OSW Review | Metal Gear Solid 3 (PS2)

Metal Gear Solid 3 (PS2)

A NEW videogame video review! This one’s Part 3 of our Metal Gear Retrospective, we’ll close out next time with MGS4. Below is the video review, followed by V1’s original written review. 

If you didn’t hear, we’ll be starting a NEW old school PPV arc in January! We’ve narrowed our choices down and will announce it New Year’s Eve! I feel bad you’re routinely going 4-6 weeks without new OSW content, and we get asked for video versions of our movie/videogame reviews a lot, so voilà! Oh and this is our first video in 60fps – AWWW YEAH! Enjoy! — Jay

Hey guys. It’s V1 again! I hope you’ve been enjoying my reviews of the Metal Gear series so far. Both MGS1/2 are fantastic games, well worthy of the hype & their place in gaming history. MGS3 is in the bag, so let’s get straight into it & see how good it is. (I’ll keep the MGS3 review as spoiler free as I can, but there will be some MGS1/2 spoilers)

Developer: Konami (2004)
Console: PS2 (Played on PS Vita)
Reviewed by V1

MGS3 is a prequel & is the origins of the entire Metal Gear series. See ya in MGS4 for your resolution! Wooooooooo! (Takes off Jacket, does elbow drop & gigs forehead)

It’s 1964 & the height of the cold war. You play as former Special Forces operative & current member of FOX, Naked Snake (Solid Snakes father). Sent to Russia to rescue a defecting Soviet scientist, Sokolov, who has developed a massive nuclear launching tank called the Shagohod. Everything goes smoothly until your commanding officer, The Boss, defects to Russia along with her Cobra unit (Cue more awesome boss battles). The Boss gives Colonel Volgin two miniature nukes, & of course being mental, he uses one immediately to cover his tracks. The Boss then defeats Snake & leaves him for dead as she escapes along with Volgin, Cobra unit & recaptured scientist Sokolov.

The Soviet Union places the blame of the nuclear attack on the US. In order to clear their name, President LBJ makes a deal to take out Volgin’s renegade faction, destroy the Shagohod, Cobra Unit & the Boss. So one week after being destroyed by his mentor, Snake is sent back into the Russian jungle, to singlehandedly stop Volgin & the Boss, & save the world from all out nuclear war.

Despite the change of setting & personnel, this is still very much a Metal Gear story. We still get fed the plot through amazing cutscenes & codec conversations (which are nowhere as long as MGS1 or 2). A more grounded story, better writing & improved performances from the voice actors make the best story of the series so far.

The game is much bigger than both its predecessors, featuring gorgeous forest locales, brooks & mountains as well as the indoor settings of the last two games. There are also hidden references to other games, movies & songs throughout the game. These references are far easy to see now thanks to the FULLY 3D CAMERA! Yup, the HD version of MGS3 features a third person camera that is fully controllable (the PS2 top down camera is still available at the touch of a button if you should want it). This is the biggest change to the series, in terms of gameplay, to the entire series so far. It forces you to use cover & scout ahead for enemies using third & first person views. This along with the absence of the radar system (this is 1964 after all), makes MGS3 a more difficult game than the first 2, but both of these negatives are offset by the increased control the third person camera gives.

Other design changes include a fun camo system that forces you to constantly change Snake’s camo to achieve the least visibility. There are some fun situations that come about from this gimmick. The next gimmick introduced here is the hunger/stamina meter. Doing strenuous action makes Snake hungry, so you have to hunt snakes, frogs & rabbits. You must also take care of Snakes health. This includes healing gunshot wounds, burns, broken bones, as well as, rotten food & poisonous mushrooms &snakes. Most of these are good fun & add a sense of urgency & realism to the game. However, why does Snakes stomach rumble when his meter is still half full? This is bollix, what’s the point in having an entire meter if you have to refill it when it’s half full?

Finally, I have to mention the final few hours of this game. I won’t spoil anything, but I have to mention how incredible it is. After defeating what you think is the final boss, the game just keeps going & going with some of the best action gaming I’ve ever played. Boss battle after boss battle, all culminating in one of the best endings to a game I’ve played in a long time.

Oh & speaking of bosses, there’s the epic sniper duel with the End. I’ll just say that it is the single greatest boss battle ever. It took me 2 goes, both lasting over 90 minutes to kill this fucker, but damn I’ll remember it for a LONG time.

Not only has MGS3 got the best story of the series, it’s also the best looking game of the series too. Brought out in 2004 in Japan, it came out at the end of the PS2s life & pushed the console to its absolute limit. Thankfully it’s 2014 & I can play it in HD on the PS3/Vita, & let me tell you that it looks phenomenal. This easily looks as good as some of the earlier games on PS3 & 360. Factor in the quality of the cutscenes & the care taken to the gameworld, & you could argue this against all but the best of last gen.

Another shout out must be made to the soundtrack. Featuring a James Bond style intro song that I hated the first time I heard. I actually went on to really like this song, especially as it’s played one particular moment of the game (I won’t spoil it). There are also fantastic songs for the final Boss battle, the ending of the game & the credits. Also, Kudos on finding yet more ways to utilise the Metal Gear theme.

As I said earlier the voice acting is great. David Hayter is definitely at his best in this game. Naked Snake is a more interesting character than Solid Snake, but Hayter was fantastic nonetheless. Other well voiced characters are the Boss, Eva & Zero. There are far less cheesy lines, as well as less hammy performances.

There are not many negatives to point out here. My biggest gripe is probably how Young Ocelot is handled. He has some of the worst lines in the game & his Ocelot growl thing is laugh out loud bad. Volgin is also a bit of a panto villain, but the quality of the rest of the game far outweighs these few niggles.

Good Points:
• Best story of series.
• New 3rd person camera changes game entirely, for the good!
• Better writing, acting & all round production.
• Best bosses of series.
• Best boss battle I’ve EVER played.
• Phenomenal final few hours.
• Great ending.

Bad Points:
• New hunger system & hunting for food. Waste of time.
• Young Ocelot being a bit of a jobber.
• No resolution to MGS2

Overall: So, I’ve pretty much Spooge McDucked all over this game…… & rightfully so. This is one of the best games of the PS2 era & it holds up remarkable well even into this current generation. I couldn’t recommend playing this game enough, even if you’ve never played a MGS game (being a prequel you don’t need to have played the first two), but if you plan to play all of them you should begin with MGS1.


9.5-10 stars


Release Date
December 20, 2014