The name Metal Gear is easily recognizable among hardcore gamers. Even those who only turn on the console or PC to play games on occasion may be familiar with the famous series.
The brainchild of renowned game creator Hideo Kojima, the series first made its appearance in the United States on the Nintendo Entertainment System. But it wasn’t until the games made their way to the PlayStation that Kojima’s penchant for cinema-style cutscenes and stealth-driven gameplay really shined.
The Metal Gear games have garnered a reputation based around their style – in contrast to most games which feature action heroes blasting through way through bad guys and causing a ton of destruction, Metal Gear games have historically been about staying hidden, and taking out enemies without being detected.
While elements of gunplay and hand-to-hand combat have also been staples of the franchise for years, it’s the stealth component and emphasis on story that won fans over. However, Konami’s decision to continue on with the series after the departure of Kojima has been controversial.
He left the studio after the development of Metal Gear Solid 5. Many fans worried the game that followed would be Metal Gear in name only – an assessment that seems true now that Survive is out.
The series seems to have taken a more action-oriented direction, marking a major departure from its roots. While some series do evolve overtime and radically change throughout the years, the absence of the man behind the franchise coincides with the oddball release – making it hard for longtime fans to get on board.
This isn’t the first Metal Gear game that was released without Kojima at the controls. But it isn’t just the gameplay that has buyers upset – it’s the microtransactions, a growing problem throughout the gaming industry.
Paid downloadable content (DLC), special characters, or even alternate skins are common in modern games. But Metal Gear Survive takes things to a new level, asking players to fork over $9.99 just to create a save file for a new character.
In addition to the game’s $39.99 price tag in stores, gamers will have to pay the extra fee anytime they want to save two different game files with two different characters. Each slot costs 1,000 Survival coins, an in-game currency. 1,150 coins can be purchased for $9.99.
Some games have been criticized for encouraging players to replay the same portions over and over in the quest for in-game rewards. In Shadow of War, the rewards came in the form of “loot boxes,” which are essentially bundles of special items to help players progress through the game faster. There was also the option to simply pay for them in real cash, making the game pay-to-win in a sense.
But Metal Gear Survive is even worse – there is no way (at this time) to earn Survival coins in the game. This means to save a game with a new character, a player must either pay $9.99 or delete their original save.