E3 2017: Hands on multiplayer with Metal Gear Survive

The newest iteration of Metal Gear is less stealth, more action

The multiplayer mode pits four players against hordes of enemies.

Courtesy Konami

The multiplayer mode pits four players against hordes of enemies.

Metal Gear Survive is already under a very critical eye, since it's the first game in the franchise not to be directed by series creator Hideo Kojima.

At E3 2017, I finally got some hands-on time with the new game, and I can definitely say it’s fun – even if it doesn’t completely feel like a Metal Gear game.

However, that may not be a fair statement because we were only given time with the multiplayer part of the game that grouped four of us together in a horde mode to defend a portal device as three waves of enemies came down on us.

Despite previous games being firmly in the stealth-action genre, Metal Gear Survive had very little focus on stealth in our demo.

Instead, it was all action. We were given a number of different archetypes to play -- from gunners to fighters -- with abilities to create oil traps, chain fences and other armaments to slow down the horde of zombie-like creatures.

I went in as a fighter armed with a few short range weapons, but mainly my character fought with a knife and big ol’ spear. Other characters in the group had guns, or even bows and arrows. There was a big focus on the action.

In between waves of enemies, we had about five minutes to go exploring. In one case, two of us found a pair of walkers from Metal Gear V – large mechanical armour that can be piloted by a player. While the machine gun eventually ran out of ammo, I managed to easily plow through enemies with the walker's kick function, which was very satisfying.

The Walker Gears are super powerful.

Courtesy Konami

The Walker Gears are super powerful.

The enemies themselves had a few different types, from your typical zombie-like creature, to larger armoured enemies. There were also larger enemies that exploded upon death.

After successfully defending our portal device, we were rewarded with schematics for different types of armour, as well as crafting supplies like wood. We were told that anything earned in multiplayer would be usable in the single-player campaign, and vice-versa.

Honestly, it was a fun demo, but it felt like someone took the guts from Metal Gear Solid V and tried to put a different skin on it. You still have visual aids like the ring around your character that tells where noise is coming from, but with your mini-map showing enemy locations anyway -- and the action coming from anywhere -- it doesn’t seem to have much purpose.

We didn’t do any sneaking around, it was all about smashing and shooting. But, as I said, it was only the multiplayer demo. Time will tell how the single player game turns out.

Metal Gear Survive is due out for Xbox One and PS4 in early 2018.

Metro's Aaron Chatha is reporting from E3 in California this week, one of the biggest conferences for the video game industry.

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