Currently Playing: Metal Gear Solid 3 : Snake Eater (PS3)

Metal Gear has been in the gaming world for so long now, but only since Metal Gear Solid has the series really picked up it’s pace. Metal Gear starring Solid Snake really pushed the boundaries between movies and games, Hideo Kojima the game designer always wanted a game to be like an interactive movie and in some ways he did succeed with his Metal Gear Solid series, focusing a lot on the main story and never neglecting a good game. Metal Gear was also the first game to focus on stealth and lesser violent actions unless needed.

Metal Gear Solid 3 is not a sequel but a prequel. The game is set in the 1960’s and it relates a lot on historical events. You’re character’s name is Snake, you objective is to rescue a defecting Russian scientist from a Russian terrorist group. As any MGS game, the story is deeper than that, and if you’re into a great story, this is one hell of a story. It explains a lot of things that were unanswered in Metal Gear Solid 2 (MGS2), but it won’t continue the story that it left behind. The story is told in a way that you don’t really need to play the previous games. It can stand alone but you can understand much more about the story if you do play them. I suppose Hideo Kojima got it right this time around, instead of the things that happened in MGS2.

This is the first MGS to have no GPS since the technology wasn’t developed yet. In some case, it will feel like playing blind if you’ve played the previous games, since the old MGS games showed a feature were you could see what the enemy sees, so you usually have the advantage. This time around, you don’t have a GPS and you don’t see where they are looking at. Most of the time you’ll be relying on what you see, this means you’ll keep on using the first person mode almost 90% of the time. But all is not lost since you will have different radar equipments that you’ll pick up along the way, but frankly I used the radar only a few times in the game.

Another first in this series is food and cure. You have to eat to keep yourself healthy. You have stamina, which never goes down until you are hurt, the more injuries you have the lower the stamina and the slower you health gets cured. You’ll have to eat something along the way, you’ll get rations and stuff but you’ll also have to eat some of the animals around. You can’t eat everything since there is a limit to how many you could bring. Snake will react to everything that he eats, the things he likes best would give him more stamina and the things he doesn’t gives him less. If Snake is injured you’ll have to heal him, not only through food but with medical supplies. You’ll get a cure screen which will show his injuries and what you’ll need to use to cure him. It’s pretty simple, it’s not much of challenge but it’s an interesting concept. Just don’t use cure too much since you may run out of supplies, but you could pick up some of them along the way. You can also use plants as supplies too.

Camouflage is also a welcome addition to the game. Instead of using an invisible suit which was available at the first MGS game, this time around the technology for it hasn’t been invented yet, so you have to make use of the clothing that you’ll get along the game. There are several uniforms that you’ll get for you to blend into most situations. If you have a Network adaptor you’ll be able to download more stuff too.

The setting is so far the best out of the series. The game is set in a forest, which really pushes the PS2 to its limits with so much foliage, trees and grass everywhere. Surprisingly, the game is very smooth though it does slow down but only at rare occasions. I never expected that so much grass would still work great using a PS2. You’ll need to the end part of the game to see how much they really made it as real as possible. Though some parts of the game is still set in buildings, although the first building you’ll see is interesting because it’s broken down which has tons of detail and it does look very interesting since you don’t see this in any MGS game. Although after that, all other buildings have been more of the same with MGS2.

In the game you’ll also notice some familiar video game magazines spread all over some offices, Japanese girl posters and other images as well. It’s a nice touch but very similar to the ones at MGS2.

The controls of the game are not much different from the other games. You won’t have any trouble adjusting. You even have the choice which type of control you want to play giving you the option to choose MGS1 or MGS2. There’s also an option for non MGS players. Although most games in general used the cross button to “accept”, this game used the circle, which for most players is a bit unusual. But that is not much of a problem and any gamer will get used to it in a matter of minutes. Anyway, the control scheme is logical and you’ll understand it easily. I don’t know if it’s me but I can’t figure out the auto target that I got used to with MGS2. I had to defend myself with the first person mode (press R1) in the entire game. I never had a problem with FPS mode since I’m a First Person Shooter player too. But sometimes it’s a bit difficult to take cover in FP mode; you’ll have to switch from top view and first person back and forth.

The soundtrack is still made by Harry Gregson Williams who is getting much more popularity these days since he composes lots of music for movies. MGS2 and MGS3 are the only compositions he has made specifically for a game. The music still stands out and it fits the game perfectly. They also made a new theme song, this time the theme song is for the start of the game, not the end. The song called “Snake Eater” sounds like a rip off of some James Bond movie but it’s logical since the game is set in a 60’s era. You’ll only get the music & intro after you’ve finished the introductory mission. After that the new intro will come up every time you turn on the game.

Again, with MGS series, they still have a great voice cast very similar style as before. Obviously nothing is taken for granted in this game as before. David Hayter is back to voice as Snake. Even now with David Hayter’s popularity in script writing (like X-Men, Scorpion King, X-men 2 and now he’s working on Watchmen and Ironman) I was amazed that he’d come back. Anyway, the quality of work has been outstanding ever since MGS for the PSX came out. The series never let down anyone yet.

The cutscenes were again similar to MGS2, great story and very cinematic. Heck, just going through the intro took me about 30 minutes, before I even got to play the game. Expect the ending to be quite long too. Obviously it was well researched especially in historical means.

As I’d expect from a Metal Gear Solid game, there is a bonus game. You could capture monkeys; it’s a simple game but not to be taken seriously. It’s difficult too, especially the first time you play it. It’s a time limited game where you have to hit and certain number of monkeys, but once you’ve memorized where they are it’s not that difficult anymore. It’s a nice challenge, but I don’t know if you’ll get anything after playing it.

You’ll get items after finishing the main game. It would be nice to play it all over again with the new things you could use especially the Patriot gun. A few things will change in the game when you play it again using a save game from the previous game you’ve played.

Overall, the game is still much the same as MGS1 and 2. Lot’s of story and gaming that will fascinate fans. This game will surely be one of the great ones out there. I highly recommend other gamers especially who like stealth games like Splinter Cell.

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