Metal Gear Survive is something on an enigma – a spin-off from its illustrious predecessor, that pushes the franchise into a whole new direction. A look at the credits reveals a mixture of Konami developers old and new, some who worked on the brilliant Metal Gear Solid 5, others who are working on the series for the first time. It’s a team that seemingly doesn’t have the same level of talent in working with the publisher’s iconic Fox Engine – and it’s clear to see that what we have here is a technical downgrade from MGS5.
It’s strange because at the nuts and bolts level, Survive has much in common with MGS5: the open world design and core assets look very, very similar, there’s the same 60 frames per second target and the Fox Engine’s distinctive ID is almost completely unchanged. The one key difference is the inclusion of the new area – The Dust – a stormy cloud system that players can only survive in with the use of an air tank. It’s a distinctive visual effect built on performance-sapping alpha textures. There’s nothing like it in MGS5 and it is, possibly, why the developers have chosen to alter Metal Gear’s visual make-up.
The straight, native 1080p of Metal Gear Solid 5 on PlayStation 4 is replaced with a horizontally upscaled 1600×1080, a 16.7 per cent reduction in pixel count. Owing to the post-process heavy nature of the game, the drop passes by mostly without notice and performance is good – not quite as locked as MGS5, but clearly a notable improvement over the 50-60fps we noted in the beta period. In terms of performance at least, it’s a solid enough read-out.
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