Dear Video Games – Metal Gear Solid 3 Review
Dear METAL GEAR SOLID 3 – SNAKE EATER,
I can’t deny it, after all these years I’m still in love with you. I’ve been a fan of your series ever since I watched my brother play the first METAL GEAR SOLID. Once it was finally my time to take control, I was hooked for a lifetime.
Now that I had a chance to play MGS V, the last installment in your legacy, I can tell with utmost certainty that you, MGS 3, are my absolute favourite of them all. Not only do you tell a compelling story, you also deliver it with unique and unforgettable characters.
You made me feel like I was truly on my own sneaking around in a Soviet jungle, with no companions or supply drops to support me. Stealth was your biggest priority, since head-on confrontations could lead to serious injuries I would have to manually take care of. You know I love being careful and diligent when it comes to sneaking. So I stayed hidden in the grass for several minutes, memorizing the patrols of nearby guards and planning out my moves. Adapting my camouflage to the environment was essential.
The survival aspect of hunting for food never got in the way of the action. It even peaked my curiosity about which animal was the tastiest. I just had to catch them all. This was a fun little distraction.
I love your boss fights and their matching theme. They were all brothers of war, band together by a cause our protagonist could very much relate to. I could talk about each and every one of their encounters and special abilities, but there’s only two I really want to mention.
The best boss fight I ever had was the sniper duel with THE END. It wasn’t like any other battle where you simply out-strength your opponent. This was a tactical operation. I had to find the old man’s location by listening for his breathing with a special mic, follow footsteps to his hiding spot, or look-out for the reflection of the sun in his rifle’s scope; all of that in an area covering three segmented maps. It was a battle of endurance that could last for an eternity, and it’s utterly amazing. Following that with a three minute ladder climb to calm the nerves was much appreciated.
THE FURY can go fuck himself, though. This is probably the least talked about boss fight, but fuck me, I was scared shitless. I had all right to be, too. Trapped in narrow halls in pitch darkness while being chased by a mad astronaut with a flamethrower; how is that anything but frightening? This was honestly the most dreaded part of the game for me in each of my play-troughs.
When it comes to characters, you were way ahead of your time. THE BOSS is a strong female role model that combines mother figure and bad-ass in one, and becomes more likable as the story progresses. This really seals the deal once she reveals her tragic backstory.
I know, you have your flaws. You haven’t figured out the right groove with the controls back then, and like any Kojima game you are in dire need of some editing. But your greatness outweighs all minuscule complaints.
I know MGS V shines with graphics and some fun and improved gameplay. But it was only you who could capture the essence and tension of a solo stealth infiltration mission. Then you topped it up with action and cheese a la James Bond, masterfully balanced so that no trope would overstay its welcome.
You carried my emotions throughout the whole game and in the end, I have to say, it killed me when you made me pull the trigger. You know what I’m talking about. I tried to wait. But there was no other way. I’ve played the game so many times, and this still gets me.
“Yes, sir, he wrote the blog post.”
“No, it seems like he’s still into Metal Gear, despite talking a lot more about the Witcher.”
“I’m sure he saw the trailers. He follows you on twitter.”
“There’s no doubt he’ll be one of the first people to buy the game. And when he does, he won’t be able to resist but write a post about it, too. The plan is in motion.”