Metal Gear Solid 3 Review

Metal Gear Solid 3 is one of my favorite games from my childhood. It is also one of the most praised games in the MGS franchise garnering a 9.2 user score on Metacritic, and a 9.6 from IGN. Released in 2004, it is a prequel in the series and it is set in 1964 during the Cold War, before the first metal gear game (the first game released for the MSX computer).  

You play as the “father” of Solid Snake, going by the code name Naked Snake. The game begins with a virtuous mission where you must rescue a defecting scientist named Sokolov from the Soviet Union. Sokolov is a weapons scientist who is currently working on the Shagohod, a marvel of weapons technology. It is a vehicle able to shoot a nuclear bomb anywhere with the use of momentum gained from driving. The mission ultimately results in failure as the best soldier in the American army and her former team, the Cobras, defect to the USSR. After a Soviet general blows up a Union base with The Boss’s bombs, Khrushchev calls the president of the United States and warns him of the consequences that could come from this. Krushchev then suggests that the U.S. send in an agent to kill the boss. That’s where you come in. As The Boss’s former student, you must now bring her down in order to prevent an all-out nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Hideo Kojima, MGS director, in a Game Informer article, said, “Having a complex story is not my intention at all.” 

If you really want a deeper video game story, you really can’t go wrong with the Metal Gear Solid franchise, I’d recommend starting with Metal Gear Solid 3 and playing every game in chronological order of when they take place instead of when they came out.

There is a particularly big change in this game that gamers should be aware of. One of the biggest mechanics from the previous Metal Gear Solid games was the radar which was an interface in the top right corner of the screen, which would show you where the enemies were and where they were looking in certain areas. In MGS3, though they changed it drastically, the radar is now an item that you have to equip in order to be able to tell where other creatures are in the area. Now notice the way that I phrased that. The radar doesn’t just show you where the enemy is, it also shows you where animals are in the area. This, in my opinion, ruins the radar. But I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing; it forces you to look around at the beautifully crafted jungle and urban settings instead of focusing on the corner of the screen for more than half the game. 

This game places a huge emphasis on camouflage and you must go into the menu to change what you are wearing in order to match your environment. This is the part of the game that has received the most criticism, and I agree with what most gamers say. Having to pause and move through a menu as often as you do in this game is not fun. However, I believe that the director learned from this because, in future games, instead of going through a menu every time you need something, you choose what you want to take with you before each mission. This allows gamers to have a better sense of preparedness. Overall, I believe that Metal Gear Solid 3 is a game worthy of the high praise that it gets, and has a very engaging story that perfectly matches it’s intuitive gameplay. There will be many layers to go through as you make your 16 hour journey.