Two Metal Gear games talked about in rapid succession? This Metal Gear game I’m going to be talking about is not only my favorite of the series, but my favorite of all time for the Level Up! Blogfest event. This event is being hosted by Jaimie Gibbs at Mithril Wisdom and Allison at Geek Banter and was supposed to be done on the 20th so I’m a bit late, but I couldn’t pass up on the chance so here is my part.
The game I consider as my personal all time favorite is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The game came out back in 2004 for the Playstation 2 and was re-released as a remake in an HD collection for the PS3/Xbox 360 and as a title for the Nintendo 3DS. The ’04 version is enough in my opinion to sell a person on this game. The game is everything that makes Metal Gear fun an interesting with a James Bond-like setting, interesting multidimensional characters, engaging and emotionally charged plot and some of the best gameplay I have ever had to chance to experience.
So the setting for this game is Soviet Union 1964. You are a CIA agent codenamed Naked Snake who has been deployed to help Sokolov, a Soviet Military Scientist who wants to defect. You are charged with infiltrating a Soviet installation crawling with soldiers undetected and extracting the scientist to be taken back with you to the West. Helping you in this mission is your team composed of your friend Major Zero, the mission’s health expert Para-Medic and your mentor The Boss. After infiltrating the area and finding Sokolov you discover there’s a lot more going on than what you initially knew and eventually the whole mission goes south.
The plot itself makes a solid amount of references (most being to old movies from the 60s) with a lot of scenes feeling like they’re some sort of homage. As well as the references the game contains a large number of themes the Director, Hideo Kojima, felt important like Nuclear Deterrence, technology, science’s effect on war, the arbitrary nature of war and much more. The game manages to be profound on a number of levels with layers of depth for those wanting out of a game’s story. Snake Eater and as well as the rest of the series are easily some of the best examples of why video games can be so mature and complex. Of course the game does have intentionally silly moments.
The game of course is very well-crafted outside of the plot, with a number of gameplay aspects at your disposal. As the main character Naked Snake you have at your disposal weapons, items and camouflage you must use in any way you see fit as you infiltrate deeper and deeper into the Soviet installation. Sneaking around, waiting and hoping the patrols cannot find you can be intense. Another aspect of the gameplay is surviving with hunger being being the main concern. Additional to the surviving aspect are traps, deadly animals and other hazards you must avoid to live. Despite your encounters with crocodiles and poisonous animals the most dangerous enemies, however, will not be the wilderness.
Snake Eater is gem of a game that excels on all fronts with fun gameplay, great controls, and an engaging plot with depth. In terms of visuals the game looks decent even now. Altogether the game’s various components come together to give you it’s greatest selling point. Immersion. When sneaking into the Russian Weapons Lab knowing the only thinking stopping all-out Nuclear War is you and you feel the pressure you can’t help but get immersed. When you beat the game you’ll leave attached to not the playable main character, but with the interesting supporting characters and antagonists who are more than just “the big bad Russians”. For those of you hesitant still because it’s “3” in the series, fear not as the game a prequel and you’ll not be left behind on the story at all. For those with an interest in videogames and the ability to play this game, trust me when I say it is an experience you’ll feel would have been Oscar-winning (if videogames could compete in that) and you should pick up this game whenever you can.