Metal Gear Solid has stood tall as a premier franchise in the gaming industry. From its humble beginnings on the PlayStation 1, to its latest blockbuster success on the current generation consoles. Metal Gear has developed into a game larger than most could have anticipated - gaining a loyal fan base that would ride for the series just as much as its lead developer (long live Kojima). With intense RPG gameplay as well as a story centered around political fiction and stealth combat, the series breaks many unsettling barriers. Addressing issues that are related to society. Also, it’s given gamers the opportunity to live out life on the run as a bad-ass solider with nothing to lose. Who can turn away from that level of awesomeness?
It’s because of this long history of success that publisher Konami has wanted to continue the adventures of Snake and company, even if that means deviating from the guided path. And boy if this isn’t deviating I don’t know what is.
Last year, Konami announced Metal Gear Survive. Long gone are the governmental spying and political intel gathering, as the latest announcement will be centered on the players ability to survive in a zombie apocalypse, which has left many fans of the series in a state of confusion as what to expect. This year at E3, Konami dove deeper into the rabbit hole unveiling more about the game that either had you at the edge of your seat with excitement, or tensing up ready to go ballistic.
So, in an effort to keep the peace - providing knowledge without taking sides - here are 15 things we know SO FAR about Metal Gear Survive.
15 Ground Zeroes Alternate Universe
Yes, you read that right.
Metal Gear Survive takes place following the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. After a series of explosions at the Mother Base during the escape of Snake and Kaz, a wormhole appears, dragging you and the other survivors into an alternate universe.
Now, I'm sure at this moment your face is scrunched, fists are clinched and your brain is somewhere stuck between “What?” And “the f***?” Don't worry you aren’t alone.
The concept does sound WAY out of left-field compared to previous titles in the MGS series. We'll have to wait and see what Konami has in store for us, but at this point, it’s anyone’s guess.
Carrying on with what seems like a recurring trend in games these days, Konami did what most developers do when they feel a series is “losing its luster.” Of course, that means introducing zombies!
These crystal-headed, mutant creatures are the enemies in Metal Gear Survive and ultimately what will dictate your movements and strategy in the game, whether it be loud and abrasive or stealthy and tactical. Hordes will gather and chase, while crawlers will sneak and grab you without notice. They act as a obstacle to keep the player guessing and on their toes.
It’s different. And although this does seem like an interesting venture Konami is undertaking, the Metal Gear Solid series has more often than not bordered on the ideas of “political fiction and espionage,” according to creator Hideo Kojima. So it’s difficult to see where undead crystal creatures come into the discussion.
But let’s be real, who doesn’t like zombies?
13 4 Player Co-Op
What better way to face the zombie apocalypse then with a bow in your hand and a squad at your back?
Making its first appearance in the series, Konami has confirmed that Metal Gear Survive will support a 4-person multiplayer co-op mode. You will be able to link up with friends or randoms through multiple mission situations. One of which being “defend the generator” which is broken into three key phases: infiltration, secure and defend.
Those familiar with horde based multiplayer games should feel right at home with this latest iteration in the series, as fighting back waves of perverse enemies in a round based system seems to be the basics of the operation. So bring out the big guns and get to work, the grind has only just begun.
12 "Dense" Open World
The world of Metal Gear Survive can easily be compared to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (as I’m sure most will notice from the familiar Afghanistan desert in the foreground).
However, being that it is so familiar means that we can expect the zombie survival game to contain the same amount of density in its environment, incorporating a great deal of open area for players to explore and scavenge. It’s still unclear, however, if Konami will include more in the world in terms of intractability or other locations, as it would be exciting to see more diverse settings with bigger and better dynamics, pushing the pendulum closer to a standalone title instead of a "DLC like" expansion. But alas those details are still to be determined and to quote the great philosopher Kanye West, “beggars can’t be choosers… This ain’t Chipotle.”
11 Build Your Own Solider
This is a feature that I’m sure many are excited to hear about, as the allure of creating a Metal Gear version of ourselves is just too magnificent to pass up.
Metal Gear Survive will allow gamers to completely customize their own would-be zombie slashing characters. From skin color and gender, to armor and equipment - bringing yourself to life looks to be a spectacular experience that Konami is bringing to the forefront, with their newest spin on the series.
Play styles and weapon class will also play a part in the game - especially in online multiplayer, creating an element of balance for the player and their team.
10 Weapon Crafting
Embracing the scavenger lifestyle in Metal Gear Survive could make all the difference between living another day or becoming undead dinner. Just about anything found in the world from a piece of shrubbery to a gas can might be useful in the long run and may save you in a tight situation. The biggest bit of news sure to attract lovers of customization in third person shooters is the ability to craft and customize weapons; tooling together a multitude of items for your arsenal, ready to strike fear in the mangled hearts of any zombie willing to try their luck.
So far there isn’t too much information as to how far the crafting limits will go. Whether they will be reminiscent of a Last of Us or a Ghost Recon: Wildlands is still uncertain. However, as they say, it isn’t the gun that makes the gamer, but the body count! So, good hunting.
9 Build Your Defenses
Arguably the most eyebrow raising factors of the new title from Konami are its defense and fortress building mechanics. When arrows, assault rifles and shotguns aren’t enough to fend off waves of undead enemies, fencing and barbed wire barriers just might do the trick.
Metal Gear Survive gives gamers a wide variety of customizable options to protect their bases from wandering enemies. It honestly reminds us a lot of Fallout 4’s settlement system minus all of the bells, whistles and neon lights. It’s more of a straight forward attack and defend style, by setting up turrets, fire traps, blockades, etc. It's a unique addition to the series and really plays up the whole “survive” aspect of Metal Gear Survive.
8 Environment Kills
Similar to games like For Honor, Metal Gear Survive will not only make use of the weapons wielded by the player, but also weapons wielded by the environment. With environmental kills and traps, you can get the upper hand against your adversary, tossing them into deadly wires or better yet send them spiraling down to their doom like Leonidas from 300.
From bottomless holes, wall spikes and fire pits, there are plenty of ways for gamers to get their fill of zombie slaying with creative executions. Aside from the aesthetics of shoving an unsuspecting zombie head first into a gaggle of spears, this does look to be a useful way of getting out of a tough situation. So if a horde of creatures is headed your way, look to the nearest barbed wire fence - there you will find your victory!
7 Oxygen, Hunger, Thirst
Staying alive in Metal Gear Survive will mean more than just keeping a watchful eye on the health bar.
A rather unique addition to the title that is sure to add a whole new level of intensity are the hunger, thirst and oxygen elements that the player must maintain in order to keep pushing. Searching for food keeps your character from succumbing to starvation, fresh water to prevent dehydration and with an alternate universe comes adverse atmospheres, so oxygen is essential. It's a bold move from Konami, but a welcomed feature that will separate the children from the adults in scavenging for materials.
With games like State of Decay 2 displayed at E3 also sporting this mechanic, it’s nice to see that the MGS series is taking step forward in its evolution.
6 Side Quests
During cool down periods between action sequences, players can undertake side operations in search of more weapons, gear and other valuable items (nothing better than more loot am I right?). Communication will be key, as you and your team must decide who will venture out to mine for materials and who will stay and man the fort (a friendly game of rock, paper, scissors should suffice I’m sure). The side ops flow quite simply. First by displaying an indicator on the map marking a place almost definitely crawling with zombies, but also containing items for crafting that will help your team survive the next wave.
It’s a nice way to keep the game in motion and to keep all players enthralled in the experience without necessarily getting bored during off time. With that said, we can only hope that the side ops add value to the mission and story beyond just being a glorified “smash and grab.”
5 Enemy Types
Though the standard crystal-headed day walker seems menacing enough, Konami has indicated that there will be different enemy types and classes, populated throughout the game as well.
As the campaign progresses and level tiers in co-op survival increase, players can expect to test their strength against more than the everyday grunts wandering aimless throughout the country side. As we know, you can only kill so many before it become more work than fun.
Increasingly difficult enemy classes will step forth, challenging not only your weapon power, but also tactical knowhow - like the suicide-bomber zombies and the heavily armored zombies. So having a trick or two up your sleeve just might come in handy.
4 Similar To Metal Gear Solid V
I think it goes without saying that Metal Gear Survive’s announcement has put a majority of the gaming community on edge. It has reached far past what most fans of the genre would care to venture and seems to have distanced itself from the raw story and adventure that MGS is known for. Replacing it with a more casual gameplay as the result of mainstream influence and “petty” business dealings. Though this is from the outside looking in mind you.
With that said however, most would be pleased to hear that at its basic roots Metal Gear Survive is similar to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Apart from a button switch here and there, gameplay looks to be the same which should spell a huge sigh of relief for most. It’s different enough to satisfy a market yet untapped by the series. Yet familiar enough that long time lovers of MGS can pick up and play without the urge to throw their controllers five minutes in. However with that said...
3 No Hideo Kojima :(
As I'm sure most know by this point (if not allow me to direct your attention to the following article here), the relationship between developer Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami has been less than cheerful (and that's putting it nicely). It's mystifying how two of the biggest names in gaming had one of the most public falling-outs in the mediums history. What's worse is the result of this dispute, with the MGS series being caught dead center in the crossfire.
Konami has made it their mission to remove all remnants of Kojima from the MGS franchise going forward, with Metal Gear Survive standing as a testament to its "company restructuring." It's a shame and a disappointing move for long time fans of the series. We can only hope that they don't drop the ball after what has been a masterful run. Wishful thinking I'm sure.
Though Metal Gear Survive marks a new frontier for Konami and the MGS series, some speculate that the game by itself falls short of reaching the "brass ring" as a title worthy of a full price tag. it instead embodies more of an “expansion” to its predecessor Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Luckily for gamers, Konami has done right in announcing that the third-person survival adventure will release at a discounted price. According to the publisher, it will land “somewhere in the vicinity” of MGSV: Ground Zeroes, which sold for $40.
Considering that this title looks to hold more content then the famed prologue, it seems like a fair price point.
1 Release Date: 2018
Originally it was announced that Metal Gear Survive was locked, loading and ready to go for a 2017 launch, however, Konami revealed their newest title would be delayed until early 2018. Thus, leaving gamers hyped to get their zombie hunt on, deflated.
As most would expect, the delay is result of the typical “needed improvements” excuse that has plagued most of the gaming industry over the years.
It’s unfortunate and given that “early 2018” isn't very clear in terms of direction, it will be hard for gamers to truly get invested into the title with what little has come out. However, if history is any indicator, the delay will hopefully allow for time dedicated to “spit-shining” the game. Even with the setback, it’s still nice to know that production is steadily underway. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope that it can live up to the MGS legacy.