Metal Gear Survive Beta Impressions

Posted in Kulturecade by - January 22, 2018
Metal Gear Survive Beta Impressions

The amount of vehemence directed at Metal Gear Survive prior to its release has been immense. Gone is the focus on stealth, replaced instead by a very familiar horde mode structure against waves of quite literally faceless zombies. That might have been an easier pill for fans to swallow if Metal Gear Survive was still under the direction of series creator Hideo Kojima, but this is also Konami’s first entry in the franchise since Kojima’s unceremonious departure from the company. As such, it’s understandable why series veterans would at least approach this game with a fair amount of trepidation. After playing around with the open beta, I can report that while Metal Gear Survive is a drastic change for the series, it’s not a terrible game.

The beta for Metal Gear Survive offers a single player mission to undertake as well as the option to hop into a multiplayer match. I started with the single player in order to get my bearings, and the first thing I noticed was that Metal Gear Survive does a poor job of telling you what’s going on. It’s been a long time since I played Metal Gear Solid V, so it took me a couple of matches to readjust to the core mechanics, as well as the obtuse crafting system that has been added for this game. The shooting and stabbing you’ll be doing in Metal Gear Survive feel decent, but they don’t feel especially fluid; it’s clear that the fundamentals of the game, which are lifted wholesale from the previous entry, are better suited for stealth. Stealth is the preferable option between enemy waves, as you can go on small scouting missions to resupply, but the core gameplay here definitely leans heavier on straight-up action.

All that being said, it became much easier for me to enjoy Metal Gear Survive when playing online. Here, players will likely feel less handicapped by some stiff mechanics because they have teammates to back them up. Whether I was wading into a horde of zombies from behind with a machete while my battle-ax wielding teammate attacked from the front, manning a turret to mow down the encroaching horde, or watching with glee as my teammates scurried across the battlefield in weaponized Walker Gears, multiplayer makes the game come alive. It’s not quite enough to excuse the comparatively dull single-player portion, but I could easily see myself putting more time into this mode.

Metal Gear Survive isn’t a great game in its current form, but it could potentially be a decent one. Solo survival can be dull, the menus need streamlining, and I’ve yet to see any of the oddball humor that has helped define the series (although that element may be present in the game’s campaign mode), but the multiplayer experience at the core of this game seems to work in a simple but satisfying way. Some purists will likely detest the game based solely on the circumstances of its creation, but those willing to accept that this is a Metal Gear game in name only might find an enjoyable, if somewhat clumsy, multiplayer survival experience at a discount price. We won’t know for sure until Metal Gear Survive launches in February, but this beta has at least piqued my interest in seeing a slightly more refined finished product.

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