Metal Gear Solid is a solid PC conversion of a hit Playstation game, itself of a hugely popular console series designed by Hideo Kojima. GameSpy's comprehensive review of this "definitive" version to own says it all about one of the best cross-genre thrillers on PC: |
"A nuclear weapons disposal facility located in Alaska has been attacked and captured by ex-members of FOXHOUND, a Special Forces unit designed to deal in counter-terrorism. These former-allies-turned-terrorists are making outrageous demands to the governments of the world, and should these demands not be met in 24 hours, they will launch a nuke and begin to destroy the planet. Our hero and former member of FOXHOUND, Solid Snake, is wrangled back into action by Roy Campbell – the retired FOXHOUND commander – and sent to Alaska to infiltrate the base and stop the terrorists. There are one or two tricky obstacles thrown into the mix, such as Meryl Silverburgh – the commander's niece, two other important government hostages, and the ominous Metal Gear Rex – a huge robot with nuclear launching capabilities, for Snake to overcome. This only marks the beginning of the fun as a vast story about power, betrayal, and espionage will unfold as you play.
Controlling Snake on his adventures is a very unique experience. He'll encounter many different characters, have access to insane hardware and equipment, and most importantly, he'll have to act like a spy: dodging guards, avoiding cameras, using stealth, and hiding in shadows. You can take a more direct approach on the puzzles and bosses and enemies if you like, but more often than not, you'll really need to plan out your strategies if you want to live more than two minutes.
Snake has a bunch of basic moves and attacks until he starts to progress and pick up weapons. He can crawl, hug walls, knock on solid surfaces for a diversion, and even grab and choke guards, then drag them around using them as human shields! Everything and more that you would expect from a decent, hardworking spy. The weaponry and equipment give Snake even more options for disposing of enemies, and with incredible attention to real-life weapon models, physics, and functionality, Metal Gear Solid allows you to really submerge yourself into the characters and storyline. Some of the equipment includes stuff like cigarettes. Snake's health even goes down when he uses them, but they allow him to detect infrared alarm beams etc. making them useful in certain circumstances. He'll find night-vision goggles, cardboard boxes (which can be used a stationary cover to avoid detection by guards and cameras), security key cards, rations, and even a bottle of ketchup which will all aid him throughout the game.
The array of weaponry is pretty stunning and includes silenced pistols with laser sights, FAMAS assault rifles, sniper rifles, remote-controlled missiles, and C4. It's even possible to sneak up behind someone and stick a lump of C4 on their back then back away and detonate it! Great stuff indeed.
One of the coolest gameplay features is the radar located in the top right corner of the screen. It shows the fields of view of cameras, enemies and Snake himself. By using this, you'll be able to sneak up behind people like a pro. Again, the attention to details is attested to when you see some lazy guard decide to yawn and stretch, his vision cone disappearing when his eyes are shut. Run on past, or watch him take a little nap on the job. Either way, you'll be able to get behind him and snap his neck like a twig! Overall, the gameplay remains identical to that found in the PlayStation version, and that's just the way it should be.
The PC version is actually based on the Japanese PlayStation re-release called Metal Gear Solid: Integral. The differences over the US PlayStation release include over 300 brand new VR training missions. Completing all of them is a massively enjoyable undertaking that will tax even the stealthiest of would-be Snakes. A first-person play mode, and many more little extras like the "Photo Shoot" mode allows you get up close and personal with some of the more sexy female members of the cast!
All in all, this is the definitive version of Metal Gear Solid and it's only available on the PC. Go tell your console-owning buddies and watch 'em cringe. If you enjoy playing games and haven't already played it on the PlayStation, then Metal Gear Solid is a fantastic title to own. Even if you have played through it once, it looks so much better on the PC that it's certainly worth playing all over again. The extra VR missions will give you several added hours of enjoyment. The only downside to the proceedings is that some may feel it's a little bit on the late side. Go get 'em Snake!"
Reviewed by: Underdogs