When I hear Metal Gear Solid I can't help but think of the best game in the series for me, and it wasn't Snake Eater. Now once again we're given a new version of the game in the form of Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, which is kind of like a replay version of Metal Gear 3.
It adds a lot of content and allows you to play through various game modes, some fans of the series will already know the kind of thing that the developers do after checking out the previous games and their 'expansions' which really are getting a bit old now - don't crucify me on the internets, MGS fanboys! It's an opinion.
I still like MGS and the other games, so don't mistake that last comment for someone who hates the series. In fact this Subsistence version of the game adds a heck of a lot more compared to anything else, there's so much to cover that it might take a novel the size of War and Peace to do it.
But you want to know if it's worth your hard earned cash, and not all the gory tech spec details. So here you go.
I might have sounded negative but that's just me, to offset the jaded gamer we've been offered a significant chunk of goodness to add to #3 and here's what you get for your money.
Online people, online! You can take the fight to your friends and enemies in a pretty solid multi-player that offers you a choice of game modes:
Death Match, Team Death Match, Sneaking Mission, Capture Mission, and Rescue Mission.
Death Match of course for those hardcore fans of shooting other people with guns, rockets or stabbing them with knives.
Team Death Match because there's nothing quite like doing the above with people you know or don't.
Sneaking Mission designed for those people that prefer a stealthy approach.
Capture Mission which is a bit like CTF
Rescue Mission that kind of speaks for itself,
But that's not all; the first disc of the game gives you a remix of the story. Hideo Kojima has not done a half assed job of it either, it is pretty impressive to see that he's retold his story with new scenes and new content, there's even a 3rd person camera that can be panned and so on just like some of the other 3rd person games.
It is the same game, but so much better. It makes me actually play it as well, because it won't be compatible with my previous game save - so I sat down and romped through this new director's cut of the game and had a load of fun with it.
There's also the Demo Theatre, allowing you to replay cut-scenes and movies, change the look of Snake etc. Fans of the game series will already know that this tends to be a feature and appeared in MGS and MGS2 previously, this is the best incarnation yet though. There are even hidden scenes, but I am not telling you any more than that.
There's a second disk too. This one is called Persistence and comes loaded with things that make the whole package shine. There are ports of two original Snake games, being: Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and these are rendered in perfect 2d pixel glory.
Duel Mode gives you access to Boss Battles and major battles, it's a great way of learning tactics as well as re-enacting some great moments in the game, and there are quite a few. I won't give anything away however; it's one you're going to have to play.
Snake vs. Monkey is back with all new levels and we get a kind of blooper reel in the way of Secret Theatre, full of films with in-jokes and gags. Great stuff.
To expand a little more on the MP briefly: (because it's on this disk)
Capture missions are quite cool, you have to steal a frog (Kerotan) on the map, bring it back to a point and hold it there for a while.
In Rescue, team A tries to capture a GA-KO (rubber duck) and team B tries to stop them, if team A gets the ducky back to their HQ they win.
Sneaking missions pit one player as Snake against everyone else as guards, Snake has an active camo like the Cyborg Ninja (Grey Fox) from MGS and as long as he's not got a weapon equipped or the microfilm he has to steal, he's able to use it.
The MP is smooth and stable and a lot of fun, it's got tremendous appeal and there's quite a bit of stat management you can do. You can also set up fifteen or so maps in a list so you're able to play your favourites without having to switch out.
All in all even though it seems like a rehash of the game series, it's actually something much deeper. My jaded gamer side has been appeased somewhat and even though my initial comments were harsher than they should be, it's nice to see that it's not just a few bits of paint slapped over the word: Snake.
I would be curious to see if it makes the leap to 360 because to be honest I think the game would do well over Live, there'd be a lot more room for downloadable content and a lot more room for additional improvements, we'll have to wait and see - but for now it gains a high mark from me even though I am a bit jaded.
I've had a blast playing it, it looks great for the PS2 and the new camera fixes a lot of my reservations and problems with MGS3. A great job by Hideo Kojima and his team I have to say. If MGS4 is as good as this, then I'll probably be hooked.
We will see though.