Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence Multiplayer Trailer Impressions

A new trailer from Kojima Productions gives us a taste of the first online Metal Gear's seemingly flavorful gameplay.

Konami and Kojima Productions unveiled a new trailer today for Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, the remixed version of last year's award-winning Snake Eater. The new game will include a number of gameplay enhancements, like a third-person camera system, and bonus features, such as the original MSX personal computer versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, which have never been released in America. But surely the most highly anticipated element of Subsistence is its multiplayer mode, which marks Metal Gear's first foray into online gameplay. While our own burning need to try this mode goes yet unfulfilled, the new trailer gave us a good idea of what to expect when Solid Snake and friends finally sneak their way across the Internet early next year.

All the gameplay from the single-player mode will be available online, including the trusty cardboard box.

As noted in our recent news story, Subsistence's online component will let you play in a variety of game types. In addition to the self-explanatory deathmatch and its team-based variant, you'll get sneaking missions, which tasks one player as Solid Snake with infiltrating a position held by other players. In this mode, the Snake player will have access to all the tools of the trade from the single-player game. For instance, if you throw down a girly magazine, an enemy player who catches sight of it will be transfixed and unable to move for a few seconds, allowing you to get by. Capture missions will pit two equal teams of four players against each other as both sides attempt to grab a goal object and hold it at their base for a certain amount of time to score. Finally, rescue missions will give one team the object with the goal of delivering it safely, while the other team has to take the object out to score.

Konami stated that you'll be able to play characters in online matches from a number of different factions taken directly from Snake Eater, such as the Russian KGB and GRU, not to mention Revolver Ocelot's own elite unit. In fact, you'll apparently be able to unlock certain specific story characters, such as Ocelot himself, for use in multiplayer, though details on how you'll obtain these characters and what special abilities they'll have are being kept under wraps for the time being.

All of the gameplay mechanics present in the single-player game will be in the multiplayer as well, and we got to see several sequences of them in action. This includes sneaking, crawling through tall grass or under cover, and flattening against a wall and peering around; close-quarters combat, which lets you execute a number of takedown moves and holds; and of course, first-person aiming and shooting, which we imagine will be especially handy in competitive situations. Konami isn't commenting on how third-person aiming will be handled, since the single-player game includes a substantial aim-assist feature, but it assured us it's being considered.

Who knows what gameplay oddities lurk in this expansive remix of Snake Eater.

The action in the trailer looked frantic and dynamic, and it seems like it'll be familiar to anyone who's used to playing online games. The players each have a nameplate that hovers above their head, like in such games as Battlefield 2, so you can quickly identify everyone. The hectic combination of sneaking moves, close-quarters combat, and shoot-outs we saw indicated a tantalizing mix of combat styles that ought to prove engrossing (we're certainly excited to try it). It seems like there will even be a number of emote actions available, considering the player characters we saw saluting, swaying from side to side, and so on.

As this is a trailer from famously eccentric director Hideo Kojima, we expected to see a number of unexplained elements--and we weren't disappointed. There was a shot of Snake wielding a hefty backpack flamethrower, so we have to figure there will be a bunch of new weapons to play with in the game. We also saw a sequence in which an enemy soldier was spooked by a bunch of unseen assailants. After he donned an infrared visor, there appeared to be ghosts of some sort flitting all around him. What's that all about? Finally, and most intriguingly, a title kept popping up during the trailer proclaiming that Subsistence will be "Best in USB." Perhaps Kojima and his team are planning some kind of PSP connectivity for the game? Sadly, we'll have to wait to find out--Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence is currently slated for release in early 2006. Stay tuned for more.

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