Review by Ali_X_Rexus

"Snake in the jungle, har har"

You would not be forgiven if you didn't know about the Metal Gear Solid titles, the tactical espionage simulator of the gaming world. The series has been known for its amazing storlyine first and foremost, as well as the serious issues and politics it deals with. The third endeavor is a departure from previous constricted spaces of previous Metal Gear Solids and takes place in a jungle - WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE.

Things work a bit differently in this Metal Gear in that you have to feed snake to keep his stamina up--failure to meet Snake's demand of food would lead to Snake's constant decrease of health and eventually death.

The game begins with Naked Snake, otherwise known as Big Boss in previous titles, performing a HALO jump on Russian soil. From the get-go, you get the feeling of the game's high budget. A scene showing Naked Snake throwing his cigar on the floor features slow-motion/back-to-normal effect that makes this even simple scene a great eyesight. Snake's mission is to rescue a Russian scientist and return him to American soil, as well as sabotaging an experimental superweapon, you guessed it, Metal Gear.

Unlike Metal Gears before it (or after it for that matter, since this is a prequel), this Metal Gear is fashioned after a huge tank that's capable of unleashing nuclear warheads after accelerating at a breakneck speed.

The game is filled with great plot twists and characters for you to enjoy. Characters besides the obvious Snake include the charismatic Cobra Unit members: The Boss, The End, The Fear, The Fury, the Pain, and the Sorrow. Like with every Metal Gear Solid, the boss fights are intense to the very end. Just like the fight with Fox where you had to spend some time before you could down her with your rifle, this game has another experienced sniper, The End.

This was one of the most memorable fights in the game; Snake comes from one side, and the End is hiding amongst the mountains and grass with great camouflage; there are plenty of options to detect his whereabouts, and this freedom of accomplishing tasks in different ways makes the fights great. You can shoot down The End's parrot, capture it, then release it and it will point you to his whereabouts; you can find his whereabouts with a thermal detector, tracing his footsteps in the process. Eventually, only one stays victor.

Exclusive to this third Metal Gear Solid from previous Solids are the Close Quarter Combats battle system, the aforementioned feeding system to sustain Snake's stamina, a healing system, and camouflage.

In CQC, you now have the ability to hold your enemy in a chokehold before proceeding into various branched actions--you can hold the enemy hostage and shoot your gun at other enemies in first person, you can interrogate him for info, and you can hold him up/slit his throat.

The feeding/healing system is where this game felt a bit tedious eventually to me; Snake has to sustain his stamina by feeding himself, and to do so, you have to rely on the local flora and fauna--that is raw snakes, rats, mushrooms, and birds. Snake might get poisoning from some of these, so be careful.

"O noes I'm poisaned wat to do." The healing system is for fixing Snake up after certain injuries/incidents. For poisoning, there's an antidote. For leg fractures, from jumping high areas for example, you use a splint/bandage.I thought both these systems were interesting at first, but it got dull when Snake got constantly hungry/requiring feed.

Camouflage is the main new offering in this title--you have the ability to dress up snake, and according to what garments you have him fixed with, he'll have a higher/lower camouflage rating with the surroundings. You can't dress up as Link, but you can conceal yourself with your back to a brick wall by wearing a certain brick pattern that will have your camouflage rating sore to the 80s. Camouflage is an integral part in not getting detected, and since STEALTH has always been the series' main point, it's important to don the right clothes.

The game has one of the most gorgeous boss fights in the form of the final battle--a great sunstruck field with little white flowers blowing in the wind. This battle, as well as the ending, alone are worth playing this game for.

The camera has been fixed in Subsistence, and there were additions in the form of the first two Metal Gear titles--I doubt you'll be losing any sleep over these. However, there is a great game, and that is Snake Vs. Monkey, in which Snake takes on the apes from the Ape Escape series--a fun lighthearted addition to any game with a serious tone.

If you love this series/stealth action games as well as a great storyline, then you owe it to yourself to get this game--lovely in every sense of the world.

Pros

+Great characters
+Storyline
+CQC
+Taking an enemy hostage in CQC and
+The BOSSES particulary
+The End and +The Boss
+Amazing voice acting/soundtrack like usual
+Snake Versus Monkey
+All the little details/extras like
+*spoilers*restraining from playing the game for a while during The End's battle and returning to find him dead of old age

Cons

-Feeding system
-Injury/healing system
-The game veers off from stealth at certain sections towards the end

Story - 10
Visuals - 10
Audio - 10

Gameplay - 10
-FUN Factor - 10
-Controls - A
-Difficulty - Average

Lifespan - 9

Overall - 10


A gaming epic that should be experience by all stealth-action game lovers. While the camouflage and other systems might put some off, the great far outweigh the bad.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/04/08

Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (US, 03/14/06)


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