[PS1 Game] Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid is a stealth game developed by Konami and released for the PlayStation in 1998. It was directed, produced, and written by Hideo Kojima, and follows the MSX2 video games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, which Kojima also worked on. It was unveiled in the Tokyo Game Show in 1996 and shown in the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 1997.

Players control Solid Snake, a soldier who infiltrates a nuclear weapons facility to neutralize the terrorist threat from FOXHOUND, a renegade special forces unit. Snake must liberate hostages and stop the terrorists from launching a nuclear strike. Cinematic cutscenes were rendered using the in-game engine and graphics, and voice acting is used throughout.

Metal Gear Solid sold more than seven million copies worldwide and shipped 12 million demos. It scored an average of 94/100 on the aggregate website Metacritic. As of 2012, it was commonly regarded as one of the top 10 and most important video games of all time and is ranked 96th best game on Metacritic by average publication score as of 2021. Metal Gear Solid is credited with popularizing the stealth genre and in-engine cinematic cutscenes. It was followed by an expanded version for PlayStation and Windows, Metal Gear Solid: Integral (1999), and a GameCube remake, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (2004). It produced numerous sequels, starting with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (2001), and media adaptations including a radio drama, comics, and novels.

Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid

The player must navigate the protagonist, Solid Snake, through a nuclear weapons facility without being detected by enemies. When Snake moves into an enemy’s field of vision, he sets off an “alert mode” that draws enemies. The player must then hide until “evasion mode” begins; when the counter reaches zero, the game returns to “infiltration mode”, where enemies are no longer suspicious. The radar cannot be used in alert or evasion mode. In addition to the stealth gameplay, set-piece sequences entail firefights between the player and enemies.

To remain undetected, the player can perform techniques which make use of Snake’s abilities and the environment, such as crawling under objects, using boxes as cover, ducking or hiding around walls, and making noise to distract enemies. An on-screen radar provides the player with the location of nearby enemies and their field of vision. Snake can also make use of many items and gadgets, such as infra-red goggles and a cardboard box disguise. The emphasis on stealth promotes a less violent form of gameplay, as fights against large groups of enemies will often result in severe damage to Snake.

Despite the switch to 3D, the game is still played primarily from an overhead perspective similar to the original 2D Metal Gear games. However, the camera angle will change during certain situations, such as a corner view when Snake flattens himself to a wall next to an open space, or into first-person when crawling under tight spaces or when equipping certain items such as the binoculars or a sniper rifle. The player can also use the first-person view while remaining idle to look around Snake’s surroundings and see what’s ahead of him.

Progress is punctuated by cutscenes and codec, as well as encounters with bosses. To progress, players must discover the weaknesses of each boss and defeat them. Play controls and strategies can also be accessed via the Codec radio, where advice is delivered from Snake’s support team; for example, the support team may chastise Snake for not saving his progress often enough, or explain his combat moves in terms of which buttons to press on the gamepad. The Codec is also used to provide exposition on the game’s backstory.

In addition to the main story, there is also a VR training mode in which the player can test out their sneaking skills in a series of artificially constructed environments. This mode is divided into three main categories (practice, time attack, and gun shooting), each consisting of ten stages. After completing all 30 stages, a survival mission is unlocked in which the player must sneak their way through ten consecutive stages under a seven-minute limit.

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