Review by ShadouKuraido

"What a thrill"

It's 1964. You are Naked Snake, a CIA agent sent to the Soviet Union to rescue a Russian scientist named Sokolov. When things don't go exactly as planned, Snake ends up on an emotional journey full of love, patriotism and betrayal. It's not as thought provoking as the story of the rest of the series but it is an exciting tale full of twists and turns that will surprise and please you. The characters are rather bad for an MGS game though, and several points in the game made me cringe in embarrassment. If you like James Bond stories, you will probably at least enjoy MGS3 to some extent as it clearly tries very hard to imitate the famous Spy movies. It's no “From Russia With Love” though.

The graphics in MGS3 are stunning. I could run around for hours admiring the environment of this beautiful game. The visual effects are well done and the game really pushes the PS2's hardware to the limit. The wildlife also looks and acts realistic, and every bit of foliage is rendered perfectly. The character models are well detailed and realistic looking, as is the animation. Another great thing about the graphics is that the cutscenes all run on the games engine, so Snake will be wearing whatever camouflage you have equipped during cutscenes. The sounds of the jungle are replicated perfectly to add a great sense of atmosphere to the game. The music is also excellent as usual, adding to the jungle feel. Sadly the voice acting isn't quite as good as I would have liked. The Boss is the worst offender, but Sokolov and the Cobra Unit won't be winning any awards either.

Metal Gear Solid 3 completely reinvents the gameplay seen in previous MGS titles. The guards' hearing and vision are a lot better so Snake will have to sneak carefully to avoid being seen. To aid you in this, MGS3 features the Camo Index. Snake can wear various Camouflages to avoid being seen by guards. The higher your Camo Index, the harder it will be for Snake to be seen. You can also find more camouflage hidden in areas of the game, which adds some replayability as you try to find them all. In addition to the Camo Index , MGS3 features a new Stamina bar and cure system. During your jungle exploits, Snake will gradually grow more and more tired. You have to hunt animals and eat them to regain lost energy. Snake can also suffer injuries in combat which must be cured with various medical equipment. One of the biggest problems with the original version of MGS3 was the overhead camera. You couldn't see far in front of you so you had to stop and look in first person view to see guard patrols. Thankfully Subsistence fixes this, adding a fully rotatable camera that makes the game so much more playable. MGS3 features some amazing boss fights. You will fight the members of a group called the Cobra Unit. Each one of them has a specific emotion that they bring into battle. The intense battle against the old Sniper called The End has become notorious since MGS3 was released in 2004.

6 difficulty modes are available in Subsistence. Very Easy, Easy, Normal, Hard, Extreme and European Extreme. This allows inexperienced players to beat the game, while letting the hardcore players test their skills. A ranking system gives the game amazing replayability, as players will spend many hours trying to get the highest ranking, Foxhound, as fast as they can. While Foxhound ranking isn't nearly as hard as achieving Big Boss rank in MGS2, it's still a worthy challenge for anyone. To add to the replay value some more, you can also unlock various special items and camos by achieving certain parameters during the game. For example one requires to capture a certain animal and keep it alive until the end of the game, and another requires to go through the game without a single alert. All of these factors, combined with the fantastic gameplay makes MGS3 one of the most replayable games ever, and a game that many will still be playing years after release.

Disc 2 of Subsistence featured an online mode which has sadly been shut down. Other things featured on the second disc are ports of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 for the MSX, Duel mode, Snake vs Monkey and Special Theatre. Duel Mode lets you fight the games' bosses with limitations. Snake vs Monkey is a humorous mini-game featuring the apes from Ape Escape. Secret Theatre has some parodies of cutscenes in the game. The Europe exclusive Disc 3 combines the cutscenes of the game into a movie for your viewing pleasure.

Story – 8/10
Audio – 9/10
Graphics -10/10
Gameplay – 10/10
Overall – 9.6/10

One of the greatest games on the Playstation 2, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence is an absolutely wonderful game. Anyone who owns a PS2- actually, anyone who doesn't own a PS2 should buy one just for this game. If you consider yourself a fan of action games you simply must play this game.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 04/11/11

Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (EU, 10/06/06)

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