Review by swfan10

"The Best Metal Gear Solid Experience....on the PS2. *****SPOILERS CONTAINED WITHIN*****"


Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was a game that I anticipated for years. When it came out, I was a tad let down. I thought the plot become too drowned in it's own philosophical rhetoric, and I thought the playing as Raiden was not the greatest thing to happen to the MGS series, but the gameplay and graphics were top notch, and the story was decent.

So enter Snake Eater, the third (and possibly final?) installment of the Metal Gear Solid series. It was widely believed since the game took place in the 1960s that the main character would be Big Boss, and as you play through the game you soon realize this was the case.

The Metal Gear Solid series has been widely known not only for it's story, but for the incredible gameplay experience that awaits you. Snake Eater does not let you down, as it offers the best gameplay experience in the entire series.

The camouflage index is a great feature, as it gives you the ability to blend in with your jungle surroundings.

Another feature is the survival index, in which you will have to constantly heal yourself if you are injured, but I like how it was set up. It is innovative, and really lets you get into touch with Naked Snake (your codename).

In addition to the survival index, you actually have to feed yourself to stay alive. If your stamina meter begins to dwindle, it will be more difficult to aim, and to regain your health. By eating food, your stamina will increase and alllow for your health to increase if you become injured.

Stealth is even more needed in this installment, because the guards are a lot more intelligent, and if you are seen, many reinforcements will arrive, and then things get a bit hairy.

Other than those new additions, the controls are exactly the same as Metal Gear Solid 2, so fans of the series will be right at home.

This game looks beautiful. From every locale you will happen upon, it's almost as if meticulous care has been used to make sure you feel as if you're truely in a jungle. Each blade of grass is distinct, and acts independently from the others.

The character models are astounding once again, and this game looks very, very similar in terms of visuals compared to MGS2.

I do not know about the rest of you, but the sounds of the guns in Metal Gear Solid 2 just did not have that force that I would think some of them needed. That is not the case in Snake Eater. Each weapon has their own distinct sound, and if a weapon does not have a supressor attached, you will almost feel the sound of the gun.
The voice acting is top notch, of course. Seeing as how I believe the Metal Gear Solid series to have the best voice acting in the business, this game simply delievers again.
The sounds of the jungle also add to the feeling that makes you feel like you are in the game. It's the minor details that you can hear that make the sound truly immersive.

Replay Value
First time through, depending on the difficulty, will take you anywhere from 13-25 hours to beat.

The ability to gain additional camoflauges from defeating bosses non-lethally, and the ability to hunt for those frogs also add to the replayability.
Another addition is the Snake vs. Monkey mode, which is hilarious, but actually fun to play. You simply hunt and shoot at monkeys from Ape Escape 2, and if you do each stage in under a certain time limit, you get a reward.

The replay value of this game seems to be longer than Metal Gear Solid 2, so you should be able to get about 50 hours out of it before it gets too old.

This review would not be complete without a look at the story contained within Snake Eater.

The story is well done, and it is structured the same as the original Metal Gear Solid. The game is straight up plot and twists, and unlike MGS2, it does not become bogged down in philosophical rhetoric.

It is great to see what Big Boss was like, and the twists at the end made my head swim the first time I beat the game. I will not even spoil those twists, because you need to see them for yourself.

My only major gripe in this game is the camera. The camera is not free roaming, so you'll find yourself in positions where you wish you could see something from a certain angle, and you just won't be able to do it. Once you get used to this, it becomes a minor aspect, but I hope in future installments of the franchise, a controllable camera is put in.

Top notch gameplay, top-notch graphics, and a stellar story make this the best Metal Gear Solid game...on the PS2.

I still believe the original Metal Gear Solid game to be the best in the series, but that is only an opinion. I thought the characters were more memorable, and MGS still has one of the best stories and twists in gaming history, so it holds a special place in my heart.

If you're a fan of the series, just go out and buy this game. You will like it, and it will make you salivate over upcoming MGS games.

Gameplay-9.8/10-Stellar, but the camera needs reworked.
Graphics-9.9/10-You will not find better graphics on any other game on the PS2
Sound-10/10-Incredible voice acting, great sound effects. This is the full package.
Story-9.7/10-Structured a lot like Metal Gear Solid. Some characters are not that memorable though, or atleast not as memorable as those in Metal Gear Solid.
Overall(Not an average)-9.7/10-Best Metal Gear Solid experience on the PS2, and a great addition to the franchise. It falls just short of being the best MGS, but it is very hard to be better than the original.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/23/04

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