Review by FrZnChAoS

"Metal Gear on a whole new level"

The Metal Gear Solid series is well known among gamers as a series that has pushed the limits on game play seen in video games. Produced by Hideo Kojima the Metal Gear Solid series has always had a strong story with a lot of character development. Does metal gear solid 3 carry in its predecessors foot steps....?

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater takes place during the 1960's in the events proceeding the cuban missle crisis. The story tells you that the real reason the Russians pulled there nuclear weapons out of Cuba was for a secret exchange. A Russian Scientist named Sokolov had defected to the United States and he had been working on a top secret weapon in Russia. The Russian's stated in order for them to pull out of Cuba they wanted Sokolov back. The United States complied not knowing the true extent of Sokolov's work in Russia. The exchange is made and the crisis appeared to be averted. Intelligence later finds out that Sokolov was working on some sort of Nuclear device. The government decides to use the newly formed Fox Unit to handle this mission. You play as Snake who is enlisted in the Fox Unit. Your mission is to go to Russia and rescue Sokolov. No one must know about your presence...

The first thing you will notice when your first start to play metal gear solid 3 are the beautiful graphics. The fact that this was pulled off on a PS2 is mind boggling.

To start with the environments are very detailed. The very atmosphere of a jungle is created through the use of foilage, lighting effects. There was obviously a lot of work put into the environments evident by the amount of detail present. Little touches like flies hovering over long grass bring in a feel of realism not a lot of games normally reach.

The character models are also quite detailed. Everything from the boots to the little details on the gloves is amazing. The sheer amount of characters and the diversity showcases the amount of work the artists put into the game.

The story for this game is told through a lot of cinematics and radio sequences. The story stay with the previous metal gear solid calibur of stories. In other words there is a lot of depth within the characters and there interactions to eachother. Although not as convoluted on as Metal Gear Solid 2 Son of Liberty there is definitely a lot to understand hear. It may take some players a few times through to completely understand the scope of the story in its fullest state.

Another factor that helps the story is the use of voice actors. The cast used in this game are clearly professionals. With all the dialogue for the characters feeling completely natural. Making the characters really believable. Once again the voice of Snake is done by David Hayter which makes his character feel complete.

The sound track for the game is also very fitting. Everything from the main snake eater theme to the ambient tracks you get when your sneaking through the jungle. It all seems to flow very nicely and help create a better atmosphere.

The sound effects are what you would expect. Gun shots sound crisp and how they should. Little things like the difference from walking on mud or grass should be noted. Nothing ever seems out of place.

The controls for this game are very complicated at first when you play. This is due to the fact that Snake has an enmormous amount of moves at his disposal. After playing for about 20 minutes or so the controls will feel natural though. The controls in general are very responsive and I really can't complain. If there were any issue that could be brought up it would be the fact that the camera seems out of place at times. Forcing the player to use the left joy stick in order to get a better look of the area while at the same time trying to maneuver around. Although its only a minor problem.

The gameplay factor of this game is quite expansive. The basics of the game have you sneaking around areas trying to avoid getting detected. Snake has the abilities to run,prone, roll, peak, stealth walk, etc to avoid his enemies. These are merely the basic thing you need to make it through the game.

When it comes to combat it can be broken into two kinds.

First off being gun combat. This merely consists of putting on a weapon and firing at your enemies. A nice thing implemented in this game is the fact where you shoot your enemies affects there movements. For instance shoot out a guards radio he cannot call for back up. If you shoot a guard in the leg he will limp around. This makes a lot more strategy when firing at enemies.

Secondly Snake can engage his enemies in hand to hand combat. This time around a new system has been implemented. This system is called CQC which stands for Close Quarters Combat. This allows Snake to engage his enemies in a variety of ways. He can grab a person and slit his throat. He could also take a person and use him as a shield, or he could just slam him to the ground hard to knock him out. There are many options to choose from. Overall this makes combat quite fun and avoid ever getting boring.

While you have many combat options it is preferred that you stay hidden from your enemies. Another new feature added to this game to make this easier is the ability to camouflage snake. Snake can choose from an array of uniforms and face paints to wear. Depending on the area you are currently in these will correspond to a camouflage Index. If you picked suitable camo for the are you are in than the index will be high and the likely hood of being spotted will be reduced.

Another thing to note is the fact that Snake needs to be fed or his performance will decrease. Feeding Snake requires the player hunt for food. Every in the game is littered with food choices. Depending on how much Snake likes his food will change how much stamina he regains. If you run out of Stamina Snake will pass out.

The last new feature implemented in this game is the cure system. When Snake enters combat there is a possibility he will get wounded. If so than Snake must treat his wounds. If you dont heal snake than his health will never be able to naturally be able to recover. You cure your wounds be using a variety of items depending on the injury.

When all these features previously are put together the game play experience is quite daunting. The depth in this game is astounding and makes it extremely fun to play. Through the use of well told story telling it makes the reasoning behind the game seem like it has a true purpose. The characters are extremely well developed and really make you feel for them. Whether that be Love or Hate. Chance are there will be one character you like with the rather large cast in the game.

The overall balance in this game is well done. You never really feel like your doing the same thing to much. The boss fights are very varied and some are incredibly original and will no doubt push the players limits. The game itself is quite long compared to other metal gears, coming in on average around 12-18 hours your first time through. With enough incentive to play through the game multiple times. Having such things as unlockable weapons and equipment. Attempting to acquire better rankings by improving your performance. By trying to eliminate doing things such as killing guards and being spotted. Also the other difficulties allow greater challenges for the veteran players.

In conclusion Metal Gear Solid 3 is a very strong game and is easily the best game put out this year if not one of the best games made ever. If you have a ps2 and have not picked this up yet Im not sure what your waiting for. Definitely worth the money.


Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 01/03/05

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