Metal Gear Solid

aka: Metal Gear Solid Integral, Tactical Espionage Action: Metal Gear Solid
Moby ID: 3635
PlayStation Specs
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Conversion (official) Included in See Also

Description

This version of Metal Gear Solid adds first-person view, a level of difficulty for newcomers, bettered artificial intelligence for some enemies (including bosses) on higher difficulty settings, and, on the third disc Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions.

Spellings

  • メタルギアソリッド インテグラル - Japanese PlayStation spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

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Acting / Voiceovers
Producer
Sound Programming
Main PSX Conversion Programming
Main PC Specific Programming
PSX Graphics Emulation Programming
Acting / Voiceovers
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 84% (based on 42 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 141 ratings with 5 reviews)

Feels like what a rich kid would make after a GI Joe marathon.

The Good
Satisfying boss fights
Some of the music

The Bad
Annoying checkpoint system
Simplistic stealth gameplay
Fake difficulty parts

The Bottom Line
Before Metal Gear Solid, many games tried to mimic a movie, usually by cramming the CD with cheesy FMVs and bad voice acting. Metal Gear Solid finally got it right. From the start, you can feel the cinematic atmosphere as you sneak through a dock warehouse with dramatic choirs murmuring in the soundtrack, credits rolling across the game screen, and the game's title only appearing once you've safely exited.

The gameplay in Metal Gear Solid feels... odd. It reminds me of an amateur game created by an enthusiastic kid who tossed all his ideas in rather than opting for a cohesive design. There are many rarely used or one-off mechanics, making each room feel like its own minigame. It feels quite strange and disjointed to play, but I'd hesitate to call it a flaw. It's a major factor in the movie-like atmosphere; after all, the protagonist of a movie doesn't repeat the same actions over and over.

Ironically, the stealth sections—the game's main selling point—feel undercooked. The stealth genre was still finding its legs at the time of release, and it shows. There rarely are more than two guards to dodge, and in most rooms, it's very easy to stay unseen. The boss fights deviate from stealth gameplay and involve gunfights, missile salvos, and other forms of open combat. They are also invariably fun (except for the terrible tank fight) and difficult.

Some level designs feel a bit janky, bordering on artificial difficulty or padding. For example, there are rooms that have plenty of cameras with no way to sneak past them — you need to toss a chaff grenade to deactivate them. There's no strategy to it at all; if you have a chaff grenade, you win, if you don't have one, you lose.

The game's save system, inherited from consoles, allows saving only at specific checkpoints, like after passing between rooms. This works okay in most situations; it prevents you from save-scumming your way past challenges, and if you die, you rarely lose more than a few minutes of progress. However, the checkpoint system can be annoying, for example in the boss battle that has a lengthy, unskippable cutscene halfway through.

It would be remiss not to mention the numerous charming details, suggesting the developers really enjoyed creating this game. For example, in one of the snowy areas guards can track you by your footprints; it's unlikely to affect gameplay in any way, but it's there. Many puzzles are creative—for example, the way you find Meryl who's gone undercover; the solution makes perfect sense, and yet it's something you usually wouldn't do in a game. Some puzzles require you to pay close attention to the dialogue, but there are always sufficient hints, and you can always call your allies for advice.

The plot is melodramatic, but also so earnestly over-the-top that you just can't be mad at it. It helps that the voice acting is excellent, and most characters are memorable. While the dialogue scenes are lengthy, I was rarely tempted to skip them. The exception is the main villain, Liquid, whom I just couldn't like. His voice was eye-rollingly hammy, every single of his lines was cliche, and his personality was "cookie cutter bad guy #442". I was glad when I could finally take him down, not because he was such a satisfying opponent, but because I wanted him to shut up already.

One major difference in the PC version, compared to the PSX version, is the Psycho Mantis boss fight. The original PlayStation boss fight is famous for its strange, fourth-wall-breaking trickery, and the way it exploits the console's features. Unfortunately, most of these special effects cannot work on the PC, so pretty much all of them have been removed — robbing the fight of much of its appeal.

Sadly, the graphics have not aged well. They probably looked better on the original PlayStation, where the low resolution masked the lack of detail. As for the music, most of it is forgettable, and the boss fight themes are more irritating than engaging, but there are a few standout pieces, like the captivating opening song that welcomes you in the first room.

Windows · by Havoc Crow (29941) · 2024

Kojima's Triumph!

The Good
The story's so good and layered it leaves many multi-million Hollywood blockbusters to shame. You play as Solid Snake, the world's greatest super soldier who's like gaming's James Bond and Captain America rolled into one: he's suffered PTSD and this mission at Alaska's Fox Archipelago may finally bring some closure to Snake's perpetual guilt over his haunted past.

The story's topped off by some truly wonderful stealth action-adventure gameplay that inspired Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed, and when you get spotted by the genome soldiers, the iconic alarm sound (that's since become an internet meme) sets off and it always shocks you even if it's done deliberately. Get out of there or else you're screwed.

Metal Gear Solid showed that you can have Nintendo-level quality of games not on Nintendo systems at all and still make an experience to remember. From Raven's boss-fight in the tank out in the snow, Psycho Mantis and Grey Fox challenging the player's persistence, and of course Liquid Snake himself ready to kick some ass in Metal Gear itself.

The Bad
Though the game's graphics are dated by today's comparisons, it's still a technical marvel. With that said, it can be cumbersome trying to sneak around when enemies suddenly see you out of nowhere. Though the detection system in Metal Gear Solid was, and still is, groundbreaking, sometimes a simple slip-up as timing incorrectly would leave you vulnerable.

The Bottom Line
It's the game that changed video games forever: it's James Bond mixed with Mission Impossible, Godzilla and Neon Genesis Evangelion (or Mobile Suit Gundam and Robotech).

It's incredible. It's as quintessential as a movie you've been waiting to see for years.

PlayStation · by John H. (52) · 2019

Like a Hollywood movie: a lot of hype, pretty to look at but nothing inside.

The Good
Remember about 12 years ago there was this amazing 8-bit Nintendo game called Metal Gear? If you read a lot of Marvel comics in those days you'll remember the ads for the game which featured all the gear you'll need to beat the game all over the page. It had this crazy premise of avoiding combat! You'd win by using stealth and brains over brute force. Well over a decade later a sequel has arrived. The recent Playstation hit has landed on the PC and its got to be one of the best conversions ever.

The game has great graphics and sound and features some very slick cutscenes. I loved the way the credits pop as you move your character around the docks at the start of the game. It works in a way like you'd expect a movie. As you sneak your way around the base you will trigger cut scenes to propel the plot and a series of level bosses who have a variety of combat methods. The voice acting is pretty good, although, not Oscar worthy, but quite enjoyable. The voices really suit their characters. Your cool as ice character Snake, is quite funny, as he hits on all the girls.

Once you've beat the game, there are the VR missions to tackle. These are in some ways traing excercises but the more difficult missions are more like puzzles as you have to figure out how to reach a point or kill all the guards in limited time spans.

The Bad
The big problem with this game is that its too darn short. I was amazed at the speed that this game was over. Luckily the VR missions extend the life, poor Playstation owners had to buy them seperatly.

Another problem is that the game's story is really really bad. I guess in Japan they like melodrama and bad sci-fi but in North America things need to be a bit more believable. The plot starts out well enough but soon enough it gets so cornball you'll be hoping for the scene to be over soon. I won't spoil it here but think of the main character relationships of Star Wars, set in our near future, and written by Japanese man who finds the soap opera The Young and the Restless a witty work of fiction.

Minor complaint is how the guards go back to normal after 60 seconds in alert mode. If you just spotted an intruder in a secret base would you go back to sleep after not finding him for a few seconds? I'd have prefered to see the guards get noticable more alert and cautious if you get spotted frequently.

The Bottom Line
The game has graphics and gameplay, and while it is fun to play, the game is so short (and cheesy) that you might wish you had spent your dollars somewhere else.

Windows · by woods01 (129) · 2007

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The PC and PS1 versions of Metal Gear Solid appear in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

PC version

The PC version includes an expansion disc originally released for the Playstation as Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions which added over 300 missions set in the VR training environment of the original, the ability to play as the ninja, and a "photo shoot" mode featuring the game's female cast among other goodies.

Also, the PC version was supposed to have new hi-res texture skins for all the models (especially Snake himself), but Konami axed the idea.

Developer Dimiter Stanev:

From the only phone talk we had with Kojima, through a translator we were advised not to use high-res textures, since there was no good eye animation for the cut-scenes - e.g. higher texture fidelity would ruin the effect a blurry one gives, since you can't focus your own eyes on it. With a high-fidelity texture it would've looked as puppets, dolls, etc.

I admit that this by far, is the most important lesson I've learned from anyone in the game industry - sometimes less is more, and wrong is right.

Information also contributed by Kasey Chang

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Related Games

Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions
Released 1999 on PlayStation, 2013 on PSP, PlayStation 3
Metal Gear Solid: HD Edition
Released 2011 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, 2012 on PS Vita
LittleBigPlanet: Metal Gear Solid Solid Snake Costume
Released 2008 on PlayStation 3, 2014 on PlayStation 4
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
Released 2010 on PSP, 2011 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Released 2005 on PlayStation 2, 2011 on PlayStation 3, 2012 on PS Vita
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Released 2013 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

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.
  • 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.

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  • MobyGames ID: 3635
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Matthew Bailey.

PS Vita, PlayStation 3, PSP added by Fred VT. Windows added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: Zovni, malkia, Crawly, —-, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), FatherJack.

Game added April 3, 2001. Last modified March 11, 2024.