Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - PS2

Also known as: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater 3D

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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)
Also for: 3DS/2DS, Xbox
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Strategy: Stealth
Combat Game
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: KCE Japan Soft. Co.: Konami
Publishers: Konami (GB/US)
Released: 17 Nov 2004 (US)
4 Mar 2005 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15
Contributors:shawn97203, null


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As a shy, awkward child, Hideo Kojima’s favourite game was hide-and-seek. In 1998, he revolutionised the collective genre of games-with-guns-in-them by releasing his new creation, Metal Gear Solid. In the past, video games - with their tendency towards a one person audience - had generally cast the player as a hero who would not only take on all-comers, but could probably beat them all too. From Space Invaders, through 1942 and Operation Wolf, to Doom and Virtua Cop, the two concepts of shooting games and teeming hordes of easily despatched foes were almost inextricably linked. It didn’t help that video games, like so many of us, grew up in the eighties, with Hollywood leading the way in bread-and-butter hero depiction with its Rambo: First Bloods, Commandos and Lethal Weapons. But in Metal Gear Solid, the idea was to avoid the enemies and go straight for your objective. You didn’t have to – there were guns and ammo in game, and you could blast away if you wanted. But the point was that it was easier, and more satisfying, to get through the level without the alarm being raised. A whole new sub-genre, ‘Tactical Espionage’ or ‘Stealth Combat’, was created, and suddenly every other game boasted stealth gameplay and stealth levels as other companies struggled to keep up with the next big thing.

These days Kojima is still full of ideas. He was involved in Konami’s sunlight-driven Boktai games on the GBA which, while not necessarily genre redefining, are certainly an example of a good idea well executed. Metal Gear Solid 2 on the PS2, released in 2002, silenced many of the new machine’s detractors with its well-paced gameplay and impressive graphics. Likewise a polished remake of the first game, this time on the Gamecube, The Twin Snakes, showed that even the original could still hold its own amongst today’s competitors. On the other hand some people said MGS 2 was too short and the bosses weren’t as good, and Twin Snakes was after all, only a re-make. So should fans be excited about the latest release, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater? Let's see...

The game is set in a Russian Jungle in 1964, two years after the Cuban missile crisis. Did Konami ever say when the first two games were set? Not that we know, but it seems fair to say that MGS 3 is some sort of prequel. Instead of the old radar featured in the old games, the player is equipped with sonar and motion sensors. Between them they provide the same info as the old radar, but limited battery life means they must be used sparingly. The jungle setting looks gorgeous, and it’s clear the game is pushing the creaking PS2 to its limits. But the change of setting from indoors to the great outdoors impacts on the gameplay too. The game is now not just an espionage game but a survival game. Snake, if that’s who he really is, has to eat jungle animals to survive and keep his stamina up. He has to be sure to be wearing the right camouflage for the area he is in. Survival is all about keeping fit. Snake must keep himself well fed, and his wounds dressed, or the travails of his mission will take an even greater toll.

In structure the game resembles its grandfather most – there are large, spectacular bosses to defeat as there were in the series’ first iteration. The-cut scenes are even more beautiful than MGS 2. And with 20-25 hours of heart-in-mouth sneaking, and as sophisticated a plot as you are likely to find in any game - or even movie - it seems as if shy old Hideo Kojima may have pulled off his best effort yet.


Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - PS2 Artwork

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - PS2 Artwork