All good things must come to an end. With the release of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots,
the Metal Gear Solid Franchise will
do just that.
We decided to take a look back at the most successful
convoluted tale that has ever hit us on consoles.
Metal Gear Solid
Never has a series taken such a break to gain legendary
status. Sure, the Metal Gear games
were fun in their own way, and established the characters we take advantage of
today, but in Metal Gear Solid, Hideo
Kojima took Metal Gear and Snake into the stratosphere in the guise of 3D.
Introduced to the series were a slew of gameplay elements.
Gone was the simple hiding behind walls of the first two games. With the
movement into the third dimension was the ability to work with your environment
more fully. Hide under things, use objects to merge into your settings.
Getting in huge firefights was frowned upon, and you had
numerous ways to avoid them. Equipped with many gadgets such as heat seeking
goggles, and having the ability to distract the enemy with noise were weapons
of stealth in your arsenal.
Not just a monster in the gameplay category, every fan of the
series gains something of a flashback when they hear F.O.X.H.O.U.N.D., or David
Hayter speaking across the codec, or even just the concept art of the
characters. The connection to them runs that deep. Each specific character,
from protagonist to boss is almost mythical in stature.
When they started this project, they had a plan to create
the greatest PSX game ever. They arguably succeeded. The graphics, the
character development, and the mythos has inspired the other two games on this
list, as well as countless spin-offs and remakes on several different systems
such as the PC and Gamecube.
If you ever hunger for some classic fifth generation gaming,
look no further.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
With such a classic behind you, and a new system with brand
new capabilities standing in front of you, Hideo Kojima knew he had to deliver
a knockout for the brand new Playstation 2. Those with short term memories
forget that it was locked up with the arguably more popular Dreamcast and did
not have the most favorable launch.
Metal Gear Solid 2:
Sons of Liberty had greatness thrusted upon it, and it ran with it. As
soon as you see the ominous oil tanker in the quiet of night, taking down the
soldiers quietly, you realize that this is not just a rehashing of the
original, but a game that can stand on its own in the light of greatness.
Metal Gear Solid 2
retains the same stealth emphasis as the first. Adding to that is the inclusion
of the first person mode for more tactical shooting with the first person aim,
more gadgets to tinker with, and a much more useable environment.
Back again were memorable characters, including a new
protagonist, Raiden, who at his best allowed for a different view of events,
and at his worst is looked at as one of the few blemishes this series has.
In the second part of the game, you actually work with Solid
Snake and watch him work. Not just that, but a new group of enemies arrive -
Dead Cell, which allow for the same memorable fights that were littered about
the first one.
Also within this game is a love and hate relationship with
the cut scene. They do wonders in telling the story, but the story itself is
quite flawed. Some blame it on a bad translation and some say its just terrible
writing. Even so, the cut scenes enhance the gameplay for those who just want
to enjoy the experience.
All in all, Metal Gear
Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was a critical success. It introduced new
characters that will be appearing in Metal
Gear Solid 4 (Vamp, Raiden ) and
garnered enough praise by both critics and consumers alike to drive the
Playstation 2 to new levels.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Sometimes you have to go to the past in order to go to the
future. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater did
just that, putting you in the shoes of Big Boss before he became Big Boss.
Under the codename Naked Snake, you had to not only traverse the large jungle,
but also survive.
Survival was key, as the new open terrain that was featured
required you to keep your stamina up. One had to rely on the jungle to feed
Snakes hunger. If you did not, Snake became almost unusable. Also, injuries did
more than just subtract from your life bar, they were significant to Snakes
being. It mattered now where Snake was specifically hurt, as a broken leg meant
much more than a cut.
One not only had to endure the elements, but also the insane
creatures that lurked within. Metal Gear Solid 3
had its own share of villains that made them stand apart. The boss batters were
tremendous, as it provided some of the most interesting in the series, ranging
from sniper duels to the paranormal.
The camouflage system and the close quarters combat system,
or CQC were interesting additions to the franchise. The former allowed Snake to
hide in plain sight, something that is extremely useful in the open jungle. The
latter turned Snake into somewhat of a close combat expert, allowing him to do
things like interrogate enemies for information.
Metal Gear Solid 3:
Snake Eater was a tremendous game. Kojima said he wanted to provide a more
realistic experience and he did just that, forcing gamers to adapt. Not to
mention, the Cold War/ James Bond aesthetic was abound, giving gamers not just
a gameplay experience but an experience for all the ages.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
So while your sitting back and enjoying playing Metal Gear Solid 4, take a look at how
the series has evolved, from those bumpy figures in the original Metal Gear Solid, to the High Definition
Blu-ray character sets in the first.
Look at the characters, leaps and bounds that were
experienced thorough the first few games. It doesnt have to be said, but the Solid series provided magic for all who
cared to play it.
Its a bitter sweet experience to watch something so great
go, but know that you enjoyed it all the way through.
Whenever he isnt contemplating a world takeover, you can find Adam
Thomas building the Gamer Studio. For now, join the support and catch
some cool screen shots at Myspace.com/thegamerstudio