Review by Jon Talbain

"Beautifully done in just about every aspect."

First off, I have to give it to Hideo Kojima and Konami, as they rarely disappoint when it comes to Metal Gear. This game is a true gem and I would advise any and every Playstation 2 owner to get this. The sheer amount of work that went into this shows. There really doesn't seem to be any corners that were cut. This game shines in just about every category. This series has a great following of fans and it must be hard to live up to everyone's expectations. But I believe Konami does it each and every time. If not Konami, Hideo Kojima. He is genius.

Story: 10 out of 10

As always, the story and/or plot is full of twists, turns, nooks and crannies. As usual, cutscenes show the story in cinematic movie form. I still can't believe how realistically the characters move and express themselves during cutscenes. It truly plays out like a movie. Also, if you are a lover or war/government conspiracies, you will eat this story up. I would also advise you to play the other Metal Gear games as well if you haven't. The story is ace.

So much happened in the story that alot of the times, your mouth will drop open or you will be compelled to watch and not look away or blink. Yeah, it is a good story and it is presented flawlessly. I don't want to go too much into it, as that would take forever. There is so much story here...and it isn't disappointing like some other ~cough~ games. I loved every minute of it.

Gameplay: 10 out of 10

Now after Metal Gear Solid 2, I was wondering how they would try to revolutionize the series again. Yes, I dare say Metal Gear Solid 3 is as a revolutionary as 2 was when it came out. You can do so much in this game that you may not know where to start. There are so many different pathways and ways of playing, it becomes fresh and new even if you have beaten it before. I honestly had no idea Konami put that much into this. It is almost mind boggling. The main new additions to the game are the "eating" and "healing" and of course the camouflage and CQC(Close Quarters Combat). This is one of the first games, if not the only game that requires you to actually eat to survive. It doesn't do it for have to do it. Actually this opens up a huge new area of gaming. This could be called Metal Gear Solid: The Hunter. You can basically hunt animals to kill for food, even though you can use fruit and real food as well. Konami really outdid theirselves.

And with the camouflage, you can almost become invisible to your own eyes. You can honestly trick people with this game..that is how detailed and how much work went into it. All these new ways of play helps out the game tremendously and keeps it entertaining. There are alot of ailments, such as getting sick from eating rotten food, or you can get poisoned by snakes, etc. With the healing system, you can even heal yourself. It is a really neat aspect of the game and I think it is well done. Everything is really. The CQC is a welcome addition. I was really getting tired of "Punch, punch, kick." I never could understand how Snake could do so much in the cutscenes, and then when you play him you were severely limited to those little moves. Yes he could do more than that, but not much more. In this game, there are many new moves and I felt they are much needed. THIS is more of how Snake should be controlled. With this new system, you can hold a knife and gun at the same time. It makes for an excellent combination and the enemies are more at your mercy than ever. Snake has new knife and gun moves, seperately and together. The animations are also improved.

Most of, if not all the weapons have been given extreme thought and detail. They act and look almost like their real life counterparts. There are some new outraegous weapons as well....I love this game, heheh. I guess Snake can make just about anything deadly. The fact that Snake has weapons and gadgets he can use make him twice as deadly. You can really destroy enemies in this game if you are skilled enough. There is the box, as always. Of course it would be better to use it indoors. Otherwise...well that is common sense. Another thing with this series and game is the communication. I love the codec. You can always call on someone if you need an extra hint or some help, instead of coming on Gamefaqs, LOL. They give really useful information and I am surprised at how many voice overs the disk can hold.

Anyways, if this amount of love and hard work went into every game, it would be such a better time to be a gamer. Get ready to be addicted.

Graphics: 10 out of 10

The detail in this game is amazing. There are so many points in the game, everything looks just about real. I couldn't believe this was a Playstation 2 game...and this is AFTER playing God of War. I see why people compare this to just about any other game out there. It is a sight to behold. Later on in the will also witness what has to be the most cinematic camera angles ever produced in a game WHILE playing it. Let's just say it has to do with a character named Eva and her "bike. " The character models and animations are also done really well and show off the hardware's very underestimated potential. The backgrounds just take the cake though. The art direction is beautiful. I honestly believe this is underrated and Resident Evil 4 is overrated in this category. Don't get me wrong, both deserve a 10, but this should have just as much praise.

I mean, the attention to detail is just amazing. After you wade through mud, you leave footprints. An enemy can notice them and follow you to their location. The same goes for vice versa. You can setup traps for the enemy, such as throwing an item near them and getting them while they bend down to see what it is. Enemies also get hungry and if you throw food, they will focus on that. Items such as the Motion Detector and Microphone are really cool to use. There are so many gadgets and they are presented so well that you really feel like a skilled agent.

The cutscenes, though..of course take the cake. They come off as having true movielike quality in the vain of Hollywood movies. Hideo Kojima prides himself on this and it shows. Every main character has a personality that is perfect for their design. The voice actors chosen are also perfect for the characters. The amount of expressions and movement just surprised me at how far technology have come. I mean I never thought I would see the day where in game models would rival the CG of the Playstation 1. It honestly does in alot of aspects. It seems now with every new next generation of systems, the in game graphics rival the CG of the system before it. That is a huge jump. The last level is just about beyond anything I have seen in a game. I still have no idea how Konami or the Playsation 2 did that. That instantly reminded me of Final Fantasy 8's CG, and that is NOT an easy thing to do. I was so surprised that I got blasted while I was marveling at this beauty of the stage. It is that good.

Now I have played Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Yes, that game is truly beautiful, but I wasn't as wowed as I was by this. I am referring to the Playstation 2 version, not the XBox or PC which I have both played. For now, other than God of War, I believe this is the epitome of Playstation 2.

Control: 10 out of 10

Forgive the pun, but the controls are solid and dead on. Everything just feels right. Whether you are running through the jungle or wading through deep mud, it feels as it should. I have heard some gamers say some games let you "feel" the graphics. Well if that is possible, this does it. That is all.

Replay Value: 10 out of 10

As I said before, you can do so many different things and go so many paths that you can replay this so many times and still do something new. There are alot of unlockables, challenges and difficulties to keep you on your toes. There are new weapons to get, more camouflage(With Internet) among other thing. And I never once got tired of playing this. It is just fun to play, as games should be. It is truly entertaining and should be enjoyed by gamers everywhere.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 04/20/05

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