PS4 Review: Metal Gear Survive


Where do I begin with Metal Gear Survive? The first post-Kojima entry in the incredible Metal Gear Saga and one that has divided the fans unlike any other game I’ve come across. I’m not going to open up old wounds surrounding The Phantom Pain or anything like that, but to just look at the game itself and simply tell you if it’s worthy of the Metal Gear name. Simple as that.

The game is a spin-off set after the events of MGS V: Ground Zeroes where your character is seemingly killed at Mother Base after the XOF attack but revived by an unknown character called Goodluck who sends you into a wormhole to a parallel universe called Dite where zombie-like creatures known as Wanderers roam and you have to work with other survivors from Mother Base to find a way home.

As far as the story goes, it’s totally insane and that’s what Metal Gear is famous for…but the gameplay is as drastic in change as Revengeance was. Simply take the beautiful FOX engine from MGS V and make it a survival game where you have to hunt for food, water, materials to build with and obviously build things like walls, equipment, gadgets, weapons and along the way you gather gems called Kuban Energy which can be used for upgrades to your custom-made character.

You can play the game solo, but you can play certain missions online with random players or friends, which is a great addition. Exploring Dite can be overwhelming at first since you want enough supplies to reach the destination and make it back to base in one piece, which is why the portals you unlock for Fast Travel are paramount. You’ll also enter areas called The Mist where you have to conserve your oxygen or spend Kuban Energy to refill it, but each refill is more expensive than the last.

Microtransactions have been a hot button issue lately with gamers and Survive is no different. The game has its own currency called SV Coins that can be used for in-game boosts to Kuban Energy as well as an additional save file for another character, along with emotes and extra storage slots for crafted weapons. I haven’t actually purchased a single boost or anything, but that’s because I haven’t really had to…I earned more than enough Kuban from simply playing the game and I think that’s the point why gamers are more and more frustrated with things like this.

That controversy aside, does Survive feel like a Metal Gear game? Besides the classic Alert sound playing when spotted by Wanderers…not really. I mean it has plenty of nods to the series and the story is pretty crazy, but it does feel like they could have made the game without the Metal Gear link and it still would have been well received, minus the microtransactions backlash obviously.

I enjoyed my time with Survive and I will keep going back to it now and then, but it’s not that classic Metal Gear that we know and love. So, it poses the question, what now for the series? Do we go back to basics, get a remake of the original, a reboot, a new story or is this how it ends? I honestly have no idea, but I hope this isn’t the end…I’ve been a Metal Gear fan for a long time now and still see huge potential for the series in the post-Kojima era, let’s just hope Konami can start winning its fans back with another entry.

The Verdict

I didn’t know how I’d feel playing Metal Gear Survive and while it didn’t really feel like a Metal Gear game, it’s still incredibly satisfying to play both solo and online. If you ignore the microtransactions and divided fanbase, you’ll find a great game here that while not feeling like a true Metal Gear game, is still one worth checking out, fan or not.

Score: 8.5