Review by Video Gamer Z

"Hideo Kojima's Latest Masterpiece"

This is the game that many have been waiting for over the past three years. An entirely new environment, setting, and game play for Metal Gear. The jungle setting really helps intensify the stealth concept. One of the great things is that you don't have to be stealthy at all. You can “run and gun” throughout the whole game. Although it's easier to slip by unseen and not get shot at as often.

Game Play - 10/10
The game play is incredibly fun. The segments of it are much longer between cut scenes than they were in Metal Gear Solid 2. Before this game was released, many feared that changing camouflage and eating would become an annoyance because you had to go into a menu screen to do so. It's actually an innovative feature, you don't have to change your camouflage every time you come to a new surface. You don't have to eat that often but keeping up your stamina helps steady your hands when shooting and helps recover your life faster. Usually there is some type of wildlife or plant nearby that you can hunt for food, unless you're inside of course. As I said before, you can either slip past enemy sentries unseen and unnoticed or run wildly with your M37, shooting everything that moves. Both styles of play are fun and gives a lot of replay value to this game as there are so many different situations you can get yourself into. The AI is also much smarter this time around, making the game that much harder especially without the radar.

Story - 10/10
The story in this game is beautiful. It is the most straightforward and easiest to understand of all the Metal Gear Solid games. There are far less radio calls in this game as opposed to Metal Gear Solid 2. It helps tie up some of the loose ends that existed at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2. One of the great things about the story of this game is that because it takes place in the past, it fits in relatively well with the real history of the Cold War. The main characters are well developed throughout the game, especially Ocelot. I thought it was a nice touch to see what the only antagonist to survive all three games was like in his younger years. The story is darker than the previous two Metal Gears but is much more emotional as well. The final boss battle and ending sequences are beautiful. The ending is very touching and almost had me in tears.

Graphics - 9/10
The graphics in this game are amazing. There are many points where I just sat back at the beauty of it all. I did notice a few slowdowns, particularly in the swamp area but other than that, there are not that many. The areas are fairly large and have a lot of spaces to explore and hide in. This game really pushes the PS2 to its limits in terms of graphics. The cut scenes are stunning and textures in the game look great.

Sound - 10/10
Even though there is no music in the jungle, the sounds of birds chirping, Snake's footsteps, rustling grass, and everything else completely make up for it. The music during alert, evasion, and caution fit each perfectly. There are many different music scores that play throughout the many different areas of this game. One particular part that I liked was when you have to climb up a long ladder to get to the base of a mountain and on the way up the ladder, the vocals of the main song, Snake Eater, begin to play.

Replayability - 9/10
There are so many things that you can replay this game for. Different camouflages, different face paints, faster times, finding all the Kerotan frogs, finding new ways to mess around with the guards, and much more. This game is definitely worth playing over several times before it's put back on the shelf. There are different unlockable items after you beat the game such as the Colt Single Action Army which can then be used on another play on the same file after the game is completed. Any camouflages and face paints that you obtained will also be available on the next play on the same file.

Final Recommendation
I highly recommend that you buy this game. This is definitely game of the year material because of its new innovations and amazing story. Everything about this game is memorable from how you managed to get a head shot on that guard from an incredibly far distance to the final boss battle. This game is truly Hideo Kojima's masterpiece. It was certainly worth the wait for this game, don't miss out on it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/29/04

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