Review Code was NOT provided by the publisher. Review based on PS4. Also available on PC and Xbox One.
There’s a lot of people that are really mad at Konami for what happened with Kojima. But is politics a good reason to skip out on Metal Gear Survive when it’s a game that you might otherwise have enjoyed?
Before we get started I just want to say that there’s an old adage my mother told me when I was growing up. “When a door closes a window opens.” I think that train of thought applies to the Konami/Kojima fallout. Look at it this way Coindroppers, if Kojima would have stayed at Konami we wouldn’t have whatever the hell Death Stranding is. I still don’t understand what it is but it looks fan-fucking-tastic so at least there’s that. Now, with the elephant in the room addressed let’s get down to business shall we?
Metal Gear Survive, A Massive Time Sink
Now, I didn’t get a chance to play Metal Gear Solid V for personal reasons and just haven’t had time to go back to it due to the never-ending game treadmill we continue the never-ending sprint on here at Coin Drop. I can’t speak to how much time it took for MGSV to get good but I do remember being hooked the second I started MGS4. Metal Gear Survive doesn’t really do that. Honest to god it took about 10 to 15 HOURS of play before Metal Gear Survive got good. That doesn’t necessarily make the game bad though. It’s hard to explain the dynamic of this game but I’ll do my best.
The First Hours
When I started Metal Gear Survive the first hour of the game was 90% cutscene, no surprise there when you consider it’s in the Metal Gear Universe. However, as soon as I started to play the game for real I noticed that the game had the potential to be a lot deeper than it appears. On the surface, Metal Gear Survive takes the world of survival games like Ark, Minecraft, Seven Days to Die, Conan Exiles and gives you a story so you have a reason to do what you’re doing (more on that later). You have to build your base, hunt for supplies and grow your team and capabilities to make it off Dite (Dee-tay) alive. You have to manage your health, water, and treat yourself for multiple different injuries and illnesses. Bandages cant cure a stomach virus! Get some antibiotics or die! This little touch to the game added a depth of realism that felt refreshing and unique. You can’t drink an energy drink and fix a broken leg, you’re gonna need a splint.
Fucking Fetch Quests…
Alright, So here’s ONE of the big negatives I have to say about Metal Gear Survive. Remember those first few hours of gameplay I mentioned? The game holds your hand like your two years old pretty much forever (40+ hours in and I’m still getting told “Keep an eye on your oxygen tank. No shit Sherlock.) The worst of this handholding is the retarded amount of fetch quests. The first 6ish missions are literally “Go get the memory board in this area.” Rinse and repeat. It’s annoying and it seems like something that should have made me turn off the game and walk away immediately… but it didn’t. Why? Remember that “depth” I mentioned? Part of that is constantly getting new gear. New armor, new weapons, better fences, walls, and buildings to place at your base camp. These small rewards make the game interesting and kept me engaged enough to get into the 10+ hours where the game really started to open up.
What Metal Gear Survive Does Wrong
I could go on for hours about Metal Gear Survive because after 40 plus hours of gameplay I’m STILL uncovering new aspects to the game. However, It hasn’t been without its faults. Here’s everything Metal Gear Survive does wrong.
Its god fucking awful and the dual voice Virgil (An AI that “helps” you in the game) is the worst offender of this. Virgils tones are just the most aggravating sounds I think I’ve ever heard in my life. I don’t know if it’s the pitch or cadence but it irks me in the worst ways. On top of that, the “help” he provides is that hand-holding bullshit tutorial stuff we don’t need. A legitimate line this guy said was “The situation report shows you the current situation.” Again… No shit Sherlock.
As I mentioned a few times before, This game has the worst type of tutorial It just never leaves you alone. It takes a good few hours before you get a break from it and even then the game continues to tell you to eat, drink, heal, and fill up your oxygen tank. As if I don’t have a fucking gage that shows me my current levels. Fuck off, Virgil! Minecraft doesn’t even fucking tell you when your starving and that’s a kids game! You just start taking damage. That’s the game’s way of saying “Hey idiot fucking eat something!”… If you couldn’t tell I’m not a fan of handholding in video games.
The Time Sink & Repetitive Nature
This is kind of a good thing and a bad. I think most of us will agree that we want our money’s worth when we buy a game. Metal Gear Survive delivers on that not but you have to get through the first few hours of surface level gameplay. The turning point in the game that made me want to continue and play is after you get “The Digger” a wormhole generator. You’re sent on a mission to harness energy to create a wormhole to go home to Earth. Well, as soon as you get the location you need to place The Digger you see… something. From that moment forward I was hooked and wanted to see how it ended. Sadly it’s likely I never will because of the nature of this business but I have my fingers crossed that I’ll one day have time to return to the world of Dite.
The Single LARGEST Issue With Metal Gear Survive.
Everything that I’ve mentioned up until now has been fairly manageable. It’s taken what could have been a great game and turned it into a good game. But this missing part, this HUGE oversite took it from a fan-fucking-tastic game to a decently fun game. No. Campaign. Co-op… What the actual fuck? Why? Why would you NOT have a campaign co-op in this game Konami who the fuck made that call!? The simple addition of letting 3 or even 1 more friend play with you through the story would have made the game exponentially better! Forget that combat is stiff and clunky, forget that the game is repetitive forget all of that! You didn’t make this game co-op other than online missions which are set scenarios where you carry the loot from that multiplayer game back to your individual base?! What a huuuge mistake!
What Metal Gear Survive Does Right
So you’ve heard all the negative. Or at least most of it. There are some other minor issues but in the spirit of keeping your short attention focused on this review, I focused on my main complaints. Let’s talk about what the team did right with Metal Gear Survive.
The game really is impressive when you look at the fact that they’ve done something we haven’t really seen before. Konami took the survival genre and did what I’ve been waiting for since Minecraft. They gave us a story and a reason for the things we’re doing. All be it the story isn’t great and it’s kind of convoluted it’s a story better than “You’re an exile in the world of Conan that’s been left for dead.” or “You woke up on a strange island surrounded by dinosaurs with a weird diamond shoved in your wrist.” And so on. Metal Gear Survive only get’s better the longer you play it. From learning about base building to having to find new sources of food and water because you used them all up. (Yea, I literally dried up a lake in the game. No more water there now. ) It does a fantastic job at crafting a dead world that feels like it used to be a flourishing dimension.
In my personal opinion, any game that DOESN’T allow you to create your own character is slightly lacking right out of the gate. In my opinion, it keeps you from truly connecting with the character in some aspects. With that said Metal Gear Survive has one of the most in-depth character creations I’ve ever seen. While it lacks in hair choices (seriously? 4?!) it makes up with multiple presets and an insane amount of tweaking you can do. On top of that, it will actually let you change your character’s appearance at any time during the game. Get bored of the same look go and change it up! No need to start all fucking over again.
There’s something really satisfying about opening a crate you find out in the world and getting a new piece of gear out of it. “Oh, a blueprint for an upgraded spear? Don’t mind if I do!” The game rewards you just enough and just often enough to really make the game fun. You’re excited to get back to base and build your new gear. You are excited to go level up and learn a new technique that will make combat more fun and more engaging. You’re stoked when you get a pouch add-on so you can carry more ammo to blast wanderers with. The game does a great job at making it feel like you’re getting better and better at surviving on Dite.
Metal Gear Survive is by no means a perfect game. It is a hell of a lot better of a game than Fortnite Save the World though even without campaign co-op. Metal Gear Survive is a baby step in the right direction for Survival games. I’m tired of these clones and unoriginal games that JUST focus on the survival aspect without a reason or real goal. MG Survive provides that and in my opinion, that’s what makes this game worth it. Hell for $39.99 USD it’s a damn good price for a pretty decent game. However, as always, I caution you Coindroppers. Not every game is for every gamer. Rent it first if you can. Thanks for taking the time to read this review. Let us know what you think of Metal Gear Survive (If you’ve actually played it and have a valid opinion on the game) In the comments below. See you on the next page Coindroppers.