Review by TheLastAvatar05
Generally speaking, the Metal Gear Solid series is probably one of the few underrated series I have yet to play fully on the Play Station 2. Granted seeing of how Snake Eater and Sons of Liberty were on sale at the local shop, I decided to give both of them a shot and was quite surprised of how engaging the series in terms of comparison.
Storyline (10/10: Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater is a prequel of the original MGS and takes place within an era of where the Cold War is still in the early process of becoming a full reality of total nuclear war. As such, you play as Naked Snake, who's mission is to rescue a Soviet Scientist named,Sokolov, that had tried to previously defected to the United States, while working on a secret weapon within Russia. However, all does not go well with a surprising betrayal causing you to lose Sokolov and creating a mass incident that could spark World War 3 between the two super powers. Your adviser of the unit you belong to, Foxhound, is willing to have another chance to complete the previous mission while tracking down your rogue member that had betrayed you and destroying the weapon that threats complete instability within the known world. You will meet various cast of characters that will help you out to complete the mission such as Major Zero, your commander over radio, Para Medic, a young nurse in training who provides medical support, and Sigint, a weapon's expert. Standing in your way is the sadistic Colonel Volgin, whom is known in the west as "Thunderbolt", along with a team of Cobra Units, a generically enhanced soldiers that helped win World war 2, a gun wielding slinger known only as Ocelot, and the defector that has taken control of the Cobras and serves Volgin personally. With a variety of cut scenes that help deliver this story as you progress more and more, you come to the realization that freedom and patriotism of one's country is not as all it seems to be for a solider. Overall, the storyline is heavily based on the concept of a weapon that threatens mass nuclear warfare while you control a character to stop it from occurring. Everything from previous MGS installments along with other references within the time period is greatly detailed, which, is a nice change of pace. My only compliant is that the storyline can be somewhat slow to draw out the overall plot and it's twists but everything else is extremely enjoyable if your a veteran of the previous titles and or a new gamer into the series.
Gameplay (9/10): New within Snake Eater is the overall stealth camouflage that you can use during the entire gameplay. Unlike it's previous counterparts, Snake Eater allows you to see a percentage of how secretly stealthed you are within a location. Obviously the higher the percentage, the more likely your enemy is not going to spot you no matter how many times he passes you by with a blank expression unless you stand up and move in his line of sight. Various camos can be obtained after beating bosses which can give other bonuses as well to help complete your mission easier. Using the CQC combat system relies on a number of judo moves that can help take out your enemy within close hand to hand combat. From using them as a shield, interrogating them for information, knocking them out, snapping their necks, or just plain slitting their throats with a knife, can all be accessed with a flick of a button. The PS2 controller is somewhat sensitive though and it could cause you to accidentally perform a different CQC move than you originally wanted to do. Stamina plays an important role while your trying to complete your mission. An empty stomach can start growling can alert enemies around you while treating cuts and burns can overall effect your character health. There are various nice cut scene animations that occur randomly that show Naked Snake perform such tasks of eating raw fish, treating cuts, and other features, which is a cool neat feature. Finally, the combat system is much improved compared to it's previous counterparts. Using an array of weapons that correspond with the current time period, you can pretty much go through the entire game blasting away if you have the right amount of fire power. Using all sorts of weapons from machine guns, hand guns, grenades, and other items, makes dispatching enemies like cake walk. Overall, I felt that the gameplay is somewhat near perfect though the only compliant is the camera angle. It tends to become more of a problem when your moving from place to place and is somewhat annoying to adjust at times.
Graphics (10/10): Wow, that is honestly the only thing that came to my mind when playing Snake Eater for the first time. This game is pratically a shinning example that the PS2 has more life to perform jaw dropping graphics with an outdated system. Everything from character facial expression and movements, to muddy foot prints on the ground or the random enemy AI expressions when he's moving around to check on suspicious things is extremely detailed. You can actually see various details such as gun shell ejections when you fire a weapon or the amount of grass that appears near you when you start crawling on your belly. The camera angle actually puts you on the ground realistically to make it seem that you're actually experiencing the same thing Naked Snake is. Even weather effects douses your character depending on the climate and can cause him to even become sick due to exposure. The boss battles are nicely detailed in terms of overall animation and movement. Overall, I felt that everything is top notch and nothing is out of place. This is perhaps one of the most gorgeous games, graphically speaking, to ever grace a Play Station 2 system.
Sound (9/10): From character cut scenes and radio transmissions, to the overall environment surroundings and movement, once again, everything is top notch. I've enjoyed listening to hear my character panting while moving around or the splashing of wet muddy foot prints he makes after getting out of a muddy swamp. I also enjoyed the epic realistic sound of gun fire and the startled enemy reactions within the game. Everything seems to flow nicely and is nicely conducted while not diminishing the overall feeling of this game. The only real complaint that I have is that some of the enemy AI's might sound repetitive or generic at times though not by that much.
Replay Value and Closing Comments: There is a mini game called Monkey Island Escape, which, involves you capturing various miniature monkeys to obtain additional stealth camos. The ability to unlock new weapons and the overall difficulty levels can last you a long time in terms ofr replaying this game. I've generally enjoyed Snake Eater on almost every single level of feature and gameplay. It was the first installment that I had played and was quite a surprise of how much I would enjoy it considering how I disliked stealth games in general. This game had changed that and I highly recommended everyone else to obtain this within your collection. Substance is also out along with new features and additional gameplay value though I have yet to actually get it yet. Metal Gear Solid 3 is perhaps the best within the series until MGS 4 comes out. Enjoy it extensively, it'll last you a long time.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (US, 11/17/04)
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