Metal Gear Solid, when released for the PlayStation two years prior to this release, made waves in the game market. It was the third (well, fourth, but let's forget about Snake's Revenge for the NES, okay?) installment of the extremely popular Metal Gear games.
Now a PlayStation greatest hit, Metal Gear Solid was exactly the type of game a console-lover would point to when in an argument about "who has better video games? PC or console?" -- and rightfully so at the time. But, not anymore PlayStation fans. Metal Gear Solid belongs to the PC now and looks better than the PlayStation version!
Having a game achieve such success in low-resolution blocky graphics and then re-introducing it in a version that can run at 1024x768 is like donning glasses. Sadly though, while the game does look better, little has been done to improve the graphics themselves.
This superb game is marred by low-polygon counts and bad textures left over from the PlayStation version. It's really upsetting that the character models have not been greatly tweaked, leaving them without moving facial expressions and with disjointed (hovering) body parts at times.
Why did the developers not revamp the characters and environments to take full advantage of the PC? Surely the models had to be higher resolution and better textured at some point during development! At a distance, the game looks fantastic in its high-resolution glory but when viewed close up, it gets kind of ugly.
The graphics conversion aside, it would be a horrible mistake to call this game anything but excellent. Metal Gear Solid has one of the best storylines of any recent adventures, a wide assortment of weapons and fantastic characters.
The storyline for Metal Gear Solid is absolutely immersive. If you're a fan of the series, you'll definitely remember characters from the past and even if you're not, the characters are presented in an easily digestible manner. One of the most important twists in the game is the emphasis on the psychological profiles of main "boss" characters. After you fatally wound one of the "bosses," the game launches an emotional cinematic that invokes a feeling of helpless remorse.
Weapons in Metal Gear Solid are extremely fun, just like the PlayStation version. From the SOCOM pistol to the FA-MAS assault rifle and the radio controlled rocket launcher, there is a wide variety of weapons. Sniper rifle, grenades of all sorts and non-lethal hand-to-hand attacks also make up the itinerary. The controls for Metal Gear Solid are easily mapped through an options window and the keyboard works as easily as a controller.
The addition of the Metal Gear Solid VR Missions is an extremely nice touch. While the 300 missions do suffer from repetition, they are fine for training or use as "extra" levels before or after playing the real game. Considering the Metal Gear Solid VR Missions' popularity when first launched, it's a nice bonus to have thrown into the package.
A small problem with the pure-port conversion is in the text-translation, for example, what's with Revolver Ocelot telling me to push the triangle and circle buttons? This is an easily correctable oversight and certainly should be addressed via a patch.
Overall, Metal Gear Solid is a worthy addition to any PC gamer's library of games. If you enjoyed the PlayStation version, this might be worth picking up simply for the free Metal Gear Solid VR Missions.
Graphics: The graphics are slick from a distance but suffer close up from being a pure port at a high resolution. While it looks better, you're constantly reminded that you're basically playing a PlayStation game. It would've been nice to see facial animation in the characters.
Sound: Wonderful! Music is timed perfectly and voice acting is very well done. The story is improved significantly by the attention to detail in this department. Knocking on walls and having enemies "hear" you knocking are fantastic elements.
Enjoyment: Both the PlayStation version and the PC port did not disappoint. The aforementioned graphics and text-translations are really the only two things that mar the playing experience. By no means are there any major problems with this game and the storyline is fantastic.
Replay Value: While not the sort of game you'll play eight or nine times back-to-back, it's a fun game to load up every so often. Once you know the whole story, you'll just be going through the motions of this linear action-adventure game. The VR Missions (as well as the extra play modes such as the ninja mode) give you a little bit more to play.
People who downloaded Metal Gear Solid have also downloaded:
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Metal Gear, Silent Hill 2, Halo: Combat Evolved, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
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