Review by LightSpectre

"Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence Review"

A prequel that takes place before Metal Gear 1 and 2, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater/Subsistence takes place in the year of the Cold War during the 1960's. Having not yet taken the role of "Big Boss", Naked Snake AKA John/Jack is sent into Russia to kill his own mother figure and mentor in order to prove America's innocence. Throughout the game, he must face an array of foes such as: The Cobra Unit, Major Ocelot, Volgin AKA Thunderbolt, a mechanical beast acting as precursor to the Metal Gears of the future, poisonous animals and snakes, and many, many guards. Being thrown into the middle of the jungle, Naked Snake must use his unique variety of camouflages and face paints in order to blend in with his surroundings, and avoid detection by the enemy. He must also hunt and kill his own food, eat it before it goes rotten in his backpack, and procure his own items and weapons on sight. Meaning that aside from the Radio (a substitute for the codec used by Solid Snake in MGS1 and 2) you are pretty much on your own.

One of the things that separates this game from all "previous" Metal Gear's is the new implementation of "CQC" techniques (Close Quarters Combat.) By learning and mastering all of Naked Snake's CQC moves, you will be able to knock out a guard and leave them on the floor, interrogate them for answers based on your mission/slit their throat if you'd like, snap their neck, throw them forward onto the ground and hold them up with a weapon, take them hostage while you shoot other guards, use the classic MGS "punch, punch, kick", and obtain special radio frequencies that can either call off an alert, commence bombing (on the guards and not yourself), or enable you to find songs through the radio that although outdated from the 60's, will gradually and eventually restore your health. You can also use certain CQC abilities for different types of weapons. Example: When you equip the SAA (Single Action Army) you can press the O button three times, and instead of the usual "punch, punch, kick", Snake will hit the enemy three times with the gun, the last blow sending them flying and unconscious.

Online mode is another blast (Subsistence version ONLY) but has, since of April 2007, been shut down forever. Players used to be able to communicate via Playstation 2 headset to form strategies with allies to obliterate the other team/capture the kerotan (an alternative to the general classic: "Capture the Flag") in order to provide a stable and well-deserved victory. Players could also go up in rank online and view their statistics, to see who was the best of the best, or how far they were from it. The online mode also enabled exclusive weapons such as the Flamethrower that could easily, despite the short range, burn enemies to a crisp, et cetera.

The inclusion of the Single Player "Secret Theater" mode and "Cut scene Viewer" also made fans burst into laughter (or at least smirk in some of them) as they saw the characters of the game doing things that they would normally not have done before, or seeing things that characters have already done throughout the course of the game. The "Secret Theater" mode goes from Naked Snake being run over by a nuclear tank, to Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2 trying to kill Big Boss so that Solid Snake is never "born", thus enabling him to be the main character of the upcoming: "Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots." While the cut scene viewer shows every single cut scene of MGS3 known to man, and a new "EVA peep show" that'll...focus on EVA's body...for quite awhile.
With the addition of the classic "Metal Gear'" and "Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake" games from the MSX, players are able to see the future of Big Boss, 30 years from the events of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, as they play as a younger Solid Snake who is tricked into a betrayal that he never knew he'd been set up for. A boss survival and ranking system are also included in both classic games. Not to mention with Konami being generous enough to make the controls for these games similar to the ones used in Snake Eater, fans are not left in bewilderment, and are instead, welcomed into the old way of gaming.

For the cheap price of $29.99 (may have gone down by now), Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence offers a fresh experience all the way from its new MGO Online Mode, to the new "3rd Person Camera Angle" feature that lets players get a better look of the jungle environment, makes the game a bit easier for newcomers, and offers a different look for the previous veterans of the "Snake Eater" version. If you are a Metal Gear Solid fan who is planning on passing this game up, you will miss out on A LOT. Because even though this game is a prequel to all the "Metal Gear" and "Metal Gear Solid" games, it clears up on a lot of the events that take place in the future and even in "Metal Gear Solid 4" for the Playstation 3 (as already confirmed by Director and Metal Gear founder: Hideo Kojima.)
You may not be able to play online mode anymore (due to MGS3 sequel's online mode dubbed "MPO" for "Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Online" for the PSP), but that does not mean that you have no reason to buy this edition of an already respected game.

As a Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid fan, with this game being my first MGS, I give this game a 9 out of 10. I am proud to say that I have LITERALLY beaten this game SIXTEEN times, under a variety of difficulties and time limits, since in my opinion: Every. Time. you play the game it will be DIFFERENT. The guards will always be in the same positions, but whatever action you take, and every step you make, will affect their responses, their suspicions, and your or their demise. In this game, it is every man for himself. Prove your loyalty, not to your mentor, not to your country, but to YOURSELF as a gamer and a Metal Gear Solid fan, and Buy. This. Game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/18/07

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