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Video Game / Metal Gear Survive

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"Can't find a way home..."

Metal Gear Survive is a survival action game that was released on February 20, 2018 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It is a spinoff of Metal Gear Solid V.

Taking place moments after the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, the burning remains of Big Boss' Mother Base continues to crumble after XOF's attack. However, Mother Base does not unceremoniously sink to the bottom of the ocean. Instead, it's sucked up by mysterious wormholes appearing on top of it. The Militaires Sans Frontières survivors left behind are also sucked up and find themselves in a world inhabited by zombie-like creatures with crystals sticking out of their heads. The survivors get in touch with other inhabitants and realize that their location in this world is a fenced off area surrounding the remains of their ruined Mother Base.

There are some game modes where players can hide (Stealth), collect material and resources in order to build new pieces of equipment, new weapons and new camps (CRAFT), and sometimes they also have to cooperate with other players to get their hands on powerful equipment (COOP) or to fight against the waves of Wanderers attacking the camp (DEFENCE).

The video game contains examples of:

  • Abusive Precursors: Dite is an alternate timeline Earth, which has been consumed by a nano-plague. Obviously humans are the inventors of the nano-plague that infested the planet, and Goodluck for his part characterizes the Wanderers as a warning sign for what happens when technology runs amok with no filters to hold it back. We don't know what motivated the other Earth's humanity to create something as awful as the nano-plague, which turned into The Lord of Dust, but they clearly created something they couldn't control. Now their past selves in another dimension have to pay the price for their hubris.
  • After the End: Appears to be the case for the alternate dimension Dite. Eventually revealed to be an alternate timeline Earth set in the 2100s which has undergone a Class 4 apocalypse due to a self-replicating nano-plague. Said nano-plague has consumed most of the life on the planet, and is trying to open portals to other worlds so it can repeat the process.
  • Alternate Continuity: Word of God states that the game takes place in an alternate universe from the main Metal Gear series. In a literal sense, that is true.
  • An Arm and a Leg: During the wormhole incident above Mother Base the player character Captain gets caught in a desperate struggle to avoid getting sucked in. In the process he encounters a comrade by the name of Seth, who he goes out of his way to help. To the bitter end Captain holds on to Seth even as he gets sucked into the wormhole, but his efforts prove in vain as the portal closes severing his left arm. When Section gets a hold of Captain's corpse they infect him with the Dust and it regenerates his left arm, but makes him a dangerous entity to keep on the planet as Section has had past examples of regenerated people turning into Wanderers.
  • Another Side, Another Story: The introduction allows you to relive the infamous fall of Mother Base at the end of the Ground Zeroes Incident, this time through the perspective of an MSF grunt.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Hilariously subverted. Virgil warns the player if any of the multiple survival elements, like food, water, stamina, and oxygen, are running low. This is a useful way of ensuring you don't suddenly take damage or even die out of nowhere due to overlooking a single gauge in a fight or the like. But because there are so many of them and because of a somewhat high trigger for the voice lines, Virgil ends up warning the player about various things constantly - making more players frustrated of the warnings than with the mechanics itself. Yes, Virgil, we know our stamina will get low if we sprint, you don't have to tell us every time! It's rare for the Anti-Frustration Features to actually be more annoying than the frustrations.
  • Apocalypse How: The situation in Dite is revealed to be a result of a sentient nano-machine collective which obsesses over its mission to assimilate life. We aren't told the exact origins of the nano-plague. Was it a result of a Great Off Screen War which was finally ended when the nano-plague was used as a trump card? Did the nano-plague grow beyond its programming and turn on its masters? Did it really assimilate all life on Dite or did humanity manage to make it off world before the end came? Whatever the case, it's implied to be a class 4 apocalypse because no uninfected humans are shown to exist (aside from the ones which came through the portal) and there are very few species of animal life left in the wilderness. If the animal life only exists because it came through the portal then it's a class 5.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Granted, it's a zombie survival game and zombies generally aren't very smart to begin with. However, the zombies in Survive are particularly dumb since they have trouble pathfinding around obstacles, even if they are poorly placed, and cannot climb or attack over low ledges. This makes it extremely easy to cheese most missions.
  • Ascended Extra: The wormholes that debuted in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as an upgrade to the Fulton Balloon play a much larger story role in Survive, specifically wormholes being the reason why so many things are converging on Dite.
  • Assimilation Plot: The motive of The Lord of Dust. It views its corruption of humanity into wanderers as the true path to peace. However, it has hit a standstill in its thinking as nanomachines are designed to continue replicating and yet it has no more organic life to assimilate into its collective. It is the lack of organic life to control which has made it create wormholes as a pet project to have other worlds it can assimilate.
  • Boring, but Practical: The Normal Fence is one of the first items in the game, and it's just a single pane of chain-link fence, nothing more or less. However, it costs six iron and nothing else to make one, and iron is in such abundance as to be unlimited by late-game. This means they can be used constantly, whereas heavy use of any more sophisticated fence (with more durability, damaging spikes, barbed wire, etc) might eventually run into a limiting factor. Additionally, the fence can be stabbed through with a spear or shot through by guns and arrows, and has enough durability to hold Wanderers at bay long enough to stab them, as well as having deformation making it easy to spot when they're about to fail at a distance. Because of this, it sees much heavier use in multiplayer than any of the more exotic fence types and in singleplayer the player is not likely to ever go without it.
  • Call-Forward: In the story trailer, there's a scene of MSF soldiers giving their fallen comrades a funeral, which is highly reminiscent of the Diamond Dogs funeral in The Phantom Pain. However, the major difference is that while Venom Snake/Big Boss decided that he would not abandon the sorrow of his comrades, MSF is willing to give them burials at sea (though really it's just a difference in philosophy, the MSF survivors are showing all due respect to their fallen comrades).
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: Uses the stock standard gray > green > blue > purple > yellow scale of rarity colors.
  • The Cameo: Big Boss, Chico, and Kazuhira Miller appear briefly in the intro, first fighting through the ruined Mother Base, then escaping by helicopter, right after the scene in Ground Zeroes.
  • Character Customization: Quite similar to The Phantom Pain, in terms of sheer options, though unlike The Phantom Pain, it's not just for cosmetics, equipment has durability and protection ratings, it also includes a ton more style, from MSF fatigues, to XOF bodyarmor.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Great Hammer class of weapons are slow, cumbersome, and take a long time to wind up...yet utterly demolish hordes of zombies once you get the timing right, and do very reliable damage against the various Elite Mook.
  • Earth All Along: The reveal that Dite is set in a possible future where nanomachines have gone out of control and have laid waste to Earth.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Unnameable monstrosities the size of whales prowl the sandy ruins, incomprehensible and utterly alien. Then there's the Lord of Dust...
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Metal Gear with zombies once again.
  • Foil: This can be argued about The Lord of Dust and the Captain, when tied to the larger themes of loyalty and one will. Similar to the Patriots who wanted a society governed by a singular will, The Lord of Dust has actually achieved this to the ultimate extreme. However, as Big Boss told Snake, Zero's Patriot society lacked loyalty which made it an empty ideology. Meanwhile, the Captain has succeeded in uniting the Charon Corps under a singular will, but through the power of loyalty. They actually care about each other and want to see the other succeed, whereas The Lord of Dust's hive mind only cares about the collective succeeding.
  • Government Conspiracy: The game reveals that Section operatives in South Vietnam had problems in covering up massacres committed by Allied soldiers since they were ordered to take out South Vietnamese villagers that were turned to Wanderer-type creatures.
  • Grandfather Paradox: Subtle but it's there. If Goodluck gave the player character the idea to use the codename Captain, then how did the player character come to use that code name in the first place? As the current time loop shows, Goodluck remembers as a child everyone calling your character Captain, but if he gave them the idea to call him Captain then where did the original idea for the designation come from? This is especially relevant to Reeve since he's characterized as very begrudging of the Captain and only agrees to call him that because Goodluck, who is obviously in a position of authority above his pay grade, orders him to do so. So how did the Captain convince Reeve to call him that in the 'original timeline'?
  • Hell: A heavy part of the story's theme is that the world beyond the wormhole, Dite, can be compared to hell. This references Dante's Inferno a few times (with the biggest one being an AI named Virgil). In addition, Section's (the group who sent the player character) special forces unit is known as the Charon Corps, invoking the imagery of the boatman of the underworld from Greek mythology.
  • Humongous Mecha:
    • Players can summon Metal Gear Ray to assist them during scavenge missions.
    • From Metaphorically True views The Lord of Dust, the nano-machine hive mind's physical body, and basically the size of two whales put back to back. It may not be conventional "metal" but it is a machine based life form made out of countless nano-bots converging together into one being.
  • Immediate Sequel: Unlike The Phantom Pain, which occurs nine years after Ground Zeroes, Survive takes place three days after Ground Zeroes, with the survivors of MSF, who were off-base during the Ground Zeroes Incident doing a cleanup operation at the ruins of Mother Base.
  • Immortals Fear Death: Virgil uses this argument during the end of the story. Apparently the hyper-intelligent being who has done nothing but cause death on a planetary scale doesn't know what death is. Virgil inflicts the fear of death into The Lord of Dust's programming, allowing it to be destroyed. Apparently the shock to its system is too traumatizing for it to regenerate from.
  • Irony:
    • When the Captain was trying to rescue Seth from going through the worm hole, what knocks them off their stable foothold on the tower? A cardboard box. Yeah, that tried and true companion to all the protagonists in the series causes the events of the plot or at least as it pertains to the Captain and Seth's suffering.
    • A Meta example, this game was supposed to prove the Metal Gear series could survive the departure of its creator Hideo Kojima; however, Konami's mishandling of the game's development, and the resulting poor reception, ensured that it didn't.
  • Item Crafting: One of the game's new features, and a huge part of the game's mechanics. By collecting resources through the environment, extracting Wanderers, or acquiring Supply Drops sent in by Diamond Dogs, you can create emplacements by accessing a Crafting Table. Said emplacements are vital to defending the Transmitter in the Defense Phase, with items such as Barbed Wire Fences to stop and harm Wanderers, and manned turrets that enable players to dish out a lot of damage over a short period of time.
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite being a Survival Horror zombie game, it is still much more lighthearted than the bleak Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, having less dark and taboo subject matter (to wit, Survive lacks things like war crimes, torture, child soldiers, and grisly bioweapon-induced death) while having more zany elements than either Metal Gear Solid V game, including the aforementioned zombies. This is why the game received a PEGI 16 in Europe instead of the PEGI 18 that most of the other Metal Gear games received, even the Lighter and Softer Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.
  • Made of Iron: Actually shows up as a clever continuity nod to Peace Walker. When Captain uses Sahelantropus' railgun to kill off the Lord of Dust, Virgil gets caught in the crossfire (as he/she needed to run signal interference so the monster could be killed for good). However as the AI unit lampshades, their design was built to endure a nuclear war so the worst Virgil gets is a dent in its armor.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: Survive reuses assets from Metal Gear Solid V, not just from Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, but also from Metal Gear Online in the form of the attire and designs of the player characters. The gameplay footage shown at TGS 2016 even takes place in an alternate version of Shago Village, a location in TPP, and even shows the iDroid with a new interface that features a revamped interface (to take into account the return of the Cure system). To drive the point home, the game's title has the same initials as the mainline series (MGS), with Survive spelled with a heavily stylized "V" in the middle (the same font for the logo is also used on Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience, which has Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain in one package).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Not the first time zombies are enemies.
    • The end-of-mission rewards come in cardboard boxes featured in older games, like the one labeled "THE ORANGE" and a one man-sized version of the Love Box.
    • Requesting bombardment support from the wormhole mining machine summons Metal Gear RAY to obliterate Wanderers using its hydraulic cutter.
    • Some of the game's customization options include armor and weapons such as Gray Fox's mask and a hammer cyborg's weapon of choice.
    • During the intro, Goodluck is handed a list of MSF's casualties. The wandering Mother Base soldiers, alongside Mosquito from The Phantom Pain are specifically listed as MIA.
  • Nanomachines: The Dust are an evolved sentient form of nanomachines.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: The game makes it explicit that the enemies inhabiting the alternate world are known as "Wanderers".
  • Ominous Fog: During certain times, Wanderers will spawn from a fog. It is referred to as "The Mist World" similar to Silent Hill.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The group, known as Section, who sent the player character to the world beyond the wormhole Dite counts as this. Section is characterized as separate from the manipulations and schemes of the Philosophers and Cipher, and are focused more on scientific endeavors that will benefit mankind rather than pursuits of political dominance. To some degree it's implied that they're secretive enough that not even Cipher knows about them, or if they do that they know very little. This is supported by the fact that Reeve, a XOF operative, had no clue what Section was before Goodluck, the Captain's handler told him about them. We are not told what grand plan they have for humanity, besides a general passion for For Science! as a guiding principle to their actions.
  • On-Site Procurement: Players can collect material and resources in order to build new pieces of equipment, create new weapons and new camps called CRAFT mode.
  • Our Wormholes Are Different: Giant wormholes transport the MSF Mother Base and its surviving personnel to an alternate world.
    • These same wormholes also act as portals to different timelines, and take objects from those timelines and puts them smack dab in the middle of Dite. For example Sahelanthropus shows up in ruined form near the end of the story.
  • Player Character: Instead of the usual Snake, the player takes control of a Militaires Sans Frontières soldier, who is allowed to be fully customized.
  • Portal Network: Wormholes seem to function as this, capable of transporting anything under the sun from the standard Metal Gear world into a strange alternate universe inhabited by vicious Wanderers.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: The Charon Corps consist of an MSF Sniper, a XOF Commando, a Child Soldier, a Fair Cop, a UN Scientist, several sentient AI's, and a bunch of other oddballs. It's brought up multiple times that there are other Charon Corps members, but the vast majority of the ones sent to Dite have either died or gotten lost — it's just your party in particular which stands out as a ragtag bunch. In fact your handler Good Luck intended this group to get together since he remembers meeting them as a child. Yes that's right, your handler is the African boy in the wheelchair, Chris.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Metal Gear... in a parallel world with zombies.
  • Red Right Hand: The Captain's former comrade Seth has a supernatural right arm, which glows orange and highlights the veins in his arms when activated. By this point The Lord of Dust has completely dominated his consciousness. Curiously, the Captain has a similar glowing left arm. This implies that when the wormhole cut off his left arm it also cut off Seth's at the same time. The glowing left arm is important however, as it is a sign that The Lord of Dust's influence also exists inside Captain, which the Dust Seth uses to great affect as he paralyzes the Captain with a wave of his glowing hand.
  • Stable Time Loop: There are two. The first is the Lord of Dust sending wanderers back in time, exposing the Kuban and Iris energy to Section therefore ensuring that they invest incredible research dollars into figuring out how that energy and the portals work. This makes the journey to the world of Dite possible in the first place, otherwise Section would never know to go there. The second is Goodluck's behavior towards the Captain. If he didn't send the Captain through the wormhole to Dite, then the Captain would not have been able to rescue his child self and send him through the time portal to 1943. If that doesn't happen, then Chris can't grow up to be Goodluck and send the Captain through the wormhole.
  • The Stinger: Per Metal Gear tradition. After the credits roll and the Metal Gear Survive logo appears, a conversation between Goodluck and Gruen is heard in voice over, revealing that the wormhole that Goodluck predicted would open over Mother Base during XOF's attack never appeared, and Goodluck would be facing repercussions for his actions. After Gruen leaves, Goodluck expresses relief that the Captain succeeded in destroying the Lord of Dust, and he can now focus on getting everyone still stuck in Dite home.
  • Super Cell Reception: Averted. Section can't magically talk to the players without an active wormhole, otherwise no signal they send gets through to Dite.
  • Team Spirit: Players will have the option to cooperate with other players to get their hands on powerful equipment called COOP mode.
  • This Is Reality: Said by Reeve to the disabled African boy Chris when he comes through the portal to Dite, assuring him that this is not a dream and he did not die and go to heaven. For his part the boy lampshades why there would be monsters in heaven, so it must be real.
  • Time Skip: Small but noticeable. The events of the main game take place 6 months after the destruction of Mother Base.
  • Time Travel:The Lord of Dust has the power to open up portals to different worlds containing alternate timelines of Earth. In an example of a stable time loop the Captain's Handler Good Luck is actually a grown-up Chris who went through one such portal. Afterward Chris landed on a US Navy ship in 1943 and was taken into Section custody. He's spent the last 32 years thinking of the day he'd see the two men he admired for saving him — Captain and Reeve. He's been racked with guilt over going home to Earth without them, and wants to make sure they get home successfully this time.
  • Useless Useful Stealth: Downplayed. Due to the enemies being, well, not human, players are free to go in loud and mow down their enemies with heavy fire. However, they also take massive damage from Back Stabs, so while stealth still serves a purpose, it's simply one of many routes you can take in terms of handling opposition. Detonator Wanderers, in particular, can only be approached via stealth, as trying to engage them in any other way means they blow themselves up, taking the rare resources they're carrying with them.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The surviving MSF and XOF soldiers, some of the most skilled Badass Normal units in the entire series, get slaughtered as soon as they find themselves in the hellish alternate reality. In their defense, they are up against super powerful monsters and an incredible lack of supplies — even your player character barely survives the opening segment of the game, despite being depicted as an ace sniper in Big Boss's army.