Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
All Metal Gear Solid fans will rejoice in the fact that the series holds a contemporary value for innovation, fun gameplay, and a movie-like plot that gets deeper and deeper with each addition to the series, but absolutely never disappoints. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater holds true to all of these factors, providing gamers with ‘solid’ gameplay filled with new features, and a gripping storyline that grabs you and just won’t let go. In MGS3, you play as Jack in the 1960s — a CIA agent on a mission against time and treachery to save the world from certain war. Jack is, of course, the original Snake, un-cloned and in his physical prime. The Big Boss. Snake must test his physical and emotional limits as he plows through the bleak, dark jungle, faces various bosses, and confronts his own emotional boundaries as he faces a choice between his feelings, and his country.
As for the game’s innovation, you can be sure to be more than satisfied with MGS3’s new features, especially if you’re a Vet to the series. The first thing I noticed was that all running priority is switched over to the control stick, while the D-Pad’s directive is only for walking, or sneaking if you wish. For me, it took a little getting used to, as when I played MGS games in the past, I only used the D-Pad. But after getting a feel for it, it proved to be a good priority shift, allowing for more precise movement when needed.
Sneaking has always been a big factor in the MGS series, and a great addition has been made for MGS3. I am, of course, talking about camouflage. In MGS3 you are given a basic set of different camo uniforms to start out with. Depending on your surroundings, certain camo uniforms will work better than others. You also have a camouflage gauge, showing you just how hidden you really are. It works in percents, the higher your percent, the less likely an enemy is to see you. As you progress through the game you can also unlock specialty camo uniforms that either work better than previous ones, or serve a special purpose.
The second new major addition to the game’s realism is Stamina. Yes, you can’t just give Snake a Ration and make him all better anymore. As Snake’s Stamina bar goes down, he will actually become weaker, and if it gets too low, Snake will actually start to shake in the first-person mode, making it tediously hard or otherwise impossible to shoot at enemies with any accuracy whatsoever. You will need to constantly or periodically (depending on your difficulty) supply Snake with various sources of food. Anything from animals in the jungle to fruit you shoot out of the trees to the ever-delicious Calorie-Mate, they will all up his Stamina bar depending on their varying levels of nutrition. And sorry, kids, but you do not have to make Snake go “poopie” as he fills up on scattered jungle animals, that feature was strategically left out of this game. Sorry to disappoint, folks. Along with tending to Snake’s hunger needs, you will also need to tend to his wounds. The game has a special menu in which you can overlook all of Snake’s injuries. From here you can use various medical products to heal his wounds properly.
And last, but certainly not least, and my personal favorite new feature — Close Quarters Combat. Or more commonly referred to as “CQC” in the game. This feature introduces just what the name suggests. You actually get to engage in hand-to-hand combat with the enemy in a variety of ways. Anything from using them as your own personal human body shield, o knocking them flat onto their backs, or introducing their throat to your survival knife if you want to extract a little information from them. Most of the time you will get useful information out of them, but others you will either get seemingly pointless information, or the rare few enemy won’t tell you a damn thing. That’s just about the time you can make the choice to….. perform pre-med surgery on their neck at your own discretion.
All in all, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a very riveting and innovative game, completely living up to the MGS persona in every manner. Innovative new features, and the same deep, gripping, movie-like storyline that will satisfy movie-goers and video gamers alike.MGS3 is a great addition to an already great series, and it is a must-have for any hardcore gamer around.