A few poor gimmicks ruin what is otherwise one of the best games on playstation 2.
rety5 wrote this review on .
As I have already said metal gear solid is known for one of the greatest game play experiences you can find. And I must say that this game is no exception. The move from concrete corridors to the jungle was a very bold move and this move was executed to near perfection. (Read on to see why I said near) First, to talk about is new features. Admittedly, they are more gimmicks more than anything but they do feel like they take the game play up a notch. One of the new features is a new stamina bar. The stamina bar creates a completely new way to play the game as not only do you have to watch out for the enemy but you will also have to watch out for the stamina bar. The reason you have to watch this bar is that the lower it is the more it affects Snake's abilities. If its two low you’re accuracy when aiming a gun is poor and when you swim underwater or climb you don’t last as you would with a full bar. The only way to fill you're bar is to eat food, which you find and catch in the jungle. This is one of the most anticipated features of the game with the subtitle of the game (snake eater) being named after it. It is also one of the more disappointing features in the game. The food does come in handy at times, say if you leave it in you’re backpack for too long it will go rotten and then you can feed it to the enemy and they will be poisoned. But the animals, instead of a real-time jungle, are always found in the same places therefore increasing the linear feel to the game. It is also not used enough. You’re stamina bar does not go down that fast (not even on European extreme) and you can make it through most of the game with only the stamina you started off with, therefore hunting for food does not come into play that often either. Another new feature is camouflage. You need to keep close attention to you’re surroundings and, in the top right corner of the screen, the percentage of how well camouflaged you are. The higher the number the less likely you are going to be seen. And to blend with certain environment you need certain types of face paints and clothing. However these are also gimmicky as you will breeze through most of the game in two or three of the given sets of clothing. But that is where the gimmicks stop and the strong sense of stealth and strategy creep back into the series (sorry for the pun). The jungle offers plenty of new stealthy options to work you’re way through the game whether it is walking along branches to get silently over an electric fence or using long grass to get past an enemy guard. Also, the range of weaponry that you can use has gone up drastically and there is a weapon for every person whether it is the AK-47 or the silenced tranquilizer gun. And an extra challenge for the more gung-ho but stealthy types, the silencers wear out pretty quickly therefore you must get a headshot or risk alerting the entire jungle to you’re presence. And in many senses the game play is still as strong as its predecessors. Also boosting this game further up its ranks is its awesome storyline. Its full of twists and turns and its worth sitting through the hours of cut scenes in the cut scene theatre to watch the entire mgs experience just like you would a movie. It’s a tale of love, tragedy and a plot to start a full scale nuclear war. Sound:
Anyone who has played metal gear solid one and metal gear solid two will have noticed twos dramatically improved soundtrack over number one’s electric keyboard, however its soundtrack could still be irritating at times. This has now been rectified in number three creating what you could quite easily call the best soundtrack in a game ever with it fitting all the scenes perfectly and matching the quality of almost all of Harry-Gregson-Williams other works for cinema. The voice acting is also superb dubbing over the Japanese version as well as can be expected. Also take you’re time and listen to the jungle through the microphone and you can tell that a lot of effort has gone into compiling the sounds of the jungle.
Anyone who says ps2 cant handle jungle be prepared to scoff their words at the beauty of this game. Its all attention to detail and even people who have played MGS2 will be awed by the leaps and bounds graphical technology has made between the two games. Its almost prefect all the way through but the frame rate during the chase sequence at the end seems to be a little jumpy but that being said it is an awful lot for the ps2 to handle and it still is barely noticeable!
This game is a rather acquired taste. If you don’t like story based themes in a game or prefer to go in gun ho then this is definitely not the game for you but if you want a decent story told or want to play the groundbreaking game play that defined a genre then play this. The gimmicks do ruin what could have surpassed both its predecessors but its still worthy of the metal gear solid series.