There's A Lot To Dislike About 'Metal Gear: Survive'

metal geaur survive
That zombie landed on a pole five-feet off camera. Konami

Metal Gear Survive was supposed to be Konami's saving grace. After a messy public spectacle following the firing of series creator, Hideo Kojima, MGS was supposed to be the developer's chance to redeem itself to the fans and critics. Instead, it chucked a bunch of popular genres, the Fox engine, and mindless combat and three wild sheep into a blender in hope of at least turning a profit. The game sold 85 percent fewer copies in its second week and only managed to match five percent of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain debut numbers.

I am, nor have I ever been, a Metal Gear fanboy. Though lauded as a masterpiece in creative design and given countless awards, the series has never really clicked for me. The stealth aspect kept me away, since video games are the one place I don't have to feel invisible. I prefer games that make me feel powerful; charging into battle as an unkillable brute has always been more satisfying than hiding inside boxes and waiting for NPC guards to turn around.

Metal-Gear-Survive-3
Co-op play allows up to four people to stab through fences. Konami

I was a broke college student when Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain came out. I couldn't afford pants, let alone a triple-A title. So, I watched streams and YouTube videos, marveling at the sheer creativity needed to complete the game's challenges. I didn't really understand Kojima's universe, but I respected the artistry and craftsmanship needed to create an open-world sandbox this interesting. Metal Gear Survive spits on that legacy, kicks sand in its face and then charges it 10 dollars for an extra save slot.

After downloading all 16 gigabytes, I thought I could finally jump right in. Wrong. The game's servers weren't turned on until the official launch, which meant reviewers couldn't play early. It's always a bad sign when game developers hide their final product, hoping if they just unleash it on the public they'll get more curiosity purchases.

Launch day arrived and the internet exploded with hatred, even by web standards. Video Game YouTubers like VGDunkey and Jim Sterling trashed the game, showcasing "gameplay" like players poking sticks through fences and shambling zombies with crystal acne. Negative Steam reviews flooded in and warned others to protect their wallets from this shameless cash grab. But I love a good tragic spectacle, so I started playing Metal Gear Survive at last.

Metal Gear Survive looks amazing. The Fox Engine, built for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is as amazing as ever. It will probably be the only thing you enjoy before you rage quit minutes later. The initial cut scenes are a ridiculous attempt to utilize the complicated Metal Gear mythos featuring at least three different types of Snakes. The team working on this game was under such duress they hid a message of admiration for Kojima right in the open.

Every encounter involves setting up a fence for zombies to gnaw at and then stabbing those zombies through the wire holes. It almost sounds like I'm kidding, like the game design of a Minecraft enthusiast trying to learn how to code. Instead, it's the main combat directive of a Metal Gear game.

You'll need to keep your stamina up to stab at fences, meaning eating and drinking are a necessity. I gave my dude two debilitating stomach viruses by drinking unfiltered water and raw sheep meat, which caused him to vomit every 20 seconds. Nothing is less fun than stabbing at a fence, having to stop to vomit and then zombies over running you because you can't stab and puke at the same time.

My experience broke down like this: 25 minutes of clicking through inane cutscenes, 45 minutes of stabbing zombies through a fence and 5 minutes puking up uncooked sheep meat. After a little under an hour, I had to turn it off. This isn't a review; I don't feel like I played enough of the game to fairly criticize the entirety of its worth. I don't think you should play Metal Gear Survive, either, but stabbing zombies with crystals in their heads might be fun to someone else. Maybe it gets way, way better. I found it unplayable.