Metal Gear Solid
Developer Konami Publisher Konami Genre Action Platform Playstation 3 Release TBA
Don't worry folks, you haven't time travelled, you're reading a review of the 1998 classic, Metal Gear Solid. With the game's re-release on the Playstation Network for a celebration of the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, I thought I'd bring out the old classic and give it a run through. Since I did review NiGHT's (PS2/nights) re-release. It's only fair we do the same for Metal Gear Solid.
You're Solid Snake, a one-man Army who used to look a bit like Silvester Stallone. Drafted in to sneak into a secret military base on Shadow Moses Island. One thing leads to another and you're once again trying to take a Metal Gear, a walking, nuclear equipped battle tank, out of the hands of terrorists.
Something's work best when you don't mess with the formula, and Metal Gear Solid keeps true to the old Metal Gear traditions. Much like Metal Gear Solid 3 was a throw back to the original Metal Gear game released on MSX and NES back in the day, Metal Gear Solid makes use of a radar system, first introduced in Metal Gear Solid 2 on the MSX. Now, more functional due to the advancement in technology, the radar shows the field of vision for enemies and cameras. The game also touts the good old method of knocking on walls to get enemies attention.
They'll never spot me in this bright, wide area
Controls are customisable, however, you have a basic set of actions. You use the D-Pad or analogue sticks to move, keep holding a direction when you come to a wall to slide along it. Press the action button to tap the wall, this will attract enemies around you. Press the crouch button to do as it says on the button, crouch. Crouch and move to crawl along the floor. Press and hold square when you have a gun equipped to aim, release to shoot. Press and hold L2 to bring up a menu of items you have, press and hold R2 to bring up a menu of weapons you have. Press L1 or R2 and unequip any item/weapon you have. Simple.
"Just walk past him... Then turn around and shout 'surprise!'"
If you're seen by enemies, get ready to leg it. If you're seen you enter a "Alert" mode, where enemies will hound you. If you leave footprints in snow or wet footprints after being in water, they will follow these to your location. You can find cardboard boxes around to hide in and attempt to hide, however more often than not, they'll notice something wrong... Probably because you're a pixel in the walking route of a guard. Hey, it was 1998, leave it alone. After you manage to hide long enough, the Alert status is downgraded to "Caution", where guards are still looking for you, but aren't exactly sure where you are. After that, the alert level is dropped to normal and you're back to where you were, if not a little shaken up about the getting seen part. In some instances, extra guards may appear after you've been seen. The alert status can also be raised if you plant explosives near guards or you leave stunned bodies lying around for other guards to find. (You can drag stunned enemies out of sight).
Sound, not much to say about it. It's fitting for the style of game, however doesn't really push any boundaries or inspire any confidence or destroy any either for that case. Voicing acting is great, which shows that you CAN do decent voice acting in a video game. Hear that, Square Enix?
Visuals, well, by today's standards, Metal Gear Solid wouldn't even look like a C-grade mini-game compilation, however, considering this was for the 33Mhz CPU the Playstation had, the game pushes visuals to the utter limits without causing framerate slowdown.
Altogether then, the game looked fantastic, although looks aged now, the gameplay is as brilliant now as it was back then and the music is still... As fitting...? As it was back in 1998. Overall then, the game has aged very well and is worth the money for the downloadable version on the Playstation Network. That is, if it ever gets on the EU Playstation Network...