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“Snake Eater” a timeless classic

Staff Writer

Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 22:02

We live in an era where hardcore games continue to evolve with advances in storytelling and cinematic presentations rivaling Hollywood’s finest offerings. But every few years, a landmark title comes around that manages to expertly blur the lines between video games and films, presenting a cinematic interactive entertainment experience unlike any other. In 2013, one such title was “The Last of Us,” but almost a decade earlier, a similar feat was achieved by “Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.”

The third installment in the blockbuster tactical espionage, “Metal Gear Solid” franchise, 2004’s “Snake Eater” brought the unparalleled cinematic quality of the earlier installments in the franchise to new heights. The “game” didn’t just serve as a great homage to the James Bond films that have so obviously influenced the series–it was even better.

Game designer and storyteller Hideo Kojima truly outdid himself with MGS3, a prequel to the entire “Metal Gear” saga set in the heart of the Cold War. It’s a familiar plot of conspiracies and spy operations, and while a work of complete fiction, Kojima made us question bureaucracies in ways we never before imagined.

A great hero, “Naked Snake,” who in earlier titles played the villainous Big Boss, was simply the cherry on top of what was already an incredible package.

As far as the actual gameplay in “Metal Gear Solid 3” went, the title set a new gold standard from which all action stealth games would be judged.

Moving the serious out of the cold, enclosed buildings of earlier titles and into the open jungles of the USSR, the game had the freedom to break new ground. Food could now be hunted for on the battlefield, and the new camouflage system gave players the ability to “hide” out in the open. The title was also the very first in the series to introduce advanced Close Quarters Combat or “CQC.”

The boss battles remain some of the best in video game history. Who could forget the horrifying flame-thrower duel against ex-Cosmonaut “The Fury” or the “death” sequence one was subjected to against “The Sorrow”?
“MGS3” also featured Hideo Kojima’s trademark sense of humor. Memorably, if one saved their game at the start of a certain boss battle against an extremely old opponent and did not boot up the game again until two weeks later, they would be informed that the boss died waiting for the player to return.

The first installment of “Metal Gear Solid V” is set for release later this Spring. “Ground Zeroes” will serve as a prologue to the upcoming main campaign of “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.” Naked Snake will return as the main protagonist for the second time in a main MGS title in what promises to be a spectacular finale showing his ultimate fall from grace becoming the villain known as Big Boss.

While every “Metal Gear” fan has a favorite, “Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater” stands as the true heart of the entire saga and remains just as incredible experience ten years later.

 

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