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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2)

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Genre: Action & Shooter / Video Game for PlayStation2 / To Be Announced / ESRB Rating: Mature / Release Date: 2005-03-04 / Published by Konami

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      02.08.2011 14:02
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      A really enjoyable stealth game with great storyline

      Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a stealth action game for the Playstation 2 released in 2004 by Konami. The game is a prequel to the events of the previous games in the Metal Gear Solid Series. Set in the Cold War era, it moves the series from the urban settings which dominated previous games to a jungle in the Soviet Union. You play "Naked Snake" a member of special forces unit FOX, who is deployed into the jungle on a mission to rescue a weapons designer and sabotage a dangerous nuclear weapon known as the Shahogod in order to prevent a nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

      The game is similar to the previous Metal Gear games in that is is primarily stealth-based, requiring you to complete your mission undetected, sneaking past guards and taking enemies out silently rather than running in all guns blazing. To survive in the harsh jungle you will have to remain hidden in bushes, eat monkeys and snakes (hence the name) and use the environment to your advantage. For example, at one point near the start of the game you need to cross a guarded bridge. You can either silently shoot the guard and dispose of his body or you can shoot a wasps nest located over his head, causing them to swarm him so you can cross while he is distracted. The stealthy nature of the game means that for a lot of the game it is very slow paced, although the danger of getting caught makes it an exhilarating experience. Not all off the game requires you to remain undetected, as there are some good moments of intense action. Like the previoius games, there are some great bosses, particularly The Pain who has the ability to control hornets, and The Fear, a lizard-like enemy with superhuman speed.

      The controls for me took some adjusting too, particularly as you often need to react quickly to avoid enemies. However, after a while I got used to it. The storyline of the game is excellent, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested, however if you have are not familiar with the story of the previous games then a lot of it will go over your head. The graphics are excellent, and the variety of locations and the intricate detail that the makers have gone into is amazing.

      Snake Eater is a really enjoyable game which is a welcome change from many of the all-out action games you tend to see everywhere. It has a great plot, great graphics and in my opinion is more enjoyable than Metal Gear Solid 4, the more recent instalment in the series. It is quite a challenging game and requires a great deal of patience, but I recommend it to anyone. It can be purchased for £29.99 on Amazon.

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      01.04.2010 13:45
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      First class and then some

      Firstly if you have never played the previous 2 in this series before, I recommend you do so because they are standout games in their own right. However this takes the unusual step of being a prequel to the previous titles and draws you into the cold war which enveloped the mentality of the Russians and Americans.

      You begin deep in the jungle and your mission brief is to rescue the weapons designer, the weapons designer who was largely responsible for the construction of an experimental super weapon named metal gear. This weapon is unlike any other weapon which has been seen before and it's power is unbelievable and therefore needs to be stopped at all costs.

      You play as an agent called Snake, a skilful adept individual who has great powers of adaptation, mental strength and a deadly assassin when the need arrises. The russians are unaware that someone has penetrated the layer in which they are guarding this super weapon, so the aim is to use stealth to keep your presence there unknown.

      There are numerous ways to achieve this goal but as you begin in the jungle, it's advisable to stay to the floor to blend in seamlessly with your surroundings. You can apply different face paints and change into different camouflage suits in order to achieve this. You sneak past your assailants by crawling through the undergrowth but making sure you do so very slowly and carefully because they will detect movement and sound. To give you a good idea of where your enemies are, you can press yourself against a wall while crouching or standing, or indeed against a rock. From this position you can peak around the corners to give yourself a better view.

      Alternatively you can take on your enemies but to do so in a blaze of glory is not advised because there are numerous guards within any given viscinity and they will call for back up if they spot you. Therefore instead you can opt for swift silent kills, this means using the dpad to slowly and silently stalk your opponent before killing them. You can deliver a lethal knife slash across their throat, or you can break their neck. The snap of the neck is quite a gut grunching sound and the jet of blood that spatters from their neck feels equally real.

      Alternatively you can utilise the weapon at your disposal which firstly comes in the form of a standard pistol which you can also fit with a silencer. However you need to be selective about when you use this weapon as obtaining further ammo isn't always possible because it's scattered around. It's better advised if you do need to take out a guard that you use a tranquiliser.

      There are several other weapons you will also discover as the game progresses, some in particular are vital for the completion of some missions. The weapons available include a machine gun, sniper rifle and even an rpg. Snake also has many items at his disposal including night vision goggles. infra red. grenades, a knife, medi packs.

      The game offers great interaction between you and the character to, for instance when Snake's life bar has been depleted you will need to heal him but this isn't simply a case of giving him a life pack, instead he might have suffered a bullet wound for instance, therefore you will need to remove the bullet with the knife, apply septic to the wound and apply a bandage.

      On the other hand Snakes survival is dependent on his ability to live off the land and as his journey continues he will become increasingly weakened. Therefore you will need to kill animals to either consume immediately, or capture but being mindful of the fact that if you wait too long, the food will go rotten and if you consume it then, you will get food poisoning for your efforts.

      The jungle is laden with traps so you have to watch your footing and also be very careful not to caught by the patrol dogs as they will sniff you out. Despite this being a stealth game, there are moments when a full on gun battle is inevitable as hordes of enemies try to wipe you out. There are moments to when the best course of action is simply to flee the scene as the odds are stacked too high in their favour.

      The boss battles are epic and one of the best ones you will encounter is the one against this old guy called the end. He has one last fight in him and this is sure to test your reactions, your patience and your ability to track him before he tracks you.

      As the game wears on, Snake starts to realise that this black and white world that has been painted for him of simply the good guys vs the bad guys has much deeper shades of grey to it which he would never have anticipated. He starts to question the real motives of both sides and realises that he is there under a falsehood.

      The controls do take a little getting used to because it uses most of the buttons on the pad, but this is simply a matter of perseverance and with longer play, you will become very accustomed to the button lay out, after the initial curses and blaming the game for the fact that you just died.

      The graphics are simply stunning for the ps2 standards and even now compared to the next generation, they certainly aren't disgraced. The graphics are exceptionally well detailed, have a depth and life like manner to them which belies the relatively modest engine of the ps2.

      There is a massive variety to this game, both in terms of missions, characters and items at your disposal and it does require a lot of perseverance as it certainly is not any easy game by any stretch of the imagination.

      Then of course there is the plot, yes this might be a game, but it's much more than a game, this is a grand cinematic experience, a truly interactive movie where the plot is never predictable and takes on terrific twists, tragic twists which you never saw coming.

      This is an absolutely magnificent game but there are just a couple of issues I do have, the first is that the camera angle slightly shifts when you are crawling, which means you have to use the first person view to regain your bearings. The second slight criticism is the fact that some of the bosses aren't as difficult as you would imagine they would be.

      However these are only minor complaints and do not detract from a truly compelling, immersive interactive experience. If gran turismo put the ps2 on the map, then this game along with god of war 2 set the standard for games.

      Superlatives couldn't do justice to a game of this quality, imagination and slickness.

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        13.10.2009 20:54
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        the best game ever!

        Introduction


        All that glitters is not gold. Metal gear 3 shines like a diamond against almost any PS3 title. A fan of the series ever since the first play station one metal gear I needed to get snake eater. I did. I loved it. Completed it 3 times. And still keep playing it.


        Plot


        Everyone's favourite soldier Snake is back again. Well not really back as this is his first mission even thought it's the 3rd game. He's in the USSR trying to get a captured scientist out of the hands of the Russians before he can build them a super weapon in return for his families freedom. But for any fan of MGS ( metal gear solid ) you will know that the story is twisty and winded and keeps you gripped intill a jaw dropping ending.


        Features


        I thought that MGS could never get better....it did. Snake eater give you the ability to change your camouflage to fit your environment and heal your wounds with specific treatments that you choose. These seem small changes but make a big impact on how you can play and really does add another layer of play. The stealth play is even better with new moves that you can use to silently take out your enemies. And also Snake don't forget we cant aid you in your mission as you shouldn't really be there. This means that you have to get everything you need from the bodies of your enemies, steal it from barracks or even from the environment. Snake is living in jungle so he needs to eat. Raw frog and poisonous mushrooms are usually on the menu. You need to eat to replenish stamina and health. No stamina = slow running and no breath under water while no health tends to = death


        Game play


        The graphics on snake eater can match some ps3 titles and the animations are so life like I felt snake would jump out of the screen at me for making him eat flying squirrel 3 nights in a row. The lighting is superb and the sun light really feels hot while shade feels cold. I thought I get the flu if I lied down in a damp cave for to long.



        Conclusion


        The best game on the play station 2 and I'm not sure if it beats every game on any console. The best ending on any game ever. I shed a tear or 2.

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          06.09.2009 15:40
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          One of the best games ever

          If you played and liked the first two entries into the Metal Gear Solid series, you won't need to be convinced to buy this game. It continues an amazing story, directed by Hideo Kojima, this time going back in time to the 1960s, and allowing you to play as Big Boss, the progenitor of Solid Snake, as he attempts to stop full out World War breaking out between the Soviets and the US.

          Although this now means that we've only played one full MGS game as Solid Snake, it's nowhere near as frustrating as the surprise that we'd be playing as Raiden in MGS2, and moreover, they made this clear mostly from the outset. Also, Big Boss is just as much of a badass as Snake, and his story is arguably more complex, when considering his interactions with characters such as The Boss.

          Snake Eater may not have as fluid a frame-rate as MGS2 (and is in fact locked at 30FPS, sadly), but it's still a visually STUNNING game that now also allows you to move the analogue controller around during cut-scenes, meaning you can zoom in on the parts you want to watch! Gameplay wise, it's very similar to the previous game - the controls are practically identical, but there are few new goodies. Snake now has to feed himself to keep his stamina gauge up, which usually involves killing an animal and feasting on it. Also, if you're injured, you have to suture yourself, or the wound will get worse and impact your ability to sneak. Also, camoflague plays a huge part in the game, and you have a camo meter, which reads how visible you are to the enemy. You are provided with a variety of colours with which you can use to blend into the surrounding environment.

          The story begins in 1964, as you're sent into Russia to rescue a scientist, but soon enough discover that your mentor, The Boss, has changed sides and helped the Soviets. From here, you are given two objectives - find out about their research into a mysterious Metal Gear prototype called the Shagohod, and eliminate The Boss at all costs.

          As with the previous MGS games, it's an absolute marvel from a technical perspective - cut-scenes in particular are superbly directed and have the feel of something from Hollywood. Also, Harry Gregson Williams returns with another brilliant score, that ratchets up the tension appropriately. This is a classic of the PS2's era that's got the superb gameplay and stunning visuals to please just about everyone.

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          10.08.2009 12:42
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          The finest Metal Gear Solid game.

          Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, developed by Konami and Kojima Productions, is another chapter in the Metal Gear saga for the Playstation 2.

          The story is a prequel starring the original Snake codename Naked Snake, or Big Boss, fans don't worry he looks and sounds like Solid Snake with no Raiden in sight this time! In the game his mentor The Boss has defected to the Soviets and taken with her nuclear warheads, Snake must find out why his old friend would do something like this and stop her once and for all. On the way you will bump into some familiar faces including the young Revolver Ocelot and even a Raiden look alike in Major Raidenovich. The story is wonderfully told and is really emotional too, my favourite story in the Metal Gear games.

          Gameplay takes place largely in jungle environments in this game, and the gameplay has been tuned to match. Snake must now use the new Camo system to camouflage himself and remain hidden from enemies, there are many different colours of Camo for you to use and if you want to keep hidden you will need to keep adjusting it.

          There is also a new healing system, when Snake is hurt he will have to heal himself, digging out the bullets with his knife, disinfecting wounds and sewing them up. There is a new stamina meter which Snake must keep full by keeping himself full by eating, at first you can get by on rations but soon you will have to capture some of the local wildlife and eat that!

          The game now features a new CQC or close quarters combat system which is far deeper than the ones in previous games. Gone is the iconic spinning ninja kick combo replaced with a more realistic move. Snake can also throw enemies to the floor to knock them out, take them hostage and slit their throats with his new knife.

          The game also includes many boss battles against the likes of The Fear, a giant flamethrower wielding lunatic, The Pain a man who controls deadly swarms of bees, The End a deadly sniper and of course The Boss herself.

          Graphically this is the best Metal Gear game for the Playstation 2, even now it still looks great with its detailed jungle environments, good character models and it includes great voice acting too.

          Metal Gear Solid 3 delivers more compelling story and equally compelling gameplay, one of the finest games out there.

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          25.06.2009 21:39

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          Highly recommended tactical sneaking game with a great story.

          A firm favourite of many fans of the series, this installment sees players take control of a very familiar character in an all new cold war setting. Without giving too much away, this sudden departure from the familiar setting of the series really pays off, and gives fans the opportunity to find out a little about the historical backdrop of the previous games in the series.

          The gameplay mechanics in Snake Eater are as sharp as ever, and creator Hideo Kojima takes full advantage of the jungle setting to allow players to sneak around and camoflage themselves in order to blend in and evade the enemy.

          The story, although much less complicated than the perhaps overly ambitious Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty does hae its fair share of twists and turns, but then it just wouldn't be a Metal Gear game if it didn't.

          This prequel is a very worthy addition to the series, and is a game that will remain in the mind of the player long after completion.

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          17.06.2009 14:40
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          Best game on the ps2.

          Solid snake...tkaes a back seat in this prequel to both Metal Gear Solid 1/2, set in the early stages of the cold war in the 1960's this game takes us through the eyes of Big Boss, the father of Liquid, Solid and Solidus.

          Having only ever played the 2nd insallment before this game I was still slightly confused by the whole storyline, but this game helped me understnad fully and the way this game combines all the future events is brilliant, young Ocelot, EVA, Big Boss and numerous characters in the game are all relations to future characters on the metal gear solid series.

          Things such as killing Ocelot creating a time paradox is a added extra which just gives this game something else, the way the story ties in and gives sense to future events is great, Hideo Kojima has created the best gaming series in the world, a mixture of gameplay and hollywood movie makes this game as exciting as any MGS game has ever been.

          The cut scenes are special in MGS, they tell a true story and who didn't feel a little emotional at the very last scene, extras such as a few times during the game being able to move the cut scene camera is just something which adds to this game as well.

          The game itself is also brilliant, play it as you wish, stealth or try all guns blazing, can do numerous missions in different ways, such as getting out of the prison cell or killing The End. The most annoying part of the game was trying to get EVA through the forest after she had been impaled with the branch, trying to find food for her every 10 seconds was highly irritating.

          Best game in a brilliant series, it was great playing as Big Boss and the opening as Raiden comes down from the parachute is a funny extra.

          Best game on the ps2...

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          12.05.2009 16:44

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          excellent addition to your game collection

          You are naked snake with the mission to stop a terrorist group who are trying to start world war 3.

          The game is based on stealth. There are new weapons, new hiding places such as trees and you can change your uniform to match the environment you are currently in as well as face paint. Your enemies will find it much harder to target you once you get up to speed with the new features you can use in the game.

          When your character gets injured in the game the great thing is you can heal these inhuries with your medical equipment you have and pickup through the game.

          You need that survival instinct through the game similar to Bear Grylls, you will be eating all manner of creatures such as birds and snakes. Of course, you will have to hunt these animals down for eating.

          At the start of the game you are dropped into the jungle. Your first mission is to save a scientist and along the way you learn new skills to survive in the jungle.

          The best in the series so far.

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          24.03.2009 20:41
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          Brilliant game. If you own MGS4 then this game is a must!

          I first decided to buy this game after I had completed Metal Gear Solid 4. I just wanted to find out more about Snake and all this stuff about the patriots that I didn't understand. I got it for around a fiver off eBay including delivery. Even though I have a backwards compatible Playstation 3, I wanted to play it on my Playstation 2 just to get a more classic, Old skool feel.

          My first impressions of the game were great. Even for a Playstation 2 game. It started out with the usual long, cinematic cutcenes but they really help to make snake look cool and tough. Sometimes though they can become a bit too frequent and long. I thought it was slightly harder than Metal Gear Solid 4 but that was because of the different camera angle which i am not used to. I much prefer the camera system in MGS4. This game is much more focused on the sneaking aspect of the game as stealth is key to completing this game whereas in MGS4 you can either go in guns blazing and go on the rampage or crawl through each stage silently and undetected. You don't really have much weapons to play with but there are alot of gadgets to make your mission easier and stealthier like a sonar, mine detector and alot more. If you are caught, Chances are you will be dead within a minute unless you can run away and find some long grass so it can get fairly challenging.

          It is an old game but still has fairly nice graphics. You cant really expect anything too realistic but for its age the graphics are great. there is a fair amount of detail and textures. You can see small butterflys and insects, And even small bits of shrapnel flying off when you shoot things.

          The story of this game series is probably one of the best ever in a game. I don't want to give away any spoilers but i will try and explain it well. You play as Solid Snakes genetic father, Naked Snake. you are sent on a mission to rescue a weapons scientist who has designed a new deadly nuclear weapon. It is not yet completed so you must try to rescue him from captivity before it is. Most of the action takes place in the jungle environment, Perfect for camoflage and survival skills. You also have to battle a series of bosses in a group of deadly trained killers.

          So that is pretty much most of the game. I thought it was brilliant and made my understanding of the MGS4 storyline much better. Thankyou for reading and please rate.

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          11.01.2009 12:53
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          Trully amazing

          This is a different setting to the other Metal Gear Solid games. This time its like Solid Snake crossed with Rambo. Set in the 1960s without Solid Snake making an appearance, this game explores Naked Snake and his attempts to stop an enemy terrorist group who are on the verge of starting World War 3, and Snake's eventual transformation into Big Boss. This is an excellent game which answers many questions that fans have wanted answered.

          This time it is all about stealth, with new hiding places such as long grass and in trees. New weapons including M60 and knife. A new stealth feature called Camo. You can wear new uniforms to match the environment your in and facepaint to make you hide into the surrounding area, making it harder for enemies to spot you. In this game you can get physical injuries such as cuts and even broken arms, and you are able to heal them with bandages and ointments and other medical stuff. In oder to survive you have to eat, from Crocodiles to Snakes to Birds. You have to catch these by killing them. All characters from previous games are gone except for a younger version of an old foe of Solid Snake's.

          The game gegins with Snake being dropped into a Jungle with a mission to save a scientist who has been kidnapped. He eventually finds this man whilst learning all the basic skills to survive. Snake eventually gets betrayed and left for dead. He is rescued but then dropped back into the Jungle to rescue the same scientist and destroy a new enemy threat - a terrorist group with many different skills and a new superweapon capable of missile launch from any environment.

          An overall excellent game for any fan of the Metal Gear Solid series.

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          23.08.2008 18:44
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          you really have to play it for yourself to experience its beauty

          This game and all the others in the series are pure excellence. Metal Gear Solid always will remain as one of my all time favourite games due to them all having an excellent story, impelling characters (not so sure about Raiden) and fantastic video scenes.

          I purchased this game instantly due to myself being such a big fan of the original 'Metal Gear Solid' and 'Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons Of Liberty' games. Hideo Kojima really knows how to keep you hyped throught all these games. MGS 3 Snake Eater is Exciting, Tense and very immersive. I would say its better than MGS 2 but still say the original is at the top of the crown.

          This game is full on action and stealth. I loved the fact that it was set during the 1960's and set in a massive jungle. It worked extremely well being set outside as the indoor locations where beggining to feel repetitive. The survival aspect of the game was outstanding, having to eat snakes, rats, toads etc to stay alive and it added a real new dimension to the game. Alos loved the way you had to treat your own injuries as it made it so much more realistic. The musical score in the game composed by all time legend Harry Gregson Williams is excellent as well and goes in fluid motion with the whole game itself.

          As well as the EXCELLENT single player mode, it also has a range of additions such as demo theatre, duel mode, a fun mini game and you are able to download skins from the internet. The duel mode is great fun for when you have completed the game :)

          So there you have it, Great graphics, amazing gameplay, compelling story, impelling characters (Eva is a wow) you really cannot sum up how good a game it is untill you own it and play it for yourself, so go ahead, buy it, play it and the play it again and you will experience something beautiful :)

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            19.07.2008 13:34
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            A must buy for any gamer

            One of my greatest gaming memories is with this game. Hideo Kojima has shown pure excellence as he did with MGS1 and as he partly did with MGS2. Easily the best in the series.

            Although this is a sequel, it is actually a prequel to MGS1 in terms of storyline. You are in the '60s, playing as a Foxhound veteran, Naked Snake. That's right, not Solid Snake. Naked Snake the father of the Snakes and will later go on to make three clones of himself; Solid, Solidus and Liquid Snake.

            Infiltrating through jungles and camps, using camouflage and acting as a ghost in the wilderness is really as fun as any game can get. As you progress through, you will have to fight each and every member of the Cobra unit. They are a specialised unit that have elite members that will challenge you, such as Sorrow and Pain. To survive, you will have to heal yourself, catch and eat the right snakes and rats and live in poor conditions.

            As with all of the MGS series there are twists throughout the game and especially at the end. Watching the final cut scene is really nothing short of special and you'll start to wonder whether this is a game or an epic movie. Either way, MGS3 really is sheer excellence. If you've ever wondered the history of the MGS series then you HAVE to play this game. It takes you right back to the beginning, it tells you what went wrong with Naked Snake, the story of Big Boss, CQC, Volgin and most importantly... the Philosophers and their legacy. You will learn of their importance, the significance of their legacy and why MGS4 has to revolve around them.

            Please, buy this game.

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            06.05.2008 17:03

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            A great game to play and obviously the best in the series!!

            Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is one of the greatest espionage action games made to date. Made by Konami, Hideo Kojima has already made to other MGSs before this one, but of course this game has the best graphics quality out of all of them. Hopefully you will see for yourself! Set in the vast jungle full to the brim with armoured soldiers equipped with the latest weapons technology for that era like grenades and heavy AK-47s. The game is set in the Cuban missile crisis, which was during the late 1950s and early 1960s when Russia was in power. Of course the game is purely fictional and they had to invent most of the characters like Volgin and Sokolov, the weapons scientist and of course The Boss and her henchman. Snake can do anything from crawling in the jungle to being able to sniper whilst on top of the tree. During the course of the game, Snake discovers and uses different camouflage suits like a forest suit or a night suit and even a scientist disguise in order to penetrate into the Groznyj Grad fortress at the end of the game. At the start of the game, almost like a training mission, Snake embarks on the Virtuous Mission which consists of him rescuing Sokolov and taking him back to America to see his wife and kid but evidently, this plan goes wrong due to the sudden and unexpected appearance of the Boss. They kidnap Sokolov and Snake and the Boss both launch into combat with the Boss winning the duel by throwing him off the bridge and into the river below. This mission ends with Snake clearly in no fit shape to explore the jungle and has to be taken back into medical care in a private hospital. The aim of the game is to sneak through the jungle without arousing enemy suspicion and destroy the Metal Gear named Shagohod, this time around. As Snake treads through the open jungle, he encounters many members of the Cobra Unit like the Pain, the Fear, the Fury, the Sorrow and the End, a perilous aged sniper waiting at the foot of the forest. Fighting the End for me was extremely difficult because it is an endurance and stamina battle. You MUST replenish your stamina all the time by catching and killing the local flora and fauna to be able to beat him. My recommended difficulty for playing this game is HARD DIFFICULTY. That way you can relive a traditional MGS style of playing and actually sweat while you're playing! A game full of passion and a legendary culminary ending, THIS is the game you must play!

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            05.12.2007 10:01
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            This game is great!

            Metal Gear Solid 3 is the best in the series to date. Forget the soliton radar, it doesn't exist. This game is set in the 1960's. That means that nanomachines, radar and hi tech mechs are out and chunky and unrelyable thermal goggles are in.

            This game evokes memories of the original Metal Gear series, especially if you play it on Hard difficulty. It is no longer a case of infiltrating buildings, you must infiltrate jungles and swamps getting past the soviet troops who have infinate ammo and very big machine guns.

            But you have lots of camoflauge suits and can collect more throughout the gam as well as weapons and equipment.

            Another new feature in this game is the cure menu, which is uses for treating injuries. Being slashed by an enemy with a knife can leave you with a massive cut which will bleed. Being shot with a shoutgun will now leave bullets in you, and a whole host of other lovely little injuries.

            Food is now an active part of the game, with the amount of animals on screen just waiting to be eaten, but be warned, they can go off and give you food poisoning.

            The plot is as tight as ever with Naked Snake infiltrating russian territory to assassinate Colnel Volgin and The Boss as well as other characters.

            This game is truly better than MGS2 and even veterans of Metal Gear Solid 1 will struggle with this title. But the hardship is worth it.

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              07.08.2007 18:14
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              MGS3 is a gaming experience that no one should miss out on

              The Metal Gear Solid series is now forever ingrained in the hearts and minds of gamers as a piece of gaming history - an unconquerable giant overshadowing the stealth genre, constantly setting the standard and tone for the future of gaming. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, is, in every conceivable measure, the pinnacle of the series, and it pushes the stealth genre to the edge; the game is teeming with innovation and confidence, driven by the defiant belief of its creator, Hideo Kojima.

              For many fans of the series, MGS2 was a major disappointment. MGS3 could be viewed as an apology for MGS2, but it's much more than that; it's an epic reminder of why the series first began, and why it has been so successful. MGS3 encompasses everything that a stealth game should be, evoking memories of the original MGS games. For a long time, MGS1 has been set in my mind as the immovable stealth gaming juggernaut, but MGS3 has changed my mind.

              This is a game that breaks boundaries in an unprecedented manner, and sets new benchmarks in almost every area. The storyline is brilliantly executed, and provides a powerful focus point around which the game is played - something I haven't seen since MGS1. Playing as Big Boss before he was corrupted, even the most cynical of gamers will be hooked.

              Graphics

              Snake Eater's graphics are probably the most beautiful that have ever been created using the PS2's hardware, and are an improvement on those seen in MGS2. It's hard to think of a game on the PS2 which has better graphics; however, compared to most modern PC games, they're about average.

              The most impressive thing about MGS3's graphics is the surroundings and the environment. From the trees, long grass, and swamps of the game's outdoor environment to the precisely placed bookshelves and computers of its indoor environment, the graphics don't fail to amaze. Their realism and accuracy helps to make the game more believable, which is a definite advantage considering MGS' surreal tendencies.

              The characters are also extremely well done, especially Big Boss, but even the standard soldiers look convincing, which is rare for any game. The weapon design is equally as convincing, putting most First Person Shooters to shame. It's clear that presentation is integral to MGS3, and this really lifts the game, adding that touch of realism and atmosphere, things which, usually, can only be provided with good graphics. Snake Eater definitely delivers in terms of graphical quality, with no faults at all - not one.

              20/20

              Sound

              The sounds in MGS3 are rich and atmospheric, complimenting the game's gameplay and graphics. Stealth games can be very quiet at times, and sounds are crucial for navigating one's way past enemies. The sound of an enemy's footsteps nearby is incredibly distinctive, as is the ominous sound of a snake lurking in the grass, or the flutter of a bird's wings in the trees - things which, of course, can be seen as well as heard - and eaten too.

              The sound of gunfire is quite unique, and the gunfire sounds were a criticism which I had of MGS2 - they didn't sound realistic at all. However, things have changed, and they are absolutely perfect. The Voice acting is first rate, with a welcome return by David Hayter voicing Big Boss. The sound of Solid Snake, in this case Big Boss, is a trademark of the series, and Hayter, as always, does an excellent job, and he's superbly complimented by a host of other voice acting talent.

              20/20

              Gameplay

              There are only a few, minor criticisms that I could make concerning MGS3's gameplay, but they were outweighed by the sheer brilliance of the gameplay in general. MGS3 is a stealth game, and, therefore, the aim isn't so much to kill the enemy, but rather to sneak past them unharmed, although killing them always remains a satisfying option. Snake Eater's features provide an excellent variety of different ways to achieve this aim, including climbing trees, crawling through the grass, and hiding behind all the different objects in the MGS world. However, aside from these, the newest innovation is the camouflage index. This adds a completely different aspect to stealth gaming; essentially, it allows you to change your camouflage, of which there is a large selection, to suit your environment, thus giving you more chance of avoiding enemy detection. This idea was a real bonus while playing the game, and it gives you many more options than you would usually have.

              This feature in no way makes the game easier, however, because the nature of MGS has changed in Snake Eater - most of it is played outdoors, and there's no radar. This makes the game a lot harder, and the enemy can spot you much more easily; it also adds a sense of realism to the series, something which it had previously lacked and had let it down against more realistic rivals such as Splinter Cell. The outdoor environments are far more exciting, and allow you to have some real fun with the enemy - you feel rather like the Predator, picking off squads of men from a tree top, or Rambo, creeping up on guards from behind the foliage and slitting their throats with a combat knife.

              In terms of combat, the hand to hand fighting has been completely revamped, and there's been a huge step up from the old punch kick combo which had been used since MGS1. A technique called CQC is now used for close quarters, and it can be used to deliver a number of different moves to incapacitate the enemy. Of course, enemies can still be held up, knocked out, and you can break their necks - you can now also use a knife, which had been long demanded by MGS fans. The hand to hand combat adds a real touch of style and polish to the gameplay in general. The weapons are also brilliant, with a wide range of guns and grenades, including a shotgun, a pistol, a heavy machine gun, a sniper rifle, and a collection of different automatic weapons. The larger selection of guns makes the shoot outs much more exciting, especially in the jungle. The Bosses in MGS3 also provide a good battle, if a little easy at times. The End provides the most interesting fight, an intense sniper battle, in which patience is vital, The Fury the most scary, and The Boss the hardest, but they're all entertaining and help to break up the gameplay.

              The gameplay in Snake Eater keeps you on edge with its incredible immersive, heart stopping action. The game lets the player decide how they want to tackle the situation, rather than deciding for them, and the options aren't limited in any way - you're the boss, excuse the pun. The player is not only full of ingenuity and innovation itself, it also demands that the gamer is, constantly keeping you on your toes and asking you to take risks and try new things. The situations vary from one environment to the next, and there's little repetition. From the time you turn on your PS2 to the time you've turned it off, you're totally fixated on the game, and this is mostly due to the gameplay. It can be hard, especially towards the end when there are a lot of soldiers in very small spaces, but getting past situations unseen and unheard is extremely rewarding, as is the gameplay in general.

              Two other new factors also add to the excitement and realism of the game. First of all, in order to stay alive, Big Boss must find and eat food. This adds a whole new level to the gameplay, giving it much more depth; it also means you have a lot more to think about while playing - getting your next meal becomes a primary concern. Another new factor is that you have to heal your injuries; for example, if Big Boss gets a broken leg, then he has to bandage it up and heal it. There are a number of different options for treating a number of different injuries; this feature runs this risk of making the game overcomplicated and detracting from the excitement of stealth gaming, but fortunately it's done well enough for it not to be a problem.

              The only criticisms of the gameplay are that, firstly, on occasion, and especially at the beginning, the cut scenes are a bit much. However, they're no where near as bad as in MGS2, and are essential for telling the storyline and developing the plot into the conspiracy driven thriller that it is. The cut scenes would only put off the most impatient of gamers, and this type of gamer shouldn't be playing in this genre anyway. Secondly, the combination of the camouflage index, hunting and eating food, and healing injuries could prove frustrating if the gamer just wants to get straight into the action. Despite these small things, the gameplay is nothing short of captivating.

              24/25

              Lifespan

              MGS3 gives you a lot more options, in terms of gameplay, than its predecessors in the series, and this, in turn, adds to the replay factor. Once the game is completed, a number of features are unlocked in order to spice up the gameplay; for example, a new weapon is unlocked - the patriot machine gun, and Big Boss can be dressed up in a James Bond - style suit. These things are just gimmicks, but it gives the gamer more of an incentive to play the game again. The actual game itself is fairly average in length, comparable with both MGS1 and 2, so it'll take about a week of fairly intense gaming to complete, although it could be done in just a few days if you got really obsessed, as I did!.

              However, there is no multiplayer, unlike in Splinter Cell 2 and 3, and there's no online mode. It's questionable whether or not there is a place for these things in MGS, or in the stealth genre at all, and so the lack of multiplayer isn't an important factor. It does mean, however, that MGS3 may lose out to Splinter Cell in terms of lifespan, although the game's single player replay factor more than makes up for this.

              24/25

              Originality

              In terms of gameplay, MGS3 is built upon a set of firm foundations from which the stealth genre originally grew up. The basic principles are unchanged, but Snake Eater is full of new ideas and innovation which provides these principles with a new slant. The new features aren't just gimmicks - the game doesn't believe that originality can be produced from a couple of new gadgets and a new method of attracting the enemy's attention.

              The camouflage index, the CQC, the hunting and eating, and the healing are all highly original ideas that change MGS without damaging it irrevocably; moreover, these new ideas set a benchmark for other stealth titles. In terms of the plot, it couldn't be more original; it's a little cheesy at times, however, showing that Kojima's games are more influenced by Hollywood than they used to be, but the storyline is intriguing and full of twists and turns, which adds character and excitement to the game as a whole.

              10/10

              Overall

              With MGS4 on the cards, it's clear that Metal Gear Solid will continue to dominate the stealth series for a long time to come, despite what the folks down in Ubi Soft say. MGS always sets the trend in the genre, and then the other games follow with a few gimmicks here and there. Hideo Kojima knows how to appeal to gamers, and especially fans of the stealth genre. At the beginning of this review, I described MGS1 as a juggernaut, and I think that's the best possible description of the MGS series as a whole - the games, the vision, and the dedication of the series will forever prevail over titles such as Splinter Cell, which have always lived in Metal Gear Solid's shadow.

              MGS3 is a gaming experience that no one should miss out on. It doesn't matter whether you're a hardcore fan of the genre and series, or whether you're a newcomer wanting to see what the fuss is all about, you'll love this game. It's one of the best games that I have ever played, and I don't say that lightly - I've played a lot of very good games.

              98%

              Price:£5.99 (Game)

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            • Product Details

              The Metal Gear Solid franchise takes a major step forward on PlayStation 2 with Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. For the first time, the game is set in a sweltering jungle where players must fight for survival by battling relentless natural elements, as well as an onslaught of ruthless enemy soldiers. Suspenseful stealth action delivers heart-pounding sequences like never before. The game's extraordinary gameplay and intense plot combine with riveting music, high-definition sound and astonishingly detailed graphics for a completely unique interactive gaming experience.