Review by SLS_SNAKE625

"The ultimate version of the best Playstation 2 game to date."

Metal Gear Solid 3 was an amazing game in it's own right. Subsistence takes what made that game so great and added a whole slew more extras. This re-release is in a whole category of it's own, far outstripping any re-release before it. It's extras alone could be made into a solid game, and with a bargain price, there's absolutely no way you could go wrong with this game.

The gameplay in the single player Snake Eater part of this game is extremely close to that of the original game. You need to utilize camouflage to stay hidden to sneak through the Jungle and a number of indoor areas to accomplish your mission. If you get seen, the guards will send waves of troops searching for you. The game definitely emphasizes stealth, and one of the new additions so Subsistence helps you stay stealthy.

The new 3-D camera becomes the standard for the game, and it really gives you a new level of situational awareness. It does, however, take a little bit of practice to use effectively. Once you get it down, though, this game will feel even better than the first.

Another aspect of Snake Eater is the survival system. Snake needs stamina to regain his health and to properly survive the harsh jungles of Russia. To do this, you can hunt a large number of animals and eat them to keep your stamina up. You also have to administer proper first-aid to wounds such as leeches and broken bones. It doesn't always have to be proper, though- there's nothing like poking that broken arm with a cigar.

The graphics are amazingly detailed and look awesome, Lip-synching is slightly off, but nothing that detracts from the experience. The music is just as good. Harry Gregson-Williams does a brilliant job of capturing the intensity and rugged reality of the jungle. The music is definitely of the quality that you'll go to Ebay looking for the Soundtrack.

The story starts off rather typically, but then explodes as you progress. You'll meet a whole slew of characters, and they are so well done that you'll fall in love with some and hate the others. The only gripe is that the bosses are underdeveloped, but they are still grand, over the top battles, and there are enough fleshed out characters in the game that this is no serious loss.

A whole myriad of videos are available for you to watch. You can sample any cutscene in the Demo Theater, or you can watch some hilarious videos in the Secret Theater. The Secret Theater is essentially a blooper reel, skewing scenes from the original game for our own enjoyment. There's even a special video of Eva for those who can't control their raging urges (no nudity, though).

Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, originally released for the MSX2 Japanese computer system, are also in this game. They are fun diversions and help you get an idea on where Snake was before his original PSX excursion.

The biggest addition to Subsistence is Metal Gear Online. This alone warrants a 30 dollar purchase. It's an unlikely combination, but it works quite well. The emphasis seems to be put off of stealth, and more on typical deathmatch style. It still manages to be amazing fun, despite some maps that feel a little too cramped or broken for one style of gameplay. The game supports 8 players at once, and the interface is quick and easy to navigate. It also keeps detailed stats. There is no clan support, but you can have friends.

You have typical deathmatch, CTF and defense fares- then you have one completely unique game, where it's Snake versus all. It may seems extremely lopsided against Snake, but he actually has the advantage. He has stealth camo which renders him nearly invisible, and Snake is very resiliant- almost too resiliant. It's very easy for Snake to grab his goal- a microfilm- and deliver it to the goal amidst a wave of gunfire just because the maps are so tiny.

Overall, Subsistence is an unmissable package. It's priced for value and it deliivers. It's in the pantheon of not only best PS2 games, but best games of all time. Buy. Now.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/17/06

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