PlayStation 2

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Well, here it is, my first Christian Centered Game Reviews. I do believe that someday videogames will become what can be considered art. I don't think we are there quite yet, but the Metal Gear Solid series is the closest we have so far. No other games come close to Hideo Kojima's artistic vision, mature approach or thought provoking story-telling. Metal Gear Solid 3 is the best game in this series and manages to bring so much new to the table that there is nothing else quite like it.


What can I say? This is the best looking game on the ps2. Rather than the usual industrial setting, this installment takes its hero to the jungle and it ever green! The jungle is huge and lush. The environments stretch out as farther than the eye can see. It\'s hard to believe the PS2 can pump out scenery this gorgeous, but it can. Furthermore, the detail is astounding. Individual blades of grass sway in the wind, leaves are blown about the place, and rays of sunlight shine through the canopy. This world is alive. Spiders crawl up and down the walls. Snakes slither through the grass. Rabbits, crows, frogs, fish, crabs, deer, turtles...they're everywhere! These critters behave so naturally that at first you don't notice them because they simply seem like they BELONG there. This game creates the illusion of being actually in a living, breathing wilderness and not just typical videogame corridors painted to look so.

The characters themselves are a marvel to look at as well. Facial expressions display complex emotions and the animation is top notch. The heroes look heroic, the females look attractive and the villains look dastardly. The best animation is seen when battling the villain known as 'The Fear'. This freak of nature\'s dislocated arms move in ways that really show how he got they\'re name. Sure, the way he crawls around is pretty disturbing, but the fact that the emotion of 'disturbed' can be evoked with animation alone without graphic violence (though the game has its share of that too) is a testament to how incredibly produced this game is. The only flaw in this category is that the lip-synching is off because of the translation from Japanese.


The sound effects in this game lend grandly to the suspense. Every time you hear an enemy say 'huh?' when you might have been spotted, it really gets the heart beating. The chirps of the birds and the hisses of the snakes all sound real and it makes the player feel like he or she really is in the middle of the forest. The music in the game isn\'t bad, but it isn\'t anything special either. The music during action moments is appropriately climactic, but there's been better. The game's main theme, a 1960s 007 film type of thing, is good for a laugh at first but it gets a bit annoying after a while. The voice acting is hit or miss. David Hayter once again lends his trademark voice to the game's hero and he does a fine job but the other voices are mostly blah. My main problem is that none of the Russians in the game have Russian accents. Why does the young version of Revolver Ocelot have no accent, but the old one does? The actress who plays snakes mentor The Boss sounds like she is just reading lines off a script. At least the writing is good enough to make up for the performance.

Game Play:

Great. Just great. This being a Metal Gear game, the focus is clearly on stealth. This is actually the most stealth focused game of the entire series. The enemies are smarter now, and more of them will swarm you than before so it is absolutely essential to stay hidden. Because the radar from previous games is gone, this installment is much slower paced. Inevitably you will get caught eventually, and then there are a couple of option. Finding a place to hide is usually the best idea, but less patient gamers will want to kill the enemies instead with the staggering array of weapons. Besides the stealth/action elements that have been seen before in the series there are at least four huge new aspects of game play. Camouflage is the new big deal here. Depending on what uniform you wear you can blend into the environment. If your clothes match the surrounding well enough you can hide in plain sight. If the contrast between snake and the environment is too high, then he\'ll stick out like a sore thumb. Movement also makes a difference to how well camo works. If snake crawls on his belly and stalks an bad guy real slowly he will have a much better chance of staying hidden than if he runs around like a fool.

Another new aspect of the game is the stamina system. In addition to the usual life bar, snake now has to keep track of his stamina. Stamina determines how long he can hold his breath or hang from a ledge, how quickly he can heal, and how steady he can hold his guns. Stamina drops with time, and fighting and sneaking make it go down as well. The only way to keep it up is the hunt the local wildlife. When snake kills and animal or a plant it becomes a power-up that he can pick up. The player then needs to navigate a menu to actually feed the hero. Depending on how well snake likes what you feed him his stamina will increase varying amounts. The next new innovation is the cure system, and it is somewhat tedious. Snake\'s hurts will heal over time but some serious injuries will have to be taken care of surgically before they can heal. The cure screen shoes a diagram of snake\'s body and all the injuries he has sustained. To cure them, the player will have to apply a number of medical supplies to the injuries. A basic broken bone requires only bandaging and a splint, but more complicated wounds take a lot more to heal. A poison dart wound requires a knife to dig the dart out, disinfectant, a septic, a bandage, stitches, and serum for the poison.

Every now and then the game shows you a movie of snake operating on himself but these can be skipped. Either way, the cure system takes too much time and distracts the game at times. Realistic doesn't always mean fun. What is fun, however, is the close quarters combat system, or CQC. This time, when snake grapples an enemy, the options are much broader. He can knock him out, throw him to the floor, use him as a human shield or simply slice his throat. That last one is an extremely graphic and ghastly way of dispatching a bad guy, but that is why the game is rated mature. Also, snake can threaten an enemy for information on how to progress through the game. The CQC more than makes up for the boredom induced by the cure system. The thing that takes the + off the A I'm giving game play is the camera. Not enough of what the player needs to see in the environment is shown onscreen. The angle can be adjusted slightly, but it is never enough. The classic top-down perspective just doesn\'t work without a radar when the levels are this big.


There is plenty of violence in the game play. Blood stains the walls when Snake puts a bullet into an enemies head, and the throat-slicing is just grisly. There is no dismemberment or decapitation, but because the visuals and animation are so real-seeming the violence has a definite impact even though it is relatively conservative with the gore it does show. The most violent moments are actually in the cut scenes. There is one scene in which Snake has been captured by the villains and he is being tortured. He is hanging by ropes and has a plastic bag over his head and the main villain is kicking the tar out of him while electrocuting him (yeah...the evil colonel has electric powers somehow). This scene is incredibly disturbing and while I think it adds to the suspense and thrill off the game, sensitive people will be absolutely horrified. There is a bit of bad language as well, but not much. There is a lot of d**n, b*st**d, and h*ll. There are a couple four letter words thrown in but no F-bomb, and they are only used once or twice.

There is a lot of sexual content in the game as well. A major character constantly is unzipping her jacket to show off her bra, and in some scenes show her nearly naked, though she is always at least wearing her bra and panties. There is one part where the player needs to knock out a enemy and strip him down to his underwear in order to create a disguise. There are many references to sex. The main villain tells a captive who is a woman that she can 'entertain me until the rain stops'. In the end Snake and his love interest start to become intimate onscreen but the scene cuts well before their clothes come off. These aren't all the instances of sexual content and innuendos, but you get the idea of the kind of thing that?s in here. There aren\'t any references to the occult that I noticed. One character, The Sorrow (I'm sure it took them exactly five seconds to think of these names) is a ghost and is pretty creepy, however. The battle with him is one of the scarier moments in my experience with games. He sends a ghoulish parade of the moaning, undead bodies of every enemy Snake has killed so far in the game. They\'re cries of pain and despair are very frightening but worse is that when the Sorrow attacks snake a gruesome image of a skull or a dead face flashes onto the screen for a split second and is coupled with a chilling, ghostly scream. Like I said, scary. All in all this game is definitely for adults.


It took me 21 hours and 30 minutes to beat the game. That is long for this type of game. Once the story is revealed, some players will want to start the journey over again to catch the things they've missed. With hard and extreme difficulty settings in addition to the normal and easier ones the experienced player will get more challenging experiences the second and third times through. With an infinite way to get through every situation, I can tell you that I myself will be spending many more hours with this game.

Graphics: A+ Sound: A- Game Play: A Appropriateness: D Longevity: B

Overall: B-

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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