It is time to give the Sony systems some love and do a review of some games for them. And what better series to do than Metal Gear Solid! For many, it is the reason they purchased a ps1, ps2 or ps3, and I admit, its the reason I bought them as well. Now I am going to do a series of short reviews on them, like I did with the Halos.
But first, a little history lesson. Metal Gear Solid, is actually the third game in a series of games known as Metal Gear. The general idea behind the games is that of stopping nuclear disaster. Sadly, I have not had the chance to play the first two metal gear games, but it really isn’t too important to the overall story, you can fill in the pieces.
Metal Gear Solid
Oftentimes considered the best game on the original playstation and I feel that I have to agree. Your goal is to sneak agent Solid Snake into a terrorist held building and stop them from launching a nuclear missile. To do this, you lead snake through the compound and use a radar to stay out of enemies fields of vision. While this sounds simple, its actually pretty tricky as they will hear you, see your footprints or even notice when an enemy has been dispatched. These mechanics are extremely fun to play around with and reward creativity, try hiding in a box and sneaking around really carefully. Combine this with fantastic story, characters, boss battles and some good plot twists and you have a masterpiece of gaming.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Released in two forms (Original and as Substance which came later and had extra content) This highly anticipated sequel to the playstation 1 has recieved a lot of mixed emotions from fans. For starters, it retains the gameplay elements of the first game and adds some layers of polish and depth to it. Not to mention, better graphics. But the polarizing part of the game comes in the form of the games protagonist, Raiden. Many feel that he is a bit of a wuss, and I admit, he kind of is at times. Another point of contention is the fact that the plot is so complex and so confusing at the end that it would make most people’s head spin. Despite these negatives, It is still a fantastic game that offers some of the most engaging and dynamic stealth gameplay there is.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Forget the original release, you want the Subsistance version of this one. Instead of a top down view, you are treated to a third person view, which is freaking awesome! Anyway, on to the game. The third Metal Gear Solid game is actually a prequel to all of the events of the other games. It takes place during the height of the cold war and features a host of new characters. The game mechanics have changed dramatically as well. You now use a variety of camouflage to blend in with the environment, must treat severe wounds using the right combination of medical equipment and you also need to eat in order to restore your stamina gauge, which lowered can have a negative effect on gameplay. Not to mention, the graphics are still pretty good and a lot of the music feels like it should be in a James Bond movie. Add a great story, characters and voice work into the mix and you have one of my personal favorite games.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
THE reason I got a ps3. The gameplay is a fantastic combination between the second and third and it just adds a pile of options. There are tons of ways to approach every area. Do you fight your enemies head on? Do you assist one side in a battle? Do you free the hostages to create a distraction? Or let the hostages be the distraction? It’s so much fun to experiment with this game. The combat has been streamlined from previous games and is now easier than ever. I also need to mention the storyline. I honestly think it is the best in the series, It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it is a rollercoaster ride that has a very satisfying conclusion. I go back and forth on whether I like this or MGS3 better. But there is one thing for sure, this game is awesome!!
Though it is more of a direct sequel to metal gear solid 3, it should be noted that this game does fill in some of the story between 3 and the events of later metal gear games. I find that the gameplay is pretty good overall, it feels a lot like metal gear solid 3 and has similar elements. But it also includes a pokemon esque sort of team building mechanic that is fun to play around with but can get tedious and boring fast. There are other mechanics that I haven’t talked about but I never got the opportunity to use them sadly. Overall, a good package, and one that is well suited to the psp, but it isn’t my favorite MGS game.
All in all, the Metal Gear Solid series is one of the best that there is, the gameplay is phenomenal and the story’s are extremely interesting. I highly recommend giving them a go, but do not, I repeat, DO NOT play them out of order as it will be the most confusing jumble of events you have ever seen. Despite this, they are all worth playing and each have unique mechanics that make each and every game feel fresh. Good stuff!