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*I played Metal Gear Solid on PS Vita, downloaded from the Playstation Store. It's exactly the same as the original, but some controls are mapped to the touchpad with the absence of R2 and L2 buttons.*
The Metal Gear series is so long and complicated that even the name confuses people. The franchise began 26 years ago with stealth game Metal Gear, and more than ten years later, PSOne title Metal Gear Solid was released, which spawned several sequels, and now we also have Metal Gear Rising. Today it's a huge franchise and has made creator Hideo Kojima famous in the gaming world. After playing Metal Gear Solid 2 and being rather confused, I decided to go back in time and play the first Metal Gear Solid game. I didn't expect much, but it ranks alongside all the Metal Gear titles, and is very fun.
26 years on from the release of the original, the Metal Gear franchise has become known for its complex and often crazy stories, and Metal Gear Solid is no different. It's also very intriguing and full of twists and turns. Former operative Solid Snake is pulled out of his home in Alaska, desperately needed. Terrorists have taken over the snowy island of Shadow Moses, stating that they'll launch a nuclear bomb in 24 hours if the government doesn't hand over the body of legendary soldier Big Boss's body. Snake is forced to come out of retirement and see if the terrorists actually have the ability to launch a bomb. It's a good story and far less bizarre than the others - you won't find any fat terrorists on roller skates here. It's also quite deep, with a series of audio logs to listen to in order to hear more about the story before starting, though thankfully watching them all isn't really essential at all - it's really just backstory and extra detail.
Metal Gear Solid is a third-person adventure game with a heavy emphasis on stealth. Your goal is to sneak through Shadow Moses to your objective, trying not to cause casualties or alert enemies. You enter the game 'naked', with no weapons or gadgets, but by the end you'll have many tools at your disposal. There are many different obstacles around the island to catch you out, such as cameras and trapdoors, but once you have the equipment they're easy to sneak past. Enemies also patrol, and while most are better avoided, some are easier to get past by giving them a knock on the head.
As the game has so much of a focus on stealth, it's thankful that the stealth mechanics are decent and rarely frustrating, unlike that of some games. It's a simple system. You have a map (unless you're on the harder difficulties, in which case you don't get one!) which gives you the location of enemies and cameras, as well as providing their cones of vision so you know how far ahead they can look. In that regard, the game isn't very realistic - enemies can see around three feet in front of them, oddly - but the system works well, otherwise. You can get past enemies, but also dispose of them if it makes things easier. You can get behind enemies and choke them out, or use a silenced weapon so as not to get detected by others. You can also use chaff grenades to temporarily disable cameras. Overall, the stealth is robust. You'll inevitably get into combat sometimes, however, with some mandatory fights against both bosses and regular enemies. Unfortunately, the combat isn't too great, which isn't too surprising as this is a 15-year old title. Melee is handled by tapping the circle button. You can't call the hand-to-hand fighting stylish, and it's a bit clumsy, but it works in general. The gunfights are where things fall flat. Unlike future Metal Gear Solid titles, you can't aim with your weapon in first-person, resulting in a shooting mechanic that's imprecise and hard to use. Another key part is the Codec, which allows you to make calls to several characters, if you're not sure what to do next, or if you just want to here what they have to say. It's a cool system, but expect plenty of philosophical rambling.
Metal Gear Solid is a game that other developers should look at when thinking about replay value. The game offers many reasons to play again. At the end of the game, you're giving a ranking based on how much you save, how many alerts you got and how many enemies you killed, and are affected by what difficulty you play on. The Big Boss emblem is a coveted award that every Metal Gear fan strives for, and sees you playing on the hardest difficulty while getting the minimum number of alerts and kills - plus completing it in a very short space of time. There're other reasons, too. There are two different endings, each one giving you a certain special item to use if you start the game again. It's also worth playing through once again to see what easter eggs you can find and if there's anything you missed on your first playthrough. It's a game that uses original ways to get you to start over, rather than resorting to including hundreds of tiny collectibles.
As a PSOne game, Metal Gear Solid doesn't look fantastic. It's obviously pixely and character models don't look great. However, the island of Shadow Moses is quite impressive to look at overall, and has plenty of nice touches like footprints when you step on snow and enemies following the trail if they see it. At the time it was groundbreaking and ahead of its time, and that's easy to see here; even though it's a technically demanding title gameplay-wise, the graphics manage to resemble a game that looked good in 1998. The sound really holds up today. Though I enjoyed the score of Harry Gregson-Williams in the future Metal Gear games, the soundtrack of Metal Gear Solid could be my favourite of the whole series, as it's atmospheric and really fits in with the game's tone. The voice acting is also impressive. David Hayter is recognisable as the growly, rough-voiced Snake (but has now been replaced by Kiefer Sutherland, though it wouldn't be surprising if Kojima's trolling people once again) and does a great job. There's also Paul Eiding (Skyrim, Resident Evil: Revelations, some animated films) in the role of Colonel Campbell, Christopher Randolph (whose is good here but even better in MGS4) in the role of Otacon, and Jennifer Hale (pretty much every game ever made) as Naomi. It's a great cast that makes Codec conversations even more enjoyable than they would otherwise.
In summary, Metal Gear Solid is a very good game that stands up well 15 years later. The story is intriguing, offering more believability than the future games, and there's an excellent cast of characters. Stealth is great even though it lacks some of the little features that more modern sneaking titles have, though the combat is poor. The series is known for its fourth wall-breaking bits, and they're most prominent here but don't work quite as well if playing on a downloaded version on PS3 or Vita - for example, at one point you're asked to look at the 'CD Case' in-game by a character to find a Codec code. People looked everywhere for this CD Case in the game, but it really wanted you to look at the game box, which had the code on. In 1998 this was a hilarious feature, but on Vita it's less funny due to the fact that you have to view the instructions from the menu, where you are given it. The graphics are unimpressive now, but the footprints-in-snow effect is a good detail. The sound is excellent, with a superb soundtrack and excellent voice acting. Lasting around 10 hours on a first playthrough, it's a game well worth picking up for a few pounds on the PS Store.
Thanks for reading! This review is also on Ciao under my name YoshiCheesePuff.
I don't why they don't make games like this anymore. I'm aware of, and have played, all the sequels to Metal Gear Solid but for the post part have been disappointed. What this game had was a unique balance between gameplay and storytelling that has not been matched elsewhere.
For those not familiar with the series i shall lay down the basic premise. You play and see through the eyes of the character Solid Snake, a badass mercenary, whom has been sent into a nuclear compound which has been taking over my terrorists who seek to take over the world. Snakes job, to stop the terrorists before they can do so. All is not as it seems however and it soon becomes apparent that snake is trapped within a conspiracy which he will have to solve in order to uncover the truth and stop the terrorists.
I realise from my summary its sounds like every bond film ever made but it really isn't. At its heart it is really a mystery games coupled with intense boss fights and action sequences. There is something for everyone, plenty of mysteries to solve for the interllectuals among us and plenty of action and killing the sadists ;P. It's really up to you how you play the game. You can be a sneaky guy and make your way through the puzzle barely firing a shot, or you go out guns blazing and leave no one alive.
The characters are memorable and really for the most part very likeable, even the villains! With the game truly playing like you are in a filmic environment. Even with it being a PS1 game it as aged incredibly well and is the single reason as to why i will never ever bin my Playstation!
I'm always dubious when people call a game a classic but I think for once they've got it right. To begin with I can't say MGS sucked me in. I enjoyed it but it wasn't one of those games you could be bothered playing when you weren't (if that makes any sense?). However after the first boss fight, that's where it all began to change.
Plot: You are Solid Snake, a Special Forces operative, called back to duty for the purpose of infiltrating a heavily guarded Alaskan stronghold. This stronghold is home to a group of terrorists and throughout the game you will meet the six leading members of the group.
To say much more about the plot would spoil it as it is a very story driven game and the reason why this game is such a classic. What I will say though is that it's a pleasure to sit through and constantly has twists and turns woven well throughout.
Graphics: If I'm honest, they are pretty terrible. It's hard to make out what some things are sometimes. Even though they are incredibly dated, it's still an amazing game to play.
Gameplay: It's a stealth based third person game. You can run in guns blazing but you won't get very far. Instead it's a matter of timing runs and playing stealthily.
I must say to be prepared to sit through a lot of cut scenes. A lot of people complain about the length of them as it does seem like you're putting down the controller every five minutes for a five minute cut scene only to do so again. But, the plot is what the game is all about and it does its job very well. If you aren't prepared to sit and watch a lot of it then you're not going to enjoy this game.
Considering the game is quite old now, I found the areas between the bosses lacking somewhat. Each area is only a couple of minutes long but the suspense isn't there. You're surrounded by the enemy and yet it feels as relaxed as a stroll in the park. I could imagine back when it came out this wasn't really a problem.
After working your way through an area, you always end up encountering a boss. Each boss is entirely different to the others as each has its own strength. They are simply a joy to play gameplay and plot wise. You need to learn their weakness to take them down and before and after doing so, each is accompanied by an amazing cut scene with each of them having a great story to tell.
Lifespan: MGS took me just over 10 hours and that's with a lot of deaths and quite a bit of getting lost included too. There are side missions to do and little bits to unlock here and there but for me personally; I didn't find it had a huge replayability factor.
Overall: It is what everyone says it is and that is being a true classic for the PS1 era. The innovation shown in this game has yet to be matched again. As mentioned before though, don't play it for the gameplay now, play it for the story.
I remember when this game was release, I had bought a copy of playstation magazine and had seen the teaser trailer on the free cd you used to get all the demo`s on....whatever happened to them, they were great !!
Synopsis: You play Solid Snake (or David as you find out later) an ex member of the FOXHOUND special forces team, a team set up to crush revolution, or incite them. Each member trained to perfection. But now a rogue cell within the unbit has gone awol and has captured shadow moses island, a nuclear weapons depositary and are issuing demands. The US gov, takes you ourt of retirement to bring them down.
From the offset you need patience with this game, the training sequences with the big blue blocks look silly, but are necessary to hone your skills. You realise later how important it is not to let your fingers slip in this game. One flase move and your dead. One thing this game did was to forget (in part) the run in all guns blazing tactic of most other games where firpower is king. This game is about stealth and infiltration. Your bullets at the beginning are limited and you have only a knife and handgun so you have to make shots count. You can break guards necks and drag their bodies away , a nice touch, you can use their bodies for distraction or for non detection, by hiding them.
Thsi game also created the Guard, not alert, alert or attacking modes, as you can see in the tenchu series and now in games like assasins creed. Ths tells you if your about to be spotted and how much danger you could be in. Once you are spotted you have to either stand and fight, or do a runner. You can hide under vehicles and sono guards will forget all about you...alittle dumb on the AI front but when some geeks said to NAMCO/ Square Enix make this harder I found trying to escape on MGS 2 almost impossible.
The characters are pretty cool, from solid snake to teh cannon wielding Vulcan raven...each boss enemy comes with a certain strategy to kill them. This game also introduced electro magnetic pulse warfare like the grandes you throw to disrupt electrical equipment so you can slip past a camera.
Extra add ons feature later when you complete harder levels, like the stealth invisability suit and better rifles. but the weopens package is all here from the baretta pistol to stinger missiles to take out helo`s. You also have the Codex comms link to talk to your 'support' characters, who can give you advice if your lost.
the plot (being a japanese game) is suitably complex, toto much so in places but it does draw you in. Their is some puzzle element to this game, but mostly its action...its similer to Resident evil 2 in this respect.
but for me at the time , it was the detail..the cigerette smoke, the way the guards moved and talked to eachother, the special forces laser sights, the way you can knock on metal to draw attention, slip round the back and snap the guys neck ! that makes this an all time great
MGS was the first game in the series to appear on Sony's next generation console and was such a success that MGS went on to become a big hitter in Sony's future marketing campaigns with both the second and third installments doing phenomenally well on the PS2; the console that followed on from the original Playstation!
The basic concept behind the game is that Solid Snake, a former mercenary who worked for the U.S Goverment, is forced out of retirement when a terrorist group known as Foxhound takes over an island that contains a nucleur weapons disposal facility and threatens the greater world at large. Snake is asked to infiltrate the facility and take out the terrorists but soon finds himself being confronted by several faces and figures from his past! It also quickly turns out that there is a bigger conspiracy at hand and that Snake may not be able to entirely
trust those who have brought him back!
MGS is a great game and a true classic even if it is overly-complicated in places and top-heavy with plot. The gameplay controls are easy to use and there are a number of bosses of varying difficulty presented to the gamer at different levels of the game. It has an entirely original look and, despite appearing on what has now become now something of a dated console, remains unique and hasn't aged a bit!
I liked this when I first played it and still enjoy the odd game now even if it is not exactly something you can dip in and out of! Completing the game numerous times opens up different bonuses giving it a certain amount of longevity and if you have never played a Metal Gear game then this is as good a place as any to start!
So here it is. The game that kickstarted the Stealth genre. Some people hate this game with a passion, which is understandable. It brought in very long cut-scenes, and a focus on avoiding the enemy instead of attacking them head on. It was truely revolutionary however, and the first of its kind to introduce stealth as a major gameplay element. I don't hate the game, it's my favourite game of all time and I'll explain why.
The creator, Hideo Kojima, mainly created this game by making large scale models of the locations and characters, and using a camera to try and find the best angles and techniques for use within the game, moving it through the environments. Only someone like him would think of that.
The plot sees you infiltrating a nuclear weapons disposal facility in order to stop a renegade FOXHOUND unit. FOXHOUND themselves were formed 'to cope with local revolutions, regional complications, and global terrorist activities'. After they were taken over by someone called Liquid Snake, he installed his own choices, and demanded the remains of his father be handed over, or they'll launch a nuclear weapon. The backstory of the series is so ridiculously convoluted and complicated, I can't possibly explain it to you. All I can suggest is pointing you towards Google, it has more answers than anyone, apart from maybe Kojima.
The game rolls along at a fast pace, and has many memorable characters. There's many deceits, lying, backstabbing, surprises, and shocks throughout, as well as a tricky button bashing torture scene to overcome with the power of your fingers. Even when you've completed the game, it's not the end. You can replay and earn infinite ammo, an invisible stealth suit, as well as a Tuxedo, and different costumes for other characters during cut-scenes.
It's a critical entry for the PSX, and one of the greatest game series ever created. I would say it's a must buy, but if you have a Playstation you'll more than likely already own it.
I can't imagine there will be too many games of this type that were released for the Playstation that are as good as this. I found myself captivated from the start of the game with the story, graphics and everything and couldn't wait to start playing.
The first cut scene you see for Metal Gear Solid drew my attention in straight away to the game itself. As I was saying the story and the graphics are also great and this is a game I could have have played for hours and hours without stopping.
There is nothing particularly original in the story line for this game. You play as the special unit called Snake which is sent in to put a stop to terrorists sending nuclear weapons to anywhere they want in the world without any laws. However, the story is told in such a way throughout the game that makes it more interesting than others. There are a load of twists and turns in this game that kept me interested all the way to the end. The story also has extra depth to it that some other games do not.
There are training sessions in the game that you can practice your skills in which is very handy indeed in order to master the controls and work out what you're doing. It is almost like a mini game within the main game and you play on different levels that get increasingly harder and harder. There is another great feature in the game whereby the way you can get help if you are stuck somewhere in the levels and are not sure what to do.
The graphics are fantastic in this game. You even get the details of seeing your breathe in the cold weather and your foot prints in the snow as you move along. The cut scenes are also brilliant and not too long like in some games where you sit around waiting for them to end and get on with the game. When you move around the buildings you go into and the rooms within them are realistic.
To add to the graphics the sound is also extremely good. The characters all have great voices so are not annoying to listen to. The sounds of the weapons like the gun and the grenades are very real too and are done well.
As far as the gameplay goes it is very smooth and subject to what you might think this game is not all about kill kill kill, but there is a subtle side to it as well. There are times in the game when you will need to be at your quietest and stealth is better than violence.
Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone searching for a great shooting game that also involves stealth and awareness.
I've been a fan of the metal gear series since the first game came out for the NES way back in the 80's. Even back then, the series was lauded for its inventiveness, such as the emphasis on stealth over brute force and the always-fun ability to hide from enemies under cardboard boxes. Sadly, the game never became as popular as it should have, due to its incredibly high level of difficulty. Even with a cheat for infinite lives I never managed to complete the game! As such, its sequel, Solid Snake, passed under the radar for most NES gamers.
Cue 1998 and a revamped, re-imagined Metal Gear is released for the Playstation, entitled Metal Gear Solid. It took the world by storm, garnering rave reviews from all but the harshest game critics and is considered by many to be one of the best games ever released on the Playstation.
The storyline is fairly simple, although there are plenty of plot twists along the way. You take the role of Solid Snake, a special ops commando who is assigned to infiltrate Shadow Moses Island in order to neutralize a terrorist organization known as Fox Hound. You are aided in this quest by your support team who communicate to you over a radio system known as the Codec. They give useful information such as tips on where to go next and how to defeat certain enemies.
The majority of the game consists of you traversing the enemy base, trying not to be detected. You have a radar at the top of your screen which shows where enemies are and their field of vision. Step into their vision and they detect you and you suddenly find yourself being chased by numerous armed bad guys. In these situations you can either fight or hide but as the emphasis of this game is on stealth, Snake simply isn't very good at taking on multiple enemies at once and a painful death usually ensues.
So what's so good about it? Short answer - pretty much everything! From the moment you start the game, you can tell that a lot of time and effort went into making this game as inventive and fun as possible. Little touches such as enemies being able to detect footprints you leave in the snow really add to the realism of the game. And is there anything more fun than knocking on a big metal crate to entice the enemy towards your position and then rushing round the other side and strangling him from behind? The game also features some great set-pieces, such as a rooftop battle with a helicopter and the iconic car chase at the end of the game.
Boss battles are also very inventive. During the fight with one boss the screen goes temporarily blank. When the picture re-appears the boss suddenly seems to be able to read your every move and you can no longer hit him. The solution - take your controller out of port one and plug it into port two so the boss can no longer read your mind. How cool is that?
It has to be said though that although the game is really very good, it's not quite perfect. Lengthy codec conversations are a major annoyance in both this and subsequent entries in the series as they just take way too long and are often fairly uninteresting. Thankfully there is an option to quickly skip through these. The game boasts a wide array of weapons, from handguns to rocket launchers but sadly if you're trying to be as stealthy as possible then most of these weapons are useless as they cause too much noise. Graphically the game is also looking a bit dated now. At the time the cut scenes were really impressive but by today's standards they look very blocky. Still, when a game is this much fun graphics play only a small part in the enjoyment process.
As this game is fairly old, you can pick it up really cheaply, usually for less than a tenner. It's a fairly short game, I think the first time I played it I completed it in 8 hours. But it does have replayability value because you can get special items and costumes for Snake if you beat the game under certain conditions, such as not killing anyone and never being detected by the enemy. If you're new to the Metal Gear series then start with this one because in my view it is still the best, although Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is almost as good.
Metal Gear Solid is without a doubt one of the greatest games ever made, and in my opinion the best game ever released on the PlayStation (closely followed by Final Fantasy VII). It is a supremel infuential game that has had an impact on virtually every action game released since, with its focus on cinematic-style storytelling. It is "directed" by Hideo Kojima, and unfolds in many ways like a Hollywood film.
The plot revolves around a soldier called Solid Snake, whose former military unit FOXHOUND have gone rogue and overrun an Alaskan missile base called Shadow Moses, claiming that if the remains of their former leader, known only as Big Boss, are not handed over within 24 hours, they will launch a nuclear strike. Snake is sent in as a one-man army to prevent the strike, but has no weapons and will have to procure them all on sight.
The key to the game is stealth: especially in the earlier levels where you have no weapons, you'll want to avoid enemy contact altogether, so you have a soliton radar that shows you where the bad guys are, and also reveals their field of vision. While it means that the enemy patrols seem a bit robotic, it is a very fun mechanic and one that became a brilliant staple of the series.
As you get more weapons, it soon becomes a case of choice: you can use them to massacre the enemies, but this will attract attention and you will have to ultimately use evasive tactics to get through the levels. The boss fights are excellent and very varied, normally requiring a special tactic you have to figure out (as with the Cyborg Ninja). The fights get more and more overblown, resulting in a superb showdown at the end with the game's main antagonist, Liquid Snake.
While the gameplay is the main reason for the game's popularity, the storyline and cinematic production also contribute a lot. The numerous cut-scenes total several hours, although naturally some will not like this. Personally, given how most games have terrible plots, I appreciated the effort a lot, and was utterly engrossed by the amazingly film-like cut-scenes. Also, the plot is quite emotive particularly in the latter sections.
This is simply one of the best games ever made, and although the visuals have dated, the gameplay mechanics have not.
For anyone who's read a few of my gaming reviews, you'll know that two things that are very important in my view to making a great game is atmosphere and story. As long as the structure of the game is handled properly (easy, non fiddly controls, innovative & exciting gameplay etc).
MGS has atmosphere in spades, a very tense stealthy affair which sees you almost scared to breathe lest you become captured.
You control a special agent known by the code name Solid Snake. The story rivals any Box office films, and is a major strength of the game. Without giving anything away, you must infiltrate a terrorist compound as it has recently been discovered that they may soon have nuclear capabilities. This is as straight forward as the story gets, soon you are led on a wild journey with many twists and turns. Needless to say, the story is compelling, gripping and original.
Sneaking through the game is the only way to go. Utilizing shadow as you slither up behind your enemy before swiftly dispatching them with a quick snap of the neck, or silenced pistol to the back of the head, before disposing of the corpse so as not to draw attention. If you are discovered it's not a game over, but you won't last long in the open.
The game is a long one (could take upto 20 hours to complete) and depending on how you perform throughout the game you will unlock certain perks on completion. Perks such as infinate ammo bandana and a smart James Bond-esque tuxedo.
There is a nice pace to the game, with slow methodical areas of the game briefly interspersed with action packed boss battles. Each boss is challenging and provides a welcome change of pace.
As you'd expect from a good story, the characters are deep, complicated and believable. In fact you may even find yourself empathising with the very bad guys you're trying to kill.
The gameplay is deep and immersive, the controls, streamline and easy to use, the story is amongst the greatest ever told in a computer game and the atmosphere is full and intense.
MGS is one of those benchmark games that raised the bar for what video games could be, blurring the lines between game and film makes for an amazingly rounded game that will keep you hooked from the second you pick it up and for a long time after.
A definate reccomendation to all who love gaming. Shows what can be achieved when a project has alot of time and man power invested in it.
I first played this game over 10 years ago when it was first released on the PlayStation. Recently I managed to take another look at this game and I was immediately impressed with how good this game was for its time. Game controls are responsive and general gameplay and layout is fun but the story line is what sets the game apart. Codec conversations and cut scenes are gradually introduced throughout to get an understanding and feel behind the character solid snake.
Having played through the game at least several times, purchased the Metal Gear book with the corresponding codec conversations I can safely say the dialogue in this game is superior to that of even a James Bond film. As events unfold each character's emotions change according to the story reflecting on their actions. While Snake appears to be a very cold and tough warrior on the battle field, the codec conversations unravel different layers of personality.
If there's any criticism of this game, the game was initially written in Japanese and unfortunately a lot of Snake's personality has been lost in the translation. Certain thoughts and emotions are simply not conveyed in the same way as the original, however translation is perhaps a very difficult job in itself.
These days there's too much emphasis on life like graphics and not enough emphasis on the game itself. Metal Gear was developed at a time when the CD based PlayStation had recently come into existence, so Hideo Kojima and the creators wanted to make use of it for audio. As result playing the game is like watching a movie.
Other than Snake himself there are a range of characters such as Otocon, a scientist captured by the enemy and Sniper Wolf, a female sniper, two very original and interesting characters.
Overall I cannot recommend this game more than enough. It may not be the latest generation graphics but in reality this is insignificant compared to what this game truly has to offer.
This was another step in the right direction for the Playstation ,after the huge success of Resident Evil, Tomb Radier and Gran Turismo. The big blockbuster games were coming thick and fast , each one trying to better the other. So when Konami threw their name in the hat they had to come up with something quite special to compete with the big titles that were getting churned out at the time.
But compete they did with this awesome espoinage game that started a domino effect of classic games for the PSX and PS2 to follow in fact the brand is still going strong as PS3 fans are presently anticipating the latest installment in this series. You play as Snake, a secret agent and have to manouver you're way around with different survival methods, creeping up and choking unsuspecting enemies and avoiding CCTV cameras as you go and stay out of the enemies sight.
The gameplay was amazing for its time as it was very easy to guide Snake around and all of his actions were easy to perform. Graphically this was an immense effort, although very dark it was also very fitting for the type of game it was. The sound was good and the voice acting was all very impressive as you are told where to go and what to do next.
Metal Gear Solid is just a brilliant game that's still pretty good to play now, the gameplay was so easy that it doesn't date that much. Thumbs up.
The controls in Metal Gear Solid can be tricky to get to grips with. It can be easy to accidentally lean against a wall when aiming to run past it (or vice versa). The analog controller comes recommended, but only for precision of direction - for a stealth game it's perhaps surprising that Snake runs regardless of how far the stick is pushed. As such, Snake cannot face a direction without moving towards it, which was why I did not like use of the FA-MAS and I did not enjoy the boss battles involving hand-to-hand combat.
The overhead view which Metal Gear Solid primarily opts for is restricting, and I felt that there were times where the game could do with/without there being a change in the camera angles. Sure, the surroundings can be scaled in First Person View mode but it is difficult to switch between them swiftly since the controls for each perspective is different.
Of the boss battles, the game of cat and mouse with Vulcan Raven was cool (cold even, considering where it takes place), and another memorable boss encounter would be of that against Psycho Mantis - this guy can read your moves as well as your memory card (he told me I liked Suikoden!). What is neat is that, when stuck in the game, there is always help at hand via the codec.
There are numerous possibilities to be had with the items and weapons found in this game. Unfortunately it did not seem plausible to equip multiple items at once, so the ID card has to be equipped manually, despite the game explaining away how the doors should open automatically. Similarly, it is said that the Genome soldiers have developed vision, but clearly their sight is poor! However, get caught by the enemy and it is a battle against the odds - reason enough for a stealthy approach.
Metal Gear Solid has high production values and comes on 2 CDs. The script is tight and the set-pieces are well done; and with the top-notch cast of characters comes equally strong voice-acting. The majority of sequences can be skipped, but the story is able to hold up for replay because you can see the twists and turns in action.
Despite the use of greys and greens throughout the game, the environments are excellent and are nicely detailed - look out for the Sony PlayStation in an office! The character models are not so sharp; the graphics appearing low-res in places - this is obvious when crawling through the air shafts. The use of sound effects and music in Metal Gear Solid is particularly effective though.
I felt the backtracking in this game was unwarranted, and to see one of the endings, it was torture! Metal Gear Solid is fairly short and can be clocked in around ten hours first time. The game fares well on replay; following completion of Normal or Easy, Hard can make for a different experience since there will be no playing by the radar on this difficulty setting. Also, there are higher rankings to work towards to, as well as unlockables. On first play through, I thought this game was okay, but on replay I found it to be a cool game with loads of neat touches.
You are Snake, a government agent on a mission to regain control of a secret nuclear weapons base from terrorist hands... lightly armed and facing an army of foes, Snake must avoid firefights in order to survive. Can Snake succeed?