Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence

aka: MGS3S, Metal Gear Solid 3: HD Edition, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - HD Edition
Moby ID: 21633
PlayStation 2 Specs
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Description official description

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence is an enhanced version of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Included with the release is the entire game of MGS3: Snake Eater with a number of additions. The European Extreme has been added as an available difficulty level, being the hardest difficulty level in the entire series. New face paints and more camera angles have been added to the mix, as well as a myriad of other features including a Duel Mode, allowing players to face off against their favorite bosses anytime they want. Back by popular demand, Snake vs. Monkey has also returned with more maps than before!

Besides this, included on the bonus disk is a new online mode. This new mode allows players to play MGS3 online with other players around the world. Sony's servers allow the player to keep track of stats and friends. Players can play with others around the world in different match types such as Capture missions and Sneaking missions. To wrap up the original trilogy, Subsistence comes with the original version of the MSX games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Never before released in America, the inclusion of these two games wraps up the entire series of games in the original trilogy of the origins of Solid and Naked Snake.

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Critics

Average score: 92% (based on 68 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 54 ratings with 4 reviews)

Yeah, but how does it taste?

The Good
One thing that has begun to aggravate me about the Metal Gear series is how reminiscent each game is of the previous one. Both canon and non-canon games have all followed the same structure; infiltrate an enemy base, rescue hostages, defeat members of an elite team, and prevent nuclear war. While I haven’t fully grown weary of sneaking through corridors patrolled by nearsighted guards, I’m certainly ready for a change. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater represents the greatest shift the series has seen, moving all the action outdoors and into the jungle and re-focusing on new and exciting mechanics. Yet despite this, what Snake Eater proves most is that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Snake Eater represents a radical shift in narrative. The story follows the series’ future antagonist, Big Boss, back in the early days when he carried the codename Snake. He’s tasked with the mission of covertly infiltrating an enemy facility, rescuing a civilian scientist, and destroying an enemy super-weapon to prevent nuclear catastrophe. Nope, wait, my mistake. I’m beginning to see a pattern here. Okay, so it’s still the exact same plot as the previous games, only now it’s set in 1964 against the backdrop of the Cold War.

While the story structure remains the same, when it comes to the smaller details, Snake Eater is a completely different beast than the previous games. This time around, the narrative has taken a lot of influence from 1960’s spy fiction right down to a musical interlude in the style of post-Goldfinger James Bond movies. With the change, the story takes a subtly more light-hearted tone, mostly dropping melodramatic elements such as long death monologues and drawn out dialogues about a character’s tortured past. The support characters who you remain in contact with over the codec seem less worried about unloading their emotional baggage on you and more interested in fun banter and in-depth detail about the items you’re carrying. The game hasn’t completely been exorcised of heavy-handed character drama, but the shift in narrative focus has made it less obstructive and slightly more enjoyable.

But it isn’t the story that has been given the biggest shift; the gameplay is almost entirely different than any of the previous titles. Rather than being dropped off at the front door of a compound and left to accomplish his mission, Snake starts off in the middle of a jungle and has to make his way between multiple camps and bases. In a way, it’s a lot like the NES port of the original Metal Gear. While the game’s world is quite linear – more so than even the previous Solid titles – there’s a nice bit of exploration to be had as risk is weighed against reward when searching the undergrowth for new gizmos. Certain areas can be easily traversed, but everywhere holds the possibility of extra gear being tucked away in a corner, should you be willing to risk discovery to get it.

With the shift in terrain come a lot of new elements in the shape of survival mechanics. Rather than simply chowing down on rations to heal, health returns gradually so long as you keep your belly full and your wounds stitched up. New to the game is a stamina bar that dictates not only how well your wounds heal, but also smaller things like how steady your aim is. To keep it topped up, you have to eat food which can be found in storage sheds, on guards, or by hunting animals and snatching certain flora. First-aid must be applied to specific wounds to keep Snake from bleeding out, and while field surgery is pretty simple, the supplies must be obtained from the environment. The survival mechanics really aren’t as deep as they may sound, but they do add a nice bit of character, as superficial as it may be. The field surgery in particular I wish was used more frequently in video games, as it lends a greater feel of interactivity to what is otherwise typically instant.

Finally, there’s the addition of camouflage. Since Snake is no longer wandering the corridors of a grey-blue facility, he can use various camouflage patterns and face paint to try and blend into the environment around him. The soliton radar didn’t exist back in 1964, and the motion detector and sonar you’re provided doesn’t really work the same way. The enemy field of vision is much greater than it was in previous games, and without the soliton radar, you can’t see when you’re entering a guard’s line of sight. To make up for this, a percentage is displayed onscreen to tell you how well you’re blending into your surroundings, and it may be necessary to swap wardrobe to better conceal yourself. With the right outfit, guards may not see you until they actually trip over you.

The Bad
The problem with all of Metal Gear Solid 3’s many new mechanics is that they feel like they belong in a much longer game. Snake Eater was the lengthiest Metal Gear game at the time of its release, but even with it, the opportunity to use some of Snake’s new tricks doesn’t come up often. Survival just isn’t that difficult when there’s so little ground to cover. Certain terrains are only seen once for about two areas each, so many of the animals only exist in small pockets. Food is extremely easy to come by to the point where you might as well not bother hunting since rations, instant ramen, and Calorie Mates can be found in just about any shed and never go rotten. You can get first-aid items from various plants, but these too can be found lying around in large quantities. Larger stretches of wilderness where supplies are less frequent would have been more ideal since at least then you’d be forced to scrounge for everything you can get, rather than always being loaded up with items.

The issue of wasted potential pervades a lot of the game. You practically trip over new gizmos and healing items every few steps, and while this provides a great deal of flexibility in how you approach the game, it lends to a feeling of superfluousness. You have a myriad of options on how you get through the game, but whether you sneak through unnoticed or mow down everyone who gets in your way, it basically all feels the same. The game just isn’t dynamic enough to support all methods of gameplay in a satisfying manner. It has the bizarre trait of being too deep, but not broad enough, and just ends up feeling cluttered.

Despite these minor problems, for most of the game I was practically in love with Snake Eater. Then, during the concluding three or four hours, it falls back into old habits. Boss battles and action setpieces are suddenly sandwiched between tremendously long cutscenes that are absolutely packed with horrendous dialogue and borderline incomprehensible exposition. The final stretch of story that concludes the last boss battle is monstrously long, something like 45 minutes in total, going over who double-crossed who, and how everything was set up from the beginning to play out exactly as it did. It’s bad enough that this gets spewed all over the concluding chapter, but this is the exact same kind of plot twist that has been used in every other Metal Gear Solid game. Not only is the series severely long-winded, it can’t stop repeating itself.

The Bottom Line
While Snake Eater made an attempt at the end to sabotage my enjoyment of the game by dropping a metric tonne of weapons-grade exposition directly on the concluding chapter, I have to remind myself that everything leading up to that was pretty near excellent. The many new survival mechanics that have been layered on top of the series’ standard stealth really makes the experience shine like never before. On top of that, the boss battles are immensely memorable and the 1960’s aesthetic is utilized in many extremely stylish ways. However, it’s become too difficult for me to ignore the tremendous deficiencies in the series’ writing. It’s GOOD enough, but what should have been an outstanding game is dragged down by its inability to fully shed its flabby exposition.

PlayStation 3 · by Adzuken (836) · 2015

Tough and gamey, with a strong aftertaste.

The Good
While MGS2 was a vastly more refined edition of Metal Gear Solid, Snake Eater is more experimental. A prequel, it also serves as the beginning of the storyline for the franchise, chronicling the origin story of Naked Snake, Solid Snake's predecessor as he becomes Big Boss. It also changes around with established series conventions, while making some unique additions of its own in order to better suit its jungle setting.

The biggest change is the lack of the Soliton Radar. No longer can you play by watching a scaled-down version of the map. Now, you must rely on your sense of sight and other tools, such as motion detectors, sonar, and directional microphone, in order to sneak by enemies.

The main feature this time around is the camouflage system. Snake can gather many different disguises, uniforms and face paints that are designed to blend in with the environment. A meter in the top right-hand corner lets you know how visible you are in relation to the current surface Snake is standing on or pressed against - the higher the value, the closer an enemy will need to be in order to detect you when you’re in their field of vision. Moving can lower this value as well. You have to change both uniform and facepaint to make the value as high as it can possibly be for whatever you're standing on. Crouching and crawling can increase the meter dramatically, but at the cost of player speed and mobility. The game also plays with disguises much more than MGS2, with one memorable sequence asking you to knock out a high-raking general so you can infiltrate a hangar being a real standout.

Another major addition is Close Quarters Combat, or CQC as it is often referred to in game. Essentially, what this means is that Snake has a few more options when dealing with enemies using melee. In addition to the traditional melee attacks, Snake can now grab enemies and slam them to the floor, slit their throats, or interrogate them for information such as gameplay tips or radio frequencies. An example of this is that some guards, when interrogated, will give you a codec frequency which you can call during the caution phase to call off the search - though you can only use it once before the frequency is changed again.

In addition, MGS3 has arguably the best story for any Metal Gear Solid game up to this point. The ending in particular is one of the best I’ve ever seen in any video game, wrapping up the plot with a devastating emotional payoff and incredible final twist that honestly made the preceding 25 hours worthwhile despite my reservations.

On top of all of this, survival features have been implemented. Snake will need to kill animals and gather fruits on a regular basis which serve as rations. No longer can you simply eat rations to gain health, instead, eating rations restores Snake’s stamina, while health regenerates slowly over time. Some foods have even stranger effects when eaten, such as restoring your equipped item’s batteries. These natural rations can also rot after a certain amount of real-world time, eating rotten food will cause Snake to get sick and throw up. Eating too little food also causes Snake’s stomach to start growling, which can give away your position to enemies, sometimes at the worst possible moments. In addition, injuries must be treated regularly - leeches have to be burned, antidote must be administered for snake bites (ironic given who you’re playing as), broken bones need to be splinted, and cuts need to be stitched and disinfected.

The Bad
As interesting as these features sound, the one thing that drags them all down is the constant need to head into a different menu screen entirely to adjust them. Practically every minute, you’ll need to change camouflage, and every so often, treat injuries and eat food as well. Even the way items work has been changed. In order to use any of your items, you must first fetch them from your backpack, meaning even more tedious menuwork in order to get what you need out of a tight situation. Items have a certain amount of weight, and carrying a lot of heavy stuff causes Snake’s stamina to drain faster, which forces you to eat more food in order to keep it up. This is supposed to encourage you to only take what you need from the pack at any given time, but all it really does is slow the game down. A couple of boss fights later in the game will have you consistently entering the cure screen so you can remove crossbow bolts and anesthetic needles. The survival elements ultimately don’t complement the game so much as take away from it.

While the narrative is great, it suffers from pacing issues. It doesn’t seem to really go anywhere for much of the game, and only until the back hald do you truly start to get invested. I suppose part of this comes from the fact that there are a lot less mandatory codec calls in this game compared to MGS2, which makes the plot feel like it’s not moving along at times.

I think the thing I miss the most is the whole techno-industrial atmosphere present in the other Metal Gear games. For me, part of the appeal was sneaking through these impersonal, man-made environments. The jungle just isn’t as appealing of a setting for me, despite offering many more opportunities for stealth. Fortunately, the game gets a lot more interesting the further you get into it, as you’ll sneak through both a weapons lab and a large military base called Groznyj Grad that finally brings back that classic MGS feeling. It’s just a shame that you have to trudge through screen after screen of jungles and forests in order to get to the truly good parts.

In addition Snake Eater seems to have performance issues. From my research, the original PS2 version ran at 30 fps, which was down from Sons of Liberty in order to accommodate the increased detail in the naturalistic environments. For the HD release, Bluepoint Games has taken advantage of the next-generation hardware by trying to run MGS3 at 60 fps. I say trying, as despite this, the game still suffers from slowdown, in from what I understand is pretty much the exact same places. When too many particle and explosion effects are on the screen, the game runs like it’s going through mud. You generally don’t see the slowdown so much as feel it. When slowdown occurs, the game ends up looking not exactly choppy, but more like a slow-mo effect that you sometimes see in movies. I have found that switching to the top-down camera view mode helps the framerate somewhat when it gets hairy, but at the cost of visibility. Maybe its my PS3, but the fact that these performance issues are pretty well-documented across all versions of the game suggests that the engine was perhaps pushed a bit too far even in in its original incarnation. Granted, the slowdown really only happens when you get spotted, so if you’re really good at the stealth you aren’t likely to see too much of it outside of the occasional cutscene, but it’s still a pain.

The Bottom Line
My feelings on MGS3 are almost as complicated as the Metal Gear storyline. I started out hating the game at first, with frustrating changes from the other MGS games, and a plot that didn’t exactly grab me from the start. It was only until I got about halfway into the game that I really got invested in what was happening and figured out the flow of the gameplay. That’s not to say that MGS3 is a bad Metal Gear game, or even a bad game at all, as it's actually a very good one. But even with its great story, I have to say that it’s my least favorite installment thus far.

PlayStation 3 · by krisko6 (814) · 2015

The original trilogy is finally complete...

The Good
Just a mention of the Metal Gear Solid series in a conversation will send any veteran gamer into a frenzy of praises and glorification. By now, if Hideo Kojima isn’t the closest thing to video game demigod, then I don’t know who is. Just as you think Metal Gear Solid couldn’t get any better, it does. And this time, Metal Gear Solid 3 goes full out. In my honest opinion, this version of Metal Gear Solid is probably the best. I love Twin Snakes to death, and the original Metal Gear Solid 3 pushed it. But now, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence has pushed the limits. It has become a deep-heartfelt story, intense action, great cinematic, now combined with old-school gaming, and online action.

The most important aspect of this game is the fact that it completes the package. Solid Snake’s origins have now been perfectly told. The final cherry has been placed on top of the cake, and damn does it do it well. With a combination MGS3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear, and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, plus online mode and enough extra features to qualify as a game themselves, Snake’s original story is now complete. Hideo Kojima also decided to put in the regional face paints, like British flag and America flag face paints, just so we wouldn’t have to download them ourselves. Like I said, it is all about the completeness. It is like what Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith completed the prequel Star Wars series. The Metal Gear Solid prequels have been wrapped up in a perfect package, and nothing has been left untouched. Online mode, theater modes, plus Metal Gear 1 and 2. Nothing is left out. The circle is complete.

That now aside, let us look at some of the great features that every MGS fan not only should have, but needs. If it weren’t enough that they included an online MGS, something any MGS diehard fan would probably kill over, they were graceful enough to let us have the original Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

Now before I delve into how much MGS3 immerses the player into a heartfelt world, and how it is absolute proof that video games are art, I’m going to tell everyone to keep holding their breath, because that is not what I’m doing. No matter how much I want to express how I feel about the game, I can’t do it. If you know me, you know I like to write long comprehensive reviews that do the game complete justice. So let’s face it. A complete review of the original Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence would take pages upon pages. That combined with this review would set a new MobyGames record. But think about that. Take all of the stuff from Metal Gear Solid 3. MGS3 is about 20+ solid hours of game play for anybody that plays it. It offers so many features that you can play it through multiple times just trying to get new rankings and doing new stuff (try capturing every animal or every Kerotan idol, or try not to kill anybody, including bosses. Or do the ultimate MGS challenge and shoot for Big Boss ranking). Now add it on top of all the stuff Subsistence gives us. That is the magnitude of this game.

The original game comes with an all new camera angle option. Think that’s a crappy excuse for an entire game to be included with the release? WRONG! In the original, seeing enemies in front of you was a nightmare, especially with the enemies being extremely intelligent. With the new camera angle, the game is practically reborn. Before, camera angles became a huge problem when it came to aiming and attempting to see enemies in the distance. With the new camera, the game fixes a myriad of camera problems that the other games had. In fact, with the new smooth camera, you’ll look back and wonder why the Hell this didn’t occur back when MGS2 was out! After getting used to the camera system, other games will seem a trifle primitive. Oh well, better late than never I suppose. Trust me when I say this. The new camera is here to stay.

The guys at Kojima Productions could have ended it there. That’s right, they could have just re-released the game with the new camera angle and fans would have gobbled it up. However, as always, the guys at Kojima Productions go above and beyond the call of duty and add even more. In fact, the inclusion of the main game is not even half of the game play.

One of the most anticipated features of this game was the online mode. Online mode uses an ingenious yet simple in-game system to load up servers. And even though it seems like the game has just come out, there are always servers up and running 24 hours a day. The player is allowed to play the basic stuff, with death match and team death match. This is the basic death match that any Socom fan will fall in love with. While it seems like some crappy generic online play, the battles on small maps can get intense. Players can duke it out with everyone around, with either teams or an all out brawl. Players looking for an adrenaline rush will certainly like this mode more. It offers quick kills, easy respawns, and online chaos.

However, for those of you seeking strategic multiplayer, there is plenty to offer for you. Game types that are offered are Capture, where teams are tasked with capturing the Kerotan (the Kermit-looking frog thing found throughout the main game). While it may seem pretty lame, on small maps game play gets extremely intense. Players are forced to work together in order to gain the upper hand and win. Rescue mission are the same way, with each time having to steal the other teams rubber ducky. Allowing one team for defense means players can take up strategic positions rather than running into the fray. On the reverse side, the team needs to be offensive at the same time, and be wary of hidden dangers.

However the most strategic mission is Sneak missions. In this game it’s Naked Snake, who is an actual player, against actual real player guards. Snake is tasked to find the microfilm and bring it back to a capture point, while guards are attempting to find and kill him. If Snake dies once, the game is over. This mode uses teamwork to the max. Think that the guards will always win with numbers on their side? Wrong again. Many times, it is Snake who will win. Besides having many advantages like camouflage and the tranquilizer gun (yes, you will get put to sleep many times; now you know what it feels like to be on the other side of the dart), Snake can use the terrain to his advantage. Sneak mission have many, usually over a dozen ways to traverse the area and get the microfilm. The mission forces guards to work together to find lookout points to find Snake, because despite their advantage of numbers Snake is very slippery and gets away if he is not covered and taken down fast. And I stress fast. Unless the team works together to take him down, he will get away. However the game also forces Snake to use cunning and wit to hide. Unless Snakes uses his resources to slip past the guards, he will be gunned down by their overwhelming numbers.

All around, multiplayer is balanced and favorable. Unlike Counter-Strike, the sniper is not an easy one hit kill. While it does sometimes kill in one hit, the user requires patience and skill. In Counter-Strike, players could easily manipulate keys to pull out a sniper and no-scope their opponents in the face in a matter of a microsecond. Not with this game. Snipers have their best strategic value in high places, meaning players need to find a good vintage point and wait. If they are caught, they are dead. It takes time to get up and switch to a different weapon, so players must be sure that they are in a secure area before pulling out a sniper. Just as well, snipers NEED to stay in one spot. They cannot move with the sniper, and the only other weapon available to them is a pistol (only one main weapon offered to players at the start, though they can find others later). Pulling out the sniper in the middle of combat is not advisable, as anyone who has used it knows that you cannot move with it, and it is frustrating to aim it up close. You might think that 8 people per server is pretty low, but trust me when I say that it is enough to keep you occupied and finding enemies no matter what part of the map you are on. The combat remains just as intense and entertaining. The number of available mission types allows for players to choose what they want. Those looking for something like Counter-Strike or Socom will immediately feel at home with death match, while those looking for strategic fun will go to the other missions. This way, Subsistence adds hours of game play for casual gamers, power gamers, and stealth junkies alike.

But to add on top of that, we still have a myriad of add-ons in the game to boost our replay value. To add-on to the inclusion of MGS3: Snake Eater and Metal Gear Online, Hideo decided to add in Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake. Both never released in America (the NES version of Metal Gear was fairly dumbed down), gamers in America finally get their first chance to play Metal Gear 1 + 2. Both the games have been added without having to beat the game or get cheats. Both are there to add another dozen hours of game play to the already increasing hours of game play gamers get out of this game. Once you’re done MGS3 and are still feeling that MGS itch, just pop in the other disc and continue the story without ever having to buy a new game or system or download an emulator. That is an honor any Metal Gear Solid fan will love to enjoy. Graphics are the same. Controls and mechanics are the same as well. This is the real deal. This is the first chance to experience Metal Gear 1 + 2 in their entirety. This is something an MGS fan should never miss. Ever.

And yet the list keeps on going. Besides ALL of this, players can view all of the cut scenes in the entire game just by going to an option in the menu. Instead of having to replay a situation a million times just to see what happens next is annoying. So those mainly interested in the story (which is quite a lot of people, even I agree that the story is half the game) will find this a welcoming and entertaining experience. We all know how long the games cut scenes are, and this new option gives us an hour or two of more content. The scene where the boss dies, as well as the final cut scene with the president and at Arlington National Cemetery always makes me cry. So I was finally happy to be able to watch the ending cut scene with Snake and The Boss and was able to relive the moments I had when I was first watching it without having to load up the game to see it again over and over.

Players can revisit the popular Snake vs. Monkey, which has become somewhat of a cult phenomenon among MGS3 players. Not only this, but we have more missions as well as the first ones (how many I am not sure. I actually haven’t gotten to it with all of the other stuff I’m doing in the game ;-) ). With the added camera angle option, players will find breaking records to be much easier and Snake vs. Monkey, as much as it sounds strange, is still one of the most addicting things on the planet.

And yet there’s still more! (I’m beginning to feel like one of those infomercial guys advertising their crappy products :-D) Players can enjoy playing their bosses over and over and over again, on both a normal mode, where you are givien the items and equipment you would have if you were in the real game, and special mode, where you are given just a few pretty useless equipment, a pistol, and a tranquilizer gun and are expected to make due. I was able to replay The End and The Boss, two of my favorite bosses. Among these, players can also play the rest of the Cobras (The Pain, The Fear, The End, The Fury, The Boss), but also special bosses like the Ocelot Unit after you are discovered in the burnt down house, and that cool-ass bike pursuit after the Shagohod is activated. You can also play against Volgin both times, when you’re in the hangar and when he’s on the Shagohod. Sorry, you can’t play The Sorrow. He’s so cool and mysterious, one of my favorite characters in the game, but since you don’t actually fight him its not considered a boss battle.

A last feature is a mode where you can view teaser videos made by the staff. All of the videos are made with the in-game graphics and all of the voice-actors supplied their own voices. Some of the videos can be downright hilarious. One of the most popular ones involves the teams sadistic torture of Raiden, the much-hated protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2. Now the team is getting back at him in a video called Metal Gear Raiden: Snake Eraser. Raiden tries to go back in time to kill Naked Snake in order to prevent Solid Snake from taking his place in MGS4, but screws up and causes random time lapses. Raiden randomly gets teleported throughout the game to painful situations, including an outright insult at Raiden when Volgin mistakes him for the other commander in the game and attempts to have butt sex with him. Sometimes you will nearly piss your pants off at what the creators can come up with in their twisted minds, any many will find it amusing that the team has a wonderful sense of sexual humor. An essential video is when a perverted The End spies on EVA throughout the game from behind the scenes with his sniper scope, and makes sexual comments all the while. To include completeness, the videos even include the MGS3 trailer shown at E3 just to make this game truly complete. This video section is a great and light-hearted change of pace that you can use to simmer down from the intense, sometimes frustrating game of MGS3.

Now just look at all that stuff available. Just thinking of all the content in this game makes one’s mind just boggle. If a person plays through everything with all the content, Subsistence offers at least 40+ hours of game play. I can’t stress enough that this is the complete package. For all you people out there with little money, this is the game to get. Not only does it come with ALL of this game play, but it’s just a mere $30! That’s right! Just $30! You would have to be stupid not to get this game! Even the new extra features and content justify the $30 price tag. This game is something no MGS fan should miss.

The Bad
There is one particular thing that annoyed me about this game. That is the fact that the movie version of the game is not in the regular version. Limited Edition version carry a movie-version- a movie with game play turned into viewable cut scenes, in order to see the entire story without ever having to play one bit. It annoys me to the greatest ends that when Kojima was stressing completeness, he left out one major part that I’ve been dreaming about for a Limited Edition. Not only this, but it also comes with a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4. It’s not that I’m annoyed that I couldn’t see these. The game itself is practically a movie, and I already know the plotline, and I could just as easily see the trailer online. It’s just that it ruins the completeness of the game, and that many gamers aren’t getting everything. It just seems to stick in the back of my mind.

In a sense, the online mode has some problems with concept and design. Since the game doesn’t offer the ability to move while in first person, most players will favor to just aim and shoot blindly in third-person mode. This and the fact that the game has no penalties for deaths (quick respawn time and no point penalties) make the death match and team death match a run and gun fest. Fans of Counter-Strike or Socom may find this suitable, but fans of MGS are usually looking for something strategic, and this will definitely kill the experience.

Kojima Productions also made some silly mistakes when it came to online. For example, why include a magazine? No person in the world will actually stop and read it when Snake is getting away with the microfilm. In Snake Eater the AI was programmed to be realistic and read it. But humans will not care to read dirty magazines during an intense battle. As well, the ability to knock over an enemy is extremely annoying. Most people will tend to knock you over and unload while you are down. The shotgun also has too much power, and combined with the ability to knock you down makes to much too powerful. Among these are also some other things that need to be improved in online mode. Let’s hope Hideo Kojima learns from these mistakes and does a slightly better job next time.

Lastly, some people will also find it annoying that they have to go out and buy the network adaptor in order to play the online mode. It is annoying to have to buy extra hardware just to get a major part of the game. I know what it feels like. There is a positive side however. Since the game is just $30 and the network adaptor is $20, the price tag comes to $50, the cost of a normal game. Perhaps this is why the price is $30, but maybe not. But if you don’t have it, do yourself a favor and buy it before you get this game. It will be worth it once you have the game. Trust me.

The Bottom Line
MGS3: Subsistence is like a DVD box set of the origins of Solid Snake. It contains all three games right there for you, with a myriad of other features like online mode and Theater mode. Hideo Kojima has left nothing out. There’s nothing left to go back and remake or redo. One can definitely tell that Hideo Kojima wanted to finish this thing up so he would never have to come back and redo everything. With his planned retirement after MGS4, Hideo plans on giving everything finality. Everything we ever wanted or even needed is included with MGS3: Subsistence. There’s online mode, Snake vs. Monkey, and everything right down to the trailer for the game. Kojima wants to finally finish and close up this series for good, and that’s just what he’s doing. He’s given us everything we need so he won’t need to come back and keep giving us more. With MGS3, Metal Gear 1 and Metal Gear 2 done for good, now he only needs to worry about MGS4 to go off with a bang, and everything will be over with.

We thank you for this Mr. Kojima. You have given us a stellar ending to the first three games of your series. With over 40+ hours of game play and every feature we could ever need at the cheap price of $30, you cold not have answered our wishes better.

This game is a collector’s item for anyone, from newbs of the series to veterans of every Metal Gear Solid game. Even if you have Snake Eater, the $30 price tag is undoubtedly worth the extra features. It is a perfect time for newbs to jump into the series, with a perfected Snake Eater and Metal Gear 1 and 2, which many MGS veterans have not even played yet! Anyone who liked Snake Eater will fall in love with this game, and it is like the Holy Grail for MGS diehards. Go out and buy this game and I can assure you it will be the best $30 you have ever spent in your life.

PlayStation 2 · by Matt Neuteboom (976) · 2006

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Trivia

Awards

  • GameSpy
    • 2006 – #8 Console Game of the Year
    • 2006 – #4 PS2 Game of the Year
    • 2006 – PS2 Action Game of the Year

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Related Sites +

  • JUNKER HQ
    This fansite is dedicated to the games produced and/or designed by Hideo Kojima and contains all kinds of trivia, artwork, plot summaries, discussion forums and more.
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  • MobyGames ID: 21633
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Matt Neuteboom.

PlayStation 3, PS Vita added by MAT.

Additional contributors: MAT, Robstein, —-, Patrick Bregger.

Game added March 20, 2006. Last modified January 29, 2024.