metal gear survive
Travel to alternate dimensions and fight monsters, like Snake didn’t
It’s finally here. The first Metal Gear game after Kojima and Konami’s less than amicable divorce. That noise you hear? The sound of swarming Koj fans sharpening their knives in preparation to kill off the franchise with a thousand hot takes.
And… well, it’s not actually that bad, honestly. Thrown into an alternate dimension, you play one of Snake’s former Mother Base soldiers fighting to stay alive in a strange and inhospitable new world. It’s clearly nothing like the previous games but not as out there as some of the series’ past ideas – there was a boss that controlled bees, remember. The result is oddly not too far removed from
Don’t Starve, as you gather resources to build and expand a central base while looking for a way to escape. It’s a game built on scavenging the wood, metal and other scraps you need to make weapons, cooking equipment, fences and other supplies. All while hunting for food to stay alive, and searching out survivors you can rescue and put to work running various facilities.
The main loop all this crafting and management creates is satisfying for the most part. You need to eat, so there are animals to hunt. You need supplies, so there are resources to gather. All the while, you’re fighting off zombie-like creatures that roam the world (as well as other things we’ll keep secret). It’s grindy to be sure but there’s always a very tangible sense of achievement: need things, find things, fight through it all to get back to base and use things. It’s simple but effective, and progress is rewarding: crafting your first gun, for example, feels like a step forward. Setting up a potato farm, or a rain water purifier, and then checking in to see when you can harvest the goods becomes an odd little draw to push you on and see what you can actually achieve. You’re not just fighting the world, you’re invested in it – learning how it works and how you can use it.
There’s a horde mode element to all this as well, where you have to hold back waves of zombies and other creatures to activate things like wormhole teleporters (effectively fast travel points) and miners that extract energy. Activating any of these draws in waves of creatures to be kept back with hastily built fences and barricades, as well as mines and other traps you can craft. Again, like resource collecting and base management, it’s a solidly designed and enjoyable challenge. The creatures are dumb and will happily flock around a single fence in a field, but make up for it with numbers and, once they start moving in from multiple directions, are more than capable of keeping you busy. Dealing with breaches on the fly soon descends into frantically cascading crisis management. You can prepare all you like but when it all goes south (and it will) you just have to be ready to react with whatever tools you have
to hand. The multiplayer takes this side of the game and expands it into four player co-op, adding teamwork and blame into the mix. It’s effectively a separate part of the game to your homebase, but you do get to keep all the resources you collect, making it a handy way to farm items and gather supplies on the side.
The game’s main drawback is that while most of all this is fun initially, the difficulty continually increases until it starts to strangle things. How long you enjoy it depends on your tolerance for pushing through a wall. For example, there are areas filled with toxic dust, which require a limited oxygen supply to safely navigate. It’s not too bad at first, but as you progress and push further into these uninhabitable zones, the chances that you won’t have the oxygen to get back increases. It does force you to prioritise and think carefully about your choices, but it’s still all too easy to get distracted or ambushed and suddenly find yourself in an unwinnable situation – too far out to change it and just waiting to die. What was a progression of fun little grindy loops becomes something that spreads out sideways instead, as you grasp at tiny, barely significant wins. It doesn’t feel unfair, just less and less fun. Of course you’re going to die if you run out of oxygen in a toxic dust cloud. Obviously running out of food leads to starvation. But what was initally a challenging problem to solve gets harder and harder, and much more like work. There is a huge sense of satisfaction to finally overcoming some of these hurdles, but they are sapping and, past a certain point, it feels like you’re never going to catch a break again.
That’s not to say this isn’t enjoyable, just expect a little frustration along the way. It’s got some good horror/survival moments and the strange alt dimension has a creepy atmosphere with more than a few surprises thrown in. If Kojima had still been around at Konami it would have probably been received as an okay spin-off, so bear that in mind and try to approach it with an open mind.
“Not to say this isn’t enjoyable, just expect a little frustration along the way”
You won’t get anywhere unless you craft and there are benches for weapons, food, medical supplies, gear and more. Just make sure you collect enough resources to use them.
Far Left Aim for (you guessed it) their heads.
right It might have monsters instead of soldiers but
Survive is still a stealth game and it’s often better to go for a sneaky kill.