Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater / Playstation 2 / 2004
In the third installment in the Metal Gear Solid series, you reprise your role as Solid Snake, an elite tactical soldier. This time, you are sent on a dangerous mission to both infiltrate enemy territory and uncover the secrets behind a newly created weapon of mass destruction. Survival within the jungle environments and its unpredictable settings requires basic animal instincts, as well as advanced combat and hunting skills. Set in the 1960s, the game features different types of camouflage, open-ended environments, and an array of new weapons and moves.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (commonly abbreviated to MGS3) is a stealth action video game directed by Hideo Kojima. Snake Eater was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and published by Konami for the PlayStation 2, and was released on November 17, 2004 in North America; December 16, 2004 in Japan; March 4, 2005 in Europe; and on March 17, 2005 in Australia. The game, which serves as a prequel to the entire Metal Gear series, was followed by a direct sequel titled Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops.
Set in Cold War-era Russia, the story centers on FOX operative Naked Snake as he attempts to rescue a weapons designer and sabotage an experimental superweapon. While previous games were set in a primarily urban environment, Snake Eater adopts a 1960s Soviet jungle setting, with the high tech, near-future trappings of previous Metal Gear Solid games being replaced with the wilderness. While the setting has changed, the game's focus remains stealth and infiltration, while retaining the series' self-referential, fourth wall-breaking sense of humor. Snake Eater's story is told through numerous cut scenes and radio conversations.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was well-received publicly and critically, selling 3.6 million copies worldwide and scoring an average of 91% on the review aggregate sites Game Rankings and Metacritic.
Snake Eater's gameplay is similar to that of previous games in the Metal Gear Solid series. Snake, controlled by the player, must move undetected through a hostile, enemy-filled environment. Although Snake acquires various weapons (ranging from handguns to rocket propelled grenades), the emphasis is on using stealth to avoid confrontations. A number of objects and gadgets can be found along the way to aid in this, including motion detectors to track hostile soldiers, and the Metal Gear series' trademark cardboard box, which Snake can hide under to avoid visual detection. Despite the fundamental similarities, Snake Eater introduces many new aspects of gameplay not present in previous Metal Gear games, including camouflage, a new hand-to-hand combat system called "close-quarters combat" or "CQC", a stamina gauge, and an injury-and-treatment system.
Approximately two-thirds of the game is set outdoors in the Russian jungle, and using this varied environment to its fullest potential is often the key to success. Of the new features, particular emphasis is placed on camouflage and using the jungle environment itself (for example, climbing trees or hiding in tall grass) to avoid being seen by the enemy. The advanced radar from previous games has been removed in favor of a simple motion detector and sonar system more suitable for Snake Eater's time period.
A percentage value called the "camouflage index" displays Snake's visibility, on a scale from negative values (highly visible) up to 100% (completely invisible to the enemy). In order to minimize visibility, the player must switch between different camouflage uniforms and face paints to blend in with the environment; for example, wearing a bark-patterned uniform while leaning against a tree, or wearing striped face paint while hiding in tall grass. Other devices for camouflage, such as a fake crocodile head to decrease chances of being detected in water, are also available.
The basic close combat from previous installments has been heavily refined and expanded into the CQC system. When unarmed or using a one-handed weapon, Snake can grab opponents and put them in a chokehold, at which point a variety of actions can be performed, such as choking the enemy unconscious or interrogating them at knifepoint to obtain information. The context, pressure applied to the button, and movement of the analog stick determine the action performed.