Review by Snake16
"Although with a few flaws MGS3 could be considered Kojima's biggest masterpiece."
The Metal Gear Solid series has been recognized as a classic for a very long time. Fans were blown away by the shocking and unique style of MGS1. 3 years later MGS2 the most controversary PS2 title that came out. Many fans yet again shocked, this time by possibly the biggest and most shocking twist seen in a video game. Many people found themselves struggling to comprehend the complex story of MGS2 while others couldn't get past the main playable character of the game Raiden. Because of this and a few other reasons many fans of the game were drawn of the game and the MGS series looked like it was going in the wrong direction.
Again 3 years later, an MGS2 "expansion" and a re-make of MGS called the Twin Snakes, finally Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was ready to see the light. After MGS2 was Snake Eater worth the wait? Definietly. Snake Eater not only set and defined another level to stealth games but it also continued the excellent story that all MGS games had.
Snake Eater places you into the shoes of "Naked Snake". A CIA agent set to rescue a Soviet Union scientist, Sokolov, and rescue him to the United States. The game sets place during the Cold War in the 60's when espionage was hot and was a neccessary use of information from both of the power countries. Sokolov has been developing a powerful secret weapon capable of motion and nuclear weapons. The two political parties in the Soviet Union have been struggling and fighting over Sokolov for a long time. You are sent in to save Sokolov and further investigate the powers of the non-leading party. The story develops here on with the occassional and expected twist every MGS game traditionally has. However there is nothing that is close to as shocking and drastic as the plot twist of MGS2.
After MGS2 it seemed almost impossible to do anymore advancement on the gameplay part of MGS2. Hideo Kojima, the director, realized this and decided to have Snake Eater head in a different direction. Setting the game in a jungle environment brought in many new and unique gameplay elements never seen before in any stealth game. One of these new elements is survival, the previous Metal Gear titles focused on stealth gameplay only. Snake Eater now enables survival through eating animals and fruits, curing and healing your body through surgery and medicine, and making use of the new large environments the jungle had to offer.
The MGS flavor however can still be felt in Snake Eater, infact the new elements blend in quite well with stealth that it feels very natural for them to be in this type of environment. MGS3 also introduces camoflague, since you're mostly in jungles throughout the game equipping different camoflauge patterns helps you stay stealthier and at times virtually invisible. The gameplay of Snake Eater is very smooth and you need a while to get used to it, if you've played MGS2 it shouldn't be much of a problem however if you didn't it will take some time to get used to it. Mostly it's very sensitive based and this at the beggining of the game can prove to be a problem for some players. How hard you press a button or how lightly impacts the gameplay greatly. Although this may look like a discomfort as you start playing the game, after you get a feel for the game it starts to turn into an advantage. The reason for this is because you know when exactly to press the buttons, how hard and how light.
The gameplay also features the newest and probably most interesting installment, the CQC(Close Quarters Combat). In jungle it is very useful because enemies can sometimes jump out at you and surprise you. CQC involves and includes everything from interrogating the enemies, slitting their throat, knocking them out, using them as a shield to the traditional neck snap. Long story short, it can be a life saver and is definetly fun to use. Appart from that there are so many things you can interact with in the jungle that giving them away would ruin some of the fun. Snake Eater supports creativeness and trying things out actually works, not only that but things you may think won't work actually will turn out better than you thought. Another strong point of the gameplay is how realistic some things can get.
However there is some contradiction to realism when it comes to MGS games. The characters may seem bizare in some points of view, but those who can get past it can see that it's a way to make the series more interesting. Appart from that the only unrealistic thing in the game is that the guards as well as Snake can be shot far too many times and survive it. This combined with the camera gives the -1 off the gameplay. The camera has one problem, it forces you to look ahead and really focuses far too much on the character. Although using the R3 pad it zooms out it can still be a great bother especially without the radar in the game.
About every MGS game had perfect sound and music. Snake Eater continues this excellency, Harry-Gregson Williams with his beautiful and inspirational music gives the game the perfect sound score. However music is only a small part of a game. The game also relies on realistic sounding jungle noises and other things. Birds chirping, animal noises, winds and grass noises all give a very realistic touch to the game. The sounds in the game are very crisp and clear. When you fight in the game the intensity of the sneaking music also changes based on what intrusion level you are in. All in all, the sounds are just completely perfect and could not get better.
As far as voice acting goes, some voice actors could use a few more lessons but overall most sound very impressive and can express valid emotions. David Hayter starring Naked Snake does another excellent job. Overall all characters end up sounding quite realistic and some have very funny accents and memorable voices.
The graphics for Snake Eater could be argued as one of the best seen on a PlayStation2. The environments look very detailed. The jungle looks very, very beautiful. Infact you may find yourself stopping at some parts of the game just to observe the sheer beauty of it. Waterfalls, caves, mountain areas all look very, very good. The character models look quite good, more detail has been added to the mouth area than in MGS2 but overall it's the same. As far as animals and other models look very good and quite detailed as well.
Overall MGS3: Snake Eater turns out to be another success for Hideo Kojima. MGS3 had a lot of cut scenes like MGS2 but it gave you a rest on the numerous codec scenes MGS2 had. Infact, you could find yourself actually calling on the codec to talk your support team. Snake Eater turns out to be a very memorable and fantastic game. Like all MGS games, it has amazing boss fights and one of these may the most memorable ever seen yet. Snake Eater unlike Sons Of Liberty hasn't been overhyped and far too many people have shunned it away for Halo 2, San Andreas and Half Life 2. Many people should soon realize that Snake Eater after playing all the other monster hits can still come out as the most memorable and best game of the year that will leave an impression on many people.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/22/04
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