Tuesday, April 8

Game: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Revisited) Click for more info

Well, it turns out that it was me. When I first played MGS3 way back in January 2005 I was certain that it was a terribly broken game. Click back if you want to see my major complaints - not that they're relevant any more since I really enjoyed playing it through again.

To be fair I hadn't really given it much of a chance - not by choice since the PS2 I was playing it on had to be returned to its rightful owner. Nevertheless I gave it back with no regret since I really didn't enjoy what I had played. Nothing changed this time around and the precluding "Virtuous Mission" was just as frustrating as it had been two years ago. However unlike my other game reviews I waited until completing MGS3 to write up my thoughts.

In short MGS3 has one hell of a steep learning curve. It's in getting to know the game - and how it differs from its predecessors - that the frustration stems from. To address some of the points I made in that previous post you don't need a radar (especially once you get the thermal goggles early on in the game) since enemies are actually easy to spot and predictably slow to move. And if you do get caught then there's a finite number to dispose of (unlike in the previous games where they keep coming till you hide). And if you do get hurt then that's fine too because your life automatically restores itself (as long as your stamina is topped up - it decreases slow enough for eating not to be much of a problem at all).

Admittedly the game wasn't as enjoyable as the last two, but it was fun learning the new mechanics and skills that go with them. And of course apart from gameplay there's the story and cinematics - once again superb and worth playing for alone. Being a prequel it's poignant to see where the whole Metal Gear saga started, especially so when you witness how it all turns out; parallels with Star Wars abound.

The whole thing just complements the existing MGS universe so well I'm ashamed just to read back my original review. It's also made clear the outcome of a decision I've been struggling with for a while now: whether or not to buy a PS3. I mean hey: if I want to play MGS4 on release then I don't really have a choice now, do I?