Review by skeletorissatan

"Quite simply a masterpiece"

Metal Gear Solid. The name commands a certain respect within the gaming circle. From its humble roots as Metal Gear on the Nintendo Entertainment System through to its final release to date, Metal Gear Solid 4, a game held in high regard, through to its highly anticipated new installments, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, and Metal Gear Rising, both in development, this series has always been one to watch out for. However, none so much as its debut as the Metal Gear Solid series. Many people played this in its Play Station version, but not many were as aware of the PC version. However, this should be changed, as this was the definitive version, upping the ante on the visual front and adding in the Virtual Reality Missions that required a separate disk on Play Station, all for less price than that version would have cost at the time.

The one go-to aspect of Metal Gear has always been the story line, blending various plot twists and unexpected moments with masterful story telling, to create a truly complete experience. Told through various in game events and absolute hours of cut scenes, this game really was the peak of the Metal Gear story. Before the overly complex layer upon layer of story of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, and before the grand finale that tied much of it together, with Metal Gear 4, we were treated to a beautifully told, well written, self contained story that need not worry about taking things to the limit with unnecessary sequels. This was a game that merely wanted to focus upon bringing the intense James Bond story to a video game, with an equally charismatic hero through Solid Snake, voiced magnificently by David Hayter, with the most amazing gruff voice that no other actor could ever have suited Snake quite as well as Hayter does.

The story follows Snake as he works his way through a nuclear facility to try and dismantle the bipedal nuclear weapons tank, Metal Gear REX, in order to stop a number of terrorists from launching a nuclear warhead. Along the way, Snake must rescue hostages and make his way across multiple terrain types through one of the most realistic environments of its time. The graphical accomplishments may not seem like much today, and many may scoff at the overly blurred characters, and the similarly looking environments, but at the time of release, this was truly cutting edge. Quite how Hideo Kojima and his crew at Konami achieved this with what was available to them at the time is a wonder that will probably never be answered. Throughout the game, we are treated to beautiful snow effects, a completely three dimensional environment, and some of the most fluid animations of their time.

The sound to this game is what truly places it above all peers. The characters are all voiced by an all star ensemble, who do their job amazingly, with some real effort put in. Every character has his own individual feel to him, and the player knows exactly what sort of character they are, and throughout the game, these characters are all completely fleshed out, leaving no loose ends as was the case with the over-populated Metal Gear Solid 2. This had a fairly small cast of characters, but every one of them felt like a living, breathing character, leading to some extremely emotionally intense scenes, such as a particular scene involving the passing of Sniper Wolf.

The sound track to this game is equally as amazing. From the title screens perfect tune, through to the closing credits with its beautifully written song playing over the top, this game is ridden with fantastic music throughout. However, the best would be found on the game over scene, with one of the most catchy pieces of video game music this side of Sonic The Hedgehog, whilst the Colonel cries out "Snake? No!" This is one of the games true triumphs over every other game of its age, and many games since, in that everything about it slots together perfectly, and nothing feels as though it is out of place in the Metal Gear environments.

The game play itself requires no introduction, being a carbon copy of the James Bond movies. This game places no emphasis whatsoever on fighting, as you will frequently become overcome by the sheer amounts of enemies the game throws at you. Instead, aside from a few forced combat moments, and several scenes that are yet to be mentioned, this game shows that stealth in games can be done properly. You are advised to sneak throughout the environments, and only fight when absolutely necessary. However, should a player wish to turn this into a shooting game, it provides a nice cache of weaponry with which to do so. The tank like controls of combat merely add to this, in that it is extremely hard to move and shoot at the same time, one again providing more reason to sneak throughout the environments, and it really is fun to do so. Hiding behind cabinets as a guard slides idly past will never grow tiresome, nor will hiding beneath a tank, or slipping by as an unsuspecting security camera searches desperately for any signs of intruders.

Now onto the finest part of this game. The boss fights. There are numerous boss encounters scattered throughout the game, and each has its own unique feel. From a sniper battle across an icy snow field, to a fight with an enormous shaman armed with a mini-gun, every boss fight feels so unique, and every one has its own styling, There is another sniper fight, that is extremely claustrophobic and dangerous, there is a revolver battle in a room in which the bullets ricochet, making survival a priority. All this culminates in the final three battles, a fight with Metal Gear, a chase in armored cars and, best of all, a fist fight atop Metal Gear itself. These are some of the finest boss battles ever found in a game. However, the cake goes to the Ninja fight scene, and, of course, the fight with Psycho Mantis. For fear of ruining the game for the uninitiated, no more will be said but this: These are two of the most unique, cleverly put together, ingeniously designed scenes in the history of video gaming, and remain as iconic now as they were at the time.

Metal Gear Solid is not just a game. It is a masterpiece and a landmark in both video gaming and the entire entertainment medium, a game so good that despite inferior graphical capabilities against today's games, and despite its premature game play that would be honed and refined, with any creases ironed out in the sequels, this remains one of the finest games in all of history. If you consider yourself a gamer, and have not experienced this, do whatever it takes to get hold of it. It will not let you down. There are very few games that can lay a claim to fame as much as this one, nor for the reasons of this one. This game is completely perfect, built from the ground up with recreating the stealth atmosphere found throughout the James Bond film series, and it does so to a perfect level. This is a game that succeeds in every single aspect, and therefore deserves at least one go from every single gamer, as it will suck you in and you will from then on be a part of the legacy of Solid Snake, whether you play it as a run and gun game, or as a stealth game. This is what a game should be.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/15/12

Game Release: Metal Gear Solid (EU, 10/20/00)

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