Following up the stellar PC port of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is Metal Gear Survive. While our Metal Gear Survive review was based on the PS4 Pro version of the game, we have now managed to get some time with the PC version of the game as well. Does Metal Gear Survive build on the excellent PC conversions of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, or is it, much like a diehard Hideo Kojima fan expecting Konami to lay the Metal Gear franchise to rest, a lost cause? We tell you.
Much like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Metal Gear Survive has a similar minimum specification requirement. No surprise since it runs on the same Fox engine and essentially has the same map as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Metal Gear Survive PC requirements (minimum)
Metal Gear Survive PC requirements (recommended)
What's changed are the recommended requirements. Konami suggests a GTX 960 over the GTX 760 that was needed for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The rest of components, such as the CPU and RAM remain the same.
Metal Gear Survive PC graphics options
Metal Gear Survive PC options include model detail, texture filtering, lighting, post-processing, ambient occlusion, and volumetric clouds. They’re exactly the same as what you’d get from the past two Metal Gear games on PC. This also means that it has similar flaws. You can’t customise audio levels as per source, such as effects, music, and character voices, you won’t be able to modify your field of view (FOV), and anti-aliasing is missing as well. You can simply choose between presets ranging from low all the way up to extra high for most of them. There’s an option to lock frame rate to 30fps as well.
After fiddling around with the game's settings and comparing screenshots we noticed that turning up post-processing does reduces any aliasing issues we encountered.
And while these felt like a wealth of options back in 2015, it feels pedestrian in 2018. Other games such as Assassin’s Creed Origins and Prey had a larger suite of options which aren't available here. We miss having sliders, similar to Witcher 3 or Grand Theft Auto V, to allow for the best possible experience, customised to the most precise value of the options present.
Perhaps the biggest annoyance is that you can’t fiddle with the options until you’re done with the game’s lengthy opening scene. What this means is you’re resigned to seeing the introductory cinematics in whatever way the game decides you should, which in our case was 720p at Medium details.
Metal Gear Survive PC frame rate at 1080p
On our test rig consisting of an i5 3470 (3.2GHz), 16GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1070, and a 500GB SSD on Windows 10 we managed around 50fps with every option set to Extra High. In combat, with a ton of zombies (or Wanderers as the game calls them) that dropped down to 40fps. Not too shabby despite being an obvious step down from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain where we saw a similar frame rate at 4K with every option maxed out. Dropping the visuals down to High at 1080p saw a solid 60fps with few drops to 50fps in demanding scenes. The trade off in image quality wasn’t that much, making it the preferred option.
Metal Gear Survive PC frame rate at 4K
Metal Gear Survive PC at 4K is a different beast and not in a good way. We saw 35fps with every option maxed out as we traversed across the game world. Getting into to combat however, saw the frame rate drop to a less than playable 24fps. It was far from optimal. Moving down to High settings for every option saw 5fps increases, but it’s not ideal. Suffice to say, if you’re planning to play Metal Gear Survive at 4K you’d need better hardware.
Metal Gear Survive PC vs PS4 Pro: image quality and frame rate
Metal Gear Survive is a good looking game despite its dire setting. Reusing a host of assets from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has ensured this, but there are perceptible improvements in terms of textures and ambient occlusion, along with plenty dust and fog effects, which would explain the lower frames on PC compared to the previous Metal Gear game. In this regard, the Metal Gear Survive PS4 Pro version held a steady 60fps at 1080p but not quite at 4K where there was noticeable blurriness and the odd artefact or two. It makes us wonder how much better the Xbox One X version could be. However, Konami hasn’t released that version in India, which is odd considering Microsoft’s renewed focus on pushing the Xbox brand here. All of this makes the PC version an easy recommendation over the PS4 Pro variant of Metal Gear Survive
Metal Gear Survive PC - should you buy it?
Despite some obvious performance penalties, Metal Gear Survive is worth it on the PC thanks to the scaleability of the Fox engine. While we would have liked a greater set of graphical settings, Konami has ensured there’s just about enough to tweak to get the necessary benefits. Hopefully the next Metal Gear game sports a wider set of options.
Though there are two points to consider. For one, it’s a lot more expensive than the last two Metal Gear games on PC — Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is Rs. 1,306 and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is Rs. 769 on Steam right now, making it cheaper to buy both games versus buying Metal Gear Survive on PC — costing Rs. 2,790. Secondly, it’s not available on disc, making the 20GB download an issue if you don’t have a fast enough Internet connection. That being said, if you have a PC competent enough to consider playing it, we doubt that these would be major problems.