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"...visually Metal Gear Solid is a bit of a let down."

However, visually Metal Gear Solid is a bit of a let down. Having been released two years ago on now very old Playstation hardware, the textures are low resolution and, even if the game's general feel is metallic and industrial, the levels are too angular. There is the option to whack up the resolution up to the dizzy heights of 1024x768, which helps but even so the character models remain extremely blocky with no distinguishable lip-synching or face movement. It is surprising that in the two years these models, textures and maps haven't been upgraded and tweaked for the raw power of today's PC hardware. On the bright side the game will run perfectly on even the lowest system spec.


Virtually There

The biggest complaint of the original game was its length, with only ~15 hours of gameplay time. It was all over far too soon for most people. Luckily bundled in the PC version is the excellent VR mission pack. This substantially extends the gameplay with a huge choice of mini missions staged in a VR simulator. Think primary coloured wireframe levels straight out of Tron. Selections include stealth mode, weapon mode, advanced mode and special mode. Add to this best level times records to beat and the chance to play as the stealth ninja and you should be happy for hours. Excellent fun and the whole thing is a testament to the quality of the gameplay.

The Verdict

For a console game from two years ago the game has actually aged miraculously well. The objects, maps and models could have been improved and controlling Snake with the keyboard is a little clumsy, but its the gameplay that really makes it. It truly is fun sneaking around in the shadows, avoiding the guards and using all Snake's military toys. The main game may be short but its very sweet, and with the kind addition of the VR missions, it is definitely worth investing in, especially if you haven't experienced Snake's world before.

by Andrew 'sambolc' Crofton [e-mail with comments]

Graphics - 7 Sound - 9.5 Gameplay - 8.5 Originality - 7.5
Overall - 8.5/10

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