Review by Mykas0

"What is this?"

I had first played my Metal Gear for the original console a couple years ago, and after having the opportunity to play the other games, I finally played this one. Having heard that this was not only a sequel but also an evolution, I was expecting a lot from this game. Also, being the last game of this series released for the console, people would be expecting an ending in big style, and I have to tell them that they will find it in here!

Like in the other games of the series, in this one you will have to do a couple missions, all of them which will approach you to the last mission you will have to accomplish. However, this time most of the game will be played in the jungle, and you will be able to use the bad (and good) things about that kind of environment.

One of the best things about the jungle is the capacity to hide yourself in lots of places, and this type of thing is turned even more interesting by a new feature added in this game: camouflage! Your main character (which will be "Big Boss" and not the usual Solid Snake, unlike most people thing) can use different camouflage and face painting, and despite some of them will be available as soon as you start the game, most of them will be acquired by performing some in-game tasks.

These camouflages can make you hide better in the environment, and on the top right of the screen you will even be able to see the probability of not being seen by the enemy. Also, others have special features, like making you totally invisible or a strange feature of draining your stamina.

Yes, stamina will play an important role in this game, since you will need it for performing almost everything in the game. By having a low stamina you won't be able to be at your top level in all the tasks, eventually even not getting a good shot when you are aiming at the enemies. To get more stamina you will need to eat, and now you can even attack (or capture) animals found in the jungle in order to eat them.

This could seem interesting, but not everything can be eaten (like the dogs of the enemies...) and some food may even be bad for your health, if it is rotten or poisoned...

If you get poisoned or having any problem like that, you will need to heal yourself, and to do that you will need to access the "Cure" menu, another new thing also added in this game. In that specific menu you will be able to see what diseases (or problems) your character is suffering from, and you will be able to administrate him the cure for those problems. Despite this could seem interesting, in some boss battles you will need to enter this menu many times, meaning that it may somehow break the action. Also, you are said how to fix the that specific problem, but sometimes you are not told exactly how to do it.

About the weapons, I must say that this game has way more weapons than the other games of the series, and almost none of them are needed to finish the game. Virtually you can finish the game by using less than 3 weapons, despite having access to more than 12.

Now, your backpack (I mean, in the "items" you can easily access in the left and right side of the screen) will also contribute to your weight, meaning that taking more things with you will make you loose more stamina, just like in real life. Therefore, you will need to pick what are the best items for you to use in each moment, and you will have to take your options.

There are now many more options that you will be able to take across the game, and those will be able to chance somehow the game.

In some of the cut scenes you will be able to press R2 to see specific scenes, and despite not being needed you will always have some bonus if you do it.

Once again you will be able to change into the first person mode when you wish, and that kind of perspective will surely be nice when you are trying to hit the enemy from a long distance.

Oh, and the codec makes once again its return, but since that kind of technology wasn't available in the times of the "Cold War", this time you will have to keep yourself using a normal radio... strangely, it works exactly like the codec system, but perhaps that is just my imagination working...

There is also a mini-game in which you will be able to catch some monkeys (like the ones in "Ape Escape", with a siren in their head and everything...), but I don't think most fans will enjoy that.

The story is amazing, and it has some details which will make us players consider it the best one in the series.

Like I said before, you will be playing with Big Boss when he was (somehow) young, and you will engage in a mission to prove America's innocence in an event with a nuclear bomb which occurred during the Cold War.

Despite "saving the scientist and the world" may seem a rather usual plot, each of the characters involved in the plot will have their own reasons for fighting you (or joining your side), and those are simply amazing... once you get to the final battle of the game (which is way less predictable than before), you will have to listen to one of the best speeches I've ever heard in a game, and I've even cried about it.

In it, you will find that there isn't always a good and a bad side, but a side that you have to believe in, and the same may happen with the person you are fighting.

Truly legendary, some parts of the game will perhaps stay forever in your heart.

You can clearly see your character, the effects of the weapons, the gentle water crossing your paths and everything in the cut scenes. Do your remember the first Final Fantasy CG movie? Well, the graphics on this game really resemble the ones in that movie.

Changing your camouflage will make your character display that same camouflage in the cut scenes, and that may sometimes have funny results.

The music isn't heard all the time, but you will be able to hear sounds from the jungle many times. Those sound effects are perfect, but sometimes they may have a slight glitch, in which you will be able to hear the enemies chatting so loud that they will seem to be right next to you.

However, I would have liked to listen to more good musics during some certain events, and strangely I wasn't given that opportunity. In the last trailer of the game you could hear some simply great scenes, and when confronting those same scenes in the game you will perhaps be sad.

The sound effects are nice, and the weapons will sound exactly like in real life. Weapon addicts, you will surely enjoy this more than myself!

Play Time/Replayability
Despite I have played this in the "very easy" mode, I was able to finish the game in less than 20 hours. Of course that playing in other modes will surely take more time, but a skilled player may even finish the game in less than 4 hours, even in the "extreme" difficulty level, which I heard that was only only available in the European version of the game.

There is also the "Snake vs Monkey" mini-game, in which you will need to catch some monkeys, but that one is not very interesting.

Many other options can be unlocked by performing some in-game tasks, and if you are playing the European version of the game you will even be able to get a theatre, in which you can see all the cut scenes in the game. There is also a Boss Battle mode, but I am not sure if that one is also available worldwide or not.

But referring to the replay value, if you are not interesting in playing the story mode more times in order to get better ratings (yeah, you can get a different ranking depending on how you played) you won't find much replay value in here. Sorry, and I will have to say that the lack of interesting replay value is the worse problem about this game.

Final Recommendation
If you are just searching for a game that will make you have some fun, you will find it here. If you are searching for a game that will teach you a lifetime lesson, you will find it here. If you searching for a game that will really make you interested in the story up to the end, you will you find it here. However, if you are interested in a large replay value, you WON'T find it here. That's the only problem about this game...

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 05/04/05

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