Game of the Week (4/23/17) – Metal Gear Solid

Is Metal Gear Solid the best PlayStation game of all time? There are certainly enough fans of the title that would tell you that it is. An espionage action-adventure game that relies heavily on stealth tactics as opposed to only shooting/fighting enemies, Metal Gear Solid is the third in the Metal Gear franchise that originated in North America on the NES.

You again take on the role of Solid Snake who has been snatched out of retirement to help the U.S. take down a genetically enhanced special forces unit holed up on an Alaskan island. The unit, Foxhound, are threatening nuclear war if they do not receive a ransom sum from the U.S. government. Solid Snake’s stealth and survival techniques are considered ideal for this mission so he is forced into action to help the government out of this particular jam. The game’s plot goes on from there to introduce a love interest, additional characters both good and bad while including plot twists left and right. Metal Gear Solid is one of those games that likes to pull the rug out from under you several times throughout the course of the game in order to mess with the player’s head. At times, the story feels like it’s going off the rails but MGS does a good job of reigning it in just right before it does.

From a personal perspective, I really didn’t enjoy the first two NES Metal Gear games as I felt they were much too hard with horribly inept translations from the Japanese versions released on the MSX2 computers & Famicom console. When Metal Gear Solid was released for the PlayStation in 1998, I wasn’t very interested so I didn’t pick up my copy of the game until several years after it had been released and it was winning “Game of the Year” awards left and right. Once I started playing and got accustomed to using stealth tactics that you must employ to make the game a bit easier, I found Metal Gear Solid to be engrossing and entertaining. There’s a lot to love about MGS from the different ways you can accomplish your mission (stealth, deadly force or just choking your enemies out), to the varied objectives, secrets, boss battles, cut scenes filled with halfway decent voice acting/dialogue to the bonkers plot twists. This game has it all and really is one of the best for the system.

Rating: A

Currently in my collection: game (greatest , manual, case

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