Metal Gear Survive’s premise is completely and unequivocally silly. After Mother Base gets blown up in Ground Zeroes, a mysterious wormhole appears just as Big Boss gets flown away in his chopper and sucks in the surviving members of Militaires San Frontieres. The soldiers are transported into an alternate dimension where they must fight for their lives against meat-eating zombies. All in the hopes of meeting their lord and savior Big Boss once again.
To my surprise, though, Metal Gear Survive ended up being a damn good time. The playable demo had me and three other players attempt a co-op mission where we had to defend a wormhole generator from getting destroyed by a group of zombies. The demo build had two playable classes: a fighter and a shooter. A fighter is kind of like your brutish class who goes in packed with big weapons, guns blazing. The shooter is equipped with more ranged weapons, including a bow and arrow. Konami mentioned that there’d be character customization, though we didn’t get to see any of that.
My character was equipped with a couple of defensive gadgets – a series of fences that I could set up to use as blockades, as well as mortars to send the zombies flying. Once the mode kicks off, zombies will start coming for the generator in waves. Friendly fire is turned on by default as well, which was a refreshing change as ammo was scarce, and we had to be extra careful with spraying bullets everywhere to avoid hurting each other or just wasting ammunition. While the zombie types were pretty varied (there are exploders, armored ones, and just shamblers), I found that the enemy AI was generally pretty blockheaded as they’d randomly run into walls or straight up ignore players and go for the objective.
As far as player controls go, it feels pretty much the same as The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes. You can perform a roll, lay prone on the ground, and do some sick CQC moves.
In between the zombie waves, there will be optional objectives that pop up on the map as well. These areas are usually good for scavenging materials for crafting, and for resupplying. Materials are used to craft ammo and equipment, along with health items to keep you healthy. Aside from just HP, you’ll have to watch over your character’s thirst and hunger levels. Though I didn’t have problems with those meters, they can have a negative impact on your performance if left unchecked.
Perhaps the best part of the demo was when I went off alone to a side objective after the end of the second zombie wave. Upon reaching the marked location, my eyes were immediately drawn to a tiny Walker Gear on the other end of the map. The Walker Gear was an amazing buddy in The Phantom Pain, and it’s just as fun to ride in Metal Gear Survive. The Walker can do a spinning kick on zombies, mow them down in a straight line, or just shoot them down with good ol’ fashioned bullets.
At the end of the round, we received an S rank for the mission, along with several cardboard boxes full of gear and loot. Of course, we didn’t get a chance to check out the gear system, but the pieces of equipment have different tiers of rarity, which suggests that the game has a bit of a loot grind feature to it.
Metal Gear Survive won’t convince any naysayers who refuse to touch a Metal Gear game that isn’t made by creator Hideo Kojima. But if you’re not entirely turned off by the idea of a fun multiplayer third-person shooter game where zombies meet Metal Gear, Survive is shaping up to be a rather fun game overall.