Review by Spudwiser
"If You Are A Fan, A Must Buy. If Not, It Won't Make You One!"
Please Note: This does contain spoilers, you have been warned.
We have been waiting for a Metal Gear Solid game since the abrupt ending behind Son's Of Liberty. I personally was not disappointed.
Now, why a 9.5 you ask? Well I am a huge fan of the Metal Gear games, but it took me close to 3 hours just to find myself involved in the story. They have pretty much cut out the Codec conversations and with that they tool your Death Stories. We have no climaxed involvement with the characters, leading to a Big Showdown. The bosses appear out of no where and you fight them, then they explode. Yup you got it explode. The story between The Boss and Snake does develop through the 15+ hours of game play and story, but some of it is lost in Kiddyish jokes and jokes lost in the translation. Also it seems most of the ends do not get tied up till the end. This, to me, is an ill-fated attempt to keep you on your seat till the end, but some people will enjoy this and it makes it seem more like a movie.
First off, the graphics in most places are crisp, superb and stunning. Water and fire flow hand-in-hand. My only real beef is the explosions. You can see that they tried to make it look somewhat like sphere, but it failed and looks more like an octagon. The lighting effects are incredible, and the facial features of each characters are beautifully rendered. Unfortunately some of the graphics are lost if you have a Progressive Scan T.V. but not enough to ruin the experience. Overall you will not be undersold.
I had to hook my Koss XJ225-2 stereo system in order to feel the full effect. Most people, like me, will not have a problem with this. Also there is a glitch that will cause you Codec to fade in an out. I just had the laser replaced on my PS2 and I no longer have this problem. The game also only offers Dolby ProLogic II so some people may not like that. For the most part the sound is pretty good. You can hear bullets ricochet off walls, bones crack when Volgin beats the living snot out of you, and don't forget the amazing voice acting (Yes I like the fears voice). Also the sounds of the water, grass movements and footsteps sound completely real. You can fight the end battle completely by sound alone, without the directional microphone.
They are completely original, with their own personality. Volgin is a sadist and it shows through out the game. Ocelot is worried about the homeland, but as you go through the game he starts to think of himself. All the characters start to grow on you as you make your way through the game. The Boss starts to show herself as a leader, then later a mother. Eva plays the role of both lover and user. The only character that doesn't show his true colors is Snake. I partly blame that on the lack of Codec transmissions, and the only character that he showed any attachment to was Eva.
Game Play: 10/10
True to the Metal Gear namesake the game is based totally on stealth. The CQC system is a nice touch albeit a little hard to master. The controls are the same as MGS2, but there are some noticeable differences. The camera is a little annoying and is the cause of many alerts and deaths for me. Also the absence of a radar system is going to make the game a lot harder for people who relied on it. The camouflage index is a great addition, with lots of camos to collect and some with special powers. Also there is a feature to let you download them, although as of now there is only 2 and it take a lot of room on the memory card which will make some people wish you could use the hard drive.
If you are a Metal Gear fan, bypass the rental phase and buy it. If you are not, rent it, but it probably will not make you die hard fan. This game pushed the Sony Playstation to it limits and it faired off pretty well. The story, although corny at times, should wrap around you like a warm blanket and draw you in. The game is at least worth a look even if you are not a fan. Overall it comes out to be a 9.4, and it is a good buy if you are looking for a strong game with a good replay value.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/04
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