Originally I planned the next installment of my “First Times” series to be on the Mass Effect trilogy and I would write it as I played through each game. Unfortunately I only finished the first game before other matters took precedent. But fret not fellow readers, I have come back with another series that I know next to nothing about which makes it the prime candidate for a first times: Metal Gear Solid. That’s right, Metal Gear.
As a reminder, this is not a review just my thoughts and impressions on the games as I play them.
Metal Gear Solid
It’s hard to believe this game came out in 1998, it is revolutionary in some aspects, the tiniest details that you rarely see in current games appear in a PlayStation game...from 1998.
When I hear people talk about the Metal Gear series it normally devolves into how complex the story can get but thankfully the first installment is, for the most part, pretty clear on its central characters and story. Solid Snake is the main character and he is sent to a nuclear facility in Alaska to dispose of a group of terrorists before they go nuclear on the United States. It’s simple, to the point and highly entertaining from start to finish.
Playing the game now, it blew my mind seeing all the little touches and small attention to detail. During a boss fight I noticed the lights on the ceiling were being reflected off the ground I was treading on and in another area sometimes paper sitting on a desk would fly up in the air if someone was running near it or attacking in close proximity. AND THE GAME HAS VOICE ACTING!
Story wise, I dig it. I liked every aspect of the story and meeting both the good guys and the bad guys. The twists in the game hit me hard and I couldn’t help but go, “oh $#!&” a few times (especially the stinger at the end, oh my lord.) Every time a new character appeared their name as well as the voice actor’s name would appear on screen and for some odd reason I liked seeing it, very few games do that even today.
If there is one thing I didn’t expect to really like from the game would have to be the boss battles. Each boss felt unique and required a different strategy. The boss fights that truly stand out to me are Revolver Ocelot, Psycho Mantis, Vulcan Raven, Gray Fox and the final fight. All of these fights were different from the others and required me to change up my tactics and think carefully. One fight had me go hand to hand while dodging kicks in an office room and another fight made me insert the controller in the second controller slot so the enemy could not “read my mind.”
I can’t forget about the torture sequence though, my finger was in pain after the first set and then I learned I had to do it again. Submitting is not an option no matter what! Took me a good five tries to do and I treated myself to pizza when I came out alive and victorious.
When I finally completed the game I just felt as if I completed a work of art. Metal Gear Solid has to be one of the best PlayStation games to be released. It’s a beast of its own and successfully blends stealth, action and even cinematic storytelling into a magnificent piece. Metal Gear Solid proved that games can have story-telling first and gameplay a close second without having to sacrifice anything, not even unique characters. Games like The Last of Us would not be the same if it was not for MGS.
All in all I think Metal Gear Solid is a great game and I’m fully invested in playing the rest of them. Onto Sons of Liberty! And yes, love can bloom on a battlefield.