Review by amlabella

"The best game of 2004."

The Meal Gear Solid series is one of the most recognized franchises in the video game industry. It brought the genre of stealth action games to the table. Now you see predecessors that have adapted from Metal Gears Solid, such as the Splinter Cell series. But now Metal Gear Solid is trying something new. Hideo Kojima has challenged himself by heading into new territory for the Metal Gear Solid series. In Snake Eater, the game is set up in an outside environment. This is new to the series, as the previous games were mainly based inside buildings and other various inside habitats. But with going into the new direction, Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater should be recognized as the best stealth action game to date. It appropriate, coming form the series that started the genre.

The storyline in Snake Eater is amazing. If you don't know already, Snake Eater is a prequel. So this game is set up before the two previous games. So if you're a big fan of the MGS series, you'll be happy to maybe find out some things you may have been wondering about the previous two games. Snake Eater answers a lot of asked questions.
Of course, you are Solid Snake in the game. You are sent on a mission to save Sokalov, a scientists. Later in the game you find out that Sokalov is being used to create unstoppable weapons and machines. A new character is brought in on this game. Solid Snake will encounter The Boss many times through the game. The Boss is the person who taught Solid Snake everything he knows. The Boss is Sold Snake's teacher. In your first attempt at saving Sokalov, you will fail. This is due to The Boss. It seems that The Boss has defected to the Soviet Union. Meaning she has betrayed you. She is now Solid Snake's enemy. Once again you are sent on a mission to save Sokalov. But this time you have to capture Volgin, the mastermind behind the plan of using Sokalov to make the ultimate weapon. Also, on you mission, you are ordered to kill The Boss. But can Solid Snake kill the person who taught him his ways and looked out for him? Can he kill the person who was his best friend? That will be answered throughout the game. Also, later in the game you will meet EVA. She will help you on your mission. Metal Gear Solid fans will recognize her.

The story helps answer many questions in the series, while revealing new things. Most notably The Boss. The new character mixes in very well with the game, and it helps open up Snake to more of the fans. You will learn a lot more about him through The Boss. It shows both Snake's soft side, while revealing how he got his edgy side.

As I said before, Snake Eater is set in the jungle. This brings some great new features to the game, and brings a new challenge. First off, you may notice this early. No longer in the game do you have a radar. This means you cannot easily detect where the enemies are. This can be very hard and frustrating. But once you overlook that small problem with the game, you will see all the good in the game. First of all, the game plays similar to the two previous game. You will use various strategies and tactics to sneak past enemies to succeed in your mission. But there are new features in the game because you are in the jungle. The first is camouflage. You will have various camouflage outfits and face paints you can use to disguise yourself near trees, grass, underbrush, and various other areas. This can be very helpful, as it will hide you more when you sneak by the enemies. Also, a new feature is to treat the injuries you have. You do this by going into the survival viewer. You can go to the different injuries that you have, and use the medicines and medical equipment that you have. If you do not treat your injuries, your stamina will continue to drop at a fast pace.

Quite possibly the best part of the game are the amazing boss battles you have to take part in. They all usually offer a very good challenge. They each have different ways of trying to kill you. So you may want to go into different boss battles with different ways of approaching them. And the boss battles are not always quick. I'm not going to spoil anything for you, but lets just say there's a boss battle that takes a very long time. You will need to try to kill the boss while eating and treating injuries to keep your stamina up, because the battle will take so long. These boss battles in Snake Eater will be remembered by people as some of the best ever.

Graphically, Snake Eater is amazing. The visuals are one of the strongest aspects of the game. As in previous MGS games, there will be a cinematic feel to the game. Many people complained about the second game, Sons of Liberty, because there were a lot of cut scenes and cinematics. In Snake Eater, this is not as much of a problem. But the very beginning of the game may be brutal to some people. In the first couple of hours, it's like you only get to play the game for ten minutes. The rest is cutscenes telling you the story. But after the beginning things start t pick up, so you just have to be patient. The character models and animations are some of the best in any video game. Everything looks so real. And each of the characters all look unique and amazing in their own way. The characters movements are very good and fluid. Probably the best part about the graphics are the outside environments. Since the game is in a jungle, you had to feel like you were in one. And Snake Eater has achieved that to perfection. The different trees, animals, grass, underbrush. Bushes, and other things in the jungle all look amazing. As I said before, the graphics in Snake Eater is one of the game's strong suits.

Just like the graphics, the sound in this game is excellent. It is put to sheer perfection. First off, the voice-overs are great. Each of the characters personalities are put into their voices. This makes all of the characters more appealing. The voices are very believable, and are very well done. The voice-overs overshadow the music. But that doesn't mean the music in the game isn't good. It's great. Although there isn't a lot of music in the game. But there is a very catchy original song called “Snake Eater” in the game. It fits in great with the game. But what even overshadows the voice-overs is the sound effects. As I said with the visuals, you really feel like you are in a jungle. The same goes with the sounds. You'll hear the movement of grass and bushes and the sounds of birds chirping. All of this adds up to making you really feel like you are in the jungle like I said before.

Besides the single player mode, there is a little mini game where you have to capture monkeys. Noticeably these monkeys are from Ape Escape. You must capture all of the monkeys in a certain period of time. It helps you get used to the game, which is good being Snake Eater sets itself apart from the other games. If you succeed in capturing all of the monkeys on all levels, there are a few unlockables, but I won't spoil anything.

My favorite part of the game is the way that Snake Eater sets itself apart from the other Metal Gear Solid games by different jungles being the premise of the game. Most of the time you will be venturing through lively jungles, but there are a few times will you will be entering buildings. Those are great too, but it's nothing compared to the outside habitats. Some fans may not like the change, but I think a lot of people will see that Kojima was trying something new, and he nailed it.

Snake Eater is a must own for anyone who has a PS2. MGS fans will flip out over this game. And rightfully so. Snake Eater packs in everything a game should have to make it great. It has the great gameplay, the amazing visuals, and the near prefect sound. This time Hideo Kojima has really outdone himself by making another great Metal Gear Solid game, but this time in outside environments. The various jungles that you venture through really brings a great new feel to the series. In my opinion, Snake Eater is the best stealth action game out there. It is basically flawless. You will find very little negative remarks to say about this game once you've played it. It surpasses everything the previous Metal Gear Solid games have done, and it also surpasses any other stealth action game that has been released to date. And it is easily one of the best games of 2004. You should go pick this game up. You will thoroughly enjoy the experience.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/14/05

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