Cyberpunk Review » Metal Gear Solid

August 2, 2006

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid

Game Review By: DannyV_El_Acme

Year: 1998

Author: Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions

Platform: Other

Publisher: Konami

Price: Around $25 or less right now

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Very High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Very High

Rating: 10 out of 10



Introduction: There are few video game creators today as revered as Hideo Kojima. A producer/director of superb storytelling talent and limitless creativity, he is respected and admired by both gamers and fellow video game developers. Even mighty Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario and the father of modern video gaming, is a declared fan of Kojima’s work. However, Kojima was a relative unknown as little back as 8 years ago, until Konami gave him the go to create this, Kojima’s first modern gaming masterpiece, Metal Gear Solid. While at first glance a military game, Metal Gear Solid is actually a deep cyberpunk analysis of warfare and morality, topics that Kojima had been exploring for years, but for which, before the creation of the Playstation, he had no hardware powerful enough to tell the story with. Thankfully, he finally did, he finally made the game, and he reinvented a lowly NES game into one of video gaming’s most respected and acclaimed franchises.



The Story : A nuclear weapon disposal facility on Shadow Moses, an island off the coast of Alaska, is invaded by an army of Genome Soldiers(genetically enhanced super-soldiers) led by Foxhound, a U.S. covert special ops team. The Genome Soldiers are dying, victims of genetic disorders caused by the gene therapy. Foxhound’s leader, Liquid Snake, makes a list of demands: one billion dollars and the body of Big Boss, Foxhound’s former CO and the one whose genes the Genome Soldiers are based on. Should the United States fail to comply, Foxhound will launch a nuclear warhead at the nation’s capital.


A direct attack on Shadow Moses may cause nuclear retaliation, and the presence of nuclear warheads in the facility is a secret from the world at large, so a media leak would be catastrophic. To make matters worse, Foxhound is the nation’s most elite special forces unit, each soldier capable of slaughtering entire platoons with ease. The Pentagon decides to “persuade”(i.e. force) retired Foxhound agent Solid Snake to infiltrate Shadow Moses and stop the terrorists through covert action. Armed with only his wits, radio communication with various mission analysts, and whatever he can find at the base, Snake must rely on stealth and cunning to complete his mission. However, there is MUCH more to Shadow Moses than meets the eye, secrets that could put the entire world in jeopardy, secrets dealing with Solid Snake’s shadowy past.



The Game: If I said in my Deus Ex review that I didn’t want to spoil the story because it’s so good, this is INFINITELY truer with Metal Gear Solid. Although Deus Ex is a more “authentic” cyberpunk game, Metal Gear Solid can only be described as a playable blockbuster film. It is truly an amazing experience in storytelling, and my personal favorite videogame franchise.


The gameplay itself relies heavily on stealth. While Solid Snake is a formidable combatant, he is hideously outnumbered by much better armed forces actually looking to shoot him down. Snake must remain hidden and either bypass his enemies or eliminate them as silently as possible. Luckily, Snake is a superb covert operative, and he can use the environment in truly ingenious ways to hide, distract and dispatch the enemy. Snake also has various tools to help him. Throughout the game, he will find weapons and gadgets of all kinds, from infrared goggles to assault rifles, and even the now famous cardboard box to hide in. He also has a radar that permits him to not only determine enemy position, but also their line of sight, enabling him to sneak where the enemy can’t see him. However, this radar gets jammed if Snake is seen, and Snake must RUN AWAY as fast as he can until things cool down!


Snake also has a CODEC built into his ear, which enables him to access a multitude of helpers to give him information, tips and moral support throughout the game. The CODEC conversations are truly one of the game’s greatest strengths. They showcase the characters as more than mere cardboard cutouts. During the game, the nature of conversations will range from simple mission objectives to discussions on morality, technological development, politics, human rights, and even what it means to be human. Topics such as genetic engineering, the arms race, nuclear energy, cloning, nanotechnology, biological warfare and many more are expertly discussed. This makes for quite an endearing cast, they are truly intelligent people with their own opinions and beliefs. This is where the game’s cyberpunkness shines through. The way the game explores technology, it’s impact on society and the military in particular, and the morality of technological development are ESSENTIAL elements to the game’s story that continue to resonate through all chapters of the saga. Metal Gear Solid establishes the base for future games of the series to develop these concepts even more thoroughly.


And on that note, we see the game’s greatest strength: the characters. Kojima has created a truly spectacular cast, no character is wasted or underdeveloped. From the cynical and gruff Solid Snake to the spunky and optimistic Meryl and scientist/über-nerd Otacon, the characters are diverse and uniformly interesting. The bad guys are truly an awesome force, too. From the enigmatic Liquid Snake to the sadistic gunman Revolver Ocelot and the oh-so-sexy Sniper Wolf, Foxhound’s members are quite the match for our heroes.


Visually, the game couldn’t be more cyberpunk. Greens, blues and grays dominate the color scheme, with cold metal surfaces everywhere. Cybernetic ninjas with Predator-like cloaking devices, gigantic mecha, you name it. This game wears not only its cyberpunk roots, but its anime roots as well, on its sleeve with pride. Cinemas are expertly directed, giving the game an A-list action movie fell. AND THE VOICE ACTING!!! This is the absolute GREATEST voice acting EVER. David Hayter has actually made a career out of his work as the voice of Solid Snake, and the whole cast is composed of voice acting veterans from a multitude of games and anime. Metal Gear Solid established the standard for voice acting in the video game industry.


Availability: Honestly, if you can’t find this game, something’s SERIOUSLY wrong with you. There have been myriad releases of the game, including a Playstation Greatest Hits release, a PC version, and even a remake for the Gamecube(dubbed The Twin Snakes) which updates the game with next-gen graphics and gameplay elements from its sequel, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty.



The Verdict : If you want the closest thing to a playable cyberpunk/military movie or anime, Metal Gear Solid is truly it. This is videogaming at its finest, and it has rightfully been called a masterpiece the world over. Get this game and play it, just so you know what comes before Metal Gear Solid 2. My highest recommendation, this is my all-time favorite video game series. And maybe once you play it, you’ll know why too. I(and half the press, already) give Metal Gear Solid a perfect ten stars.


August 2, 2006

SFAM said:

Great review, DannyV :)

Is there other games in the Metal Gear family then?

Aram said:

Nice. I have some fond memories of this game, even though I could never get very far.

DannyV_El_Acme said:

SFAM, I can honestly say that the Metal Gear series is probably the most critically acclamied modern gaming series of all, and it transformed from barely a blip in the nostalgia radar(the only other game in the series that came to U.S. shores was the NES game, back in ‘87) to Konami’s moneymaking franchise, even dethroning mainstay Castlevania as its most known franchise.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is THE most awaited game for the upcoming PlayStation 3, and it just looks INCREDIBLE. The series has a definite sense of purpose and history: time passes for these characters, and it shows. Metal Gear Solid 4 happens around 6-10 years after Metal gear Solid 2, and the passing of time is apparent: a gray hair here, a small wrinkle there. But in SNAKE’S case, it is VERY apparent. Let’s just say that even long-time fans of the series were SHOCKED by how Snake looks in the new game.

Hideo Kojima is a cyberpunk freak full-scale. NOt only did he create Metal Gear, but also the cyberpunk tour-de-force that is Snatcher. His love for the genre oozes from these games.

By the way, for those wanting accounting, there have been five :canon” Metal Gear games:
-Metal Gear
-Metal gear 2: Solid Snake
-Metal Gear Solid
-Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty
-Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Metal Gear 1 and 2 were HARD to find, since they’re old games(and Metal Gear 2 never came out here), but the remixed edition of Metal gear Solid 3, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, has both games for free, so you can actually get the whole Metal Gear Series for around $80!!

Metal Gear is a series that, like The Matrix, inspires lots of discussion on its themes from fans. Especially Metal Gear Solid 2, that is one COMPLICATED game, storywise. But fans of anime like GITS can probably understand it no problem.

Anyway, as much as I love Deus Ex and as much as I’ve praised it as the best cyberpunk game(and I sitll stand by that opinion), I like Metal Gear even more because it incites more emotional investment in it. I’ll NEVER love JC Denton as much as I love Solid Snake…

August 3, 2006

SFAM said:

Damn, this is what I get for sticking to fantasy games. I’ve played Deus Ex and System Shock, but never even seen Metal Gear. I’ll definitely get one of these to try them out then.

Blaze one said:

I whole heartedly agree with this review.

I played and completed this game three times, that’s how much i loved it.

Growing up we only had one TV in the house, so my mom would always be aware of what i was playing.
With great story telling, acting and graphics, this is the title that made her respect video games.

DannyV said:

Well, SFAM, for around $80 you can get ALL the games in the series. While Metal Gear 1 and 2 are good games, they’re quite ancient, so they may not really catch your eye. I say if you’re not interested in them, skip them, but read story synposes for them to know what comes after. However, the Metal Gear Solid series(the 3D games) you HAVE to play. And play them in order: MGS 1, then 2, then 3.

MGS 2 is THE most cyberpunk of the series. It’s the game where technology just runs amuck, and where the conspiracy theories stall going full force. many people find it a hard game to understand(it has been compared to how the Matrix sequels require more active viewing compared to the relatively straightforward first), but it is a fascinating story.

MGS 3, probably the best in the series(and my personal favorite) occurs in 1964 during the Cold War. Some people think this separates the game from the cyberpunk genre, but I say NO WAY. The Cold War is the perfect example of warfare through technology, and many of the concepts and ideas of the Cold War are the precursors of modern information technology. It is also, chronologically, the first game in the series, and it answers many of the questions posed in the games preceding it. Seeing many of the most important characters of the series during their youth is also a treat(this game proves that Ocelot has ALWAYS been a badass).

There are many versions of the Metal Gear Solid games, so here are my recommendations:
-MGS: Get the regular version. It’s a PS1 Greatest Hits game, so you can get it dirt cheap.
-MGS2: Get Substance, the special edition of the game, but MAKE SURE you get the PS2 version. The XBox version has oodles of slowdown and graphic glitches, it’s horrible.
-MGS3: Get Subsistence, the special edition of it. It has a second game which includes Metal Gear Online, many new cinemas by the game’s creators, and the two original games.

All this won’t cost you more than $80, I guarantee it, so you get an INCREDIBLE amount of story and gaming for a very low price ;)

August 4, 2006

SFAM said:

Hi DannyV, you’re starting to sell me, although 80 bucks sounds like a lot. I’ll check out ebay for used versions. Terrific review though! I really need to learn more cyberpunk games. I’m just about done playing Restricted Area, BTW.

December 2, 2006

snake said:

all of the metal gears rock. if you dont like them your gay.

NekOtaku said:

News at nine:
Video game tastes directly linked to ones sexual preferances!
There’s been rumours about the original games being “remsatered” kinda like Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes for Gamecube, or news fans of the series who want to catch up on the story behind Metal Gear Solid.
I’d definitly like that, I think games with a depth full background history inspire much more fun than the shallow “porno” I fear is going to invade us more and more now, linear games with a near void plot but showcasing awesome graphics.
I like being able to get into a game rather than just play it through and be done with it.

February 11, 2007

Anonymous said:

why wont my metal gear solid work on my ps2 it keeps frezzing

February 13, 2007

Nek said:

Depnds on your model of PS2, most older versions had issues playing DVD’s and backwards compatibility was so-so..

March 18, 2007

Joshoewaa said:

The Metal Gear series is my favourite video games series of ALL TIME, and I’m an avid video games player. The reason I love it so much is the plot really sucks you in, and the directing from Hideo Kojima is movie quality. A live-action (i think) movie is currently in pre-production, but Kojima won’t be directing. I hope it turns out okay!

And I know, visually, Metal Gear Solid 3 isn’t cyberpunk, but like you said, the themes are all still there… wouldn’t you be able to review it then? I’d really like to see your comments on it.

April 14, 2007

Anonymous said:

im a mgs freak!!!;P im from serbia and maybe my english is not very good but i just want to say something heree…….hhihihihihihih i have played:METAL GEAR SOLID (4 TIMES),METAL GEAR SOLID 2 SUBSTANCE (5 TIMES),AND METAL GEAR SOLID 3 SNAKE EATER (1 TIME BUT I HAVE STARTED PLAYING AGAIN TODAY)……PEACE TO ALL this is my MSN adress if somebody of you have MSN please add me to your contacts…………………

April 17, 2007

Agent Orange said:

Like the review, very true. Those screensshots look a tad too crisp to be from an actual PS1, have you been emulating again? If so, what plug-ins do you use, seriously. Mine only look half as good! Except when playing FF7, which looks great on my machine, much better than stock!

June 11, 2007

Bored! said:

I am burned out on all the MSG games I have played them so many times. Anyone know of a similar game I can get into?

randomrob said:

Splinter Cell…

randomrob said:

I miss my Bleem!cast emulator for Dreamcast… MGS looked soooo good on that.

July 14, 2007

Anonymous said:


August 15, 2007

sooroor said:

Hideo Kojima i love your story and i love solid snake. thanks .

August 22, 2007

Reece Bailey said:

merly’s so cute and all the metal gears rock hola

September 8, 2007

Rick said:

LOL @ Merly!

Hideo Kojima is the greatest cyberpunk game writer and director, all of his work is HIGHLY recommended.

November 18, 2007

Enys said:

I like Nikita in MGS ^^

Girls and Guns go very well together.

April 24, 2008

josh said:

metal gear solid is so fn sweet

July 17, 2008

Forbo said:

i have to agree. all the metal gear games are AMAZING. although i’ve not played mgs1, i’ve watched it all twice. and i’ve cleared solid 2 three times, and solid 3 6 times. but by far my favourite of them all is solid 4. i’ve played this game for hundreds of hours these past months. i’ve finished it thirteen times and i would like to congratulate Hideo Kojima on his work in this amazing series.

January 14, 2009

qais khan said:

a beautiful game with a beautiful story

January 15, 2009

SOD said:

First metal gear was made on the old MSX system. Nice game…

February 17, 2009

Adam Daub said:

MGS Twin Snakes on Gamecube is a treat. It seems the majority of people who hated it were simply fanboys of other consoles. Sadly much of that goes around. It’s ok to hate hardware kiddies, just remember the software (if it’s well written) is what counts in the end.
I definately recommend it to fans of the original as there is plenty of extras to keep you interested from begining to end.
The voice acting has even been touched up by the original voice actors as well as some tweaking of the already shakey original script translations.

March 12, 2009

kobra said:

I got the Integral version for pc and I’ll ALWAYS keep it on my pc. I’ve never finished it but I played it several times. And now thanks to the MGS2 post I’m playing it too.
Oh, and i really don’t know it the MGS saga is cyberpunk, because cyberpunk is a near future with visible computer advances, hi-tek and low (at least lower) life qualities. By other side, it has mechas and cloaking ninjas.
But, anyway it doesn’t matter, it’s absoutely GREATAWESOME :D

Kobra said:

I got the Integral version for PC and I’ll ALWAYS keep it (altought Snake hasn’t got eyes XD). I’ve never finished it but I played it several times. And now thanks to the MGS2 post I’m playing it too.
Oh, and i really don’t know it the MGS saga is cyberpunk, because cyberpunk is a near future with visible computer advances, hi-tek and low (at least lower) life qualities. By other side, it has mechas and cloaking ninjas.
But, anyway it doesn’t matter, it’s absoutely GREATAWESOME :D

Kobra said:


March 14, 2010

jmm1233 said:

I did a Walkthrough of This Cyberpunk Game
watch it like a movie , made a custom title sequence for it too

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