I love Metal Gear Solid, I actually love the series so much, I've lost count how many times I've finished each of them. When Metal Gear Solid first came out, I hadn't played the original Metal Gear, or Snake's Revenge, and really didn't know what I was getting into in terms of gameplay.
All I really knew were that my friends were diggin it, And I had to play it. Now I was pretty young when this game came out, and it was hard. I do not know how many times I rage quitted during the first Vulcan Raven encounter, Only to find out later that I had to chuck grenades at him. Or how much time I spent being stuck at the "Look at the back of the CD case for Meryl's frequency" sequence (I borrowed the discs, not the case from a friend, D'oh)
In many ways the Metal Gear Solid series has shaped me as a gamer, In my first playthrough of Snake Eater, I plowed through the story, not looking for an edge via more advanced weaponry and gadgets that I could pick up through out Grozny Grad, but in my next playthrough I noticed that I found more equpment lying around, and that the equipment were in sections of the game world that I hadn't visited the first time around, so from that point on, I became obsessed at finding the best equipment to use in each of the boss fights (having Thermal Goggles really helps you in the boss fight with The End) This is a trait that I've since brought with me into other games, which in turn has rewarded me greatly in game.
We all know that the MGS games can be somewhat different from each other, so in the interest of fairness here are some of the key points that I look for in a great MGS game.
- Good Story
- Good Boss Battles
- Good stealth mechanics
- Kojima Insanity
- Good level design (both technically and aesthetically)
I might not touch upon every key point in my short reviews and reasoning for the respective ranks the games have been awarded, but rest assured it was in my mind when making the decisions
Alright ramblers, Let's get rambling, Let's start with the "Worst"
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
I know, I know, Some of you love this game, And I do to, I'm not saying that this game is bad, I'm just saying that Kojima totally screwed me over, by having me play Raiden for most of the game.
Nah it's not just that. The story is a bit convoluted and at times pretty boring, there are characters in this that really doesn't fit into the Metal Gear Sold "Lore", There are Boss fights that are "un winnable" and the level design is pretty much just steel colored walls on black floor boards or orange rails on orange floors.
If Big Shell didn't feature so heavily as it did in the game, and they kept the level design a bit more varied (Like MGS3 did with it's jungles, Russian Army camps and 60's styled offices) it would have been a bit easier on the eyes
Raiden was already pretty nifty with the sword
But the game did some cool stuff too, It gave the player another perspective on the main protagonist of the series, Solid Snake. In MGS (Twin Snakes) everything the player experienced, they experienced as Solid Snake. Adding Raiden to the mix helped build the "Solid Snake: Legendary Soldier" character that we all know and love. The game also pays tribute to "Escape from NY" by giving Snake the "Irroquois Plisskin" cover identity, And Raiden isn't half bad either, His backstory is pretty bad ass, having fought as a child soldier in The First Liberian War, his complex relationship to Solidus Snake is pretty interesting. And he certainly looks awesome in Metal Gear Rising Revengeance (due out this february).
#3 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Another game I guess people will disagree with me on is MGS4
While I loved the games way of concluding the saga of Solid Snake (thus far) the gane just felt wierd to me, The controls are different, the setting is waaaay different, and at times the length of the cutscenes gives me a sort of "disconnect" that took me out of the experience.
Where MGS4 succeded is in the way they brought everything back for a grand finale, they tied up loose ends as if they were possessed. Bringing back fan favorites like Eva, Naomi, Meryl and Mei Ling, And creating all new favorites like Drebin and Akiba (Though I do believe I met him before somewhere) Giving some more focus on Meryl and elaborating on her relationship to Campbell, Explaining Vamp's "Immortality", and finally giving us the Liquid Ocelot v. Solid Snake Standoff we've been waiting to se for such a long time
Nothing quite like watching two old geezers beating each other to a pulp
The level design is pretty bad ass, leaving the "insertion into an enemy base, equipment to be procured on site" recipe behind for once, and letting the story take you several different places (and the long expected return to Shadow Moses). The way the design lets you "choose your own path" most of the time is pretty cool, and lets the player try different approaches to how they want to reach their goals.
In the end Metal Gear Solid 4 might be the best game Kojima and the gang have created. It just doesn't feel enough like a Metal Gear Solid game for me to give it a higher rank on this list.
#2 Metal Gear Solid / Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes
The first entry in the Metal Gear Solid series. Metal Gear Solid brought the magic from the original Metal Gear on the MSX2 into a 3D enviroment for the first time. at at the time it was released,it was a pretty revolutionary game, atleast it was for me. It brought hollywood-esque story telling akin to movies like "Escape from New York" and "Die Hard" in a game for the first time, "Amazing" graphics (atleast at the time) and a gallery of characters that sticks with you: Vulcan Raven, Psycho Mantis, Otacon, Revolver Ocelot, Liquid and last but not least Solid Snake
The way the story played out kept you just enough in the dark that you constantly wanted to find out what was going to happen next. Why were the people Snake was sent to help dying of a heart attack all of a sudden, Who is the Cyborg Ninja, what the hell is up with that Psycho Mantis character, and why won't my controller work (OH WAIT, I have to plug it into the other controller port)
This scared the crap out of me when I was a kid
Level design is so and so, but It's a military installation in Alaska, What more did we expect than steel and snow, You might judge me for that comment since I criticized the level design in MGS2, but keep in mind MGS were created for the original PlayStation, and MGS2 were created for the PS2. The original Playstation had some serious constraints on when it came to the visuals, while MGS3 (which I will talk about in a second) was also released on the PS2 and looks hell of a lot better that MGS2
#1 Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
The epitome of the Metal Gear Solid series. This game does everything right
It has cool and exciting level design, amazing boss fights, captivating story that actually ties into the series as a whole, and manages to answer some questions that the fans have been asking ever since the original Metal Gear and Snake's Revenge.
MGS3 added so much to the existing formula that it ended up defining how Metal Gear games should be made. when they showed me Ground Zeroes at the 25th Anniversary of the Metal Gear series, Two thoughts were in my head. The firs one was, Holy crap that looks amazing, and the second was, I hope they make it like "Snake Eater"
"Raiden's narrative justification came from a theme that has always pervaded the Metal Gear theme: exceeding your predecessor." - Hideo Kojima
It is hard to narrow down exactly what makes this game so awesome, but if I had to choose one thing over all the amazing things this game manages to deliver, it would have to be the setting, Putting the story right smack in the middle of the Cuba Missile Crisis and giving us an alternate history spin to the whole East vs West ordeal of the Cold War era. The game also explores a character so far left "untouched" by the series, The father of the Three Snakes, Big Boss. and paints a very human picture of him. And after having "witnessed" his trials and sacrifices, I truly understand how he could justify his later actions
"Snake Eater" brought it and keeps on bringing it today, and stands as my favorite Metal Gear Solid game to date, and one of my favorite games of all time.
So that it guys, My ranking of the Metal Gear Solid series, "Worst" to Best. So all it remains to ask you guys is:
Did you rike it?
Sound off in the comments