In 2005, the Metal Gear series take an unexpected turn when Kojima decided to make a prequel rather than a sequel, and having it take place in the Cold War with a completely new character, so no Solid Snake and no Raiden.
MGS3 makes a switch from indoor sneaking to outdoor jungle environment, adding new stealth elements such as the use of camouflage to blend in with the environment and adding a new survival element to the game.
Gameplay-wise the game is still very similar to MGS2, but it adds new combat mechanisms called CQC (Closed Quarters Combat), making hand to hand fighting against the enemy much better and efficient than in earlier games.
One of the many goals of the game is to survive in the jungle and to do so you must go hunting for your own food, resting to recover your health and adapting to the environment, which plays a bigger role in this game than it ever did in other games.
In this game camouflage plays a huge roll, with a wide variety of face paints and camo uniforms that all serve a purpose in different environments. But the player is not the only one to use camo, enemy soldiers also wear uniforms that blend in on most places, making them hard to spot on some areas, so the player has to keep an eye out all the time. Most bosses also use camo and some of them are really hard to spot (like the infamous The End battle).
The game got an expanded version named Subsistence, which featured a much more improved 3D camera system like the one seen in Portable Ops and later games.
The expanded version also included re-releases of the original MSX games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 Solid Snake as well as a highly hyped (I have yet to see anything coming out of Kojima that isn’t greatly hyped) Online mode, MGO, becoming the very first online multiplayer Metal Gear.
The game also got a, kind-of, remake for the 3DS named Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater, which incorporates some of Peace Walker’s control schemes like crouch-walking and shoulder aiming and shooting. Now, I think crouch walking is awesome, but shoulder shooting should only be done if first person shooting is also available. In Peace Walker there are many instances where I felt that I greatly needed first person shooting for accuracy and better view of who I’m aiming at, there was some instances the camera angle while aiming made what I was aiming at not see-able, and such a thing would have been corrected if I were able to switch to first person shooting, but I couldn’t. Although I haven’t played MGS3D so I don’t know if FPS is available or not. One thing that many fans dislike are framerate drops and the fact that the game was advertised as a full on remake, like The Twin Snakes was to MGS1 on the GameCube, but it just ended up being a half-assed MGS3 with PW controls, nothing else changed.
Leaving all that aside, let’s start with the Storyline. spoilers for an 8 years old game coming up
The game starts with a FOX agent named Jack who is sent on a mission dubbed the Virtuous Mission to rescue a Soviet scientist held captive and forced to create nuclear weapons. Jack is given the codename Naked Snake as a two part joke from his commander: first because he is sent to the mission naked (the military term for not having much, if any, equipment) and because he will have to be eating snakes and other animals to survive. Jack infiltrates the jungle of Tselinoyarsk via parachuting.
In the roster of suporting characters we find Mayor Zero, who uses the nickname Mayor Tom for this mission, para-medic, a medical doctor who supervises over Snake’s health condition, and The Boss, Snake’s former mentor who he hasn’t heard of for years and who he has great love to.
Snake manages to rescue Sokolov who tells Snake about Colonel Volgin and the weapon he is creating, the Shagohod, a nuclear equipped tank capable of launching a nuke from any type if terrain, and no this time it’s not a Metal Gear. Snake manages to overcome an ambushed by Mayor Ocelot and his crew, who are members of Volgin’s private army.
On their way to recovery, Snake is ambushed by his former mentor The Boss, who informs Snake of her plans to defect to the Soviet Union, and does so by giving a Davy Crockett miniture nuclear shell to Volgin. The Boss takes Sokolov hostage with the help of the Cobra unit and attacks Snake, leaving him heavily wounded and almost dead. Volgin, who is out of his f-ing mind, decides to launch the Davy Crockett into Sokolov’s lab.
A week later Snake finds himself with a mess and with the world at the verge of a nuclear war. Due to Volgin firing an American made nuclear shell into Soviet territory, Khrushchev blames America for this and is very pissed off. The president of the US explains to Khrushchev that the weapong was given by an American defector to a private army and they fired it on their will, so the US government was not involved at all with it. Khrushchev demands proof of this and the only way the US can do so is by killing The Boss, to proof that she was not acting under US orders.
Snake is once again chosen for this task, his mission is to kill The Boss, the Cobra Unit and Volgin. Snake infiltrates Tselinoyarsk once again and his first task is to meet up with an insider, Adam.
Although Adam doesn’t show up to the meeting with Snake, Eva shows up in his place.
Snake and Eva are ambushed by Ocelot but manage to overcome it. Eva tells Snake to head north to find the lab where they hold Sokolov. In his way he encounters Ocelot and the first Cobra Unit member: The Pain.
Snake reaches the lab but doesn’t find Sokolov there. Rather he finds Alexander Leonovich Granin, another weapons designer who shows Snake his blueprints for a machine that he calls a “Metal Gear” between infantry and vehicles, a walking battle tank. Granin’s work was left aside in favor of Sokolov and Granin is constantly showing his hatred towards Sokolov for this. Granin tells Snake that to find Sokolov he has to infiltrate Groznyj Grad.
After battling three more Cobra members: The Fear, The End and The Fear, leaving the Cobra unit pretty much destroyed (only The Boss is left), Snake manages to infiltrate Groznyj Grad. Snake steals the clothes of a high ranking officer, Mayor Ivan Raidenovich Raikov, who is a character created sorely as a joke about Raiden, and gets to where Sokolov is being held captive. Sokolov explains that the Shagodod is complete and that Volgin plans on mass producing it, he also explains that in order to be able to launch a nuke, the Shagohod requires to reach extreme speeds, and they do this by attaching rocket boosters to it. Colonel Volgin and The Boss interrupt the conversation and discover Snake’s disguise, knocking him out and capturing him.
Snake wakes up with some sort of bad on his head that prevents him from seeing anything. Snake can hear how Volgin beats Sokolov to death and then starts interrogating and torturing Snake. During the torture a transmitter falls from Snake and Volgin suspects that one of his own crew planted it on him to aid him, so he is convinced more than ever that there is a spy amongst his team. The Boss steps in and tells Volgin that she planted the transmitter on Snake so that the Cobra unit could ambush him. Volgin doubts this as the Cobra Unit have all fallen to Snake, so he asks The Boss for proof. The Boss asks what proof he needs and Volgins tells The Boss to cut out Snake’s eyes. The Boss removes the bag from Snake’s head and hesitantly starts closing her knife to Snake’s eye. In the last minute, Tanya begs The Boss to stop, explaining that he has suffered enough already.
Ocelot starts questioning why Tanya is defending Snake, and proposes that Tanya is the spy. Ocelot decides to test Tanya using his own version of the Russian Roulette, he starts flipping two revolvers around, one of which has a single bullet, and continues to pull the trigger at Tanya 7 times, if Tanya is unlucky enough to have one of those shoots contain a bullet then it would be her end. In the middle of Ocelot’s little game Snake notices that the game shot will contain a bullet and swings his body to strike Ocelot, making him shoot away from Tanya. Snake was unlucky however as the shot is fired closed enough to his eye to damage it completely, making snake blind on his right eye.
Volgin is laughing at the site of what just happened, and they he goes away. Ocelot talks to Snake about how torture is the ultimate form of expression and then puts the transmitter back into Snake, then leaves the room. The Boss puts something inside a revolver and shoots it into Snake’s leg, then leaves. When everyone is gone and before the guards come in, Tanya approaches Snake and tells him of an escape plan, making it obvious to Snake that Tanya is Eva, even if it was already clear for the player. Guards enter the room and take Snake away to a prison cell. Snake escapes the cell and heads to the rendezvous point to meet Eva. Snake can use different methods to escape the cell, one of them is by removing the fake death pill that The Boss shot at his leg to pretend to be dead.
Once Snake has met Eva he recovers all his gear. Eva explains the plans she has to destroy the Shagohod: in the Shagohod hangar there are fuel tanks used for the rocket boosters, blowing them up with C3 will cause a big enough explosion to destroy the whole facility and the Shagohod with it. Snake plants the C3 but on his way to escape he is ambushed by Volgin, The Boss, and Ocelot, who have discovered that Tanya was the spy. Volgin explains that Tanya was sent to recover the Philosophers’ Legacy, to which Snake asks what that is. Volgin explains who the Philisophers were: they basically were a committee of wisemen that accumulated a huge fund during World War I, similar to the Patriots. The Legacy is a microfilm containing the data to find all these funds. After this The Boss leaves with Eva, supposedly to dispose of her.
Volgin starts fighting Snake when a message alerting the presence of bombs is heard through the facility’s speaker. Volgin demands Ocelot to look for the bombs but Ocelot defies Volgin’s commands tells him to “fight like a man”, although Volgin is outraged by Ocelot’s behavior there’s not much he can do as Ocelot is off limits, so he continues to fight Snake.
Snake defeats Volgin and escapes just in time before the bombs explode. Outside the facility he meats Eva in her motorcycle who explains that The Boss let her live.
Things take an unexpected turned when The Shagohod, driven by Volgin, blasts out of the hangar that just exploded, apparently due to the fact that they drained the fuel out of the fuel tanks before the bombs exploded, not allowing for a big enough explosion to destroy the Shagohod. Eva tells Snake of another plan: she has planted bombs on a rail bridge, so they have to lure the Shagohod out onto the bridge and blow it up along with it. Snake and Eva on a motorbike run away as they are being chased down by Volgin on the Shagohod.
When they get to the rail bridge they manage to blow it up, but they only get rid of the lower half of the Shagohod, the half in charge of the rocket boosters and the nuclear missile. It’s something, but not enough as Volgin is still attacks Snake and Eva. Snake eventually destroys the remaining part of the Shagohod and kills Volgin.
Snake a Eva try to escape to a lake where there’s a wig waiting for them that they can use to escape. On their way they have an accident on their motorbike and Eva is heavily injured. Although Eva is injured, she can still walk and she and Snake manage to make the rest of the path to the lake on their own, battling enemy soldiers on their way.
Once on the lake Snake refuses to go away without first meeting with his mentor, The Boss. The Boss has a long chat with Snake and tells him that he has only 10 minutes to beat her, otherwise some MIGs will come and bomb the place. Snake beats The Boss and she gives him the microfilm containing all the information regarding the Philisophers’ Legacy, as well as her beloved Patriot (her gun), she asks Snake to end her life using it. Snake ends The Boss’ life, loosing any faith in humanity in the process.
Snake is trying to escape on the WIG with Eva but Ocelot interrupts them. Ocelot’s intentions was simply to show off that he has learn some CQC and to do a prank on Snake, at this point it becomes clear that Ocelot respects Snake a lot.
Some other things happen like some MIGs trying to shoot down Snake and EVA but recede under Khrushchev’s orders. Snake and Eva celebrate their victory and have a fun night, if you know what I mean.
The next day Snake waked up and Eva is not there, but she left a tape for Snake to hear. And here is where shit takes an unexpected turn.
Eva explains that she was a Chinese spy (yeah we already knew that) and that her mission was to steal the Phylisophers’ Legacy and kill anyone in the experiment, including Snake, but she didn’t do it because she promised it to The Boss. She has already stolen the microfilm from Snake. She then explains the very first thing that makes Snake abandon his country.
The Boss didn’t defect to the Soviet Union, she was another spy sent by the US government to recover the Phylosophers’ Legacy for the US, and giving Volgin the miniature nuclear shell was part of the plan too. But things took an unexpected turn when Volgin fired the nuke on Soviet soil, essentially turning the Soviet Union against the US and demanding proof that the US was innocence, and so the US sent Snake, his most beloved apprentice, to carry out the assassination. The Boss stayed true and loyal to the mission given to her knowing full well what was happening, knowing perfectly that her own country has betrayed her, and now she is being officially treated as a traitor with no sense of honor, when the truth is that she was a real patriot who sacrificed herself for her country.
Snake goes to meet the President who recognizes him as being above even The Boss, awarding him the title of Big Boss.
After that, Snake heads to The Boss’ grave to place some flowers and her patriot and pays tribute.
Credit roll and we are once again left with a post-credit conversation, this time with Ocelot, who is revealed to be Adam, the spy Snake was supposed to meet, who is apparently speaking to…someone. He reveals that he has been triple-crossing everyone and that half of the Phylosopher’s legacy is in the hands of the US while the other half is in the hands of the KGB. The film Eva stole for China was a fake.
He is then revealed to be talking to the director of the CIA, who he is being working for all the time.
end of spoilers
Metal Gear Solid 3 is a masterpiece, a must have for any gamer, and a perfect 10 out of 10. You can’t simply live your life knowing you haven’t played this game.