I'm sure you've all heard about this game and for those of you who haven't stop whatever you're doing, run down to the mall and pick it up! Metal Gear Solid has got to be one of the most addictive PSX to PC games out there. Released two years ago for the Play Station, it sold countless numbers of copies and satisfied just about everyone who played it with it's eerie, unforgiving atmosphere. I've played both the PSX and PC games and Microsoft has done an excellent job (it frightens me to say that) in porting it over.
Your role in the game, played by Solid Snake previously a member of a special forces unit is not so much to parade through the levels, guns-a-blazing, a la Tomb Raider but more along the lines Thief. In MGS, you have to plan your actions and stay in the shadows until the moment is right for you to make your strike; making one lethal blow to the head of your opponent.This game is all about atmosphere and setting the mood getting you into the game, rather than just a bystander on sidelines, controlling a character. Like most PSX games, MGS is packed with FMV's (Full Motion Videos) and the sound and music are played in just right.
The game starts off with an ingame FMV, debriefing Snake about his upcoming mission; then swimming ashore to an island, in an attempt to stop a nasty terrorist act headed up by non other than Snake's ex-comrades, of the special forces unit Foxhound. The terrorists have seized a military base full of nuclear warheads and are threatening the world's leaders that if their demands are not met they'll launch one. Thus, it is solely up to Snake to infiltrate the island, rescue a few hostages and single-handedly take down the terrorists and return peace to the world. Though the storyline is somewhat of a clichι, it's integrated into the game rather nicely.
Graphics in the game are well, a little less than stellar. Don't get me wrong, they are a big improvement over the pixel-graphics we all know and love the PSX for but vs. today's hot game engines [*cough* Tribes 2 *cough*] it just doesn't stand up. If you're lucky enough to own a GeForce , Raedon, V5 or any other card that has FSAA, crank that baby up to 4x and enjoy the anti-aliased goodness. Artwork is drawn in a truly timely fashion, capturing that anime-style just right (something I've always admired about numerous PSX titles).
Likewise, sound is great; employing the latest in EAX2, or Aureal for you sissy Diamond card owners
I'm running the Altec Lansing ACS54 surround sound setup and my my, you can hear (and subsequently feel) those mutated card guards sneak up behind you. Sound effects in the game are quite memorable, heh, slice a guard in half and you can hear the gibs splatter to the floor! Add in the ambient sounds and you've got yourself a truly atmospheric environment.
As mentioned before, the audio in this game is outstanding. One, the music. Fading in at just the right moment to pump you up for the horde of badies you're going to try and evade (rather than plowing through them, right?) or that serene tune that gets you as you try to rescue the hostages. Two, the sound effects and ambient sounds. It's all about sneaking around and not being seen or HEARD in MGS. So you can expect that if you trudge too quickly over that puddle of water, you're going to be heard. With all of this to take into account, you're starting to see what set this game apart from all of the other PSX games out there.One disappointing factor in the game is the time it takes in which to beat it. Averaging a mere 10hrs or so amongst the adequate gamer, 10hrs just well... doesn't seem like enough for this game. Especially one that gets you so involved into the storyline and plot. VR (Virtual Reality) Missions. That's the ticket! Originally sold as another game (or add-on for the PSX), Microsoft was kind enough to include it along with the game. Now you may think that the VR missions are a waste of time, but heh, think again. These are a ton of fun to play and perhaps even as addictive as the game itself. You may also want to spend some of your time developing your stealth skills in here before challenging the game.
Gameplay is nicely ported over from the PSX controller to suit the PC keyboard. You're not bombarded with several dozen keys to memorize (as is the case with many games nowadays). Instead you have but the bare essentials to get the job done. The cinema-like camera angles are a nice change from the boring FPS (First Person Perspective) or TPS (Third Person Perspective) weaving from an overhead view in halls and allies to a, well, FPS when the need arises. It really adds to the atmosphere and mood of the game.
All in all, this game is a blast to play and if you're that sentimental type, the story will take you in and won't let you go until you've beaten the game. Throw in the added bonus of the VR missions (thanks MS! *shudders*) and you've got yourself a helluva game. Play it... NOW
Official Metal Gear Solid Website