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Metal Gear Solid

by Sephiroth.

Well well well, it's about time eh? Finally, PC gamers everywhere, REJOICE as the greatest Sony Playstation game has jumped onto your desktop: Metal Gear Solid! As a fan of console gaming, I've owned several different video game systems and what I've noticed is that every single system has had AT LEAST 1 ground-breaking title that introduced a new genre and/or gameplay concept that has never been done before. I would say MGS is definitely one of those titles for the Playstation. You can't really put this game into one category since its so unique and has such a new style in terms of gameplay that some would agree that it would belong to at least 2 or even 3 different categories. I prefer to call MGS a game of 'tactical espionage action' as it is written under the title in the main menu. I really can't stress this enough, but PLAY THIS GAME. It doesn't matter if you've never liked games on the console, just play this game, trust me, you won't regret it. I was talking to Trist and Mish the other day about MGS and neither had played it before, boy are they going to be sorry if they don't play this game. At least Trist knew the game existed, but Mish had no idea what MGS was about until I told her about it

So what is it about MGS that has marked itself in the history books as one of the greatest games of all time? Well, there are numerous reasons as to why it's a great game, but just to name a few: the deep character development, the cinematic directing of Hideo Kojima, the most original gameplay I've ever seen, a nice selection of realistic weapons, and the most realistic sound effects and incredible music that could blow anyone away.

Let me just start off by giving you a quick overview of MGS. Metal Gear Solid is actually part of a series, which started with Metal Gear, a title for the NES in 1987, along with a few more since then. The story has not been continuous since the beginning but rather split up along the way, so it might be a bit confusing for some people who have not played the other games in the series. Nevertheless, MGS's plot and storyline is well explained and everything you need to know about the game and the characters is included.

Basically, MGS takes place sometime in the 21st Century and a crisis is brewing as terrorists infiltrate a nearby island and nuclear weapons are thrown into the mix. You play Solid Snake, a government agent, who is the ONLY person that can kick the terrorists ass, no sweat right?

Graphics. This is probably an area where some PC gamers might be turned off. Mind you, the graphics were incredible on the Playstation and MGS was one of the first games to fully utilize the Playstation's graphic capabilities to the max. When I first saw it on the Playstation I was blown away. However, PC gamers nowadays want lush colourful graphics with high resolutions that can be attained with today's video cards. I'm afraid this is probably the only flaw I can think of for MGS on the PC. The max resolution you can set the game to is 1024x 768 and there isn't any options to increase game details. You can barely see the eyes or mouths of the characters in the game. But as for the environment, everything else looks pretty sweet at 1024 x 768. In some areas of the game you'll come across tanks, helicopters and other type of vehicles that look fantastic. Lighting is also taken up a notch and you can notice it on some guards that stand under a light source. All the detail that was found in the Playstation version is in the PC version; from the footprints in the snow, to the ability to smoke to the breath coming out of Snake's mouth when he's outside in the snow. I don't have a tremendously great video card and I would definitely like to see this using 2 or 4x FSAA (I hate you Trist you bastard). Even though the characters faces aren't very detailed, it doesn't really matter because the only time you really see the faces up close is during a cut-scene. The rest of the time you're in 3rd person mode or you can switch to 1st person mode and snipe some guard.

All the cut-scenes in the game are using the in-game engine. As if often find myself doing with a lot of games, I wish FMV had been implemented rather then the in-game graphics. If any of you have seen the trailer for the upcoming Final Fantasy movie, you'll know what I mean when I say I LOVE FMV sequences in a game. But I really tip my hat to guys over at Konami for creating the cut-scenes in a fashion where you really don't pay attention to the graphics but rather the story. On the Playstation, a blurring effect was used to create certain effects, for example a helicopter taking off created a blur around the guards, however this was taken out of the PC version, I have no idea why.

Ok, if you're not going to drool over the graphics at least you should adore the sound in this game. I am just completely blown away by the sound effects in this game, from the sound of the different types of guns, to Snake's knocking on different type of walls. The voice acting is top notch; I haven't heard any better. The voice of Solid Snake is actually David Hayter who actually went to acting school here in Toronto and then moved to L.A to start his career and prior to Metal Gear Solid he did voices on a cartoon many might remember called "Captain Planet." (unfortunately, I remember that damn show-Ed.). The music in this game remains one of my favourite of all time. It is THAT good. The theme song is probably my favourite and it's similar to those gothic-like church songs you'd find in Homeworld. During the making of this game, the sound of the guns in the game were actually recorded from real life guns and overall, you won't find many games that incorporate such great music with such great sound effects.

Well, there isn't much to say about the gameplay other than it's the best I've ever seen. Just the fact that you can sneak around and hide behind cardboard boxes should be enough incentive to play this great game. How many games do YOU know where you can sneak around in a cardboard box!? There is so much that you can do in this game that it would take me forever to comment on them all. But small little details are what make this game sparkle. For example, you're crawling up against a wall and there's a guard on the other side, but you need to be where he is. So what you do is you simply distract the guard by knocking on the wall and grabbing his attention and eventually he'll come over and check out what's going on. And as for the AI, they aren't your usual dumb guards, although they can be if you decide to play on 'Very Easy' Mode and you can be knocking on the wall forever and the guard will just stand there with a blank expression.

The action just kicks ass and if you've never played MGS, just know that you can even strangle a guard while he's urinating; now how many games do you know that can do that!? Thought so.

I wish I could just talk about all the little details but I can't, its up to YOU to get your hands on this game and see them for yourself. All the weapons are incredible; from a sniper rifle to a rocket launcher, MGS has it all. One of my favourites is the NIKITA gun, which is basically the Redeemer gun from Unreal Tournament. You shoot the missile and control it via first person mode, and it is very maneuverable so be careful or else you'll see yourself from the perspective of the missile and that isn't good! One of the other fabulous things in this game is definitely the boss battles. I don't want to give away too much, but in some areas you'll find yourself fighting bosses in tanks and helicopters; very very exciting stuff, trust me.

Metal Gear Solid will remain on my list of best games ever, probably number 1. It is one of a kind and I hope that other game developers realize that MGS created a whole new genre: tactical espionage action. To put it simply: if you like games, play this one, because you aren't going to find anything like it (until Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty comes out for the PS2). It truly is a milestone in the gaming industry. I'm glad the PC version comes as a complete package with the VR missions which is basically the game without a story or plot and you simply play levels trying to avoid the enemy, and in the end you are rewarded with the ability to play as one of the coolest characters in the game, and also my second favourite character (besides Sephiroth from FFVII of course), the Cyborg Ninja. I just realized that my two favourite characters use katana swords, coincidence? Maybe…

Anyways, if you've been waiting for MGS to hit the PC, you can rest easy. If on the other hand you have never heard of the game, I seriously advise you to play it; it's like none other game out there. My only general complaint about MGS is that it's a bit short. You can finish it in about 15-20 hours easy. I guess this is Konami's way of making you cough up the bucks for more MG action.


FINAL MARK

One of a kind superb cinematic experience

Incredible character development throughout the game

A bit short and not much graphical enhancements from the Playstation version other than higher res to choose from.

91%

 

A Stormtrooper!! Well...no but hey, the lighting is pretty well done in this game at the higher resolutions that are now available.

 

What the hell is this? TRON??! Nope...this is actually fun to partake in. Sorry Tron fans.

 
ahhh....the shadowy cover that this tow-motor provides...