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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How Metal Gear: Survive Can Work (But Probably Won't)

God that name is terrible... I mean, what is that supposed to mean? I'm not a Metal Gear aficionado, hell I've only played two of the games, but every single title actually meant something. Peace Walker was about... peace, I guess. Revengance was... stupid. Alright, so the names don't make much sense either but that name sounds so awful.
So if you didn't know, Metal Gear: Survive is Konami's attempt to use the franchise they tore from Hideo Kojima after he finished making a critically acclaimed and successful game with Phantom Pain. Ya, it doesn't make any sense to me either. But wait! There's zombies! Well I mean pseudo zombies. Except... Phantom Pain also had pseudo zombies... And these aren't those zombies from Phantom Pain soooo... Apparently this game is set in an alternate time line starting from Ground Zeroes, because Metal Gear wasn't confusing enough already. From what little we know and have seen, you will take the role of one of the soldiers from The Boss' team when the base was destroyed except they were sucked into a wormhole. Also zombies in there, somehow. I'm a firm believer in taking a game by its own merits than a trailer but at a certain point you really can't help but say, "Ya no, burn it in a garbage fire."
But... let it be known I am actually trying to make an attempt to give this game some credit. At least it isn't a stupid mobile game or pachinko machine (probably spelled that wrong but I honestly don't care enough to spend the time researching the proper spelling as I'm taking Konami's approach of phoning it in). Alright so not that much of an attempt. The game seems to be using the same engine as the last two games which makes me think this game has been in the works for a bit of time. Like they were messing around with the engine while Kojima tried to put art into video game form and got pissed because he wasn't producing any results.
As a non Metal Gear fan, in the sense my experience with the series has been only last year purchasing Metal Gear 2 and Snake Eater for my growing game collection and I only got as far as, "Wait, there's a Tony Hawk minigame in this?!" and nothing in the main game as well as only playing Revengance and Phantom Pain, I'm looking at this from non rose tinted glasses. While Phantom Pain, for all its annoyances and my criticisms, was a genuinely good game I still have no great feelings about the series.
I personally felt that the mechanics of Phantom Pain were the highlights. The crafting of guns, gaining new and better soldiers in the field, the companions you could take on missions as well as the idea of true 'Stealth is an option' gameplay as opposed to the half baked shit most games pretend to have when they use that line. Honestly the game was amazing. Not only from the standpoint I could run it on my outdated computer despite it being a recent release because the team very intelligently decided to split up the map so it could run better but the story was halfway decent and made me actually feel for the characters. Not to mention the subtle humor here and there making the game's more heavier moments not only hold more weight and gravitas but also give you a bit of a break every now and again. If Survive has these features, I'd be hard pressed not to say it could also be a great game as well.
... But its probably not going to be. Despite what everyone may say, zombie games are kind of terrible in one way or another. The best so far has to be Dying Light and even that was pretty bland in itself where only the gameplay was its best feature. Also the whole debacle of it just straight up not working on Steam after a patch that essentially broke the game making it unable for any PC player unable to play the game without having to jump through some hoops instead of the developer fixing it EASILY cuts the entire score I would have given it in half. So Dying Light gets a 4/10. Fuck you, Techland. Ya I'm still pissed I wasted 60 bucks and I can't get that back.
There's somewhat a big difficulty in explaining why zombie games really just don't work. The Left 4 Dead series is probably the best if only for the fact that the games are fun while lacking in any brevity or weight. They're just fun games and not much more. Survive has to be able to get the fun aspect down which is also a difficult concept to master. While I do like Phantom Pain it was fun for a few moments but what really kept me going was the gameplay. Basically Survive is taking the worst parts of Phantom Pain, being the Skulls missions, and making them the main portion of the game. Ya, Skulls were terrible. Fight me. They completely ruin the pacing of the game forcing you to change your tactics drastically unless you really like dying to cheap enemies. Except that sniper mission. That was pretty cool.
Basically what I'm saying is I'll need to see more of what the game has to offer other than generic zombie-esque things and also a big zombie thing that's probably a zombified Metal Gear oh shit did I ruin that awesome reveal and DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT I'M BEING SARCASTIC

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