Metal Gear Solid 3 is a great achievement, one that fans of the series will love and vividly remember long after 2004 is over. Snake is in for another richly cinematic, and ultimately satisfying adventure in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the latest installment in Konami designer Hideo Kojima’s long-running stealth action series. The mechanics of Metal Gear Solid 3 can be just as intriguingly confusing as the storyline and just as rewarding, especially once you reach some of the game’s memorable, dramatic confrontations against some of the greatest bosses ever to feature within any game. In short, this is a great game that both the impressive style and the spirit throughout merits a buy with anyone’s hard-earned cash.
I want to know what happened before MGS 1 and 2
…Naked Snake again
…intense and lifelike cinematics
I want less of an extraordinary and complex story
Unfortunately, the story gets off to an almost painfully slow start–you’ll have to put up with a lot of wordy, sometimes tedious exposition in the first couple of hours, and these hours are almost literally devoid of gameplay, even more than the previous installments. Another possible impediment is the game’s highly self-aware and self-deprecating sense of humor, which should appeal to the series’ hardcore fans but nevertheless takes you out of the moment, oftentimes on purpose. Playful anachronisms are plentiful, and there are more than a few jokes at the expense of Metal Gear Solid 2’s protagonist, Raiden, and rightly so. Some of this humor is rather lofty and clever,however, some of it falls flat and makes it seem like a bad translation case from Japanese. So it’s fortunate that the game seems to simply abandon the goofy aspect of its personality somewhere around the halfway point.
Those who had been disappointed with the small cameo of Solid Snake in MGS 2 will be letdown as Snake Eater is a prequel. But do not be alarmed. It is still a great story. Much of the story revolves around Snake’s relationship with a woman known only as the Boss, who trained him to become the elite operative and deadly fighter that he is. The Boss turns out to be a great character, and in many ways the story almost focuses on her as much as it does on Snake, so it’s fortunate that she’s as good a character to connect to as he is. Another major player in the story is Ocelot, whom Metal Gear Solid fans will remember as the eccentric Russian gunslinger with a penchant for torturing his victims. Of course, he’s depicted here in his formative years–he’s presented as an extremely talented marksman who’s still impressionable, despite an arrogant streak. The rivalry that develops between Ocelot and Snake is pretty striking.
Metal Gear Solid has always aspired to be more than just an action adventure game. The series has pushed the envelope in terms of storytelling through the video game medium, and it’s also developed postmodern plot twists that are about as thought-provoking as games get. Yet these types of things have come at the expense of pure gameplay time, which sometimes feels like its taking a backseat against the highly convoluted yet highly engrossing story. That’s not to say its does not have its fair share of unforgettable moments and wonderful scenarios that will go down in gaming history, which offer free-flowing gameplay highlights that can let the imagination run wild. This is a prequel not to be missed.