by Matt Clinks
When I got my PS3, I honestly felt I was in a bit of a conundrum. Not really seeing the immediate value in my purchase, I wanted to play a good “SOLID” first party Sony game that beckoned back to my youth. Really, when the PS3 launched, nothing seemed to win me over. The Xbox360 dominated on multiplatform games because everyone I know plays LIVE. I really like the fact that multiplatform is becoming so common nowadays. It’s nice knowing you can play a game regardless of what system fanboy you are.
Either way, I’m off topic. I ended up renting Metal Gear Solid 4, which as most people know as the long-winded grand finale to the Metal Gear Solid series. I played through this game, and honestly had a blast…for a guy that never REALLY played Metal Gear.
I shouldn’t say that. I played Metal Gear Solid, or at least I played the living crap out of that old demo on my original Playstation. You know, back in the day when reading PSM was rad!? Anyway, I never really got that far into the game, I always had trouble playing older games like that when I was younger. If they were too hard or frustrating I just quit. I still will set my games on the easiest setting, but regardless I won’t give up like 13 year old me did. I simply don’t like to be bogged down with difficulty.
I remember back in the day playing Metal Gear Solid with a friend, watching him run around different parts of the world. I was absolutely enthralled, but it wasn’t until more recently I learned of how crazy the game and it’s world truly are. Sure I had heard things, I listened to voices on my Podcast talk about it, but nothing really prepared me for what I would get myself into playing through this series.
So I decided to go back to the game I had heard was the “most bananas.” The game that “pissed off fans.” Metal Gear Solid 2 has a reputation, one that has cemented itself in video game history. I now realize what that all meant at the time. The first Metal Gear Solid is a truly remarkable game for it’s time. Graphics were untouched, the storyline was incredibly mature for it’s audience, and the overall breadth of the game was deeper than almost anything on console up until then. Metal Gear Solid 2 took the first game and went overboard in every way possible.
Metal Gear Solid’s protagonist and poster boy for the series is a guy named Solid Snake or “David” as we find out at the end of MGS. He is a badass, a gravely voiced warrior that plays the part to a “T.” At the end of MGS, even with the plot spinning out of control and his impending doom being an unknown factor, he still rides off on a snowmobile into the sunset with “the girl,” Meryl.
Metal Gear Solid 2 tricks you into thinking you will be playing as Snake once again to take on the world, but after just a little bit into the game, you take over as a reluctant new soldier named Jack (or Raiden.) The storyline goes from being a very intriguing thinking man’s video game, into a philosophical story about war and the human race. It is an insanely complicated story to follow. I actually think it hurt me knowing what I know about how MGS4 ends because I kept trying to make everything make sense…to put all the pieces together. It is astonishing that Hideo Kojima, the games creator, put everything together in MGS4.
I don’t know if I want to give full game reviews for the first two games(haven’t got to number 3 yet) but I will say that they do something with a narrative that is missing from games, even today. Though convoluted and ridiculous, you can’t deny how interesting it all is. I have spent almost as much time reading about the MGS story and history as I have playing the first 2 games to help fill in the holes. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing, to be honest. I have enjoyed the ride so far.
I will do a final thought on Metal Gear Solid after I finish MGS3: Snake Eater. I am very excited to play it.