This article is written by someone who has played over 200 hours of Metal Gear SurVive and has spent 28 years playing each instalment of the series: the nine original lore games and the 12 spin offs numerous times. This means my extensive knowledge of every detail brought to the series, and my terms might not be welcoming for some readers, who haven’t followed the series.
I look to go all over the place as if I am time travelling — so, be advised: Metal Gear Fandom.
Warning spoilers ahead!!!
There will be spoilers from the start of this article until the end. For those who don’t know the Metal Gear terms, here are a few to remember:
- MGV = Metal Gear SurviVe
- MGSVGZ = Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
- MGSVTPP = Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Welcome to Dite
Fighting for a better future is the theme of Metal Gear SurVive and to spoil it right away so I won’t be limited by keeping spoilers out: the game is set in a post-apocalypse future where Nanomachine technology, which was originally created for medical purposes, now has evolved to a new life-form: sophisticated enough to possess the ability to absorb the properties of any kind of matter. As they grew they learned to infect intelligent life, thus creating the end of the world as we know it. They are all synced together by one central being called The Lord of the Dust. With one will and intelligence, the Dread Dust has destroyed Earth and there are few survivors.
Before I get into all of this, let’s rewind to the beginning of the game where you actually don’t know any of this, and you simply survive an attack on Motherbase, which brings us into the Metal Gear Universe as a soldier working for Big Boss, and as seen in the game Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes: this devastating attack on the base left it in ruins, yet you, the player survived, but you’re almost gets sucked into a Wormhole.
When you come to consciousness, there is a man calling himself “Good Luck”, he will explain that you are infected with something terrible and that they have to send you to that Alternate world; to help stop these things from destroying the world. That said, the player and the character have no clue that they are not being sent to an alternate world but instead, they are sent to the future post-apocalyptic world to stop the Lord of Dust, and prevent it from going back in time to infect the world with the Dread Dust.
All of this said I have already spoiled some of the biggest twists in the game to get a perspective on things. From a players standpoint, you start by being told you’re getting sent to an alternate world, and throughout the game, until the end, you don’t know that you’re actually sent to the future, which is a big surprise and changes the whole view of the world and game as a whole. Learning that it’s not some random alternate world and it’s our Earth in a post-apocalyptic future made me want to replay the story to see it all unfold with the knowledge of what’s really happening, which is very much in the Metal Gear concept where players always find out it’s all been one big lie.
The driving force throughout the play-through is to see that not only the villain might be a hero, but your whole world isn’t as it seems. It was important to get this huge reveal out the way so I can write this review without any restrictions on the main story plot.
Let’s get into the core of the gameplay and universe. First and foremost, this game runs on the Fox Engine and has all the core Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain player control mechanics. In my opinion, MGSVTPP is the greatest optimised game and once a player has learned how to master the control mechanics, they’ll never want any other game to not have the fluid extra detailed gameplay controls that it offers.
A huge plus for veteran-MGSVTPP-players, who are already used to the controls will be happy to get them back in this game. With the Phantom Pain player controls leading the way they did something that adds extreme value to the gameplay. If it was just a copy-and-paste, veteran players would pick up on it easily. But they [the developers] added two mechanics that open the door for all new gameplay in the Fox Engine.
The first new system is Crafting: you can place all types of interceptors and defence units on the spot, which actually opens the game up to RPG-system, where you get loot and craft, a variety of weapons, gear, and items. Dependent on the rewards, it can be all from common, rare, legendary to epic. This is the core of what the player is encouraged to upgrade to have the best of the best. Unlike most looters [game type], this format is about finding recipes or broken items to craft and use, and they are spread out throughout the world like rewards in the Co-op mode.
How to do this? The core focus is Base Building: to upgrade from Common items to epic items. The base building has a very customizable system that in the long run, you will allow the player to be able to harvest animals for food, purify water, build tents for rest, manage the staff who manages the base, crafting stations, and a very key component: the Base Defenses. As you will unlock the ability to get great rewards by activating the base digger, which attracts the wanders to attack your base, leaving the possibility to have your whole base destroyed.
This is the endgame content, and it can really make you want to customize your base with turrets and defences that prevent you from losing everything you’ve worked so hard for. This gameplay experience can be intense and very meaningful to those who carefully crafted their base just how they wanted.
I personally was fighting a wave off and got careless running up to one of the powerful enemies to try a new move and sweep him but was killed, and when I respawned in the game I lost some of my animals I’d captured for my harvest. Since that day I vowed to never lose anything on my base again and spent hours placing auto turrets and fences throughout my base. It’s been rewarding to succeed in base-defence, knowing my base can be guarded by my staff without me even being in the game. Because of my defences, my Gamer pride jumps to new heights. At the endgame, base building and staff management start to be a key factor, as the RPG system runs on upgrading, crafting systems, and staff.
My Gameplay hours. Don’t judge me
More on endgame later. Let’s get into the Classes: there are five different classes, but the player starts with the main class Survivor, which offers basic moves like sprinting attacks, combos, side steps, leg sweeps, and more. Once the player gets through the core storyline they will open up the four subclasses. Each class has some very special abilities and very specific playstyles. From the long-ranged shooter Jaeger to the stealthy up-close Scout, the subclasses can be changed at any time. Switching them in and out adds depth to the already deep gameplay system, which leads me to the second key mechanic added to the already amazing Phantom Pain player controls system. They added a whole new Melee System and once you get the grips of how to manoeuvre it the gameplay flows smooth. All the classes and playstyles showcase tons of variety and great combinations to make the gameplay about the player’s creativity.
The five classes give the player freedom and provide the opportunity to explore some great tactics and playstyles. Personally, I have witnessed some insane tactics and playstyles with all the classes and items at the player’s disposal. The players, who lack the ability to experiment with different weapons, gadgets, and tactics, and/or those, who have not spend time unlocking the sub-classes or items throughout the game will be more limited than those who have. This is where I think we might have an issue for casual players, who haven’t put in the time to complete the main story, which takes about 20 hours, because by then you get all classes and most of the items in the game and that will be where the creativity can reign supreme through your personal playstyle.
Note that it’s a survival game and to just give players everything at the start isn’t going to make it work, so they punish you hard as your hunger and thirst drop fast in the first hours, making every single move you make crucial to your survival.
I like to eat…
Speaking of survival, let me get into the core survival gameplay. While in this world, your goal is to survive and the core focus is on hunger, thirst, and oxygen. These are some very hardcore experiences at the start, making the game tension build during the opening hours as you hunt for food and water just to survive. As the game progresses, as I said above, you can harvest animals at your base but at first, you must earn your way up, and adding to this is when players enter the Dust.
The Dust will kill you if you don’t have an oxygen tank. Even with a tank, it runs out and you will have to get out the dust to recover or you will die. This is where the game shines the most for me. As a survival game, I really felt the tension in the Dust while I tried to complete a mission and my oxygen level was dropping at the same time enemies were rushing me. They and I had a nice little meeting where I introduced them to my machete with some smooth side steps and combos. However, noticing my oxygen level was dropping, my confidence in combat dropped too, turning to panic, and then to death by lack of oxygen And that only added to the survival experience.
What I loved most about the Dust area were the clouds and darkness. The map is off in places you’ve never been and the fog clouds your vision, all while enemies creep around and jumpscare you from time to time. The deeper you get in the game, the more enemies are around, and there is one that completely changed my overconfident movement to caution and sometimes even to panic. They look like plants in the game — so innocent and pure but step within their range and they grab a hold of your foot and alert nearby enemies causing what could be an easy mission to a madhouse-war-zone. For me, the enemies all served a purpose: placed in certain areas that are key to missions or resources, the player can find themselves in some interesting situations.
I spent 80% of the game doing stealth kills, and as a Hardcore Metal Gear Player, I get the most satisfaction in gaming by being stealthy like the one and only, Big Boss.
A game about creatures like this offering stealth, is that real? I assure you it is 100% possible to play a lot of the game in pure stealth, but what’s perilous is that you might be as good at stealth as m,e but the survival elements will change your mind as while you want to sneak, your oxygen, health, or stamina is drooping and you need to refill them before you die. This adds another layer to the stealth that is seen in small parts for games like MGS3, where your hunger affects your stamina.
Many say MGV’s survival system is an extreme version of MGS3’s survival system, and while this has some truth, I would say MGV goes deep into its survival as its core gameplay is about just that. I encourage you to embrace the harsh survival system of hunger, thirst, and oxygen while navigating throughout the worlds of the future post-apocalypse.
Grind the gears…
Ok, about the MGSVTPP aspects: while the uninformed will think MGV just reused assets of MGSVTPP Afghanistan and Africa it’s actually key places for the game to take place since this game is set in the future and key things like the A.I., The Metal Gear Sahelanthropus and more are located. As a game starting at the destruction of Motherbase in MGSVGZ and ending with a huge alternate ending referencing MGSVTPP, the fact they reused key locations and showcased the post-apocalypse of these areas is exactly what the game needs story-wise, and it works well in the gameplay. After completing the game and replaying it knowing I’m in the future, it changes the reused areas and makes them meaningful. Again, driving home how we are fighting for a better future aka fighting for the Metal Gear series to continue and thrive.
If I took the time and found footage of players going to Code Talker’s mansion, Eli’s Ship, or the FOB map, they all add nostalgia, but with survival as the focus and the Dread Dust as the enemies, it makes you see why it’s a great idea to take what I consider the greatest game ever made in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and provide a Spin-off for some fun but very different gaming experience
And isn’t that what a spinoff is supposed to do? Provide you with a whole different gameplay and storyline that can be tied to the main series but can stand alone as well. Let’s dive into the spinoff tie ins, since in the original Metal Gear Solid game, the Nanomachines have had a hold of the series as they helped control the world by the chronological ending in MGS4. This carries over to the post-apocalypse future of MGV where the creatures and boss took over the world.
Adding to this is the Wormhole Technology we see in MGSVTPP, which provides us with time travel and all types of items that come up throughout the playthrough of the game. With those two key components leading the way for a spin-off that never harms the original series, but only adds endless possibilities for the future and/or past. The developers can get creative and add anything from any of the series and from other games, if they have a great easter egg, for example: where you can find Crystallized Cardboard Boxes throughout the game that unlock nameplates, classic music from MGS, Castlevania, Zone of Enders, and more.
Adding to the use of older games, they really did do a good job with small details like adding the MGS4 Threat Ring which detects enemies, The MGS3 features to heal injuries, base management connecting to your RPG system like in MGSVTPP, and sounds that all MGS fans love, like that headshot bing!!! These things make a veteran player like myself see that the developers took time and care to provide a lot of MGS series content.
Yeah, I said it…
I didn’t want to write this for casual gamers, but I will take a little time to address a few things. First and foremost, the Metal Gear Series isn’t too complicated that it’s just for the fans who love the series so much. We make it a deeper rabbit hole when, in the end, it’s just a fun series to play! The storylines are engaging and overall masterpieces in the original 9 instalments. As for the 12 spin-offs there are some fun games to experience from Card Games to Hack and Slash and now we got a survival spin-off game. This game, MGV, stands alone and can be played without ever experiencing the overall series and it isn’t at all like the original series when it comes to infiltrating human enemies bases like most original games do, but that’s ok because a spin-off wouldn’t exactly be a spinoff if it followed the exact rules of the originals.
That said, just get into the game and see for yourself the survival at the start is brutal, but that’s part of the fun of survival games. Once you get the hang of the controls and the system you will fall in love with the game and want to experience the whole series as the series provides great content. There has been a lot of things surrounding Konami making the game, but that has nothing to do with the game’s experience. Don’t let that stop you from a good time as many are misinformed, and I will like to take the time to address some of these things.
Let’s be clear, this game does not have pay-to-win or even a paywall to content. Everything can be experienced by simply enjoying the game. As I am 200 plus hours in and haven’t had to pay one penny to experience all it has to offer. This said they do have microtransaction that can give players options. In MGSVTPP there was only one character slot so you couldn’t replay unless you delete your save-file or played on a separate account.
With MGV you get one character like MGSVTPP but they add 3 character slots for anyone wanting to have a second character and it’s run by an SV coins system, which is the in-game currency you get by just logging in daily or by using microtransaction. The big bad word in gaming at the moment isn’t new to gaming and while I don’t support microtransaction myself, I realize that there are season passes, DLC, and microtransactions in most games these days in some way shape or form.
I think it’s more about the games being playability without being forced to get microtransactions that’s important. MGV does this good enough as I can login in once a day and receive 30 SV coins and after 35 days of logging in I will have enough in-game currency to purchase a second account if I wanted one, but that’s for the hardcore players, as MGV’s endgame is a grind to get top gear and a new account isn’t going to progress your other character.
Just my personal thoughts but moving on to other microtransactions in the game.
A key endgame is Base Digger Defense, which you activate the dig and fight off waves of enemies from destroying your base and get rewarded with key items. Once you’re done, they give you a 24 break and the next wave comes in until you finish the 3 waves. With players’ ability to use SV coins to speed up the 24 hour wait and play next wave it can get addictive for those who want to do so, but for me the experience is intense knowing my base will be attacked at a specific time in real life, and I have to defend it myself or put up good enough defences and have a good staff to defend it, if I am away. No need to purchase SV coins or use the SV given daily if you time the base defence properly.
My personal feelings are no game should ever harm the players’ experience with microtransactions paywall systems and MGV does not disturb the experience after 200 plus hours of playing the game, I can confirm that.
On the topic of microtransactions, it’s simple: gamers can control the market on what’s acceptable by not purchasing any or only the ones they think are reasonable. I look for games that provide a full experience and MGV’s microtransactions can be completely ignored as the game is fully accessible without them. I address this knowing anyone can be derailed from interest over the word “microtransaction”, and as a consumer, I also feel the same but I wouldn’t let it make me miss out on good games if it doesn’t the full game’s experience.
Little things matter too
From the story having some good twists, to the gameplay keeping me intrigued, to master all Classes and get the best items in the Loot and RPG system. This game has done its job by entertaining a Metal Gear fan with core content. Others might see the Codec as an outdated way to progress dialogue but it’s MGS tradition. They bring back the Tapes like MGSVTPP for music and background story. Tons of little details that are showcasing that the developers took the time and care making the game, and that makes me grateful to play it.
After the credits rolled I had already some great ideas for a sequel or even a prequel, which I feel this game opens the door to endless possibilities, and I can see some great projects feeding off this game and if we can get more, I would personally be all for it. More on that in future articles. As I think about most games I pay 60 bucks for a game that I play about 7 hours, finish all-completionist-style, and never look back at. But MGV already makes me want to replay it and see the story as it really changed everything once you learn it’s the future and not an alternate world.
If you’ve read this far, you know I started with the ending and now will provide the beginning overview of the game: Metal gear Survive is a Spinoff that kicks off during the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. You’re a soldier working for the legendary Big Boss’s Army when your base is attacked and destroyed. At the same time, a wormhole sucks in people and things. You escape but end up in suspended animation until a man calling himself “Good Luck” tells you, you’re sent to an alternate world to help discover a way to stop the creatures. This is the core of what players learn in the first hours. The gameplay is truly survival with hunger and thirst being key parts of the beginning: players hunt for food and scavenge for resources, all while trying to figure out what is happening on this planet.
With characters and situations pushing you forward to discover whats happening, you also want to escape back home. The story keeps you engaged with mystery and it keeps you wanting to find all the clues and solve the riddle of getting out. Players will have multiple key parts to juggle with, making the game one good survival game. You start with a small base camp that you can expand and customize — this is key as it’s a big part of the RPG system, plus you will be defending it from hordes in the end game content. What I like about this system is players can manage their staff and play to upgrade their home, which benefits them with opening new items.
The game has two modes and Co-op has been going strong with weekly maintenance that not only has listened to fans but has also added new content. We got boss battles in Co-op this week and they are doing daily and weekly missions with great rewards. What makes the Co-op interesting is the modifications for players and enemies. Things that can increase melee attacks for players and/or increase the damage inflicted by enemies.
The Co-op has 5 maps and one mission where the goal is to defend a Wormhole Digger that is extracting Iris Energy. Unlike most tower defences, you get side missions and Crystallized Areas, which add to the challenge of completing the mission and give players more options on gameplay.
With the addition of adding the huge creatures, players have been seeing some good variety within the first weeks of the game’s release. Spending time preparing for missions is part of the fun as four players are placed in an awesome lobby to gear up weapons, gadgets, and gear to be ready for the tough battles. The Co-op mode features all the key parts of gameplay but restricts players with only what they bring with them and this adds to the survival elements that MGV offers in story mode. Players cannot run with all firearms as resources for creating bullets will run out and they will need to gather more resources in the story or use melee weapons.
For me personally, mastering the melee system is the key to really surviving as there are some great variety of playstyles.
To think that this game is getting a lot of support and they will have a new mission for Co-op in the coming weeks themed Rescuing a Survivor, I am excited to try that out plus I have a good hunch that we’ll get new creatures and more, as they looking to make this online feature important — and this is the way to go.
The players I have been connecting with are excited about the game and its future looks bright. I already have multiple groups who get together daily to grind Co-op and talk strategies as they play single player. The game isn’t one that gives you all the goods right away you have do manage your base correct, co-op a variety of missions, and more to get all the top items and this has made me and other players more dedicated to reaching Max and preparing for future content.
I honestly wanted to find some hardcore reasons to make this review reach those who might have wanted to hear only negatives, but the biggest issue isn’t actually hurting the game’s overall experience. I personally don’t support microtransactions but as a business, I understand companies that do them decently. I don’t like any MTX (microtransactions) that is pay-to-win or a paywall, but MGV’s MTX are really options for players but aren’t a factor in the full game’s experience. Extra character slot isn’t needed for a game with so much to do as I played over 200 hours and still haven’t maxed out yet. It’s a live game so more are added often. While the MTX-word itself scares people off before ever playing, they will miss out on what I think, might be the most underrated game of 2018.
The game is giving Metal Gear fans possibly its best spinoff ever! Others were fun, but this game’s story ties deeper into the series than any other has and its gameplay is some of the best in all video game using the MGSVTPP Fox Engine and gameplay mechanics, plus they added a melee and crafting system. While I couldn’t say it’s GOTY because the story codecs while a MGS series staple aren’t engaging as before and gameplay might scare some casual players off with the harsh survival in the starting hours, but like any survival game, the satisfaction comes as you get deeper into the game and give it hours and once you do so, you have a base with a full farm and the best crafting workbenches. Defending your base can be intense, but rewarding, and if you have a great base defence team, they will handle any attacks, which are a reward in itself that you are a good leader. Throw in the Co-op which provides the best rewards and tons of fun with friends. And, as they looking to add more content as they go forward, then I’ve already got my 40 US dollars worth out of the story and Co-op.
If you told me that I can get another game using the amazing mechanics of MGSVTPP and lore of MGSVGZ and MGSVTPP, plus tieing into the whole series with Nanomachines, I would be excited, but clearly public opinion can be influenced by misinformation and speculation. I hear all that surrounds this series and can only think of the Ouroboros and it’s a symbol of a snake eating its own tale. In the series, the heroes like Big Boss, Solid Snake, and The Boss all are looked at as terrorist by the media and public. This can be true about the Metal Gear series as media and public lately haven’t got to stop eating their own tails, missing out on what I consider the best game in the series, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and now again, they might be missing out on a great spin off in Metal Gear SurVive. The Ouroboros example goes for myself also because I told myself I would not add the outside noise to my review, yet here I am.
All that being said, at the end of the day I never allow anyone to influence my opinion of things I like, whether it’s food, drinks, music, movies, or especially the Metal Gear Series. While the spinoffs haven’t made it to my top 10 all time best Metal Gear games, I do think MGV is actually my tenth best MGS game. The nine original lore games are locked, then comes MGV, as I have already played more of this game than any other Spin-off in the series.
Enough is enough with my personal views, the question is: can someone pick this up and enjoy the game?
It’s a survival game, so I ask: do you like Survival game?
If not, then it might be rough for you to get into the starting hours, but later on, in the endgame, it turns into a tower defence-game, as you defend your base to gain rewards. Also, Co-op becomes the focus to get the best rewards.
The game has a variety of key features all in one so if you’re open-minded to try something different, go for it!
Those MGS series fans asking if this game is worth a playthrough? Is it lore? Is it good? Or bad? It’s a spin-off and can stand alone but the lore does not harm the original series as you can save the world by stopping Nanomachines from taking over. I say to MGS fans come help save the MGS world and the series and support this game. Plus more players to group up with is always fun in co-op!
I am at the endgame, grinding to max out and get the top items and while there will be more content in future the current content has been a good time and I am glad I gave it a go. Let’s see what the future offers as the content has still not got its release dates officially announced and if there is a story. This makes this game even better than this current article.
I will have a video review soon and an update post once new content is released. For all things-Metal Gear SurviVe lock on to MagGamer.com
I really wanted to make one last point as many who know me will wonder why didn’t I make this a big article as I have a passion for the Metal Gear Series. I wanted to provide a simple review focused on the core game elements, as my personal views aren’t a factor, and I wanted to touch on my experience without going all out about the game, series, and things surrounding it. I will be taking time to post on social media about my personal thoughts, so look out for that.
But the purpose of this article was about core information that I felt many left out or missed out on with other reviews. I will live stream a review and post a video in hopes to enlighten those who are looking for a new game to try.
A real Metal Gear Series fan will want and hope this game does well and we continue the 30-year reign of great video games to enjoy and I write this for you as we together make the community great. Thank you for all the love and support and see you in Dite.
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- Fox Engine offers greatly optimized game
- The RPG system ties into the base progress
- Map is mysterious and unlocks as players discovers area encouraging exploring
- The Enviorment of dust and fog create high intense playthrough
- Tons of Metal Gear classic music on playlist
- Story has some direct tie in to the lore of MGSVGZ and MGSVTPP plus some nice twist to keep it moving forward
- Co-op provides fun times and great rewards for end game
- customize-able base building and defense experience offers meaningful challenge
- Melee system has a lot of variety of play-styles with added 4 Sub-classes
- Using the MGSVTPP Core gameplay mechanics make the players control smooth
- The future looks bright as more content is coming
- Does not effect the full games experience but Options for micro-transactions can be worrisome in possible content
- End game content is Co-op focused and some players might only be Single player based.
- Always Online worries many about life span of games support?
- The beginning hours might be harsh in survival elements for casual players