R13: Violence, horror scenes and offensive language
This page outlines how the classification criteria were applied. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of this game.
Metal Gear Survive is a survival action-adventure spin-off of the widely celebrated Metal Gear series. It is set in an open-word environment and played from a third-person perspective.
The game follows the story of a previously-unnamed soldier from Metal Gear V, who is dragged through a wormhole into an alternate reality full of hostile, crystalline zombie-like entities called “wanderers”. The player character must find their way out of the world, while rescuing some Special Forces agents who have gone missing in it while trying to harvest energy.
The game contains depictions of horror, cruelty, and violence. The game also contains some offensive language but it isn’t at a level that would cause serious harm to younger audiences, although it does suggest that the game is intended for teenagers and adults.
Date registered: 12/01/2018
Horror is dealt with to a mild level. The wanderers the player encounters are somewhat horrifying. The most common variety of wanderers are missing most of their heads, and a glowing red crystal pierces through their lower jaw. They look somewhat like Terminators, with shiny, metallic skin (but are mindless like zombies). They’re clearly inhuman, supernatural creatures that are hostile to the player. Other wanderers have bulbous, balloon-like heads that they use to attack players.
The game deals with cruelty to a negligible degree. The player character is forced into and trapped in another dimension (Dite, known colloquially as Hell), to rescue members of a Special Forces unit that the United States government has lost contact with.
The game deals with violence extensively but to a low level. The player can use melee weapons such as machetes and spears, as well as ranged weapons, such as guns and bows, to attack enemies. Players can also back-stab enemies that they have snuck up on. A spurt of blood occurs with each attack. Enemies sometimes fall over when attacked. Players can later learn the ability to stomp on downed enemies. Once enemies have been defeated, the player can collect an energy resource from them – the player character kneels down and stabs at their stomach in order to do so. Players can also attack non-hostile animals in order to gain food resources.
All of the enemies that were encountered during examination were zombies. Furthermore, they were not zombies who were recognisably human, and would mindlessly attack the player. In contrast, the player is unable to attack human characters who are not hostile. Violence is functional, rather than cruel or glamorous. This lowers the impact of the violence in the game.
Metal Gear Survive is a game about humans working together to fend off a supernatural menace. It deals with horror and violence to an extent and degree that its unrestricted availability is likely to be harmful to the public. The repetitive violent combat has the potential to inure children to violence in general; they may also be shocked and disturbed by the depictions of zombie-like monsters. However, the impact of violence in the game is lessened by the lack of injury, as well as the majority of violence being directed at inhuman creatures. The presence of a co-operative mode also encourages players to work collaboratively with one another, which lowers the impact further.
Teenagers are likely to have the life experience and maturity to contextualise these depictions within their videogame and generic contexts.