Review by amekage19
"Possibly the best game ever made"
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a masterpiece. It shows strength in all areas of gaming, graphics and uniqueness included. Let me break it down for you.
Snake Eater makes brilliant use of the PS2 controls, utilizing the pressure-sensitivity feature very well. For one thing every button/button combination that you may need to press at any time during the game is easily accessible; the game doesn't make you do any button combos that force you to hold the controller upside down and use your forehead. Not that that happens a whole lot in most games, but it does come around every so often, and it can be really frustrating. Like I said before, the pressure-sensitivity feature is used very well, and very often. The L2, R2, square, triangle, circle, and X buttons all enable/require frequent use of pressure-sensitive actions. For example, if you have a weapon that is classified as a CQC (close-quarters combat) weapon (knives, etc.) and you want to take a guard hostage, lightly press and hold the circle button. To kill him right away, or at any time while you have him as a hostage, all you have to do is put more force into pressing the same button and Snake will slit his throat. Just like the circle button, all of the other buttons I listed can perform multiple actions depending on how lightly or how forcefully you press the. Another good thing about the sensitivity feature is that it is easy to use. Unless you are really tired, or just really bad at MGS3, you probably aren't going to try to aim and end up spraying a full clip into a wall, it just isn't going to happen. The game recognizes very distinctly the difference between a hard button press and a light one. Now that I'm done babbling about how cool the sensitivity feature is, I can babble about how everything I just said actually adds to the game. Picture this: you are hiding in the bushes, and two seconds earlier while you were peeking your head out a guard saw you. He's heading your way, curious as to what he saw moving in the shrubbery. You have your assault rifle out, one bullet left, and its the only gun you have. You need to hit this guy in the head or you are screwed. You've got the square button pressed in just a hair, AR at the ready. You get your sights on his head, wait for him to get closer... he spots you right as you crunch the square button down and let your shot fly. He slowly falls to his knees, and you go to change your underwear.
The graphics in Snake Eater are amazing. Everything moves, the jungle feels as alive as you are. I guess graphics can be split into multiple categories, so I'll try and explain my way through those. First of all, the interactivity of the game's environment is excellent. When you slice at a tree with your knife for whatever reason you may have, scratch marks appear. When you slice at plants and whatnot, they get sliced into pieces. Though none of this really contributes to the actual gameplay, it just makes you feel more like you are in the jungle with Snake, rather than sitting on your couch on Sunday morning trying not to think about that homework you put off since Friday. The actual graphics themselves are good too, for example, the camouflage system that lets you change uniforms and face paint to better conceal yourself (I'll go into that in a second) works not just in the game, but in real life. My friend came over and I moved the camera off-center while pressed up against a tree and my friend couldn't find where I was. I think that's pretty cool, and contrary to what you might be thinking, it really doesn't make the game annoying; it's not like you're gonna press up against a tree and forget where you are in five seconds.
Details (it's all those little things):
MGS3 manages to incorporate life-like details in such a manner that it doesn't make the game annoying. For example, you have to eat. In some games that CAN be really annoying, but in Snake Eater it's actually pretty cool. This is because you never have to go long distances without any access to food, so you don't have to worry about keeping a huge stock because if you do most of it will probably rot before you eat it anyway. The food system is detailed too, as I already said food rots after a while, and if Snake eats it he can get sick. Poisonous animals will make him sick if he eats them. He doesn't like some foods, and he makes sure you know it (don't go on a mushroom diet, peoples, he hates them). To add to that the more you make him eat foods he hates, the less he hates them because he becomes accustomed to them. The same with foods you like; if you eat them too much he gets tired of them. Also, the farther down your stamina is, the more he will like food, since he is hungry and less picky about what he eats. In Snake Eater you don't just die if you don't eat, all sorts of annoying crap will happen to you. Once your stamina (aka, food meter) gets low enough you are gonna have trouble aiming a gun, and I mean a LOT of trouble. Other side effects happen as well, so please people, do Snake a favor and let the man eat his food. As I have already mentioned before, the game has a camouflage system that allows you to choose different uniforms or face paints to conceal yourself better in the many different place you travel. I've already said that this system is cool because it can actually WORK, but that's not the only way it's cool. The game gives you a number on the top-right of the screen while you are playing, and the higher that number is the more hidden you are. If you are standing up and splashing around in the mud with a bright-blue uniform, that number isn't going to be very high. But if you are prone in some tall grass with a uniform meant to conceal yourself in grassy areas, it's going to be pretty high. Movement also affects this number, in the game you can move in several different ways, some more slowly than others. There are three different speeds of moving while standing, two different ways of moving while crawling, and three possible stances (standing, crouching, prone). The last system I think shows a lot of detail is the cure system. Yea, you can eat/use some medicine and rest for a minute to heal yourself, but if you have serious wounds you have to do something about it. When you swim through water, you can get leeches, and you gotta burn the little fiends off with your cigar. When you get shot, there's a chance that the bullet is going to inflict more than a mere flesh wound, in which case you need to pry that bullet out and patch yourself up. The same with other wounds, if you decide it might be fun to jump out of a tree into some water that's barely a foot deep, you are gonna break your leg, and unless you wanna scoot around with a bone fracture, you gotta patch that up too. To add to that all of that, many of the medical conditions you will find yourself in have different effects. Leeches, for example, will cause your stamina (not, not your life) to go down, and if you have enough of the little guys sucking your blood, it will go down pretty quick.
The storyline has its fair share of twists and interesting side-plots, making the game more fun to play. The way the codec system is done makes for a lot of potential suspense, and the developers didn't fail to take advantage of this. The only shaky part of the storyline is the dialogue, which usually fits, but the emotion put out by the voice actors isn't always... correct. That leads me to my next subject.
The music in the game is very well done. Though it's not the stuff you'd listen to on a long car trip (or maybe you would, who knows), it is very fitting of the situation. Like the graphic attention-to-detail, it really serves to help you feel like you are in the jungle fighting/sneaking past enemies. The ambient sounds also serve the same purpose, when you aren't getting chased by enemies the music is usually either really dim or not there, leaving only the many sounds of the jungle, and many sounds there are. Birds chirping, frogs croaking, grass rustling as hissing snakes slither through the underbrush, all of these sounds are present in Snake Eater.
Though MGS3 is really meant to be a game that excels in the area of storyline, much action is present. Boss fights are where most of it happens, but if you are frustrated about having to sneak everywhere, and you wanna go Vice City/San Andreas on someones ass, all you have to do is whip out your handy-dandy... sorry, not notebook, but AK-47. Feel free to waste away your enemies while the realistic movement of the gun and flashy effects of explosions and gunshots give you some real eye-candy. Though the game is meant to be mostly about sneaking, with some forced action involved, you can go crazy with your guns if you feel like it, and many times it is just as effective, even if it does get you a little more chewed up than sneaking does.
Overall, MGS3 makes for a detailed, aesthetically-pleasing, gut-wrenching game, and the last thing I want to say about this great game is this: you don't need any experience in the other MGS games to play it. It will tutor you through the controls at the beginning, as well as accustom you to the camo, food, and cure systems. The storyline, though it does tie in to the previous MGS games, takes place about 60 years before MGS1 and MGS2, and you can play MGS3 and enjoy a storyline without a whole lot of holes (get it? lol that was stupid) without needing to go through the other games... even though you should because they all rock.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/03/05
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