Metal Gear Survive Review – Metal Gear Zombie Hunter

The Metal Gear series has unleashed its latest iteration upon the world, and without Hideo Kojima’s help this time. Should you rush out and grab a copy, or is it best left to the undead?

Read our review to find out

The Metal Gear series has been around a long time, first appearing all the way back in 1987. Up until recently, the series was helmed by Hideo Kojima, but due to creative differences between himself and publisher Konami, Metal Gear Survive was created by Konami’s in-house team Konami Digital Entertainment, with no input from Kojima-san at all. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it did result in a game that doesn’t quite feel like a true Metal Gear game.

Metal Gear Survive takes place in the time period between Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, both of which being created by developer Kojima Productions, really makes this game feel like an alternate timeline of sorts and probably would have been received better as an all-new, stand alone IP. The game opens as Mother Base is under attack, and you can only watch Snake attempt to repel the attackers. The game then fast forwards to when the base has been severely damaged by that attack and dead bodies are floating everywhere. Teams of living soldiers are gathering their remains from boats and placing them in steel caskets, preparing them for burial at sea. At this point we are prompted to create our character.

After character creation, the scene opens and we are shown an individual searching through the caskets before they are closed, comparing each fallen soldier to a photograph. Eventually he finds our character’s remains and we find out that we had helped defend the Mother Base and were almost sucked up into a wormhole, losing an arm in the process, and finally losing our life. He then spirits our remains away to a top secret facility where we wake up 6 months later, fully restored, including the lost arm.

We find out that the person that brought us here was named Goodluck, and that we are infected with some sort of strange parasitic organism that brought us back to life and helped us regrow our missing arm. Due to our infection, Goodluck has recruited us to enter into a wormhole and travel to another dimension called the Dite, where we are to somehow create a cure for this infection. We meet up with an XOF Soldier named Reeve and create a shaky alliance, not really sure if we can fully trust the guy. We then proceed to a base camp that will be the center of all of the gameplay from there on.

Once in the Dite, we come across our first zombie like creatures, called wanderers, and have to take them out with limited weaponry and resources. It’s a tough way to meet them, but these first creatures aren’t too hard to take out using stuff lying around like shovels or pipes. Still, the game wastes no time letting you know that you are on your own as far as weaponry, and learning how to make more becomes paramount to your survival. Once you reach your base camp, you’ll be able to store items for crafting, so be sure to look around and pick up as much stuff as you can carry. The RPG elements for the game very deep.

Once at the base camp, you are greeted by an AI named Virgil AT-9. He fills you in on as much as he can remember, but most of his memory has been wiped, so he isn’t too much help. Early missions will have you traveling out into the open world of the Dite in search of memory boards so that Virgil can refresh his memory. You’ll have to keep an eye on both your thirst and your hunger, because if either of them hit zero percent, you will die. There is a supply of water and some sheep just outside of your camp, but you’ll need to hunt the sheep with a spear and find some empty bottles for the water. The water has to be boiled or you will get sick, resulting in a shortness of stamina and possibly leading to death, but you can’t boil the water until you’ve upgraded your camp fire, which requires a certain amount of progression through the game, so you’ll have to be sure to try to heal yourself after drinking bad water.

Early on the game is no walk in the park, and requires patience and grinding, as killing the wanderers will net you Kuban energy (pronounced koo-ban) which is required, along with gathered resources, to create better weaponry and better defenses. The first thing I found helpful was creating a small section of chain link fence, placing it in front of me, and having the wanderers walk up to it, trying to get to you. You can then stab them with a spear through the fence, and then harvest their Kuban energy once they are all dead. The fence lasts for a limited time, depending on how many of the wanderers are up against it, and if there’s too many, it can fall on top of you. If you die, you’ll have a limited number of revive pills or you can respawn back at base camp, dropping any and all resources you may have picked up after your leaving camp. A small box will be left where you died, for a limited time, so you can get those resources back if you want.

There’s also a fairly deep skill tree for your progression, that can increase stamina, health, and so on. You’ll earn skill points as you gather memory boards and unlock transport portals around the Dite, but don’t expect any rapid progression, as this is a slow grind as well. The game can be played solo or co-op with up to three other players, with side missions available from Virgil once you’ve progressed through the story a bit. One thing this game does have in common with other Metal Gear games is its depth game time available. Don’t expect a quick story mode as it can be very time consuming, with plenty of side missions to keep you busy for some time to come.

The depth of the gameplay is really what makes Metal Gear Survive such a great survival RPG game, as huge fans of the franchise, though, it just never really feels like a Metal Gear game.

It’s still a great game


Metal Gear Survive review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read: What our review scores really mean.