by Michael Moore

Finally after 3 long years we have been graced with the presence of another Metal Gear game, and it doesn't disappoint. This is without a doubt in my mind, the most perfect game to ever come out for the Playstation 2, if not all consoles.

First off, the graphics are beyond what you expect to see on a PS2 now-a-days. It really shows off how powerful the system really is. The one thing that strikes you more then anything with the graphics is how much is going on on the screen at once. You can be laying in the grass, watching a blade of grass shift back into place while a snake slithers by you one way, a frog hopping the other, and a guard walking right near by. And that is just the area around you. The sense of the jungle and whats living in it really gives the game a great ambiance. Even the indoor parts, though few and pretty far between, still look good.

Game play wise it follows the same formula as the past games, trying to sneak by guards to get to new areas in order to accomplish a certain objective, repeat. And of course mixed in that are boss battles, but I'll get to those later. Now even though its the same game play formula its revived by the addition of the camouflage system, and the _ system. The camo system is added in place of the radar system, which has been removed because it doesn't make sense with the time period. Although you pick up items that can act like a radar they aren't as helpful as the camo. The camo allows you to blend into the surroundings, which helps you hide from guards while sneaking by or when being chased them. The only problem with the camo, is that its hard to change your camo patterns quickly.

There is also the addition of the stamina bar and the cure system. The stamina bar added some extra strategy to the game since it would slow decrease through the game, making it hard to heal, and run, and aim correctly. But by eating animal you caught or killed while in the jungle you can replenish the bar. The cure system also added some interesting depth since when you got injured you'd have to treat your wounds in order to get them to heal correctly, not taking care of wounds causes you stamina bar to decrease faster based on the severity of the injury.

Now the stamina bar and the cure system were really important during boss battles, since you tend to get hit a lot, and poisoned a lot while fighting them, and that has to be treated right away. The thing with the boss battles is that each one is very unique, and each one you have to fight in a very different way. Although not all of them are great fights, at least three of them are ones that you will remember for a long time. Like the sniper duel with The End, which takes place on four areas, it was a fight that could easily take you hours to beat, but the battle is so intense that you don't care.

Hideo Kojima penned a masterpiece that is Snake Eater's story. The story is quick to start, and slow to develop, but the last few hours make up for it with some of the best scenes I have seen in any game, and from any movie. At the end the story seems to not want to end, and I honestly didn't want it to. And the final scene is something the bring a grown man to tears.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is a game everyone should own, and beat, or at least watch someone beat beginning to end. Although there are some problems with the game, like the camera can be a bit difficult at times, and how hard it can be to change camo quickly, they are easily overshadowed by what is right with the game. Snake Eater is, in my humble opinion, the greatest game ever made. If I could give it an eleven I would, but we only go to ten. Hideo Kojima and his team deserve all the praise they get for this one.

Score: 10/10

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Konami Japan
Distributed by
Release Info

Release Date: November 17, 2004
Catalog Number: 240459
Number of Players: 1
System: PlayStation 2
Suggested Retail Price: $49.99