There’s a lot riding on Metal Gear Survive in Konami’s post-Kojima era, and it’s fair to say that reaction has been mixed so far. In a nutshell, this is a wave-based survival off-shoot to the series, set just after the finale of Ground Zeroes. Right off the bat, you’re hunting animals and stockpiling water, just to keep your hunger and thirst levels at bay. And similar to the classic Metal Gear Solid 3, you even heal wounds using supplies found on the field. That’s the survival bit – once you have your feet on the ground, the focus shifts to scavenging for resource to build weapons, tools and even structures to fend off oncoming hordes of enemies.
It’s an unusual twist on the standard Metal Gear formula, though the technical groundwork is a familiar one. Metal Gear Survive brings back the Fox Engine of Metal Gear Solid 5, where the emphasis is still on open-world 60fps gameplay. You start off at a customisable central base with everything you need, and then venture out towards objectives – beacons and distress calls – with barely a loading screen in sight. It’s often a seamless playing field, and the only aspect that’s lacking – at least so far from what we’ve played – is the series’ usual focus on narrative and cut-scenes. On the gameplay front however, the fact we’re already familiar with the engine technology, and indeed controls, makes it surprisingly easy to jump into.
The inherent strengths of the engine are still in effect too: Survive uses post-process anti-aliasing, plus cinematic effects like depth of field and motion blur that fall in line with the last Metal Gear. Once again, open environments are wide sprawls of mountainous terrain and trees, where pop-in is also barely noticeable – in part helped by a pervasive dust mechanic in Survive. Add to that the dynamic time of day cycles and weather, and Survive is feature complete next to MGS5.
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