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Metal Gear Stay Alive is an action-adventure survival game developed and published by Konami. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in September 2019. It is the first Metal Gear game to be developed following the series' creator Hideo Kojima's departure from Konami in late 2015, and the first since Snake's Revenge to be made without Kojima's input. The game takes place between the events of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Heroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Menace, and follows the Captain, an MSF soldier who enters a parallel dimension and establishes a local command center to unravel the mysteries of a strange virus that turns people into zombie-like creatures.
Pre-release reception of the game was generally negative, in response to its design and recent business decisions from Konami. Nevertheless, upon release, Metal Gear Stay Alive received a mixed reception from critics. Mostly positive responses were given to its gameplay, with its rewarding sense of progression in single-player and satisfaction from multiplayer and co-op receiving praise; however concern was expressed over some of the mechanics, with the majority of complaints being directed at the story, characters, and inclusion of microtransactions.
Metal Gear Stay Alive is a survival action-adventure game with tower defense elements and minor stealth mechanics, played from a third-person perspective. It features a cooperative multiplayer mode, in which the player can be joined by up to three other players to complete missions.
A large portion of the gameplay consists of the player exploring the world which is mostly covered by "The Dust", a mysterious toxic cloud that obstructs vision, disables the in-game map, and requires the player to monitor their oxygen level. Players venture out to gather resources such as food and crafting materials as well as to activate the various portal generators scattered throughout the map. These generators serve as the games fast-travel system and are each unlocked by completing a tower-defense segment. Metal Gear Stay Alive tasks players with managing thirst and hunger by scavenging for water and hunting animals for food. Players can then return to base camp in order to cook food and later purify water for safe drinking. There is also an injury system, which requires players to use different medical supplies to heal ailments such as bleeding or food poisoning.
The main enemies of Stay Alive are crystalline zombie-like creatures called "Wanderers", with many variants introduced as the story progresses. The enemies in Stay Alive can be overcome using either stealth or a large variety of weapons and gadgets earned gradually through finding crafting recipes or broken weapons. Players begin with access to melee weapons such as spears, machetes and shock-batons. Eventually bows with several kinds of arrows and firearms such as pistols, shotguns and sniper rifles are acquired. Due to the difficulty of attacking enemies head-on, players are encouraged to use a device that allows them to erect various fences, barricades and other structures. Available gadgets include grenades, Molotov cocktails, decoys, automated gun-turrets and a plethora of traps. Killing enemies earns players "Kuban Energy", the game's currency which can be used to level-up and acquire new skills. After completing the main story, four additional "sub-classes" are unlocked which have their own set of skills gained by leveling up. Class skills range from straight stat bonuses, special attacks, mobility skills and even stealth camouflage.
Players are able to upgrade their base camp by building defenses, advanced crafting stations, farms, animal cages and rainwater collectors. Other survivors can be rescued from The Dust to provide base camp with support staff. Base staff can also be organized into an exploration team and sent out to automatically acquire resources. Eventually, players can initiate a tower defense segment at base camp, allowing them to defend against attacks and earn rewards. Players are able to purchase "Stay Alive Coins" which can be used to unlock various features such as a resource booster, base defender, emotes, additional exploration teams and additional load-out slots beyond the initial four. Players can unlock character slots which act as the game's New Game Plus mode. Stay Alive Coins can be earned as in-game rewards and login bonuses as well.
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