whip off his mask after saving Kaz Miller and Snake could have been a cool moment, leading into some unique story unraveled by Kojima that played into the bigger picture. Instead what we have is a husk not unlike the Wanderer zombies within, with Gear flavor, injected into it.
Survive opens with the aforementioned tie-in to Metal Gear Solid V, then quickly whisks the player to Dite, an alternate dimension littered with zombies. Most of the pretense is dropped, and now you’re mining for an energy source to “change the course of the world” (as in, the non-Dite “real” universe, for reference), save yourself from the virus that will eventually turn you into a Wanderer, and generate a wormhole big enough to send you back home. This isn’t explored very well though as most of the progression is through rote number balancing and menus.
All of those intriguing beats take a backseat to the repetition of base building and chest-beating as you earn more and more materials to build more things. I can see potential in the crafting system. Building walls and turrets out of common objects gives you a brief sense of pride as you mow down an incoming wave. Locomotion is also slightly iterative off of past Metal Gear games, with a “hold the action button while running to vault automatically” mechanic — much like Assassin’s Creed — a change I actually dig. The way the zombies break down walls and objects is also beautifully animated, and again, the engine is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here.
Metal Gear Survive isn’t a Metal Gear game. It may have the name and a similar aesthetic, but aside from trying to use the franchise and some trinkets that come with that to entice people in, it doesn’t connect to the series in any significant way. Instead – as opposed to the stealth action genre in which it fits so comfortably before – we now have a survival experience where your main goals are staying alive and trying to rescue your friends.
Review Price: £25.00
Release Date: February 22, 2018
Genre: Third-person shooter
Metal Gear Survive isn’t a Metal Gear game. It may have the name and a similar aesthetic, but aside from trying to use the franchise and some trinkets that come with that to entice people in, it doesn’t connect to the series in any significant way. Instead – as opposed to the stealth action genre in which it fit so comfortably before – we now have a survival experience where your main goals are staying alive and trying to rescue your friends.
Metal Gear Survive is a brave move for Konami and a decent survival game – it’s just not particularly fun. If you like the more abrasive side of the medium, give it a go. Everyone else should probably stay away…