24 January 2018 (released)
24 January 2018
Well this is it, the last major release from Konami’s for the indefinite future. It's been rather a bumpy ride since E3 2017 for MGS Survive and it's not received the warmest welcome from gamers and Metal Gear fans. While I do understand that this feels like a needless expansion and one that's not fitting to the series itself, on the other hand I do appreciate there is another MGS game coming out and it's taking a different approach to gameplay. Well the beta for Metal Gear Survive has been and we're giving you our thoughts from a weekend of surviving hordes of crystallised zombies with the help of a pointy stick and a card box.
Metal Gear Solid Survive centres on a group of survivors caught up in a parallel shift between dimensions. These survivors end up in an unknown place that’s home to vast legions of crystallised zombies and wastelands it’s their home now and they’ll have to do what it takes to survive and there’s no Solid Snake in sight to help them out. MGS Survive retains largely to the same frame work as The Phantom Pain, familiar controls, same layout for menus and options with the I-Droid and the very familiar grip with weapon handling. All the elements centred on the design are extracted from the Phantom Pain and those who have played the Phantom Pain will feel at home.
MGS Survive plays out as you may expect a hoard style multiplayer game does but introduces various tweaks to make it aggressive and vastly compelling. There is a central objective within the map to protect which takes form of a "digger", a massive drilling machine that extracts vital resources from the earth that allows you to build, upgrade and progress various stats and traits in order to increase survival. Players will do their best to survive the vast hordes as they attack their home bases and various objectives set out to complete. You can obtain various upgrades and blueprints for new gear, weapons and defences that allow you to survive that little bit longer.
Unlike Gears of War which is simply fighting and defencing with one central currency, MGS Survive has a greater focus on team work. Playing alone is certainly much more extreme and rewards will progress slowly if you decide to play the lone wolf. The core to survival is gathering resources, collecting all manner of rubbish and debris in order to craft and build various defences, bases and gear. There are all manner of items you can pick up which become categorized under the material type and from there can be used as raw materials. It can be a little overwhelming at first overall this works to add tension and places more emphasis on exploration.
There's a stronger focus on survival with a limitation on resources including ammo and food which is very scarce. The experience brutally intense as enemy waves can be relentless, especially when you've run out of ammo and are relying on anything you have to buy you a few seconds. At this current moment, I've only seen a handful of enemy types which don't break the mould as with you have standard zombies, explosive types (similar to Boomers from L4D), armoured types and those specialist fighters that move very quickly. We found that on certain maps, many of the waves we played ran the same patterns of enemies and soon it became too easy to set up after a few repeats of the same match. There’s also indications of where enemies will come from which is useful but dampens the tension greatly. Bosses might be an inclusion in the full game which can easily break up the wave’s repetition if they are included.
It’s highly recommended that you play with friends as you’ll have a blast working together and earn some sweet rewards. There are various side quests that show up on the map which offers a nice sense of high risk and reward as players will have to venture away from the digger before a match starts in order to complete it. There are other factors which include building bases and maintaining key elements that ensure survival, such as pumping fresh drinking water and growing food. This was simplified in the beta but will harbour more depth in the full release.
The big question is this; is Metal Gear Survive a Metal Gear Solid game? No, it's not. It has all the perks and some of the fine tuning of an MGS game but the core is not. While there are some issues with the confusing menus, storage layout for crafted gear and clunky controls, this is still a decent game that's definitely worth trying out. I know many fans have already decided but I feel Survive is worth checking out as it may well be Konami’s last good game.