Metal Gear Survive Feels Like an Undercooked PC Survival Mod

Metal Gear Survive Feels Like an Undercooked PC Survival Mod

Crafting! Zombies! Melee weapons! What?

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I'll get this out of the way immediately: There's no real reason for Metal Gear Survive to be called a 'Metal Gear' game. It has only the most superficial relationship to the main series. It's more like an officially licensed mod of Metal Gear Solid V than a proper Metal Gear game.

In effect, Konami has bolted a survival game on top of The Phantom Pain, and the results are... variable. It's certainly not up to the standards of the rest of the series. Remove the Metal Gear name and it's just another random co-op survival game with crafting elements and zombies.

Anyway, the premise is that you play as a customized character working together with other players to hold off waves of zombies—a well-worn but generally enjoyable concept in gaming. For the purposes of the demo, I was allowed to pick from one of a handful of premade characters; and for the sake of variety, I chose a melee warrior with a slow but powerful spear.

Upon being dumped into the arena with the rest of my cohorts, I was given a few minutes to move into a decrepit fort and start building up my defenses. My goal: to protect a wormhole generator (what?) from three waves of zombies.

At my disposal were static traps and other defenses that I could use to fortify my position. I had walls; barbed wire barriers, and a couple fixed machine guns, which I could place around the fort at will. Helpful arrows indicated the direction from which the zombies would be invading.

I began by placing both my machine guns, which I later realized was a mistake. After defeating the first wave of zombies, the wormhole generator sent out a pulse of energy, wiping out most of my defenses. Building new ones meant having to quickly gather a bunch of materials in order to craft them at one of the nearby workbenches. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to craft a new fixed machine gun, but I was able to get a bunch more fences and walls, which were useful for delaying the zombies while I stood back and stabbed them with my spear.

Things were going well until a new class of zombie showed up: exploding Bombards that causes a great deal of area of effect damage. They were a pain since it wasn't easy to get near them without getting hurt, and my melee skills necessitated that I get as close as possible.

Happily, I did have one extra tool at my disposal: a random Walker Gear that served as a holdover from Metal Gear Solid V. It was overheated and out of ammo, but I was nevertheless able to kick away random zombies as they approached, buying my team a little more time as the clock ticked down.

Ultimately, we were overrun, but the wormhole generator was able to last just long enough that we were able to win. Victory earned me a handful of crafting recipes for new traps and weapons, which were sorted by rarity.

Afterward, I was left feeling like I had just played a random Steam game rather than a new entry in a major franchise. The enemies were unremarkable, the combat awkward and sluggish—it doesn't feel like the mechanics were meant to accomodate spears or swords—and the premise a bit silly. It felt like I was playing an undercooked PC mod.

Konami is determined to push it as a full packaged product, though, and Metal Gear Survive will ultimately have a single player mode (all they would say is that it will be an open-world game with crafting and survival elements). When it's released, it will enter a market crowded with survival games. Only its name will serve to differentiate it.

Frankly, I was not impressed, and I see no reason to believe that it will transcend the bad press surrounding the Metal Gear franchise and stand on its own. But Konami still has some time to try and whip it into shape before next spring. It will be out in early 2018.

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Kat Bailey

Editor in Chief

Kat Bailey is a former freelance writer and contributor to publications including 1UP, IGN, GameSpot, GamesRadar, and EGM. Her fondest memories as a journalist are at GamePro, where she hosted RolePlayer's Realm and had legal access to the term "Protip." She is USgamer's resident mecha enthusiast, Pokemon Master, and Minnesota Vikings nut (skol).

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