After a wait long enough to make Nintendo jealous, Konami finally delivers to the gaming world what it has been waiting for. Despite the pressure of having promotional commercials, in-store displays, and enough hype to kill the title, Metal Gear Solid destroys all notions of failure and turns the very foundation of videogaming on its ear.
With a background story rooted in Tom Clancy territory, players assume the role of a former Fox-Hound soldier with a codename of Solid Snake. His mission is to infiltrate the Shadow Moses island off the coast of Alaska and penetrate the military stronghold where a rogue Fox-Hound unit has taken control. You have only 24 hours to disarm the base, which houses numerous nuclear weapons, and escape with your life in tact. If you fail, the terrorist group will launch nuclear weapons on the United States of America. No pressure, right?
Storyline aside, Metal Gear Solid has rock-solid (no pun intended) gameplay. Though the control seems a bit loose at first, by the time you actually reach the air vents leading into the base, you should have the basics down pat. Moving around can be tricky, but if you’re lucky enough to have an analog controller, then you shouldn’t have too much of a problem adjusting. Those with a Dual Shock Analog Controller will experience astounding rumbling effects that further immerse the player into Solid Snake’s surroundings.
While Snake’s movements are fairly adequate, one wonders why he cannot walk or jump. Considering the amount of time that Konami spent developing the game, why omit such basic things? Rarely does a 3D game of this caliber not have the aforementioned aspects. This is nitpicking, however, as Snake can run, crawl, hide, tap on walls, and use a variety of weaponry and items. Having more techniques to play around and master would have been great for the player.
If your main interest of a videogame is its graphics, Metal Gear Solid will not disappoint. Presented in a unique way, it uses the same mind-boggling game engine for its real-time cinemas that creates a seamless transition from a game sequence to a cut-scene. Game director Hideo Kojima has also implemented a blurring effect to give Metal Gear Solid a movie-like feel…and it works. Every cinema looks like a movie sequence because of Kojima’s aspiration to become a film director. Judging from his work with this game, he’d have a brilliant career ahead of him.
Sometimes overlooked, but no less important, is a game’s music and sound. Metal Gear Solid features an incredible soundtrack that perfectly complements the mood of the story. Ambient background music and sound effects play while you sneak around the base. When you’re discovered, the music switches to a heart-pounding upbeat theme. Kojima and company went to great lengths to ensure that each weapon and sound effect was as close to its real life counterpart as possible. The amount of quality that’s been pumped into this title is simply astonishing.
Don’t listen to the hype surrounding this title because it doesn’t do the game justice. Do yourself a favor and purchase Metal Gear Solid at all costs. It is truly a classic gaming experience that no gamer from any background should pass up. Remarkable.
Metal Gear Solid’s visuals are simply amazing and the attention to detail is unsurpassed by any PlayStation game (circa 1998). While gamers will be dazzled with special effects, one minor gripe is that the characters do not have facial details resembling sketches rather than real people. This is a very minor gripe, however.
The soundtrack and effects perfectly complement the overall feel of the game. Footsteps echo in long hallways and each object that Snake can tap has it’s own unique sound just as it would in real life. Simply amazing.
There’s nothing like hiding from a bunch of different guards as they’re searching you out; Metal Gear Solid delivers gaming performance like no other. From the opening scene to the last, it will draw you in and hold you until the final credits roll.
Though the game doesn’t last a long time (it’s adequate enough), there are plenty of reasons to justify going through it a second time. There are two different endings and a ton of secrets waiting to be found. Konami did a fantastic job of making the game more than a one-timer. There are also a variety of VR Missions that test your overall skill in various areas.
The instruction manual is both informative and well written. It explains everything from Alert to Evasion modes and how various items and your Codec work. There are also strategy guides available in addition to plenty of online sites to aid you in your quest.