Metal Gear Survive is an interesting take on the series being a complete spin-off from the events of Metal Gear V and taking place in an alternate dimension. Things are rather rough here as wanderers (zombies) run rampant and you've been sent in to collect data. There's a rather long set of cutscenes that kick this off showcasing high levels of drama and intense action. They're a bit long, but set up something promising and then you just never see anything of that cinematic quality later. The Metal Gear Survive story is then delivered by some AI through text and talk, it's not great. The story itself is rather repetitive in nature having you either fetch an item which is typically a bit of memory or defend a point so that you can fast travel from it.
There are a couple fairly decent in size areas to the single player content, but it wasn't too interesting. It's also aggressively hard in that the game is trying to kill you at a constant rate. You're almost dead constantly due to a combination of needing food, water and oxygen. The character is always starving, you always need water and to get anywhere in the dust area (covers most of the map) you need to make trips due to limited air. It's not fun doing this as you're micromanaging more than you're playing. It's hard to get the supplies too due to the nature of searching for resources. It does get better after awhile and the best advice I can give is to just skip this until you have some multiplayer time in. Another note would be that this should have had cooperative play, even just two players would have been nice.
The cooperative multiplayer in Metal Gear Survive is great, I had a blast playing it for countless hours. It's infinitely better than the story elements, but falls into similar issues of reptition. You go into what's mostly the same map over and over defending it from wanderers that come from the same directions. I enjoyed working to finding the best way to tackle these creatures, but after you master the core concept it can become boring. They really should have mixed this up more by having additional maps or even just variations in the directions of the creatures.
They do sometimes come from different places, but it's usually the same two entrances. After what I believe was many hours of gameplay in the cooperative mode I got a new map twice in a row which was shocking. I haven't seen it again since. I understand they're taking an add content later approach here and I've been told of multiple daily events. Those are great as they change things up, but they desperately need more now. You can't expect players to work through the same map over and over, if I wasn't reviewing I would have stopped much earlier. Still, the cooperative multiplayer is great in Metal Gear Survive. The base building is fun and working as a squad is great, even the side missions add some value here yet they need more content.
The game looks rather good visually, yet dreary and sad. It looks really great on Xbox One X yet they made the world seem so bleak. Most of it is dust based and if it's not dust its dark because your starving or red because you're bleeding. You don't get to appreciate the environment and the lack of vibrant colors reminds me of last generation titles since they were browner. I don't have a problem with the color palette, just wish there was more life to it at times. It does get the spooky elements right as going into this one dark building was super creepy. Going back to the repetitive aspects combat in general feels like that.
After you get a hold of things you put up a fence and then stab enemies with your spear. That's it. Well, sometimes you walk behind them and assassinate them but since your health is so low all the time that's rather risky. The combat almost comes across as cumbersome taking a lot of strategy which isn't good for overwhelming hordes. The skill tree was fine, nice sense of progression as you leveled. The crafting elements were straight forward yet I do wish it was easier to find recipes. Not enough reward for doing things as I would have liked to get access to weapons faster. I thought the base building was great and fun to do whether you were online or in the campaign.
Metal Gear Survive has some really interesting elements, yet comes across as shallow in some areas. The core gameplay is excellent, the base building is fantastic and I really enjoyed the cooperative multiplayer. That area just mostly lacks content though once more daily events and such come in, I think it'll round out well. It's more of a wait and see sort of thing whereas I'm already really feeling the burn out. It's essential to skip single player until you get some multiplayer time in, but even then that area can be difficult since the wanderers are level twenty, but that doesn't matter since it doesn't really scale. The general gameplay can feel repetitive at times with most of the single player coming across as a grind with fetch quests. I thought Metal Gear Survive was mostly a fine experience, it has some solid cooperative multiplayer and that just mostly needs further expansion.
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Metal Gear Survive Review on Xbox One X
Review Code Provided by Hill+Knowlton Strategies