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SummaryIt's time you meet The Boss
The GoodThis game surpasses its predecessors by a fair margin in virtually any field. The graphics capabilities have been squeezed out of PS2 to match the best they can, making a clearly visible different from already amazing MGS2, and making even games such as Splinter Cell 2 looking way below the belt. The music is fantastic, Harry really did a wonderful job with some of the tunes, especially with main one. And the "Snake Eater" theme is brilliant, sort of in a James Bond stile of opening, only in this game's case, it happens as if the game has been split into two missions (think Tanker Episode). Characters have more details from game's predecessors, especially facial textures and eye details. MGS3 is noticeably longer than the other two, and it also takes place in much more wide open space. The game is full of details, and it feels above all, very much alive. No game have ever paid so much attention to details of both main and additional graphics.
On the contrary to what I believed, that this game will neglect cinematics and launch a full scale gameplay preference, it is not how it works. Yes, it has heavily upgraded on the gameplay and it offers you far more than others did, but it still stays loyal to intriguing and complex story with tons and tons of long cinematics, and if I may say so, they're quite well done and on par with the other two games. I personally still prefer The Twin Snakes for some reason, but this game is technically leaving all the other behind.
The new additions I've been kind of skeptical about, such as having to eat to keep your stamina at the level, having to treat your injuries, using camouflage to enter the enemy territory unspotted, and such are really not quite hard to follow. You get easily accustomed to the rules and it all works fairly easy. Sure, it's still amazing with what speed Snake can heal, but once you see the soldiers you fight against (and I do refer to boss battles here), this game starts resembling more to a sci-fi in a style of X-Men, then a cold war situation. Of course, we got used to seeing cool bosses with unexplained powers in MGS games, to say the least, so it kind of wouldn't be right to leave Snake fighting only those that doesn't stand a chance against him.
To observe the nature around you is impressive in a way you can forget you're in a the middle of a one-man war. Seeing frogs jumping around you, or breaking the cohesion of the water while swimming, or various types of snakes crawling around the mountains or jungles, lots of fishes swimming in the rivers, poisonous spiders crawling in the prison, butterflies enjoying their one day of finality, squirrels jumping from one tree to another, grass moving at the every move of an animal crossing it, it really is impressive to say the least. But although there is a jungle out there, you'll have a map with you, and you'll run across many bases, ruins, tunnels, and other indoors in case you prefer setting closer to that in predecessors.
And of course, the best thing of all was... well yeah, The Boss. However, I am not referring to Snake here. He is not The Boss in this game so soon, not until he kills her. It's kinda sad in a way their relationship was so strong yet so hard to figure, so no matter what, I can't say I enjoyed fighting her in the end, but it was inevitable, you could see that coming right from the start, but yet there was no hard feelings in that battle. Two professionals fighting on opposing sides... or in this case, it's a bit more complicated than that. But it connects to the relationship of Solid Snake and Grey Fox, no matter the two of them were fighting each other, they were still friends, just due to situation they were on different sides. Things like that make games like MGS even more powerful.
Oh yeah, and it's quite wonderful how Snake here doesn't appear as all mighty like Solid Snake, he gets beaten pretty badly, especially by The Boss. And of course, it wouldn't be a MGS game without a torture scene... which will tell you how he got that eye-patch in the first place. In most unusual way, would never figure it out on yourself, lol, really cool twist.
The BadThe fact I saw all those MGS3 trailers for 100+ times, literally, well you can guess that once I finally got the game my expression of joy was way below the required one. But maybe that'll teach me for the future... although something tells me it may not be so true.
But the only annoying thing in this game is actually something that's a part of MGS franchise no matter what, and that is live-scenes that are there to try and emphasize the story. I know Mr. Kojima had nothing but best interest in adding those, but they are boring and doesn't fit the game that well. It's like watching a documentary. I mean, even pure radio talk would be enough. But mixing their wonderfully directed cutscenes with bunch of old videos just doesn't go along that well. Nor did in MGS2, imho.