Despite the game coming out soon, Konami decided to run another Metal Gear Survivebeta. And me being me, I decided to play said beta and talk about. So here are my thoughts on MGS beta. But before that, let's talk about what is the game.
For those who don't know, Metal Gear Survive is an upcoming third-person action game in which you are thrown into an alternate dimension filled with zombies. Essentially, it is just a third-person action tower defense zombie game.
I have never played a Metal Gear game before, but I do know of the whole Kojima-Konami dispute. Even though I think Konami taking Metal Gear from Kojima and then turning around and making this title is dirty, I didn't let that mindset affect my experience. So this will be the first and last time I talk about Kojima and Konami, partly because I didn't let that affect my experience and partly because I have no experience with Metal Gear. Let's get on with my thoughts.
For those who just want to know how I feel, I will say that overall I kinda like the game, but with caveats. The biggest thing I had against the beta was that it was only one mode, which was a wave-based defense mode in which you defend a single point from three waves of zombies. This mode got old pretty quick, but I don't hold this against the game because I know there will be more content than just this. Even though it is the same mode and the repetition settled in a little too fast for my taste, I still would say I enjoyed the gameplay as well as the mode.
When it comes to the gameplay, I would say it wast mostly pretty fun. From gameplay videos I have seen, it seems for the most part to imitate Metal Gear Solid 5 gameplay for reference. I'm guessing there isn't much changed from MGS5, but as a first time player of Metal Gear games I would say I enjoy it. My other guess is that their is some changes in terms of weapons and combat to fit the zombie gameplay, so I would that is worth talking about. I actually enjoy the zombie combat. Melee weapons feel well balanced and melee combat against zombies was more challenging than I thought, which I like. Setting up a fence and poking zombies through it was surprisingly fun and effective. As for gunplay, I would say their was nothing that stood out to me. Guns did gun things, which I am fine with, but I will say deciding between first-person and third-person aiming is an added bonus.
When it comes to the defense aspect of the game, again it felt pretty good. Just like I said earlier, putting up a fence in front of a zombie path and poking zombies through the fence was pretty neat. I actually didn't use a lot of traps and buildings, just mostly fences. I found that building some of the more exotic traps like a shock floor or a turret would use materials I don't have a lot of, so I mostly abstained from most items. Still, I did use some of them, and I think the harder levels could call for them. One big thing I have against the traps and buildings is how dumb the zombies are. I could set up a fence in the middle of a path with a ton of space on either side of the fence, but the zombies would just go straight for the fence. Speaking of dumb zombies, the game will direct a path for the zombies to go to your base, and they will stick to that path. For example, one of the areas actually had a shortcut for the zombies to go through that also had no defenses to it, but the zombies would just follow the path that was longer and blocked off by a fence. This predictability was at times nice when the game got a bit harder and you can know where they are going, but for the most part boring when you have no stray zombie that makes you have to focus on your defenses and the strays.
Well, I talked about zombies a bit, so I might as well spend a whole paragraph on them. I actually quite like the zombie types. The different types of zombies I encountered were pretty varied and enjoyable. From the normal shambling zombie and armored variant, to the bomber type that are pretty hard to take down because their only weak spot are the legs. I feel that the zombies are the perfect level of varied. I also think their look is unique and cool, with the exception of the bomber who looks like a large ugly flower with a body attached. Still, the crystal head is a pretty cool look in my opinion. I also think their attack patterns are also good and gives a challenge even to a group of normal zombies.
When it comes to the game mode, I think it is pretty fun. It's as simple as you think: defend an object from being damaged while it does things using traps and weapons. The way to get the highest score is to speed up the mining process using kuban and generally defend it. What makes it enjoyable is that it isn't straight defense from beginning to end. around five minutes are given to you in between rounds to explore the surrounding area (you can start early if you want), and in that exploring the game spawns in special items for you to retrieve if you want. These items include ammo refills, traps, and even a mech-like object that is a lot of fun to use. The issues I had with the mode was how nothing would change at all if you played on the same map and difficulty, and how little changed between the different difficulties. This is what makes the gameplay so far pretty repetitive, but I also know this isn't the only game mode in the game, so I can't judge this aspect too hard until the product releases.
I would say that my favorite aspect with the game is the sense of progression with your character. At the end of each round, win or loss, you get various materials and even some blueprints to new defenses or weapons. Building these materials allows for better weaponry and better defenses, which then allows for higher level play and so on. I found this style of play to be quite enjoyable. Maybe I should try out Monster Hunter then. As for the level, the game's currency is called kuban and ranking up is actually spending kuban. I actually like leveling up at my own pace, but I also fear of microtransactions like kuban boosters or straight kuban when my level gets really high. So far, I get a lot of kuban and this isn't an issue, but I could see it being one later down the line. Another aspect I loved about the game was the loading area. It's kind of funny to say, but the loading area was at times even more fun than game itself. This is because the loading area is just a giant blank room only filled with a couple of circular areas where you select various things. But what makes it so fun is that the game allows you to do anything in it and gives unlimited resources to do so. You want to plant a ton of fences? Do it. Shoot your gun until you break your mouse or your controller? The game isn't stopping you. And select items like the shotgun making people trip when shot makes running around the area pretty funny. It's also helpful for knowing what an item is and what it will do. So if you have some friends to play the game with, maybe don't rush into the main game so fast.
I talked about some of my favorite aspects, so it's worth talking about some of my least favorite aspects as well. One of those aspects was the difficulty. The game is difficult in a way where playing co-op felt almost mandatory. Single player is doable, but the game feels like it was designed to demote that style of play. Also, playing solo was less fun. That can be said for every game, but the game just felt like I was by myself managing a busy restaurant more than a fun challenge to try it solo. But again, this is just a beta and I am sure their will be gameplay that caters to solo play. The other issue I had with the game was some confusing stuff that isn't explained to you well. Their were a couple of things I was confused with at the beginning, like how to plant traps or how the storage system works (do you lose items when you die, do I access material I gained at the end of a match in the game, how does ammo carry into each game, stuff like that). But the game did a poor job explaining how things work in the game. And what's worse is that the game offers a tutorial section, which is just one really long list that feels out of order and hard to access.
In the end, I would say that my time with the game is actually pretty good. I had my doubts, but I think this game will shape up to be a viable game. I wouldn't say it is great though, and I don't think their is any way Konami or even Kojima could make this game great. It just feels like a zombie spinoff of the main game, because it is essentially a zombie spinoff of the main game. Do I think the game is worth forty dollars? If enough content is in the game, yeah. But is this a game I will be getting when released? No, probably not. Since the game is releasing really soon, not much is going to change from now until then, and I will say that my experience with the game was good, but not good enough for me to buy the game on day one. Despite that, I will still probably buy the game later on down the line. Of what I have played so far, I think if you and some friends are looking for a co-op experience, then this is a viable option. But like I have said before, I have only played one mode. What the rest of the game will be like can only truly be discovered when the full game releases on February 21st.