- Alternative Character Interpretation: The game is essentially about a group of surviving MSF members trying to survive in a strange, hostile world without Big Boss's leadership. The parallels between this premise and the Metal Gear team trying to continue the series after Hideo Kojima's departure have not gone unnoticed.
- Annoying Video Game Helper: While out on missions, the player character has an AI that will warn you if any of your stats are low. However, because this is a survival game, you have multiple stats to keep track of, such as hunger, thirst, stamina, and oxygen, and the AI will be sure to remind you constantly about them in an annoying, slow, monotone voice.
- Audience-Alienating Premise: Disregarding the entire Konami drama with Kojima's departure, and the ex-Kons health insurance controversy, the very premise of Survive was already in question, since there's no demand for another open world survival game with zombies. Being a Metal Gear game that dropped the series' traditional formula for the aforementioned survival game mechanics didn't help the game's case.
- Critical Dissonance: While most game critics gave Survive mixed to middling reviews, players largely and universally hated it. While much of the hate was due to Metal Gear fans being angry at Konami in general, there were a number of legitimate arguments against the game, such as the pervasive presence of microtransactions, dull and repetitive gameplay, and being simply yet another survival game in an already oversaturated market.
- Fan Nickname: "Metal Gear Surviveance", for the game as a whole and its status as a spin-off.
- Funny Moments: During the Survive open beta, many players noted that the best obtainable two-handed melee weapon looked vaguely like a baseball bat, which eventually led to those playing baseball with live grenades.
- Game-Breaker: Players have quickly found that the most effective and overpowered weapons and items are the spear and the chain link fence. The spear allows you to engage zombies from a safe distance without having to use ammunition. The chain link fence is extremely powerful in defense missions since it blocks zombie movement and you are able to attack through it with a spear. It also helps that the zombie AI is generally too stupid to even think about going around the fence.
- Genius Bonus:
- The full name of Section is Wardenclyffe Section. A Wardenclyffe Tower was Nikola Tesla's attempt at sending wireless signals, whereby Tesla hoped wireless telephone technology would become possible. In addition, Tesla was hoping that an early form of faxing images would result from his tower, but sadly for him it didn't receive much funding. The portal towers are not dissimilar in design to what Tesla made (give or take a few details) and they do indeed send wireless signals, across dimensions through the portals they create. True long distance communication (can't get much further than another dimension) just like what Tesla wanted. Given how Section is characterized as a highly secretive research department in the Pentagon, it wouldn't be surprising if they used Tesla's research to make the portals to Dite possible in the first place.
- Goodluck's superior Gruen has a name that is pretty relevant to the plot thematically. Victor Gruen was a famous Austrian architect responsible for the creation of shopping malls in the United States, but came to hate how Americans bastardized his work. He claimed that consumers would enter a shopping mall surrounded by intentionally bad layouts designed to confuse them. This confusion makes the customer lose track of their original intended purpose, thus making them more susceptible to make impulse buys. Not that Goodluck himself gives the Charon Corps much reason to trust him, but when the equally shady Gruen comes along he tells them that Goodluck is in over his head and hurting every party involved in this case. He even lies to you at one point about Goodluck committing suicide so as to force you to have reason to only trust him (as he'd be their only way out without Goodluck). The confusion on whether to trust Gruen or Goodluck's advice leads the Captain to make several impulse decisions. In addition, the term for this shopping confusion is known as the Gruen Transfer. Gruen himself transfers Goodluck's authority over the Charon Corps to himself, because of Section's anger at his overreaching plots.
- It's revealed that when Chris flees through a portal, he ended landing on a U.S. Navy ship in Philadelphia in 1943, where he was promptly recruited into Section. These details are significant because they line up with when the Philadelphia Experiment allegedly occurred, which would explain how Section found him so quickly.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: During the development of Metal Gear Solid V, Kojima himself tweeted that he would like to make a genuine zombie game someday.
- It's Easy, So It Sucks!: One big criticism among players is that the Wanderers in the game pose no real threat to the player. They are slow and extremely dumb, making it very easy to avoid and cheese them. It doesn't help that there's very little enemy variety and you'll be fighting Wanderers 99% of the time. Worse yet is that they don't scale well as the player increases in power, with the only changes being that they gain more hit points or more of them are spawned to swamp the player with sheer numbers.
- It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: The general reaction to Survive is that it's basically a combination of Metal Gear Solid V and Online with Fortnite's Save the World mode. Besides the item crafting and some survival mechanics, the core game is still exactly the same. It doesn't help that one of the locations is almost exactly the same as Shago Village in The Phantom Pain.
- Just Here for Godzilla: After the Kojima vs. Konami controversy died down, the reason for buying the game became this. Curious people wanted to see the insanity of the game's limited time events for themselves. Among other things, these events include summoning Metal Gear REX and RAY as allied "Tactical Heavy Weapons" to wipe the floor with everyone and full-fledged boss fights against the Shagohod and Gekkos.
- Memetic Mutation:
- The controversy involving Kojima and Konami led to fans joking that the scene where Big Boss and Kazuhira Miller took a helicopter and fly away from the wrecked Mother Base was to symbolize them trying to get the hell away as far as possible from the Metal Gear franchise.
- Let's just say the title lent itself to some rather obvious puns about the status of the series after Kojima's departure.
- Narm: Given how absurd and lackluster the setting is, along with the progression of the storyline and narration, people who are just starting up Survive for the very first time will find it difficult to take the game seriously. This one particular moment really stood out for AngryJoe, which shows the player's character getting hit in the face by, of all things, a cardboard box, and that hit from the ballistic cardboard causes the player character to be pulled even closer to the interdimensional rift:AngryJoe: Ouch. A CARDBOARD BOOOOOOOOOX!!
- Older Than They Think: The secret message "KJP FOREVER" and its associated codenames actually made their first appearance in The Phantom Pain via the Wandering Mother Base Soldiers. Only the "Vengeful Mosquito," "MG is KIA," and "Bastard Yota / Cunning Yuji" parts are new additions.
- Only the Creator Does It Right: After the massive backlash that the game received, many fans are in agreement that the series just won't "survive" without Kojima, especially after the whole controversy against Konami and the fact that the former worked on Death Stranding in his own independent studio. This was made even worse for Konami when Kojima firmly declared at Tokyo Game Show 2016 that he had nothing to do with Survive.
- Overshadowed by Controversy: Even after its official launch, criticism of Survive still mostly revolved around the aforementioned ex-Kons controversy rather than any shortcomings from the game itself.
- Porting Disaster: A mild example, but the game looks and runs noticeably much worse on the original-model Xbox One (and Xbox One S) compared to any other version of the game. It's still playable enough, but the resolution drops all the way down to 720p, something that would have been unimpressive for a launch title let alone something released nearly five years into the system's lifecycle, while the frame-rate is unstable at the best of times, and can tank really badly in dusty areas. In stark contrast, the Xbox One X runs the game by far and away better than any other console, making it likely that Konami put little effort into optimizing for the older models. This is particularly jarring given that the game ran on the same engine as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which ran considerably well on previous generation (Xbox 360 and Playstation 3) consoles due to being designed for them first.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Inevitable when the creative directors and the brains behind the story of the Metal Gear series weren't involved in the development of the game. As the gameplay trailer and beta revealed, the game practically has no story aside from gathering resources, rescuing stranded personnel, rounding up around the Mother Base ruins, rebuilding the base, and fighting hordes of "creatures" while featuring (initially) little to no emphasis on stealth.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: A game about the remaining members of MSF struggling to survive without Big Boss could have made for an interesting story and given the developers a chance to explore the Metal Gear universe without getting too bogged down in Kojima's core saga. Unfortunately, it ended up being a generic zombie survival game set in another world entirely.
YMMV / Metal Gear Survive