Metal Gear Survive-with the beta due tomorrow, and the full game due in late February- is the somewhat controversial follow-up to “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”-the first main Metal Gear title released since the game, unless you count the “Pachislot” version of Metal Gear Solid 3, which, although mainly a video gambling machine, does have some nice updated renders of some of the scenes from the game using MGSV’s “Fox” engine.
MGS Survive is also built on the FOX engine, but includes some gameplay features that were included in some other Metal Gear games, but largely absent from others-mainly “Snake Eater’s” cure and food options, although from what I’ve read this system is even more important to gameplay than Snake Eater’s use of it, with the player needing to scavenge food, water, and oxygen to well, survive.
The game will also incorporate a co-op system. While other MG games have had multiplayer modes, The co-op recalls Peace Walker, which had a co-op mode where Big Boss could team-up with other MSF soldiers (or “himself”, and given the amount of times the character either gets impersonated or cloned, that’s not as canon-breaking as you’d expect!) played by other players in the campaign/story mode.
Metal Gear Survive also appears to put a bigger emphasis on melee weapons than before. While the series has often used hand-to-hand combat/chokeholds quite frequently-these are stealth games after all….they certainly haven’t used that many spears….(Although there’s been a share of swords, mostly used by the Raiden or the fellow Cyborg ninjas, naturally; and rarely of course by Snake himself).
and it looks like with Peace Walker and Phantom Pain, a great deal of base management is used, although it seems to be a bit more ‘real-time’ like “Fallout 4” than the gradual expansion of Mother Base in Peace Walker and Phantom Pain.
….especially since the base is under siege….and here we come to the main problem many have with the game.
Even without Kojima, Konami still holds the rights to the Metal Gear licence, and I assume many of it’s characters. There’s still a lot of gaps in the series that they could cover (As I’ve written about in some articles): The Boss and the Cobra Unit during World War II; Big Boss’s falling out with Zero; more of the gap between Phantom Pain and the original game, or even some of Solid Snake, Otacon’s and Raiden’s unseen adventures such as Philanthropy or the search for Sunny….. or even remake some of the older, more dated games (especially the original MSX games, which are closest to “Phantom Pain” in the timeline and are referenced quite frequently in most of the “Solid” games of course.).
Metal Gear Survive however, decides to instead take place between the two parts of V: Ground Zeroes and the Phantom Pain. In Ground Zeroes, MSF’s mother base is destroyed by XOF…Big Boss and a medic go into a coma….and the story picks up 9 years later.
But according to Survive, some MSF soldiers got left behind-but not only that, they were sucked into a wormhole along with the wreckage of Mother Base! (Wormholes, to be fair, were an extra feature for the Fulton balloons and multiplayer modes of The Phantom Pain, but not really brought up otherwise).
Recent trailers have shown that a mysterious agency called WardenClyffe section has, for some reason, decided to send somebody into the destination of the wormhole-some other dimension. It’s naturally been speculated by many fans-including myself-that WC might in fact be yet another front, division, or name for CIPHER (Like XOF, The Patriots, and even FOXHOUND at times).
…and that the man in the suit might be Donald Anderson/SIGINT, as he appeared in the mid 70’s (and who was largely the human control of CIPHER along with Para-Medic with Zero’s declining health)
This soldier goes into the other dimension, and encounters what looks like Zombies with crystals in their heads and flesh, whom the MSF survivors-including yourself-will have to fend off in this bizzare wasteland. (On a side note, the tactic of poking at zombies through fence holes with spears kind of reminds me of a certain other series….
Granted, “Zombie modes” in games seem to be a popular thing, even if the base game itself doesn’t feature zombies. The “Red Dead Redemption” expansion Undead Nightmare was pretty popular….
….and Call of Duty of course has had a few zombie add-ons. And of course Zombies are big in many game series-“Last of Us” “Fallout” (With the Ghouls), “Left 4 Dead” (Which might’ve inspired Survive a bit too) and of course, “Resident Evil”.
It can even be argued that Metal Gear used Zombies in “Phantom Pain” already, with the Skull unit, soldiers exposed to versions of Skull Walker’s parasites, giving them superhuman abilities but messed-up (although quickly regenerating) flesh and an appearence not unlike Star Trek’s Borg, who in their own way, were zombies too.
….and their “puppet soldiers” look and act even more zombieish.
I suppose in part a lot of the criticism toward the game might be leveled that-like I stated-that out of the possibilities for a new game in the lore, they decided to take an easy choice (and pretty much just build on top of the same engine)….and it’s also the first really post-Kojima Metal Gear game, although certain games in the series-The ACID! games, Portable Ops, Rising, Ghost Babel and of course the NES sequel Snake’s Revenge….did not have his direct involvement (although Ops, Rising and Babel sort of had his blessing). Time will tell if the game will really be good, and how it will influence the series going forward without it’s creator.