Do you like the Metal Gear Solid franchise? Not everybody does. It is a tough series to like if it isn’t your thing and me explaining it now probably will not spur you to jump out of your seats and play the franchise. But if you do decide to play through it… DO NOT START WITH MGS: TWIN SNAKES! In a nut shell they turned Solid Snake into Neo and have him do the most *R-worded* things. And considering how messed up and absurd the plot gets… That says a lot about how stupid Twin Snakes made the series.
But if there is one indisputable fact about the series… Each game is different in a major way somehow. Kojima productions knows how to do sequels. Each installment brings either a new take on the series or a new convention every time!
Remember the jump from Doom 1 to 2? What changed? 1 New gun.. and a handful of new enemies and everything else was pretty much assets from the last game.
MGS 2 from 1 improves on every aspect of the previous model even if it turned out to be Kojima saying “See.. I CAN make the same game again and you wont know it til I tell you.”
Then Metal Gear Solid 3 comes out and shifts what you are used to and adds more meta type stuff. There is a camouflage meter so you know exactly how hidden you are. The sound is much better and realistic so you can now move through bushes in loud environments without the enemy hearing your footsteps. Let’s face it. Metal Gear solids “view cone” made the game seem like stealth pac-man at times. Sound didn’t matter so much as you being spotted. In 3 you have to stay hidden and quiet.
The gadgets in 3 are also more handy by virtue of the fact they are old school meaning that you cant just simply look at a radar, find your foe, point and shoot. More strategy is involved. The classic boss sniper battle against The End can last 10 minutes or over an hour just by what gadgets you use to track your enemy. The game has a Cabelis game hunter vibe to it as well. You hunt wildlife for food if you are low on rations. The food can even spoil if left untouched which you can now use to poison hungry soldiers when you blow up their food supplies. There is even a boss you can use that strategy against. 3 is arguably the finest entry into the series.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is definitely lip service to fans. It is very well designed but extremely story heavy which has always been a complaint about the series. And the end game cut scene is pretty much an entire movie. But those mild itches aside, it really is a great journey filled with twists and nostalgia. It may not have the meta elements that 3 did but the battlefield is also very different. There are less places to hide but due to Snake’s Octocamo he can hide right out in the open. It is difficult to put my finger on what is so different about 4. But I think the return to form is what makes 4 different. It clashes old and new ideas seamlessly. It is just as modern as it is classic.
Then there is Peace Walker. The best thing about Peace Walker is the one thing missing from portable ops… Co-op multiplayer. Standard missions are 2 player but boss fights against heavy artillery are 4 player skirmishes that are Kojima doing his best to capture the intensity of a Monster Hunter fight. The ability to recruit and upgrade soldiers and their weapons adds tremendous amounts of depth to the game. I personally don’t just want peace walker in HD… But Peace Walker 2 on Ps3 AND the Vita.
Metal Gear Solid is one of the few franchises that makes every sequel feel like it could be a new game not just a grapically superior version of the last entry in the series.
What say you gameland?
IamFN2K aka The Jaded Gamer