Konami, with regard to the past couple of years, have made some rather interesting business decisions in the world of gaming. The most notable of all being the cancellation of Silent Hills, a game that had so much hype and praise behind the playable trailer alone that it would have made bank regardless of how it actually turned out. That aside though, there was another beloved Konami franchise that saw the cruel hand of fate bestowed upon it. Yes, I speak of none other than the Metal Gear Solid series, which suffered a critical blow in popularity with the release of Metal Gear Survive.
Honestly, I don’t know where to start with this game? I can’t just call it shit and say: “That’s lunch” can I? No, unfortunately not. However, that being said, make no mistake in assuming Metal Gear Survive is anything except shit. Despite what the trailers and developers say, this game was not created with the concept of “fun” in mind. If anything, it was created with the thought of, “Hmmm, how can we squeeze 20 hours of gameplay out of a 5 hour idea?”. The answer: painfully.
Picture, if you will, a main character of your own creation. You just finished all of the customization for this flea-bitten mule in which you will ride through this rubbish (thanks go out to Yahtzee Croshaw of Zero Punctuation for that line), and you’re ready to start off on your adventure! The only problem is, and this is the biggest complaint I had with Metal Gear Survive, your character is hungry and thirsty all the time! The way the percentage ticks down on your hunger and thirst meter resembles something not entirely different from that of a thermo-nuclear submarine.
“But it can’t be all that bad?” I hear fans of the series cry “It’s not like you’re going to be doing that all game.” Oh ho ho ho, how you would be mistaken. Not only do you have to hunt down food and collect water for yourself, but you also have to do it for the people in your base camp in what I can only assume is a cruel, cruel trick to make you give a crap about the base management aspects of the game. Sure, you could not do that, but good luck progressing in the story when you’re shouting “Quick, man the defenses!” and the A.I.’s too weak to do anything because you decided not to share any of your lamb that morning.
It’s not all bad though, the environment of Metal Gear Survive is very atmospheric. Sure, 80% of it might be featureless gray clouds of dust that do nothing to show you how big the environment actually is, but it’s what looms in the dust that makes it so atmospheric. Monsters, zombies, a giant kaiju looking mother****. All things that help bring to life a feeling of helplessness… you know, on top of just playing through the game itself and feeling helpless.
Okay, so as you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m not the biggest fan of Metal Gear Survive and what it brings to the table. The character creation is lazy, the base management aspect is laughable yet incredibly frustrating, the crafting mechanics are there for the sake of being there, and the narrative is a joke. Oh? Have I not gotten around to the narrative yet? It’s pretty simple for a Metal Gear game. Long story short, taking place between Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain, a portal opens up as the Boss leaves the fiery wreckage that was Outer Heaven, and you, a random johnny, gets sucked in and hey-ho presto you're in another dimension. Or world. Or something. There’s “zombies”, there’s sheep, there’s a story here somewhere, but I feel the developers didn’t want it to be found.
Now, I mentioned earlier that the plot was “pretty simple” as far as Metal Gear standards go. The funny thing is, that shouldn’t work against this game! One of the bigger issues surrounding the Metal Gear Solid series is the amount of needless storytelling that surrounds the titles. So when one of the issues with Metal Gear Survive is that there isn’t enough story, you screwed up. That being said though, no buddy needlessly tells a story like Kojima.
With all this in mind, there can’t be much more that I can rip on this game for. Expect there is, because microtransactions! This isn’t a point I’ll harp on too much, but come on Konami. You guys let Kojima go, make a Metal Gear game all on your own, and then through in a system that keeps players from getting the most out of it unless they want to pay through the ass. Plus, why always online? Just… why?
So, with all that taken into account, is Metal Gear Survive worth it? Oh yeah, totally. Game of the Year. Honestly, I don’t know why you haven’t bought it yet! Death Stranding won’t be able to compete with this. Sarcasm aside, don’t buy this game, just don’t. Yeah, the environments and visuals are kind of neato and the feeling of helplessness certainly comes across, but it’s just a clusterfuck.
Metal Gear Survive (Reviewed on PlayStation 4)
The game is unenjoyable, but it works.
Is Metal Gear Survive worth it? Oh yeah, totally. Game of the Year. Honestly, I don’t know why you haven’t bought it yet! Death Stranding won’t be able to compete with this. Sarcasm aside, don’t buy this game, just don’t. Yeah, the environments and visuals are kind of neato and the feeling of helplessness certainly comes across, but it’s just a clusterfuck.