Metal Gear Survive
|Metal Gear Survive|
|Developer(s)||Konami Digital Entertainment|
Metal Gear Survive is an action-adventure survival game developed and published by Konami. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in February 2018. It is the first Metal Gear game to be developed following the series' creator Hideo Kojima's departure from Konami in late 2015, and the first since Snake's Revenge to be made without Kojima's input. The game takes place between the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and follows the Captain, an MSF soldier who enters a parallel dimension and establishes a local command center to unravel the mysteries of a strange virus that turns people into zombie-like creatures.
Pre-release reception of the game was generally negative, in response to its design and recent business decisions from Konami. Nevertheless, upon release, Metal Gear Survive received a mixed reception from critics. Mostly positive responses were given to its gameplay, with its rewarding sense of progression in single-player and satisfaction from multiplayer and co-op receiving praise; however concern was expressed over some of the mechanics, with the majority of complaints being directed at the story, characters, and inclusion of microtransactions.
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Metal Gear Survive is a survival action-adventure game with tower defense elements and minor stealth mechanics, played from a third-person perspective. It features a cooperative multiplayer mode, in which the player can be joined by up to three other players to complete missions.
A large portion of the gameplay consists of the player exploring the world which is mostly covered by "The Dust", a mysterious toxic cloud that obstructs vision, disables the in-game map, and requires the player to monitor their oxygen level. Players venture out to gather resources such as food and crafting materials as well as to activate the various portal generators scattered throughout the map. These generators serve as the games fast-travel system and are each unlocked by completing a tower-defense segment. Metal Gear Survive tasks players with managing thirst and hunger by scavenging for water and hunting animals for food. Players can then return to base camp in order to cook food and later purify water for safe drinking. There is also an injury system, which requires players to use different medical supplies to heal ailments such as bleeding or food poisoning.
The main enemies of Survive are crystalline zombie-like creatures called "Wanderers", with many variants introduced as the story progresses. The enemies in Survive can be overcome using either stealth or a large variety of weapons and gadgets earned gradually through finding crafting recipes or broken weapons. Players begin with access to melee weapons such as spears, machetes and shock-batons. Eventually bows with several kinds of arrows and firearms such as pistols, shotguns and sniper rifles are acquired. Due to the difficulty of attacking enemies head-on, players are encouraged to use a device that allows them to erect various fences, barricades and other structures. Available gadgets include grenades, Molotov cocktails, decoys, automated gun-turrets and a plethora of traps. Killing enemies earns players "Kuban Energy", the game's currency which can be used to level-up and acquire new skills. After completing the main story, four additional "sub-classes" are unlocked which have their own set of skills gained by leveling up. Class skills range from straight stat bonuses, special attacks, mobility skills and even stealth camouflage.
Players are able to upgrade their base camp by building defenses, advanced crafting stations, farms, animal cages and rainwater collectors. Other survivors can be rescued from The Dust to provide base camp with support staff. Base staff can also be organized into an exploration team and sent out to automatically acquire resources. Eventually, players can initiate a tower defense segment at base camp, allowing them to defend against attacks and earn rewards. Players are able to purchase "Survive Coins" which can be used to unlock various features such as a resource booster, base defender, emotes, additional exploration teams and additional load-out slots beyond the initial four. Players can unlock character slots which act as the game's New Game Plus mode. Survive Coins can be earned as in-game rewards and login bonuses as well.
Following the Ground Zeroes Incident, the surviving MSF members bury their dead at sea with aid from the UN. A UN member requests to take the body of a fallen soldier. Shortly after the attack on MSF, a large wormhole opened above the base. Though the soldier was able to avoid being sucked into the wormhole, their left arm was severed as it closed.
Six months later, the soldier awakens in a facility managed by Wardenclyffe Section, a government research group investigating infectious organisms and wormhole technology. The UN member, Goodluck, one of Wardenclyffe Section's chief researchers, enlists the soldier to enter another wormhole to reach Dite, a hostile and desolate alternate dimension. The soldier was chosen due to being infected with an organism from Dite via contact with the wormhole, which restored their severed arm but puts them at risk of becoming a Wanderer, former humans rendered zombie-like from the disease. Goodluck gives the soldier the moniker of "Captain", instructing them to find a cure and to rescue other people transported to Dite through wormholes.
In Dite, the Captain makes their way to an established Base Camp, and allies with Reeve, an XOF soldier sucked into the wormhole above Mother Base. They find Base Camp abandoned except for Virgil AT-9, an artificial intelligence, part of an investigation team known as the Charon Corps that was sent to Dite prior to the Captain's arrival. Due to an emergency shutdown upon their disappearance, Virgil remained dormant, with much of its memory on the Corps scattered. Virgil tasks the Captain with locating memory boards. Along the way, the Captain rescues several human survivors, including a paraplegic boy called Chris.
Eventually, Virgil uses a device to generate a wormhole to transport them back to Earth. However the wormhole collapses, requiring Iris, a pure source of energy, in order for it to function. The survivors are contacted by Joseph Gruen, head of Wardenclyffe Section, discovering that Goodluck acted against orders and orchestrated the Captain's mission, before committing suicide. The placing of a secret black box within Virgil supports these claims, but Gruen vows to bring the survivors home. A wormhole is opened with Iris energy but Gruen goads Virgil into unnecessarily maximizing energy output, attracting the Lord of Dust, a huge creature that resides within the Dust. The survivors are forced to enter and close the wormhole before it can follow. Transported to a forested area, they find it is another area of Dite rather than Earth. From the black box, Goodluck instructs them to find a weapon capable of destroying the Lord of Dust. They deduce Gruen had hoped to bring the Lord of Dust into his timeline to use it for its vast source of energy instead.
The Captain rescues an MSF soldier, Seth, from being killed by a Corps survivor, Dan. The survivors assume Dan was a traitor to the Corps and caused their disappearance. The Captain locates the weapon, a Metal Gear, but is confronted by Dan, who allies himself with the survivors after learning of their situation. Seth betrays and takes those on Base Camp hostage, revealing that after being sucked into the wormhole during the Ground Zeroes Incident, he was taken in by the Charon Corps. He allowed himself to become infected by the Dust and caused the dissolution of the group. Seth begins to infect the Captain but Reeves shoots and seemingly kills Seth. Seth then transforms into a Wanderer, forcing the Captain to eliminate him.
Virgil reveals that he had become infected whilst Seth was with the Corps, and quarantined its programming with the emergency shutdown. However, contact with Seth reversed these countermeasures, giving Virgil access to its data on the Corps and Dust, but accelerating the infection for both itself and the Captain. They learn Dite is also actually Earth in the 22nd century, caused by the Lord of Dust. Formed from energy and "Dread Dust", self-replicating nanomachines from the future, the Lord of Dust feeds off of Iris energy and creates wormholes to transport matter to consume. Once Dite is ravaged, the Lord of Dust transports itself back in time using a wormhole to start the process again, becoming more powerful and causing a time loop where the planet is stuck in a cycle of rebirth and destruction.
Securing the Metal Gear, all except Chris stay behind to destroy the Lord of Dust, who is chosen to be the one to escape back to Earth. Attracting the Lord of Dust with a wormhole, the survivors use the Metal Gear to trap it. Chris is taken through the wormhole, promising to rescue them. From here, the story has two endings depending on the player's actions. If the player decides to follow Chris, the Captain abandons the survivors and goes through the wormhole. The Lord of Dust escapes the trap and the remaining survivors are presumed dead. The Captain re-emerges in a desert dressed in their MSF uniform, picks up a photograph that appeared next to them, and wanders off.[a] As the screen cuts to black, the roar of the Lord of Dust is heard. If the player decides to stay, the Captain fires on the Lord of Dust with the Metal Gear's railgun, maiming the creature, but it reforms. In a final message from Goodluck, he explains that he failed in his promise. Goodluck is revealed to be Chris, having gone through the wormhole and ending up in 1943. Committed to fulfilling his promise to the survivors, he worked his way into Wardenclyffe Section and made his recordings for the Charon Corps and potential survivors to receive in the hope they could destroy the Lord of Dust.
Being composed of nanomachines and having no notion of death, the Lord of Dust is unable to be killed. Virgil volunteers to enter the creature and introduce it to the concept, having created its own understanding from its experience with people. Virgil launches itself into the Lord of Dust, before the Captain fires the railgun and destroys it. The survivors return to Base Camp.
An after-credits scene shows Virgil launching from the Lord of Dust's carcass and returning to Base Camp, explaining to the Captain that though it is damaged it is still functional, and will be able to continue assisting them in their mission to return home.
In an alternate timeline, Joseph Gruen is heard reprimanding Goodluck in his mistake that the next wormhole was predicted to open above Mother Base during the Ground Zeroes Incident. After Gruen's departure, Goodluck deduces that the survivors have destroyed the Lord of Dust and reaffirms his vows to bring them home.
Metal Gear Survive was announced on 16 August 2016 during Gamescom 2016. It was not the first time the concept of a zombie game was toyed with, as Hideo Kojima said on 29 April 2013 that he always wanted to make one during Metal Gear Solid V's development, and Kojima reportedly requested to Platinum Games that the sequel to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance have Gray Fox fighting against nanomachine-empowered zombies. The game's development was hinted at on 17 December 2015, when Konami started recruiting for a new Metal Gear development staff. The game uses the Fox Engine.
Konami Europe president Tomotada Tashiro described Metal Gear Survive as a "fresh take on the series' famed stealth elements", with a "unique co-op setting that is designed for a truly engrossing multiplayer experience."
In an interview with Dengeki PlayStation, the development staff stated that the player is able to customize their character, use several weapons, and develop their own equipment to suit their play style. They also stated that while it is possible to stealthily maneuver around enemies when playing solo, it is much more difficult taking on waves of them compared to co-op play.
At Tokyo Game Show (TGS) in September 2016, a demo revealed that the Fulton Cannon would make an appearance. The player can optionally retrieve the creatures for resource building, acquire resource building, heal themselves on the main menu, and the player can develop various things from collected resources, from defensive measures to offensive measures. The players can also split up.
During a stage presentation at TGS 2016, Hideo Kojima was asked if he had anything to do with Metal Gear Survive. He stated that the game had "nothing to do with [him]," the Metal Gear series is about "political fiction and espionage", and zombies do not fit into his vision of the series, despite his previous remarks concerning a sequel to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance with zombies. Yoji Shinkawa also stated that he was not involved with the game. He jokingly said that Metal Gear Survive would even have mechs if he worked on it.
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Metal Gear Survive received a generally negative response following its announcement, in part due to the controversies surrounding Konami's recent business decisions and Kojima's departure from the company. Complaints focused on the game's genre and theme (being branded as "generic" as it revolved around fighting zombie-like enemies through co-op and multiplayer), recycled assets from Metal Gear Solid V, microtransactions, constant internet connection requirement and the departure from the general feel of previous Metal Gear games.
Upon release, Metal Gear Survive received "mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic. Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of Zero Punctuation ranked it as the third worst game of 2018, comparing it to the similarly criticized Fallout 76; "for all [Fallout 76]'s greedy corporate buggery, misuse of beloved established IP, and being just plain boring and shitty to play, there was another game that beat it on all three of those fronts. Look no further than Metal Gear Survive!"
In Japan, the PlayStation 4 version sold 31,359 copies within its first week on sale, placing it at number three on the all format sales chart, and number one on the digital sales charts. In the UK, Survive debuted at sixth place in the all format sales chart, selling 85% fewer copies than Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and 95% fewer copies than Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
As of 2018, Konami's earnings report did not mention Survive's total sales, unlike the previous entries in the series and other games made by the company. Critics ultimately deemed the game as having underperformed in sales.[unreliable source?]
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- Makuch, Eddie Metal Gear Survive Sales Not Addressed In Konami's New Earnings Report, Gamespot, retrieved on 6 August 2018. "The Japanese publisher today reported earnings for its fiscal year ended March 31, and the report didn't say anything about the game's performance. The report marks the game's release as a notable event during the year, but says nothing of how well it did in the market. Konami is of course under no obligation to share a unit sales figure--in fact, many publishers are shying away from announcing hard sales numbers these days. Still, the silence is notable given the size and stature of the Metal Gear franchise."
- Boudreau, Ian Konami omits Metal Gear Survive sales from earnings call, PCGamesN, retrieved on 6 August 2018. "The fact that Metal Gear Survive, a spinoff of what has been one of the company’s tentpole franchises, isn’t mentioned in either the business performance or next year’s outlook sections doesn’t bode particularly well for the series.."
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