on 28 July 2012
I had this game on an On/Off basis as a child, that is, until I acquired a PS3 system and bought this over the PSN Store. That was back in November of 2009 and, I have to say, only then did I realise this game's true genius!!
The plot. You control Solid Snake, a legendary US soldier sent to infiltrate a Nuclear Warhead Storage Facility on Shadow Moses Island within the vicinity of Alaska. Snake has two mission objectives: first, he must rescue DARPA Chief, Donald Anderson and the President of ArmsTech, Kenneth Baker. Secondly, Snake must investigate whether or not the Terrorists have the ability to launch a nuclear weapon, and stop them if they do.
Metal Gear Solid revolutionised gaming... forever, in my view. The aim of this game is not to head out there all guns blazing (because, believe me, with this game, that is surely going to get you killed faster than you can blink!), but rather to sneak around the various areas, and enemies within them, without being seen. Before this release, you literally 'had' to head into a game all guns blazing. It is totally different here, plus sneaking around the map without detection has its' bonuses. Firstly, you have a 'Soliton Radar' to aid you with this. Snake is depicted as a bright white dot on the radar, while enemies are red and a blue cone shape represents their field of vision. Should Snake enter this, he is then detected and an Alert Phase begins.
Sneaking without detection in this game is not too hard at all, especially when compared with future titles in the series. Along the way, Snake will gather objects (guns, ammo, rations) that he can utilise at will. Avoid detection and your arsenal builds up, so it does have its' perks.
The Boss fights in this game are something else entirely. The cutscenes (more on these shortly) prior to each one only add to this. Overall though, they are not too difficult, but are still very enjoyable indeed. You have legendary bosses like Revolver Ocelot (a key antagonist of the entire franchise), Vulcan Raven, Psycho Mantis (prepare for a legendary encounter here!!!), Sniper Wolf and finally Liquid Snake. Snake will also encounter a ninja (Grey Fox), a tank and a Russian Hind Helicopter as bosses in-game.
In my view, this game was 'built' on its' cutscenes. At times, instead of playing a game, it actually feels more like a blockbuster Hollywood movie, thanks to the power of the cutscenes. They really draw us, the audience, into the lives of the characters portrayed in-game, which was no easy feat back in the day, I can tell you that much!
In terms of the graphics, for a PS1 title, they are not bad at all. Ok, so there are some 'blockey' segments one will encounter while playing the game, but this is a PS1 title, after all! That being said, the graphics here are pretty good; I really have seen worse in my time on PS1.
Overall, I highly recommend this game to all. It's been a good 14 years or so since this game's original release and, as another reviewer pointed out, it is still being played "religiously" today. Play it for yourself and see why!!
Thanks for reading. Hope this helps.