When it comes to the Metal Gear franchise, it’s hard to think of it without the great mind of Hideo Kojima sitting and constructing it all. Unfortunately, after the massive breakdown between Kojima and Konami just over a year ago, Konami have moved on and Metal Gear Survive looks to be their answer on how to take the series forward.

With a public beta recently appearing on Xbox One, and my intrigue pushing me to take a gander at the future of the Metal Gear franchise, I decided to jump in and see just what we can look to expect when Metal Gear Survive arrives on Xbox One, PS4 and PC come February 22nd 2018.

For those still unsure about what exactly Metal Gear Survive is even supposed to be, it is a spinoff story set between the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zero and Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, with players taking on the role of soldiers who have been sucked through a wormhole and into a nightmare as chrystalline zombie-like creatures run riot.

Now I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I’ve got the wrong game here, especially given how unlike Metal Gear that sounds, but you best believe it, as this is the game taking the Metal Gear franchise forward. Before you completely write Konami off on this one though, let me tell you a little more about just what it is I was getting up to as whilst it’s not the Metal Gear experience we are used too, or have wanted, it wasn’t entirely terrible either.

There are a multitude of different genres that have been mixed together to create the Metal Gear Survive experience, all of which sit on top of the RPG-style base that’s seen in Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain. Throughout the three missions I was able to play in the beta, my main tasks consisted of scavenging, crafting, building and defending, all of which makes the game feel very similar to Fortnite, albeit with a Metal Gear Solid V skin over the top.

After creating my character, I was whisked in to what can only be described as the testing area. Here you are able to take any materials and put them to use, testing out the different tools and equipment that can be crafted within the game – from weapons to clothes and even defensive items such as fences. After finishing a mission, players return here and can also utilise any materials they have collected, to create weapons for use in the next mission.

This is also the place in which new missions are started, and the place you’ll be inviting your co-op partners from – something I highly recommend if you want to complete each mission and have fun doing it, as playing alone can become rather overbearing if you don’t have any decent equipment.

After choosing a mission, you’ll arrive in a rather sizeable mission area – all of which looks identical to Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, and are given free reign over where to go and how you go about it. The initial goal however was to go over to a marked defence area and start-up the wormhole digger, a large mining machine that must be protected against waves of the zombie-like enemies.

Upon reaching the large drill, timed waves of enemies will begin to attack and it’s your job to craft items from the various choices available that can be used to defend your base. These include guns, ammo, blockades – such as walls and fences – and many other types of defensive constructions, all of which can be crafted with resources scavenged between waves from around the area.

Whilst things such as wooden fences don’t require much in the way of resources to build, they are easily flattened by a large horde of enemies, so choosing your defences requires some clever thinking if you are to succeed in defending your objective.

The enemies themselves – officially referred to as creatures – clearly resemble zombies, and came in three different types within the beta. The first are your typical ‘shuffling zombies’ which can be easily taken down one on one, but can pose a real threat in a large group. The next type was practically a Left 4 Dead style Boomer that explodes when it gets too close, causing a large amount of damage, whilst the final type was an armoured enemy that proved to be quite the challenge without any substantial firepower.

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As I mentioned previously, there is the option to play the game in co-op, which is quite obviously the intention, given how quickly and easily I was running out of ammo on my own. That said, all missions were also available for single-player.

Other than that, the beta was rather limited. Even though I believe I wasn’t able to utilise it to its full effect, I did notice there was a levelling system that, over time, increased stats such as strength, dexterity, endurance and vitality, as well as a number of different skills that can be improved upon too. Unfortunately I was tied to improving my character within only the Survivor class, however with more available in the full game, there is sure to be plenty for players to grind towards when more classes are available.

For now though, I’d have to say I’m quite disappointed in Metal Gear Survive. The guys over at Konami are clearly trying to steer things in a new direction, but it’s hard to be excited when that direction takes things away from the serious nature of the long-standing series and provides a rather lacklustre experience when compared to recent options. With assets of Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain being re-used, and such a strong similarity to Fortnite, there’s very little at present that leads us to expect anything majorly special when Metal Gear Survive arrives on February 22nd.

So, there we have it, my tales from the beta of the latest Metal Gear entry. Have you been spending any time with in the beta? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via our usual social channels.

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