metal gear survive
Will the game be as brain-dead as its enemies?
PublisheR Konami Developer Konami Format Xbox One ETA 2018 The Metal Gear series has always been a strange beast, with its infinite layers of conspiracy theories, impossibly dangerous war machines and love of odd mechanics like being able to extract a zoo’s worth of animals with a Fulton balloon while in the field. The latest title, Survive, feels like the strangest yet simply by virtue of how normal it is by comparison. Gone are the weirdly long yet moving ladderclimbing sequences and over the top performances; instead the series has been left with a fairly generic-looking zombie shooter.
Okay, maybe it is a little odd. Survive is set in a parallel dimension to MGSV full of wormholes, and they’re not technically zombies, they’re ‘wanderers’ with giant gem-things for heads, but at its core it’s a very straightforward game. It’s essentially a co-op shooter – you and three friends fight against waves of notquite-zombies to complete objectives and maybe find a way back to your normal dimension. There is some strategy involved – in a demo we had to sneak into an outpost and instal a generator that then needed to be defended. You could set up traps or blockades to slow down the zombies to stop them from overwhelming you all at once, but mostly it’s about blasting holes in them.
It’s all being built with the same engine used to make The Phantom Pain so it still looks like a Metal Gear game, but at the moment it feels weird – instead of sneaking past guards with smart AI all you’ll find is a rabble of uneducated zombies, so it doesn’t feel very nuanced. They also don’t ever seem to stop running towards you when you’re fighting, making you all too aware of how little ammo you have left. Thankfully there is a crafting mechanic buried among everything else so if you’ve got a distinct lack of bullets to shoot wanderers down with then you can always whip up a few more.
You’ll have to scout over the entire map to find scraps and then bring them over to a crafting bench, and we haven’t quite seen enough yet to know just how disruptive this might when you’re busy fending off onrushing crystal-heads with a measly pistol. There is some prep time before things kick off properly so maybe it’s all meant to be done then, but things don’t always work so neatly in a zombie apocalypse.
Despite how plain it is, it does appear to be holding up just fine as a game at demo stage, though with no sign of a story yet it’s hard to tell if it will have any kind of longevity. Just make sure you go in knowing not to expect something as fantastical as the rest of the series.
“If you’ve got a lack of bullets you can always whip up a few more”
Above At least Fulton balloons are still a thing in this dimension.
below You can use melee weapons as well as ranged ones if you choose to.