Last month Konami revealed Metal Gear: Survive, a four-player co-op take on Metal Gear Solid that has you fighting off zombies in a weird, alien world. The teaser trailer released at Gamescom raised a lot of questions and answered few of them:
Thankfully, at the Tokyo Game Show, Konami released a much more thorough explainer: a 15-minute-long video of a mission being played by four players.
It looks like Metal Gear: Survive could be a tonne of fun:
The set-up for Survive is that after Mother Base was blown up at the end of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, the soldiers on the wrecked facility were sucked into a strange portal and dumped into a limbo land filled with zombie-like creatures.
The mission begins with four players teleporting into a mist-wrapped level that looks to be making heavy use of the Afghanistan assets from Metal Gear Solid 5. It's not exactly a straight rip, though, considering there is also what looks like the strewn wreckage of a mother base strut that's been plonked into the centre of the landscape.
The four players split into two teams and head off on separate objectives. One team is tracking down a strange portal; once there it will set up a transmitter beacon to send a distress call back to their home world. The other team is searching for materials that the team can use for crafting.
The team in search of crafting materials sneak quietly down a slope, trying not be discovered by a pair of zombie creatures at the foot of the incline. One player lures their attention by throwing a bottle over their heads, giving the players the opportunity to sneak in behind the zombies and stab them through a red weak spot at the base of their neck for an instant kill.
While the players carry shotguns, submachine guns, and pistols, throughout the demo they make heavy use of melee weapons. While this may mainly be down to how much sound the weapons make, and whether loud noises draw in more zombies, it could also be due to a general lack of ammunition.
The pair come across a house and loot the thing for crafting materials.
At this point the demo jumps to the second team, who are looking to set up the distress beacon. The wormhole they need to find is floating above an abandoned village that's guarded by a great many zombies. This could be a challenge too great for the pair of players. Except, they've an ace up their sleeves: a sheep.
It looks like Konami is making use of the menagerie of creatures that populated the world of Metal Gear Solid 5. Wandering near the abandoned village is a lonely-looking sheep. One of the players places a Fulton Cannon – a weapon that was released in Metal Gear Online – on the floor as a kind of trip mine. The sheep immediately runs over to the thing and is hoiked up into the sky where it bleats and kicks its legs, drawing in the zombies that were nearby:
With the zombies now clustered up, the player is able to kill them in one go with a molotov.
All four players rendezvous on the village, killing the enemies there, and set up the transmitter that begins broadcasting a distress call through the wormhole. At this point Survive switches into a very different sort of game. Whereas in the first section of the demo the players were stealthily working through an open level, once the transmitter is down the game turns into a horde mode, somewhat akin to the final few minutes of a Left 4 Dead level, where you must fight off waves of zombies until the rescue chopper arrives.
The players start putting up defences, blocking off entrances to the base with wooden and chain link fences, and barricades wrapped in barbed wire. The zombies come in small waves at first and the players kill them off at the blockades. Each new wave is larger than the last and soon the zombies are climbing over walls and finding new entrances to the base. One player finds a crafting table and builds a fixed machine gun emplacement that they set up overlooking the field outside the base. From there they can mow down the zombies as they advance on the players' position.
Even with the machine gun, though, the zombies are able to get in. Impressively, the chain link fence bends and buckles under the sheer weight of the zombies pressing up against. When the players eventually abandon the base and beat a hasty retreat there looks to be at least 30 of the creatures attacking the transmitter.
The defence phase of Survive looks to be seriously challenging. Besides head shots, the zombies look to endure a lot of damage to be taken down, so in large numbers they should really harass players.
Early in the demo the narrator makes the point that the zombies are the most basic of the enemies in Survive, and they were the only enemy we saw in the demo. I'm looking forward to seeing what else will try to kill you in Survive, and just how big the enemies will get.
This is a Metal Gear game after all.