Surviving Tselinoyarsk: Degradation in Metal Gear Solid 3

For Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Hideo Kojima, series creator and director, decided to step out of the series’ trademark urban infiltration environments in exchange for a Russian jungle that doesn’t exist. Tselinoyarsk, with its swamps, high mountains and dense jungles is quite the departure from Shadow Moses Island and the Big Shell of the two previous games.

Camouflage became the new focus of stealth. Line of sight was still important, but guards had increased detection ranges. They saw farther and heard better. Their hurried hustle became lazy walks. Stealth became a game of lying in the grass and sneaking by as slow as possible instead of trying to dart behind cones of vision displayed on the Soliton Radar of the previous games.

Kojima Productions decided to take full advantage of the game’s jungle setting and added in some extra features to really sell the locale home. Operation: Snake Eater takes place over several days and that means that Naked Snake needs to feed himself. Enter a wildlife and hunting system.

MGS3 isn’t just a stealth game. It’s a survival game, one man versus an army and the unforgiving world around him. Everything in MGS3 has an effect on Naked Snake’s resources. It’s a fight not only to survive the Russian guards but also the player’s ever dwindling resources.

Continue reading Surviving Tselinoyarsk: Degradation in Metal Gear Solid 3

On Cut Content and a Phantom Pain

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN AND METAL GEAR SOLID 2: SONS OF LIBERTY BELOW.

Let’s talk about review scores, formal analysis and cut content in video games.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is composed of two chapters. The first, “Revenge,” focuses on Skull Face and enacting vengeance for what happened to the original Mother Base in MGSV: Ground Zeroes. The second chapter, “Race,” focus more on the language parasites with an outbreak on Mother Base that leads to Mission 43, “Shining Lights, Even in Death.”

Continue reading On Cut Content and a Phantom Pain

The Importance of Control Schemes in the “Metal Gear Solid” Series

Be warned, there may be spoilers below.

I’ve been playing the Metal Gear Solid franchise over the summer in order to get ready for the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. I rushed through all of the main games in the series. I still need to watch a Portable Ops video to catch up, then do the same for or play Peace Walker. Then I can finally play Ground Zeroes and be caught up to speed.

For most of these games, it’s been the first time that I’ve played them in years. I played MGS as recently as last year but I probably last played MGS2 sometime before 2006. I think it was the same or 2008 for MGS3.

When I played them all again, I turned a critical eye to my old friends. Experiencing the series in such quick succession allowed me to be cognizant of all the changes and the different ways each game played because of them. My habits from MGS2 two hours before would not transition well to MGS3. This allowed me to really understand what I appreciated about the Metal Gear Solid games in a more contemporary context.

Continue reading The Importance of Control Schemes in the “Metal Gear Solid” Series