Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid (MGS) is the game that put the Metal Gear franchise on the map. Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake both came out around a decade earlier, but it wasn’t until MGS debuted on the Playstation the franchise was able to truly show what it was capable of doing. Any game utilizing a stealth element today can thank MGS for making it a viable mechanic. Other games prior to the release of MGS did offer cinematic experiences, but this was a game that really tried to present itself like a Hollywood movie. There’s no doubting MGS was one of the most influential games in video game history.
A renegade Special Forces unit codenamed “FOXHOUND” seizes control of a nuclear weapons disposal facility in Alaska. After capturing a nuclear capable battle mech called, Metal Gear REX, FOXHOUND’s leader, Liquid Snake, threatens a nuclear strike on the United States if they do not hand over the remains of Big Boss. The legendary soldier, Solid Snake, is forced out of retirement to stop FOXHOUND and rescue two important hostages. Deployed on a solo sneaking mission, unarmed, Snake has only 24 hours to prevent a nuclear catastrophe.
I remember experiencing this game for the first time way back in 1997 while playing a demo. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know how to handle the game, because I had never played a game requiring you to sneak past the enemy instead of shooting everything that moved. Frankly, I didn’t like it at first, because you didn’t even start the game with a gun. It wasn’t until my brother played the game a year or two later I realized why this game was special. The story to MGS was unlike anything else I had ever experienced.
A story isn’t very captivating unless it has likable, interesting characters. MGS is filled with some of the most memorable characters I have ever encountered, particularly the bosses. I have yet to play a game with a collection of bosses as good as Metal Gear Solid. With a colorful set of villains such as; The Gunslinger, Revolver Ocelot; The Minigun Wielding Giant, Vulcan Raven; The Beautiful and Deadly Sniper, Sniper Wolf; The Telekinetic Psychic, Psycho Mantis; The Cyborg Ninja, Grey Fox, and the leader of them all, Liquid Snake, every boss fight was a completely different experience. Who can forget fighting Psycho Mantis for the first time? If you don’t know by now, he would dodge all of your attacks until you switched your controller to the other slot. All while messing with the rumble feature on your controller, reading save files from other games on your memory card, and falsely shutting down your game. Even though these were your enemies, by the end of each encounter, you had a certain level of sympathy for all the characters (minus a couple), because you realized they weren’t that bad after all. Few games have been able to pull off such an element with its characters.
Graphics don’t hold up well at all. It might be hard for some people to get used to it again.
A fantastic musical score and sound effects that would become iconic to the series.
Stealth gameplay wasn’t used in many games until Metal Gear Solid was released. It’s a style that takes some time to master, but it feels very rewarding when done correctly. MGS also revolutionized the idea a video game can make you feel like you are a character in a movie. If you can look past the undated graphics, MGS is one of the finest games you will ever play.
- Great Story
- Memorable characters
- Great boss battles
- Outdated graphics
- Stiff controls
Style – Single-player, Stealth Action
Publisher – Konami (PS), Microsoft Game Studios (PC)
Developer – Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (PS), Digital Dialect (PC)
Release – September 1998