With June 12th rapidly approaching my excitement for the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 grows each day, my mind wanders mid-day and visions of the various Metal Gear Trailers infiltrate my thoughts. I can't wait to play through the finals chapter of the Metal Gear Series! I want to see how Hideo Kojima could possibly tie all of the crazy loose ends he left unbound the past three games--the only problem is that I have no clue to what those loose ends are.
You see, as of last week the game I had played the most in the Metal Gear series was the recently released Metal Gear Online Beta, which I had played for about 2 hours on upon it's initial release. I know, it's crazy isn't it? How could I possibly miss one of the most beloved stealth action franchises to ever hit the playstation? It's easy. I'm a fool.
10 years ago Hideo Kojima and Konami released the first Modern Metal Gear game. In it's day it was critically acclaimed for it's amazing fully 3D graphics, it's unique play mechanics and most of all, it's story. The game went over so well that Five years later, it was remade for the Nintendo GameCube with updated graphics, controls and even redirected cutscenes. But for the sake of this article, I will limit my recollections of the game to the Original PlayStation.
Recently, in March I went to my local game retailer to preorder Metal Gear Solid 4 I decided it was time to put an end to my ignorance of the series and pick up the Metal Gear essentials box set. My purchase would sit on my shelf for weeks until something went off in my heard and reminded me that it was Mid-May already and I only had a few weeks to play through the whole box set, which I needed to do in order to understand what was going on during the 4th game. So on Sunday this week, I popped Metal Gear Solid into my PS3 and started to play.
My first impression when I saw the opening scene was that we have come a long way as far as graphics go in the 10 years following the original game's release. As soon as I took control of Snake for the first time I worked to familiarize myself with the controls; everything seemed to be in order so it was time to start the game. The sneaking worked well enough, but one of the first things I noticed after I started to move around within the first area was that many of the abilities I would assume Snake would have were not there. Snake couldn't jump, couldn't climb and couldn't one-hit kill anyone from behind. I was disappointed, but the game is 10 years old and can be forgiven for things that it lacks.
The second thing I noticed is that the game is hard. Very hard. I was killed many times just in the first area, but I was never frustrated; I made mistakes and the game punished me for them. The difficulty made me develop skills in stealth I rarely use in games as I am more of the fun and gun type of player. Metal Gear Solid does an excellent job of making you play the game as a stealth operative. You're not going to mindlessly shoot your way through this game as a one man army, you're going to have to sneak, hide and kill when possible. As the game went on, I found myself getting used to these controls and enjoying the limitations that were placed upon me; the challenge was great. As you move through the game, you acquire a large arsenal of specilized weaponry, but the primary game mechanics aren't focused around gunplay outside of boss battles.
The story on the other hand had no problems hooking me. Prior to playing the game I didn't read any back story concerning the original Metal Gear games so all of the characters were new to me. As the game goes on there will be more references to characters that don't appear in the game and plot points that wont be completely understood if you haven't read up on the two previous Metal Gear games for the NES, so I would recommend reading up on those before getting too deep into the story. Aside from the needed series history, the story is twisted and confusing in a good way. You never quite know what's really going on until you get to the end of the game. The over the top boss characters have been deeply thought out and leave an impression on you, especially in the case of the character Psycho Mantis.
My experience of playing Metal Gear Solid for the first time was an enjoyable one and it has me looking forward to playing the next game in the series. The game's mix of stealth action, shooting and crazy story has made me a fan of the series. For a game that is 10 years old, it hold manages to hold up well and deserves the hype and praise it earned back in it's heyday.
Originally Posted @ | lastgenerationgames.blogspot.com |