Saturday, March 3, 2018

Metal Gear Survive - Obscure Video Game Quickfire Review

Okay folks, you are going to see a lot of bad reviews of this game. A lot. Many of them have perfectly valid points. Some of them are Kojima fanboi nonsense. This one's mine.

So, the premise of Metal Gear Survive is that an unnamed but ranked (Captain!) protagonist gets their arm cut off while almost sucked through a wormhole at Mother Base, just as everyone important to the previous games flies over the horizon and can't see it. Months later, his arm has mysteriously regrown, and he is sent through another magical wormhole to Dite (also repeatedly referred to as simply 'hell') to figure out what in Sam Hill is going on there, and just why exactly all the previous, better equipped teams can no longer be contacted.


  • Bang for your buck. A full, open world RPG/action game on current generation consoles for 'old game' or 'indy game' prices? Cool. 
  • Story. This is something a lot of people pan about this game. I look at it from this perspective; previous Metal Gear installments had these wormholes in them (in Phantom Pain, there were missions that were nigh impossible to beat without them). This is the first attempt I know of to explain why Zone of the Enders tech is showing up in the Metal Gear Universe. Are there plot holes? Sure, but they were there before Survive. 
  • Sense of achievement. Getting new gear in Survive is hard. When you finally get enough schematics and upgrades to your base to get your first gun, you really feel like you've done something. Nevermind that your shiny new Burkov's main accomplishment will be to give away your position. 
  • Law West of the Pecos. This ties in heavily with the point above. This isn't a game where you can bounce from place to place, slaying zombies without a care in the world. The Wanderers can, and will grab, hurt, damage you, and break your stuff. Stopping even a small swarm of them takes nerve, careful stamina management, and intelligent fence placement. Particularly early in the game, before you have crowd control weapons, even a couple Wanderers will pose a threat to the unprepared. When you pull off an epic feat, through skill, luck, and proper previous planning, you will feel like a big damn hero.
  • Genuine Peril. A lot of 'survival' games have been in name only. Like, yes, you have a hunger meter, but eating a granola bar will bail you out for five days of strenuous activity. If you have a golden apple, it will do all that and heal your grievous injuries to boot! No. In Metal Gear Survive, you need to be on top of the wild game situation. You treasure your rations. Water is an ongoing crisis. Even the air you breathe is treacherous, as you can refill the tank with magic macguffin crystals, but doing so will damage it, potentially leaving you stranded.

  • Palette Swap. Yeah, the parts reuse between this and Metal Gear Solid 5 is practically universal. Assets were reused. Some people are saying this should have been a MGS5 DLC. I mean, at the price, it practically is. I'm not bothered by this too much, but since it seems to be a recurring gripe people have with this game, I'll put it here.
  • Unforgiving. Soooooo, remember how I put 'Genuine Peril' in the pros? Sometimes Survive goes a little too far with that theme. Or maybe a lottle. There are times you'll die for user interface glitches where other games would have buffed out. Seriously, it happens.
  • Tech Redwoods. Sometimes you here these called tech trees, but the ones in Survive are so long and convoluted that calling them mere trees is insufficient. You can't make a pot to boil water until Chapter 7. I find it hard to believe I have the technical acumen to craft automatic weapons but not a receptacle in which to boil water!
  • Microtransactions. Yeah, this game has them. In some insulting places to boot. Like save slots. In the base game, you can have one character. To get more slots, you need to either spend real money, or save your daily login bonus for a looooooong time.
Final Verdict. Folks, this is a mediocre game. It's not amazing, ground breaking new territory, but it's not as bad as a lot of people who seemingly know nothing about it are saying. And for all the people not giving it a chance because "Muh, Kojima!" Well, I know they're all loyal and stuff, but let us reflect for a moment on the last game in the franchise that Kojima was involved in. You know, the one where 75% of the dialog was about parasite copulation? The fan-fiction about how all life on earth all the way back to the dinosaurs rose and fell because of the vocal cord parasites? That was just stupid. I encourage you all to find out a little more about it, and make up your own mind. I've had fun with it.

Oh, also, I have added a small poll about whether to make the Captain in my upcoming series male or female. Vote in that, and if you have a funny, clever, or just snarky idea for a name, comment it in the post below. Once the Male/Female/Wanderer issue is decided, we'll put up a new poll about name! 

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