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The new Metal Gear game is out from publisher and global pachinko-gambling syndicate Konami, and as far as I can tell, it’s about drinking dirty water and struggling with the inventory system. OK — that’s not true. It’s about surviving in another hell dimension by finding enough resources to upgrade your character and your base. I’ve spent a brief amount of time with it, and I wanted to share my experience with you.

Metal Gear Survive is available on PC and consoles right now for $40. It uses the same Fox Engine that runs the gorgeous Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and it is the first new Metal Gear from Konami since series creator and long-time director Hideo Kojima left the publisher in 2015.

As you might assume from the $40 price and the lack of Kojima, this is not a traditional Metal Gear. While it has stealth and infiltration elements, you are going out on runs while dealing with ever-depleting hunger and thirst meters. This game is much more about resource-collecting and character management.

One of the first missions after the lengthy introductory cutscenes (it’s still Metal Gear is some way) had me tracking down a small herd of sheep. After beating the sheep to death, I could take their meat back to my campsite to cook and eat to replenish some health as well as my hunger meter.


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Later, I found some scrap metal to build a fence that I used as a makeshift defensive barrier in a fight with the zombie-like wanderer enemies. These brainless dopes are so dumb that they’ll line up behind a single section of fence, which makes it easy to impale them safely from the other side.

Even later, I ran out of clean water and drank some of the dirty water I had put in my empty bottles. That gave me an infection, and my character began to puke uncontrollably at random intervals until I figured out how to heal him. It was both funny and off-putting. I will say that it took me a long time to find that the cure was buried in my base somewhere, and the game didn’t guide me to it — but that’s not uncommon for these kinds of survival sims. You learn the hard way and from “helpful” people yelling at you in your Twitch chat.

I’m too early to have an opinion beyond “This isn’t Metal Gear,” but I think I can see an interesting gameplay loop emerging. Whether that sticks will depend on the quality of the missions and how interesting it is to build up my character and base.

For now, I’m just gonna keep punching these sheep.

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