Metal Gear Solid - PC - Review
Two years ago Solid Snake appeared on the PlayStation and made every console gamer drool with superb graphics and cinematic movies that made you believe you were in the game. Metal Gear Solid is a spin-off from an old Nintendo game just called Metal Gear. The game was not nearly as brilliant as its current version, but it was also just as addictive. The PC release of this game adds little change to the same game that was released two years ago, but it is still just as fun now as it was then.
You are Solid Snake, a genetically enhanced anti-terrorist, who has been called in to an Alaskan military base that has been taken over by terrorists. The terrorists are also genetically enhanced and some are old acquaintances of Solid Snake. They have fitted a huge pro-type robot called "Metal Gear" with nuclear warheads and are threatening to fire them at the United States if their demands are not met. Solid Snake's objectives change as the story unfolds, but ultimately his goal is to finish off "Metal Gear" once and for all.
While trying to destroy "Metal Gear," Solid Snake finds out a lot about himself and about love, which are told through the fantastic cut-scenes in the game. You also have a communication device that only you can hear and also unfolds most of the story through dialog. There are a few noticeable quirks with the cinematics. One is that the PC audience has grown accustomed to the mouth moving with the speech and more detail in the facial expressions of the story telling. I would guess this is expected from a console game. The cut-scenes are taken straight from the PlayStation and some parts of the movies even refer to the "Circle" and "X" buttons that are the console controllers. Although the detail is not what's expected in today's market, it is the great story that makes Metal Gear Solid really come to life.
Graphics are somewhat improved over the console version. The marketing has pitched improved graphics on their ads for the PC release. Unless I turned on my PlayStation and compared the two games, I couldn't tell much difference. There is a subtle improvement in the textures and 3D objects in the foreground compared in the PC version. If you haven't played the game before, then you really don't need to worry about the graphic enhancements because the graphics are great either way. Most of the game consists of an overhead view of the action. You move Solid Snake through the map and by using your radar, you try to stay out of the guard's line of sight. Once guards spot you, they will chase you for a period of seconds until they can no longer find you and then go back to their post. Other views of the game consist of you peering down sniper scopes, running up or down tower stairs, and zooming in on objects with your binoculars. A new addition, which was highly missed in the PlayStation version, is a first-person view with a push of the button. Some parts of the map are best seen through Snake's eyes and give you a better sense of your surrounding. The first-person view was in the Japanese release of this console game, but was taken out in the American one.
There are many items in the game that Solid Snake can pick up and use. Grenades, night vision goggles, guns, ammo, and even ketchup to name a few. Each object you pick up is needed in the game and sometimes doesn't make sense until the time comes to use it. Along with the items and excellent control layout, the gameplay of the game is exactly what you would expect from a good game.
Also, included with the PC version are the "VR Missions". The "VR Missions" are over 300 different obstacle courses to test your skills with Solid Snake. They include stealth tests, weapon tests, and special mission tests. Most of the missions can be done for objectives or for time trials. This doesn't seem like a big deal, but they are very addictive and give you that extra something when you are done with the story part of the game. PlayStation also released the "VR Missions," but only as an extra purchase after the original game was released. It is nice to have them included in a complete set for the PC.
I personally loved this game for PlayStation and for the PC. The sequel is also planned on being released with the Playstation2 in the very near future. This is the best console-to-PC conversion I have seen in any game. Unless the subtle improvements interest you, then I wouldn't purchase this title if you already own it for the PlayStation. For PC gamers who have not played this game, but wondered what the fuss was about two years ago, here is your chance. This game is a 'must have' on any platform.
Install: Easy. Most installations nowadays are user friendly. This install takes up about 240 Meg and the CD is required to play.
Gameplay: 8.5. The best gameplay you can expect from a console- to- PC conversion. The storyline and amount of items in the game make for outstanding gameplay.
Graphics: 8. The graphics are very similar to the PlayStation version, but with subtle differences. Either way, they are good. The movies would have been better with more facial expression and mouth movement that the PC games are known for.
Sound: 9. The music never gets irritating and adds to the drama of the story.
Difficulty: 7. The game is easy to moderate. Whenever you are stuck in a situation or puzzle, then you use your communication device to get help from back home.
Concept: 7.5. The concept is good, but it's hard to give a great rating on concept on a converted console game.
Overall: 8. The game is still as addictive today as it was two years ago when it took the console players by storm.