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Here we are: there’s injuries all around your body, supplies to heal are limited and you body is screaming for food and water. The boss fight is upon you. But this isn’t Metal Gear Solid 3, oh no, this is the latest offering from Konami post break-up with series creator Hideo Kojima and it’s something..
It had sparked numerous debates on weather this game is either “alright” or “utter garbage”, but for myself personally. Metal Gear Survive is alright, albeit being very flawed in most areas.
Metal Gear Survive was released back in 22nd February on PC (20th for you console folks) and like it’s previous two installments, the Fox Engine is the true star of the presentation.
I feel like Konami still haven’t fully grasp the power of the engine just yet but the graphics is quite nice at times, the barren lands of the Dite and it’s jungle counterpart later in the game is quite pretty and filled with vegetation while not taxing my 2 year old GPU that much. One thing that I liked about Fox Engine is that PCs with Mid-to-Low specifications can run quite well if you don’t care about the jagged looks and 30fps. And unlike some AAA titles, at least Survive is well optimized, probably due to how well this engine really is.
The game also uses those wide-angle camera cutscenes as seen in Phantom Pain but it gets quite repetitive overtime as you are going to see it numerous times. The story cutscenes are also far few in-between with the best ones shown right in the beginning where your player character was in the midst of Mother Base chaos. And then comes in those still-text screens or (what I presume) Codec calls,the dev’s interpretation of the calls anyway. If they had auto-plays them instead of forcing the player to push to continue, it would have been better but at least they tried to incorporate it.
Music takes a backseat however as It’s your typical action game music tune that’s heard everywhere: intensifies when you’re in combat,soft and sad when needed but like those cut scenes, prepared to be listening to that tune every time.
For the gameplay side of things, Survive plays quite similar to MGSV. All the movesets like climbing,jumping across ledges and diving are there with some significant button layout changes but that if the patch notes are right, they are going to implement button configuration sometime soon.
Survive, as the name imply, is about surviving the game’s harsh land via searching for resources, attacking the wanderers (or zombies) and replenishing your hunger & thirst meter. But unlike Snake in MGS3, you have to eat and drink periodically (I’ve counted this for some reason) every 15 minutes. Something that’s also was in Snake Eater and present here is the Cure menu where if you have food poisoning or break a leg after falling from a broken bridge, you can cure it BUT it can go away without any cure although it’ll take at least an hour of playing to fully heal.
What about stealth you say? Stealth is there and at times, it’s quite useful to sneakily take down a Wanderer and such as it effectively becomes a one hit kill move if unnoticed. Gone are the reflex mode seen it’s predecessor and enter this circle awareness meter that’s akin to the one in MGS4. It’s quite effective in noticing a horde but awful in searching for those tiny wanderer’s that comes later.
Now while you go along the story campaign, you’ll come across the tower defense section which you may have seen in many of Survive’s trailer, this is as hectic as shown. The wanderers will come in drones,and later on, more powerful enemies will join in, along with the timer to completion rising each time you try them.
Lastly we have The Base, where your save-point and most of the game’s story will be at, a form of makeshift Mother Base where all your resources,leveling up and crafting will be done. There are going to be some points where you might get attacked by Wanderers but the if you play it right, it’ll be fine.
Now, I won’t try to butcher things but locking another save file over microtransaction is basically locking content off. As well as paying for additional carry weight and weapons slot. Negative aside, most of the content is obviously from MGSV, weapons, suits and even vehicles like Jeeps and Walker Gear, which explodes after 20 minutes of usage. Newer weapons comes in the form of those melee weapons which tend to suit those who enjoys close encounters. Guns are also there but the scarcity of bullets creating items makes it a kind of a rare item early on with the late game seeing you head-shotting those Wanderers easily.
if you discount the multiplayer (which is dead on PC already), you’re looking at at least 12 to 20 Hours of playtime. In fact, me trying to finish this game took three hours as the final item I needed had me trying to grind for a rare weapon for which I scrap to get it.
There are some cool points during gameplay, like when you see the final boss towering you like something out of Monster Hunter and then being crushed and losing all your progress because you misstep and got alerted. But those moments are far few in-between.
To those disappointed fans of Metal Gear may want to skip this, I’m afraid. There is some form of goodness in this game that’s tainted with the awfulness of this current AAA gaming scene love with micro-transaction. I mean, after the credit’s roll, there is more content like character class building but with an already dead multiplayer from my side, I don’t think this game will SURVIVE long. But those wanted a solid survival game with good graphics and good gameplay feel, try to pick it up during a sale or price drop. At least it’s a fun ride.
Game reviewed on PC, Copy purchased by reviewer who has completed the story mode at 21 hours of playtime on Steam.