Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

aka: MGS3
(prices updated 9/28 9:55 PM )

Description official descriptions

The Cold War, a situation created after the Second World War when the world was torn between East and West, is about to heat up as Soviets got their top scientist, Nikolai Stepanovich Sokolov, back due to agreement with the US government for withdrawing the nuclear missiles from Cuba. Now, with Sokolov in their hands, they're up to developing a powerful new weapon, and upon realizing the urgency of the situation, CIA formed a plan to recapture Sokolov. They dispatch the covert FOX unit to Sokolov's research facility, located to the south of the great Soviet fortress of Groznyj Grad. Led by former SAS member Major Zero, FOX is a next-generation special-forces unit that operates both as a specialized combat group and as a covert intelligence outfit. The FOX unit's modus operandi is to send a single agent, backed by radio support from afar, into enemy territory to carry out solo sneaking mission.

August 24, 1964, a lone soldier swoops down from out of the blue. The man's code name is Naked Snake. It's a one-man war now, and the future of the world may now rest entirely on his shoulders.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is the prequel to the entire Metal Gear series. Most of the series' defining gameplay elements have been carried over. As before, Snake must use stealth and wits rather than brute force to infiltrate enemy zones and eliminate his major adversaries. Action set-pieces and boss battles that require the player to figure out the enemy's weakpoints and employ unique tactics to defeat him are also present.

Several notable gameplay features have been added. Unlike the previous games, much of the action in this installment takes place in a large outdoor environment, the (geographically inaccurate) jungle. Snake is able to use camouflage: climb trees, hide in tall grass, or wear clothes that make him less noticeable. Snake can also grow tired and hungry; collecting rations or even hunting wild animals for food is necessary. He can sustain injuries (for example, breaking an arm), which must be treated in a specific way, as opposed to the single health bar of the predecessors.


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  • λ©”νƒˆ κΈ°μ–΄ μ†”λ¦¬λ“œ 3: μŠ€λ„€μ΄ν¬ 이터 - Korean spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

314 People (282 developers, 32 thanks) · View all



Average score: 90% (based on 80 ratings)


Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 116 ratings with 7 reviews)

Absolutely the finest game of 2004. A must-play.

The Good
MGS2 left many people (including myself) feeling a bit awkward. It was fun, of course, and sufficiently challenging, but there were some nagging issues: (1) The abrupt and unfortunate switch to Raiden, a weak and shallow character, early on; (2) a lack of truly showstopping boss fights, and (3) a plot which was needlessly confusing and even illogical.

Thus, coming into MGS3, I had my doubts. I feared that Kojima was suffering from the dreaded Lucas syndrome, and that Metal Gear was doomed to a long, ignominious downfall.

Thank God, I was wrong.

MGS3 succeeds on so many levels. The stealth gameplay has been further refined with the addition of close-quarters combat (CQC), which gives you more ways to deal with guards and bosses alike. The graphics are stunning, as is the music (the import soundtrack is worth the cash). But I'd like to deal with my three issues in depth:

(1) and (3) - Snake is your main man. It doesn't spoil too much to say that this Snake is the man who eventually becomes Big Boss (and thus "Snake" is his genetic offspring). He is a man who, in his own words (or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof), "Never had much interest in other people's lives." This game is the story of his birth, so to speak, into the world as it actually is. Despite his profession, he is an innocent, and his journey out of this blissful state is completely compelling. As he leaves the graveyard at the game's conclusion, you realize you have come full circle in the Metal Gear mythos, and as such MGS2 makes so much more sense. You understand why the Big Boss is who is he, why he did what he does, and his defeat at the end of the second game now feels tragic whereas before it just a let-down.

It's not too much of an exaggeration to say that I'm still thinking about MGS3's story months after finishing it. It's that good.

(2) - The boss fights in this game KICK ASS. Seriously, these are the best bosses in just about any game, ever. In particular, The End is a vicious old bastard, and your battle with him may frustrate, but damn does it feel rewarding when you beat him.

The Bad
Three things:

(1) - The camera needs to evolve. Perhaps Kojima should borrow a bit from RE4 - an over the shoulder view would make the experience so much more enjoyable.

(2) - At times, interacting with the game world is a bit too complicated. I counted several times when I mistakenly fired off the wrong weapon just because the interface is trying to do too many things. Ditto with CQC - I slit a few throats when all I wanted to do was drop a guard on his head. Oops.

(3) - The much touted survival system (in which you must feed Snake and cure his wounds) is a bit of a distraction. I had no real problem with feeding Snake, but curing him is silly and unrealistic.

The Bottom Line
Not just the best game of 2004, but an important milestone in gaming, period. Hopefully, more designers will stretch the dramatic potential of games. Only when this happens will this much-maligned medium attain the critical and cultural respect it deserves.

PlayStation 2 · by Lucas Schippers (57) · 2005

The Cold War, The battle of survival.. The greatest game this year!!

The Good
Well, By now you MUST of heard of the metal gear series?! And, most possibly, you may of been let down a tad by metal gear solid 2...

WELL FORGET METAL GEAR SOLID 2!! (not the plot, at least) Because this one encompasses them all. Yes, even the first one :)

In true classic MGS the story is usually long, the conversations are a little drawn out, the boss battles are amazing, the voice acting and action is top of its class... But what is it that people want from this game which wasn't given the last time?

SNAKE!! Not only do you play as snake, but you get to eat them too! This game is pretty much the same old thing when it comes to Tactical Espionage Action games (The Metal Gear Series). The opening of the game takes you through almost an hour before you start doing some good stuff with your guns and abilities. But as soon as you are on the field, deep in the sweltering jungle against all the odds you will be enjoying every minute of it.

Everything is so detailed, the grass moves, the rain is very cool looking as it soaks the ground and beats off of your character and environs. Even though the frame rate isn't as smooth as Metal Gear 2, the draw distance and effects Konami managed to get out of the PS2 are breath-taking! Once you see the logo and PRESS START BUTTON screen you are treated to an extremely high quality production and you automatically want to just get through it as quickly as possible to know what happens next, and what you get to do next as well.

The story can be a little long for some (there IS 15-30 hours of game hear you know) but the action and dialog is very nicely placed. You don't get interrupted by endless cut-scenes this time, everything seems to blend perfectly and at just the right moments. Sometimes you may feel like skipping some scenes and just guess whats going on. For example, after Major Zero explains again that it is a SNEAKING mission, you may just skip it because it's just another repeated loop of voice from the codec.. But as i said before, there is so much detail in this, i very rarely heard the same dialog twice whilst using the radio conversations! This was great because not only was i having fun whilst playing, i had fun listening to what these great characters had to say.

All of the characters are really good, some are a little over the top (E.G Colonel Volgins accent is a typical "Bad Man" type of voice with not much depth to it to have a complex character type) but in general the acting etc is fantastic!, David Hayter returns as the voice of Snake and also The Colonel from the other two games makes an appearance!

The overall production, sound, graphics of the game are (as i think) the best yet on the ps2. The frame rate can be a tiny bit slower compared to other metal gear games, but it is nothing really. The amount of detail in the backdrops of the game is really incredible, i spent alot of my time just searching for flaws because i didn't think that it could be possible!

You spend alot of the time wandering around the jungle for most of the game, which may sound boring at first, what with all the jungle hazards such as Crocodiles, Snakes, Soldiers etc. But you will be too engrossed with what you have to do next to care about trudging through Jungle to get there! if you have played a metal gear game before, then you will understand that it's going to be typically the same type of control system, which can seem awkward sometimes as there is a different button used for almost every weapon you have to use. But there aren't many changes to the overall system of things. Maybe some of you will find the series becoming a little dated, the next metal gear will have to take a big leap in dimensions because they have definitely mastered this type of system now with this game! Everything works and moves great, i have no moans about that at all. The story is as fluid and intriguing as ever and the action comes thick and fast. The Boss battles are unique and are the best in the series! Yes, even more legendary than the First games bosses. And not because of the characters, or new weapons or abilities, but by sheer planning and gameplay will get you to love these battles.

At the end, you will feel drained from all the action and suspense and twists in the story. The Cinematics rival anything in the cinemas this year and i am sure you will agree! But a 15+ hour film is quite a feat! If you manage to complete this all in one go, then you are one hard-core metal gearer. But the chances are that you will want to save and start again later (and the cool thing is that you will be rewarded for doing so later on!!)

The Bad
Sometimes you get the feeling "So, it's like Metal Gear 2.. But in the Jungle, Right?"

Well, YES it is exactly that. Fans of Metal Gear will love this. They will love this because it is another different adaption to the story thus far... But if nobody liked the story or thought it was all a tad confusing, then some of the links and reminders this has to the stories previous in the other games are going to leave you a bit un-interested. Just who is "The Boss"? How is Snake alive in the Sixties when he wasn't even born until the 70's?! There are plenty of questions to be left un-answered if you haven't learned of the plots before... But that's only if you haven't played the others or liked them!

Sometimes the controls can be a little complicated when the action is fast and you usually have a short time to learn some new techniques before you have to put them in real action! The game follows a sort-of DO OR DIE foundation, if you dont get the animals, then you won't survive! If you don't cure yourself from wounds then you will surely die. If you are being shot, alot by enemies.. you feel like just putting away your gun, downing some energy ration and punching the troops to dust, or blasting them away with a new gun, or attacking them with Close Quarters Combat and hold a troop and use as a human shield etc... But if you don't think rationally then you will lose more than just your health. Your stamina depletes rather quickly if you do not treat yourself! Sometimes this can be annoying, especially when you want to get a quick revenge on a guy who just shot you before he gets away. But then you have to go into the survival viewer to get that bullet out before it makes matters worse.

The Bottom Line
A lengthy stealth game, perfectly planned out to have as much gameplay as possible and the best action you will see on your ps2. It is fantastic for Metal Gear fans, but for new-comers or people wishing to see a giant leap in the series will be left pretty much with the same feelings as they had the last time. This is basically the same type of metal gear system, with added features and realism. Whether you liked it before or not, you should definitely try this out until the end, because this will be the game that clears those doubts and frustrations from the other games' path. Every moment of this was completely engrossing and enjoyable, finally you will get to see what those heroes really get up to when the going gets rough... and the rough get....


PlayStation 2 · by MrBee (28) · 2005

Too much drama for me.

The Good
I liked the graphics in this game. Everything looks sharp & fluid. A lot of work was put in for MGS3 to have some much detail.

The sound was awesome. You like you're hiding in the bushes with birds, frogs, and snakes moving around you. You can hear the wind blowing though the trees and grass.

Like the other MGSs, the characters are beyond words. The characters really draw you into the story. You just have to know where they've come from and whats going to happen to them next.

The Bad
There is a lot I didn't like about this baby.

First, though the graphics are great, several times the game would freeze and twice it crashed during while I was playing. I found it very annoying MGS3 would freeze right when I was focusing on a enemy to shoot before he got to me. The PS2 just can't handle the load without dropping a few balls, stop, go back to pick them up & then continue. Its not good to freeze during the action!!

Then there's the length you actually play the game. It's too damn short. I sent more time watching cut scenes than controlling Snake.

I didn't like all the stuff I had to keep up with. I have to feed Snake, cure Snake, take things out of Snake's bag, change Snake's clothes. . . What The Hell?! I thought I was playing MGS not the Sims!

And finally, I didn't like the drama. It was like I was watching a soap opera. I don't remember the other MG games being this bad. I wish they would just get to the point and let me play. Does Snake really need a love interest? He's Snake not James Bond.

The Bottom Line
Though I have a few issues with this game, Metal Gear Solid 3 is okay. I my opinion is not a great game. Hell, far from it! I would recommend as a rental before buying. You can beat this game in a day easily and the extra stuff you unlock isn't that great.

3/5 - Average.

PlayStation 2 · by jgusw (3) · 2005

[ View all 7 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
What's different in the 3DS version? CrankyStorming (2913) Apr 9th, 2012


1001 Video Games

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Like Metal Gear Solid 2 with its dogtags, Konami held a contest where people could send in their suggestions for custom camouflage, where the winners would have their suggestions incorporated into the game. A special facepaint can be earned by selecting Metal Gear Solid 2


After the release of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Hideo Kojima said that he would not direct this game. He wanted a member of his team at Konami to replace him, but none of them wanted to, so he was forced to change his mind and direct after all.

In an interview, Harry Gregson-Williams jokingly said that he might return to compose this game's music "if it's set in the Amazon". At the time, Kojima actually was planning to set it in the jungle. Kojima decided to use this as a way to get Gregson-Williams to return; he told him that what he said had been the inspiration for the game's setting. He didn't tell Gregson-Williams the truth until the music was nearly finished.

Ivan Raikov

Major Ivan Raidenovitch Raikov is a mysterious character in MGS3. He speaks no lines during the game, but behind the scenes he has a whole background of history that shows that he is undeniably gay with Col. Volgin, the main antagonist of the game.

Raikov has man effeminate features in the games. Not only does he sport the soft feminine features of a woman and well-groomed body, but his voice in the English version is extremely high-pitched.

Any fan of the MGS series also will see that he is almost identical to Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Not only does he look dead on like Raiden, but he also shares the same fighting style with him, and even has a poster of him in his locker. The name "Raiden" is even cleverly hidden in his name. Of course, Raiden was the infamous protagonist of MGS2, and today many debates rage on about his sexual orientation.

During cutscenes in the game, numerous references are made to Raikov and Volgin's relationship. When Naked Snake goes undercover, he knocks Raikov out cold and steals his uniform. When Snake is done taking off his clothes, he can be seen wearing a sporty thong. Then in another cut scene, Volgin grabs his crotch twice, and simply by feeling is genitals is he able to see through Snake's disguise, claiming "I know the Major better than anyone else." As well, during an earlier cutscene, the President is explaining that Volgin also goes by the name "Thunderbolt." If you take a look at Raikov when he's undressed, you'll see a thunderbolt right on the crotch of his thong. Also, because he is Volgin's lover, he subsequently has colonel-class authority even though he is only a Major.

The inside joke continues in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence. Subsistence contains a number of "outtake" videos done by the crew, and one of them is about Raiden who travels back in time in order to kill Snake and become the main character for MGS4. In one of the scenes, Volgin, mistaking Raiden for Raikov (since they look almost identical), tries to have butt sex with him. Raiden is then seen running out of the room with electricity shooting out of his backside. During the online play, Raikov's special move allows you to grab a soldier's crotch, which will stun them for a couple of seconds. He is also the only character in the online mode who isn't affected by pornography magazines, which normally "distract" the other characters for a couple of seconds.

Its not obvious, but the signs are undeniably there. Raikov is indeed having homosexual relationships with Volgin.

North American version

Additional gore was added to the North American version.

PAL version

There is exclusive content for the PAL version: * Duel Mode - Battle through the game's Boss Fights independently * Demo Theatre - Watch all the cut scenes in sequence * European Extreme difficulty level * 2 New Levels in Snake Vs Monkey Mode * New Face Paint and Camouflage Designs not available in US or Japanese versions


  • The codename of the character "Major Tom" is a reference to the 1969 song Space Oddity by David Bowie, which is about an astronaut called Major Tom. In the game, Major Tom is even asked "Can you hear me, Major Tom?" This phrase is part of the song's lyrics. Major Tom explains later in the game that his codename was taken from the movie The Great Escape. In the movie the prisoners had three names for the three tunnels they built, Tom, Dick and Harry. Major Tom explains that he mistakenly identified the tunnel named Tom as the one the prisoners escaped from. Tom and Dick were the tunnels that were discovered by the Nazis. Instead of asking Snake to call him Major Harry, he just shrugs it off and changes his codename back to Major Zero.
  • The date of the "Virtuous Mission", 24 August 1964, was Hideo Kojima's first birthday. It was originally 24 August 1963 (his exact birth date), but was moved up a year because he wanted the 22 November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy to factor into the story.
  • When Snake talks with Director Granin in his office, the theme playing on the radio is the Metal Gear Solid theme. Also, the specifications he shows to Snake are of Metal Gear REX from Metal Gear Solid. There are also figurines of Metal Gear REX, Metal Gear RAY from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Jehuty from Zone of the Enders Z.O.E visible in the background, along with a photograph of Granin with his American friend (the grandfather of Hal Emmerich, Metal Gear REX's chief engineer in the original Metal Gear Solid).
  • In the mini-game "Snake vs. Monkey", Snake asks Colonel Campbell to ask "Gabe" or "Sam" to carry out his assignment. This is a reference to Gabe Logan, the main character of Syphon Filter, and Sam Fisher, the main character of Splinter Cell.
  • If you call Para-Medic (SAVE) in the cave, you will eventually get on the topic of the 007 film From Russia With Love. You will be interrupted by Major Tom, who is evidently a big fan of the film. He'll even suggest a few hilarious Bond-esque gadgets to Naked Snake.


During some scenes in the game, Volgin ominously says the words "kuwabara kuwabara," a Japanese mantra which, according to Japanese superstition, will ward off lightning. This fits for Volgin's character, since his body uncanny electrical abilities, and he would superstitiously say the words to be safe from lightning that his body attracts. Volgin says the words whenever it starts to rain.


  • 4Players
    • 2005 – Best Hero of the Year (for Snake)
    • 2005 – Best Story of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2004 – #4 Game of the Year
    • 2004 – #2 PS2 Game of the Year
    • 2004 - Most Amazing Comeback of the Year (PS2)

Information also contributed by Macintrash, Matt Neuteboom and MegaMegaMan

Related Games

Metal Gear Solid
Released 1998 on PlayStation, 2009 on PSP, PlayStation 3
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Released 2001 on PlayStation 2
Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D
Released 2012 on Nintendo 3DS
LittleBigPlanet: Metal Gear Solid Solid Snake Costume
Released 2008 on PlayStation 3, 2014 on PlayStation 4
Snake Force
Released 2021 on Windows, Macintosh
Pumpkin Eater
Released 2021 on Linux, Windows, Macintosh
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Released 2005 on PlayStation 2, 2011 on PlayStation 3, 2012 on PS Vita
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Released 2004 on GameCube

Related Sites +

    This fansite is dedicated to the games produced and/or designed by <moby developer="Hideo Kojima">Hideo Kojima</moby> and contains all kinds of trivia, artwork, plot summaries, discussion forums and more.
  • Konami: Snake Eater
    Official website.
  • Metal Gear Solid: The Unofficial Site
    A fansite that contains information about the whole Metal Gear franchise, including galleries, interviews, downloadable content and discussion boards.
  • Wikipedia: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
    Information about Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater at Wikipedia

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 15735


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, timebender, CaptainCanuck, DreinIX, β€”-, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, FatherJack.

Game added December 4th, 2004. Last modified March 28th, 2023.