Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence review


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Buy your copy from Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (2006) starstarstarstarno star Publisher: Konami
Category: Action/Adventure
Available for: PlayStation 2
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I’ll be honest. The “Metal Gear” series has never been one of my faves. All that stealth stuff just doesn’t really get my juices flowing. However, I can’t deny that this new “remix” and expansion of “Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater” is pretty potent stuff. Fans of the series will undoubtedly rejoice at all the extras included in this two-disc set, as well as the tweaks given to the original game.

The major tweak applied has been a fully controllable third-person camera mode. Players can now easily see Snake in most any situation and not have to constantly rely on confusing first person shots and top down action so often as was the case the first time around with the game. There are also now six difficulty levels, including “European Extreme,” which should make even the most seasoned players sweat, as it’s an instant game over if Snake is so much as detected by enemy forces. There are also plenty of new camouflage sets included in the game, that are more fashion than function, but those who are into such things will find the added designs enjoyable.

The real bulk of “Subsistence,” however, lies in the game’s second disc, entitled “Persistence.” This is basically a “Metal Gear” fan’s dream come true. For the first time, the franchise is taken online. Players can hook up their broadband connections and jump into the expected deathmatch scenarios, but there’s much more to the online experience than just that. There is an all-new “sneaking” set of missions which pits one player against the rest of the players in the room, trying to steal some microfilm and get it to a designated area. This is where all those stealth skills will undoubtedly come in handy. There are also rescue missions, a version of capture the flag, and team deathmatch maps as well. Basically, everything you could want and then some for an online version of this game.

But that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to “Persistence.” Also included are the original “Metal Gear” and “Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake” games that have been previously unavailable outside of Japan. Now fans can revel in enjoying the origins of the game in all their retro glory. There is also a “Duel Mode” that allows you to play against every single boss from “MGS: 3.” It’s you against the clock against any of the big baddies you like any time. What more could you want?

Well, how about an expanded version of the “Snake versus Monkey” game? Yep, that’s here, too, as well as the oddball “Secret Theater” mode, featuring the original nine Secret Theater comic episodes from the Snake Eater web site, along with eight more new episodes, including a humorous trailer from “Metal Gear Solid: 4” from E3. Yes, it’s everything you could ask for in a remixed title, and then some. Fans around the world, rejoice.

As always, the graphics are impeccable and easily some of the best on the PS2. However, I still tend to doze off during the lengthy cut scenes and especially the back and forth radio chatter that at times seems like it’s going to go on forever. Yes, I can appreciate back story and all that, but does it have to go on and on and on? Plus, the guy who plays Snake sounds just as corny as he ever did. No doubt the fans like this guy, but to me he just sounds like a disgruntled DJ who’s not very good at expressing any emotion other than mild disgust.

So there you have it. “Metal Gear 3: Subsistence” is one of those big packages at a much less than expected price that should keep you going for hours on end. Now if only they could get around to remixing some of those other games that stunk right out of the box completely, like any of those horrid “Frogger” titles, or “Pac-Man World,” or…well, you get the idea. Bottom line is this set offers more bang for the buck than you’re probably going to get in video games this year. That is, if you’re a fan. If you’re not, like me, then there’s plenty other goodies to look forward to.

~Jason Thompson