Metal Gear Survive (PC) Review

By Josh Di Falco 03.03.2018 2

Review for Metal Gear Survive on PC

Metal Gear Survive was always going to be the most controversial game in the widely-acclaimed series. Due to the creator's controversial departure, then going off to begin work on his new title, seeing where Konami took the latest entry in the Metal Gear series was always going to be hotly debated. While on the cover, Metal Gear Survive (previewed in Beta form here) seems to have taken a large departure away from the franchise, a closer look in sees that it still more or less relies on the stealth aspects, blended in with elements of a survival horror title. When the main character is pulled into a wormhole and dumped in a mysterious and desolate world called Dite, they must do all that they can to survive the horrors that are lurking in the entity called 'Dust.'

The great news about this open-world game is that it is one of the better survival horrors out there. Traversing the world in hidden silence and sneaking around mindless zombie-like enemies is a terrifying experience. The tension is further heightened by the lack of immediate resources, and the ever-dwindling thirst and hunger meters. Keeping these meters high increases the efficiency in combat, while sneaking around, and dodging enemy attacks quickly lowers them. Throw in the immediate lack of food and liquid, and that basically encompasses the entire experience.

It is a rough opening, as the food is not plentiful, and the only beverage that can be drunk en masse is dirty water found in creeks and poured out of dirty taps. To make matters worse, the dirty water has a chance to inflict ailments, which hamper the main character's performance in a variety of ways. While later on there is the introduction of water purifiers, for the opening stages, drinking dirty water and getting sick is the name of the game. Getting food is a little easier, and it involves either picking at berries found near the lakes, or slaying bovines and wolves for meat, and then heading back to Base Camp to cook it to further avoid illness.

Screenshot for Metal Gear Survive on PC

This constant need to ensure that hunger and thirst is well-met is further impacted by the speed rate of which the meters drop. While the whole concept is great, the bars lower so quickly that it puts The Sims to shame. No sooner does the main character eat, the hunger and thirst meters are low again by the time the main mission objective has been reached. While it does make the game a challenge to enjoy, this aspect requires a lot of time and patience to get it under control with a plethora of cooked meats and plenty of clean water bottles in the inventory for those moments of dire need.

The story is minimal compared to the Metal Gear Solid releases that fans have come to expect by now. After getting sucked into a whirlpool, the main character is left in a new world called Dite. This deserted environment is home to the horrors that are called the Wanderers. They are basically mindless zombies who are easy to sneak around but are hard to contain once they are alerted to your presence, especially when they attack in packs. Some of the most harrowing moments are when the countless Wanderers are chasing you down, while the lead's thirst dips low due to the state of panic. Metal Gear Survive does do a terrific job of raising the intensity, while throwing major curveballs to see what people are willing to do to survive.

There are different weapon types that allow different play styles. The one-handed weapon is the basic all-rounder, while the heavy two-handed weapons deal an enormous amount of damage and clear the Wanderers in a few heavy hits, although it greatly reduces speed and movement. The spear, on the other hand, allows for greater mobility, and quickly striking the enemies while dodging and weaving works like a treat. Then, of course, there are the guns, which are a beauty to use as they mow down plenty of Wanderers with such ease. However, the loud noise they cause can alert all the nearby enemies, so either make sure there are enough bullets in the clip or get ready to outrun them.

Screenshot for Metal Gear Survive on PC

However, the only way to obtain these weapons is by discovering their recipe to make them, or by finding a broken weapon that needs to be crafted into a new one. As everything is self-made, there is a weird personal bond with each weapon and armour piece. In battle, they can wear themselves down, and eventually break if they are not repaired. This is rarely an issue, as the game does an excellent job of notifying whenever a weapon is breaking down, and it costs next to nothing to repair them.

Collecting everything is key. From the get go, picking up the habit of collecting everything will build up a useful stock pile upon which to build or repair with. Getting these things early means less grinding gameplay trying to find them later. Although, always be mindful of the character's weight limit, as getting too much stuff causes speed to drastically reduce. Storage containers are spread out across the map, signified by two blue lights from long range, and these contain the recipes for base structures, armour and of course, the weapons. The mini-game involved in opening these involves turning the handle only when the "safe" area moves. If the knob is outside that area, a loud sound is made and alerts any nearby Wanderers to the location. This is a harrowing mini-game, where even opening containers can be a matter of life or death.

The gameplay loop of running around in the open-world and collecting items, getting home to base to drop them off, then going on a food hunt as prep for the missions before initiating these missions, is a joyous one. Of course, it takes a bit of practice to get into that habit, but doing so is extremely beneficial, and it also makes the game less grindy later, when food sources become scarce.

Wormhole Teleporters make navigating this large landscape easier, as they act as travel points. Considering that the 'Dust' uses up oxygen from the oxygen tank, making effective use of these travel points is important, as they help to widen the range of map exploration. Due to the thick 'Dust,' the green light orbs are the only source of assistance, and following the orb gets the main character back to the teleporter.

Halfway through the adventure, more options open to begin expanding and building Base Camp. Finding other survivors out in the world of Dite and bringing them back to camp turns them into useful assets to the team. As the story progresses, more jobs open; allocating the right people to the right jobs grants greater efficiency at that job, while also keeping their morale up. Grow some farms to keep the food source high, build some tents to accommodate the new group members, and don't forget the medical centres in case anyone gets sick or injured.

Screenshot for Metal Gear Survive on PC

Injury and sickness are a big part of Survive, as the main character will get sick from eating uncooked meats or drinking dirty water, to sustaining injuries in battle, such as bruises or lacerations. Of course, falling off a cliffside from great height will break an ankle, which greatly reduces movement and basically leaves the main character left for dead. Being careful is paramount, as any damage impacts on health or stamina, while making any sort of sound will alert all nearby Wanderers to the location.

Kuban Energy acts as the in-game currency of sorts, as it is needed to build weapons, armour, and base camp facilities, while they also serve a purpose in levelling up and getting skill points. The good news is that these fragments are easy to come across, as they are on the heads of every single Wanderer. Killing them and looting their body of Kuban Energy is the main source of this helpful resource.

Daily and weekly challenges keep things moving along with various objectives, while also encouraging people to try out different things and weapons. Activating up to five challenges every single day must become a habit, as the resources they reward further add to the stockpile kept at Base Camp. Place; the main character can place their own stamps on the in-game map, to keep track of the spawn points of helpful plants, water-drinking locations, weaker and stronger animals for food, and so on. This makes the map less cluttered with different icons, and because it is self-made, it will look however the main character wants. There is also a co-op mode that allows for greater resource collecting, as the Salvage mode requires battling waves of enemies. The shared resources does make this mode a viable option for playing, and it's great for those seeking mateship in what is otherwise a pretty lonely and desolate world.

The main point with Metal Gear Survive is that it is an always-online, single-player experience, with a bit of multiplayer on the side. However, the always-online aspect immediately shuts out those who cannot always remain online, or struggle with an unstable Internet connection. During this reviewing experience, missions had failed because of a poor Internet connection, and losing access to the server meant having to redo a specific 15-minute wave-upon-wave digger-defence game. Considering how challenging this can be on its own, these external factors further hamper and even aggravate what may already be a frustrating title. While server maintenance means the developer is taking great care to strengthen the experience, it also means not being able to play the game entirely; not even the single-player version due to the lack of an offline mode.

Screenshot for Metal Gear Survive on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Metal Gear Survive is not for everyone. This is better approached as an open-world survival-horror game where building weapons from scratch, clawing at animals for food while drinking dirty water found in the world defines what it takes to survive. Including the Metal Gear name increases the external pressures around this game, as it is different to what fans of the franchise may expect. Aside from the aggravating always-online infrastructure of the game, Metal Gear Survive is a pretty good outing for those looking for a reason to battle zombies in an extremely vulnerable state. While the story is pretty meh, it is the exploration factor and sense of discovery and accomplishment, as well as feeding those hunger and thirst meters that showcase the fun and enjoyment of this experience.

Developer

Konami

Publisher

Konami

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Sounds better than I'd expected. What's amazing, though, is how poorly it's selling right now.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

While the word-of-mouth on this game has greatly impacted on the sales, Konami's lack of a marketing push is doing more damage as well. They should have been screaming this game from the rafters if they were going to stick the Metal Gear logo on it.

In saying that, I honestly liked this game; however I wasn't approaching this game as a replacement for the mainline Metal Gear Solid franchise. It felt like a spinoff (ala Revengeance) and I think that this is all that it will be. I still reckon they are making an MGS6 and that this was just their way of keeping Metal Gear fans at bay for a while.

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