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Feature Article

Metal Gear Survive Story Mode Impressions - No Snakes In Sight

Practical espionage action.

In Metal Gear Survive, you play a custom character who is the physical opposite of Metal Gear Solid 5's Venom Snake. This spin-off is an exercise in constant deprivation, where your stamina is limited and you have to seek out food and water, which you have to cook and purify respectively if you don't want to get sick. This is assuming you have the proper camping tools to begin with, which you have to craft. There's also the matter of zombies infesting key mission areas, in a setting far away from what anyone would call "home". It's new territory for a Metal Gear game both literally and figuratively. And after a four-hour preview session with the single player story mode, plus one multiplayer session, we were left more curious than excited for the full game.

Almost every Metal Gear game has had some supernatural element, but Survive takes things to another level, or another dimension to be precise. Taking place after the events of The Phantom Pain, the soldiers of Mother Base--along with the base itself--find themselves transported through a wormhole into another reality. Tracking down your brothers in arms and finding a way back home is the main goal of the story.

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Our demo started in Survive's third chapter, about an hour after the start of the story. Based on our initial missions, you can expect a lot of training-style goals and on-boarding. Collecting motherboards and learning how to gather water felt like chores rather than the more engaging objectives you typically find in a Metal Gear Solid game. At least there were a ton of zombies in key areas to keep us on our toes.

As you try to stay alive, you learn early on that you lack the diverse skills of the Metal Gear protagonists who've earned the codename Snake. Your stamina is grossly in short supply and you start off with only basic melee attacks. And if the the mission requires exploration into the map's foggy sections, you'll also have to manage your oxygen. It's a relief that normal walking speed is sufficient in getting away from zombies, provided you manage your stamina well. It remains to be seen if the undead can run later in the game.

These persistent demands on your well being feed into Metal Gear Survive's crafting component which, if this preview demo was any indication, plays a huge part in the overall experience. As with many other survival games with crafting, what you think you'll need to construct first might not be the most useful gear. And naturally, what you make will be limited by the ingredients you have, leaving you wondering what components should be saved and what should be used immediately.

No Caption Provided

We found that crafting fences--which you can construct instantly, provided you have enough resources--are a huge help in corralling zombies for easy slaying with your starter staff. Depending on how to lure zombies in missions areas, you can reach your objectives without having to killing everyone, although it would be in your best interest to craft more efficient weapons like a machete or handgun. That's because vanquished zombies drop kuban, the currency you spend to level up. Given the wide and diverse skills you can unlock in the Survivor class--the first of four classes--there's the potential that your custom soldier can one day be as talented as Big Boss.

This character progression incentive paired with the appeal of the multiplayer mode is what Konami is hoping will keep players interested in the long run, especially since the story takes only 20 hours to complete. Our brief session with the four-player co-op online mode echoed the base defense aspects of Fortnite, while burdening us with the aforementioned stamina and skill limitations from the story mode. Moreover, we discovered that the zombies in the easiest difficulty are at level 10, whereas our team ranged from levels 2 to 4. We didn't last very long.

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For as much as we're not yet convinced of the long term appeal of Metal Gear Survive, we have to give what we've seen so far credit for going all in on its demanding survival-centric gameplay. The level of resource gathering and crafting isn't unusual for an open world zombie game, but in the context of the Metal Gear franchise, it's the biggest design departure since Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. It was also comforting to see this spin-off retain some degree of the series' sense of humor, particularly when you send animals through mini wormholes rather than the Fulton balloon system from The Phantom Pain.

Check out our other coverage from this hands-on preview session:

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for snakeyes646
Snakeyes646

so many sheep, games seems fine for what it is, a low budget action game.

Avatar image for Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

@snakeyes646: Yeah, gamers champion dumber stuff than this.

Avatar image for Kyrylo
Kyrylo

"story" lol

Avatar image for MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

looks and sounds like sh**t.....

#FUCKONAMI

Avatar image for daBrokenFace
daBrokenFace

Why would someone want to play a game where every enemy looks the exact same? Any free to play game has more variety than this one.

Avatar image for craigtl
CraigTL

They turned Metal Gear into a survival zombie game? That's like turning a doughnut into a vegetable. I dont want it to be that. If you are going to make it that then call it something different.

Avatar image for MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

@craigtl: you mean a doughnut into a slice of moldy bread....

Avatar image for deactivated-5abc14ca5e8cc

Yup. Looks like crap.

Avatar image for ameday_88
Ameday_88

@wafflekings: I agree, and I will not.

Avatar image for nikolistary
nikolistary

Thanks for deleting my comment GameSpot!

I say again. A game that should never have been made.

Shameless diarhea people.

Avatar image for Deckard2323
Deckard2323

I love comments like "it looks bad, but I'm still gonna get it."

Konami loves those comments too. Which is why we keep getting crappy games like that.

Avatar image for Ice-Cube
Ice-Cube

I miss MGSV a lot, so I probably will end up getting this game. I hope it turns out well, The Phantom Pain is still my all time fav game.

Avatar image for CMMNDO
CMMNDO

I just don’t get the zombie aspect, but the survival component of it reminds me of MGS3, which in my opinion is easily the best game in the series (And one of the greatest ever really). I’m not too hyped about Survive, but if they carry the surivival stuff back over to the normal MGS universe that could be interesting.

Avatar image for thedarklinglord
thedarklinglord

I'm still not ready to write this game off entirely, though I know that the game I've created in my mind, the game I want this to be, is easily ten times better than what will be released.

"..since the story takes only 20 hours to complete." When did 'only' 20 hours become not long enough? Not every game needs to be The Witcher III.

I still think Konami made a gross misstep by calling this Metal Gear. To their credit, they put 'survive' in the title, so nobody should be surprised by the sort of game they get if they buy this, but... They should've just used the MGSV engine but slapped the Contra name on this. People might actually be excited for this if it was Contra, because when was Contra game that wasn't total garbage? At the very least, Konami wouldn't catch all this flak from diehard Metal Gear fans and Kojima fanboys.

Avatar image for lion2447
lion2447

@thedarklinglord: I think somewhere along the gaming line, hours to content changed. 20 hours to complete would be plenty if it was all content. Unfortunetely, that most likely means 2 to 5 hours of story content and the rest is padding.

RPG's have become bad for padding. Many old school RPG's had 60+ hours of one way story content and then extras thereafter. Many today make you backtrack though the same few locations over and over again just to add to time played.

Can't judge the game yet as it has not come out, but your right that 20 hours should be enough if it is all content.

Avatar image for craigtl
CraigTL

@thedarklinglord: They totally should have gave it a different title, but originally when they said survive my mind went to Snake Eater. That metal gear incorporated some great survival elements. So I thought oh yeah the missions will have you out in the field with no support for days so you will have to hunt for food gather water and like use vines as bandages or mud to stop bleeding ect. This, this is something totally different its just not MG, at least from what they have shown so far.

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ronaldmcreagan

My God this looks horrible.

Avatar image for craigtl
CraigTL

@ronaldmcreagan: You mean you didnt want to walk around stabbing goats in the new MG. Hmmm thats odd.

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Creepywelps

DoA game.

Avatar image for Acillatem1993
Acillatem1993

Weird thing is...I'm probably still gonna buy it. Don't get me wrong, I dislike Konami as much as anyone, but if this game can make me feel like I'm playing MGS V again (which it probably will since its using most of its assets LOL) I'm up for an adventure. I'm not really expecting much, but at a pricepoint of 30 bucks I can live with that.

Avatar image for Ice-Cube
Ice-Cube

@Acillatem1993: Same here, that's the only reason why.

Avatar image for zura_janai
zura_janai

After killing the franchise in MGSV, konami decided to mutilate its body with this this ugly game.

C'mon gamespot why are you trying hard to make it look good while 95% of it is a copy/paste from MGSV?????

Death Stranding is the new metal gear game for me #FucKonami

Avatar image for craigtl
CraigTL

@zura_janai: When I first started playing MGSV I almost thought the same thing, but when you play it all the way through it was truely MG to the core just with some very new elements. Seeing liquid snake and Psycho mantis as kids starting their journey that will lead to the events of MGS touched my soul (although you had to do very specific things in order to trigger such events). I very much enjoyed MGSV in the end. So much so that I was encouraged to get an S ranking on all missions to unlock the Raiden exo suit. What a treat that was.

This survive title, however, just breaks my heart..

Avatar image for simonbelmont2
simonbelmont2

@zura_janai: You are overreacting, chill out brah.

This preview was fairly honest and they mentioned plenty of potential cons. At the end of the video one of the guys even said he was still on the fence.

Avatar image for pauls
PaulS

@zura_janai: I dunno if they are making it sound good though. I mean they mention at one point that it felt like side mission objectives were more like chores that needed to be completed to able to enjoy the game itself. At some other point they mention that the game is jarringly different from prior MGS gameplay, with your character being considerably less powerful; that almost makes it sound like the game would be less attractive to MGS fans. They even mentioned the always online component despite it being heavily SP focused; after all you need to do SP to level up enough to not be a burden to allies in MP. They came across as ambivalent. Heck the most fun they seemed to had was in the loading screen because of unlimited resources...

Avatar image for deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

No thx I’ll stick to waiting for Days Gone and The Last Of Us 2.

Avatar image for Acillatem1993
Acillatem1993

@wafflekings: We like his games so why wouldn't we be?

Avatar image for lion2447
lion2447

@wafflekings: I think it is more to using the MGS name for this game. It is missing the original creator and the theme of the game. No MGS have ever had zombies or other dimensions in them. It would have been better if the game had a new name. This could allow a fresh start and reduce all the controversary surrounding MGS.

What kills it for me is that Konami is pulling an EA by introducing microtransactions (don't know how bad it will be yet), and an always online connection for the single player mode. Though, Konami makes games for the casino industry, so this doesn't completely suprise me.

Avatar image for omegasloth
OmegaSloth

@lion2447: MGSV had micros and always online too, even though it was almost completely single player.

Cant tell you how stupid it was that development of weapons took real time and that i had to be connected online to even access the majority of my GMP.

Avatar image for tsunami2311
tsunami2311

pass, the moment i got the RE vib from it, this just konami try milk the franchise to ride off the success Kojima gave to them if it wasnt for him konami would been all but forgotten long ago

Only 2 game i gave damn about from them was MGS and ZOE game I will never those game again, seeing both are Kojima works I use to like castlevanina and last 2 that were released work ok, they didnt feel like castlevanina games to me, they had the look but not the feel

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speedytimsi

No Metal Gear, no Snake....

or even its past characters...

They really just need to stop using the Metal Gear title.

Avatar image for barcaazul
BarcaAzul

@speedytimsi:

Yeah I'm surprised they didn't use more of a spin off.

Diamond dogs survive for example. In the same world but not using directly the MGS IP directly,especially if the first one post Kojima isn't very good

Avatar image for craigtl
CraigTL

@barcaazul: You are so on target with that. That simple change would have made a world of difference. It would have explained the use of the same elements and eliminated a lot of comparisons and expectations. How did they miss that.

Avatar image for barcaazul
BarcaAzul

@craigtl:

I'm guessing they are hoping to sell to not so well informed people on the back of the name, but I think it carries a massive risk of running the IP.

Avatar image for RedWave247
RedWave247

Snake? Snake, answer me! Snake? Snake!?

SNAAAAAAAAAAKE!

Avatar image for craigtl
CraigTL

@RedWave247: (hears gunshot in background)

Avatar image for lion2447
lion2447

" ...if the the mission requires exploration into the map's foggy sections, you'll also have to manage your oxygen."

Low on oxygen? Feeling like you can't find your way out of the fog? Don't worry. For $1.99 we can top up that oxygen for you.

Avatar image for daBrokenFace
daBrokenFace

@lion2447: For an additional $8.99 you get a fashionable gold plated oxygen tank.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

Seeing a lot of hate for Konami but recently they released a port of a mobile game Yugioh duel links on steam which got a 9/10 and very positive user reviews. The truth is konami will never die cause their mobile business is so popular.

Avatar image for bongaconga
BongaConga

The fact that a ton of spoilers were told (without warning) does not bother me half as much as how shitty this game looks like.

Avatar image for playstationzone
PlaystationZone

Konami destroyed series and there going be stupid players going buy

this game

Avatar image for TexasStuBaby
TexasStuBaby

Forget the whole Kojima/Konami thing... to me, the whole zombie thing has run it's course.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b0457a4d6084

@TexasStuBaby: Yup and I’ll be getting Days Gone and The Last Of Us 2.

Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

The amount of hate Konami has garnered borders on, and in some cases, exceeds that of EA. Y'know what though? It's warranted.

-IF THE SHOE FITS NINJA APPROVED-

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