How would this be as an introduction to the Metal Gear series?

#1 Posted by pixelrevolt (5 posts) -

I bought a second hand PS2 and a bunch of games a few months ago, and among the games was this. I thought I might give it a go this week, but as the title of this post would suggest, I've never played a Metal Gear game before.

So, is Sons of Liberty a game I could get into easily and without being confused by the story? Or should I track down a copy of the first Metal Gear Solid and start with that? And if so, should I be looking for the original PS one game, or the Twin Snakes on GameCube? Any help would be appreciated.

#2 Posted by Kush (8889 posts) -

Honestly...Every MGS game is confusing in some way, though MGS2 is probably the worst example of this. I think MGS2 would be a fine introduction for newcomers, but I think playing MGS first would be the best decision...if only because it's a much better game in general.

#3 Posted by AutomaticSnake (390 posts) -

MGS2 is the most confusing one of the series!!! first time i played it i was like WTF and i played the first one.

You should start with MGS3, then MGS1, then MGS2 and then get MGS4 for PS3.

#4 Posted by DragoonKain1687 (702 posts) -

Well, if you are willing to have an open mind, and possibly to replay it full again, then yes, its a wonderful game. After playing it a couple of times, until 4 it was my fav MGS game. It has a really great story, and starts showing Kojima posture against a lot of issues of the society, its really cool. The cinematics are amazing, specially considering that this is one of the first games of the console. The voice work is amazing too. The ending can be a bit confusing, I finally understood it on my second play through the game. But its deffinitively worth it.
I recommend geting the Essential Colection as you will most likely want to start with 1 first anyway, but it is not 100% necessary.

#5 Edited by Moon (251 posts) -

Mgs2 is the best one. (I like the epic storyline)

#6 Posted by TEAMHOLT (438 posts) -

If you can find it, get Twin Snakes.

#7 Posted by Kush (8889 posts) -
TEAMHOLT said:
"If you can find it, get Twin Snakes."
I would still recommend the PS1 version over TS. Twin Snakes is not as bad as some people like to say, but the original is better in almost every way...obviously not graphically better.
#8 Posted by Moon (251 posts) -
Kush said:
"TEAMHOLT said:
"If you can find it, get Twin Snakes."
I would still recommend the PS1 version over TS. Twin Snakes is not as bad as some people like to say, but the original is better in almost every way...obviously not graphically better."
I have to agree.
#9 Posted by BoG (5192 posts) -

MGS, in order of how good they are to introduce the series (beginning with best one to introduce the series):

1, 3, 2, 4
I'd start with one without a doubt, but I'd say that 2 is at least better then 4. It is best if you play them 1, 2, 3, 4, however.
#10 Posted by DXSSI (266 posts) -

I recommend you don't do it—Metal Gear Solid has a strongly interwoven storyline, and Metal Gear Solid 2 is the most confusing of them all, even when you understand everything else that's going on.  Understanding the events of the Shadow Moses incident (Metal Gear Solid 1) plays a huge role in the story.  In fact MGS2 is probably the worst one to start off with.

For maximum enjoyment, I highly recommend playing the series in order; Metal Gear Solid 1, then 2, then 3, and if you're really hardcore, go back and play the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake (they are both available on Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence), or if you're really, really hardcore, start with Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, then move on to the Solid trilogy.  (The storyline in Metal Gear Solid does a pretty solid job of explaining the backstory of the MG 1 & 2, which is why playing them really isn't required.)

As far as which version of MGS1 to acquire, that's really up to you—both have their merits.  The Twin Snakes version has upgraded visuals and some added (but mostly unnecessary) gameplay elements from MGS2 tacked on, which is nice, but will cost about twice as much to obtain, going by eBay prices.  Some series purists don't like the Twin Snakes version because some of the voicework was changed and the cutscenes are more over the top than before, but since you're brand new to the series you'll never notice.

The only way I would suggest you start with MGS2 is if you're not sure you'll like the series; it's quite different from most other games as the focus is on stealth, and not so much action.  The idea is not to be spotted by the enemy and avoid confrontation altogether, rather than heading out with guns blazing (although boss encounters are inevitable).  It's hard to justify buying another game in the series before you know you'll enjoy them both.

And if you do get around to picking up Metal Gear Solid 3, I highly recommend getting the Subsistence version of the game for the bonus content, which includes the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2, as well as fun stuff like the Demo Theater and Snake vs. Monkey.  But you have to track down the original 3-disc version of Subsistence, not the version that shipped with Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection, because Konami somehow thought it was a good idea to release the game under the same name but with less content.  Konami's decisions in real life are almost as confusing as the MGS2 storyline.

#11 Posted by atejas (3057 posts) -

Ideally, play them 1-2-3-4.
3 is a prequel, so you can safely play that first(as I did)

#12 Edited by DXSSI (266 posts) -

Playing 3 first is still a bad idea.  Enjoyment of the game is deeper when you already understand who certain characters are, and what's more, sometimes the game expects you to understand.

For example (minor spoiler, highlight to read): If you kill somebody in MGS3 who is already established as being alive in the future, you get an automatic Game Over because you created a time paradox. But you would have no way of knowing who you can't kill safely if you hadn't played the games that came before it.

#13 Posted by Shadow (4988 posts) -

You'll be confused out of your damn mind even IF you played the original game.  Your brain would probably explode if you played it before the firt one.

#14 Posted by PlatypusPlatoon (98 posts) -

Not a big Metal Gear Solid fan, and I started the series with 3.  Didn't care too much for the gameplay, but loved the storyline and characters, along with the bombastic soundtrack.  I'm sure I missed a truckload of references, but it was still immensely enjoyable as a standalone experience, and makes me really want to play MGS4.

#15 Posted by Keeng (1002 posts) -

Play the MGS games in the order they were released. There's more to the series than it's story so it would be impossible to appreciate each game without playing them in the order they were released. You would be stunting the experience's awesomeness if you played them in any other order than 1-2-3-4. The first two Metal Gear games (not the first two Metal Gear Solid games) are passable simply because everything in them is explained in great detail throughout the MGS series. MGS2 is by far the worst one to start with for reasons that I can't even write here because they spoil parts of MGS1! MGS3 is indeed a prequel but it reveals plot points about the MGS series that won't matter to you if you haven't played MGS1-2. 

Play them in order for the above reasons and dozens more.
#16 Posted by samcotts (2258 posts) -
AutomaticSnake said:
"MGS2 is the most confusing one of the series!!! first time i played it i was like WTF and i played the first one.

You should start with MGS3, then MGS1, then MGS2 and then get MGS4 for PS3."
Definitely don't play them in that order, play them in the order of release. MGS2 is my favourite MGS game, if not my favourite game of all time, but I really recommend playing MGS1 first. MGS1 is a brilliant game too, so you should play it at some point anyway.
#17 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

MGS2 was the first MGS game I played 'properly' if that makes sense and it's still my favourite of the whole series. If it's your only option, then yes, start with it, but I suppose doing the series in chronological order would make more sense.

#18 Posted by brukaoru (5079 posts) -

MGS2 was actually my first Metal Gear game. Although I was obviously confused on many different things with all the references to the first game, I still enjoyed playing through it. I eventually played the first MGS, as well as the other MGS games and had a better understanding of the game.

Many people's opinion of Twin Snakes varies, I personally hate many of the things they did in Twin Snakes and at times felt characters did not act "normal." By this I mean that some of the situations that are in Twin Snakes has the characters act completely different than they did in the original MGS, and I found it downright silly how they changed some of these scenes. 

Anyway, It shouldn't be too hard to track down a copy of the first MGS if you get the MGS Essential Collection. 

samcotts
said:

"AutomaticSnake said:
"MGS2 is the most confusing one of the series!!! first time i played it i was like WTF and i played the first one.

You should start with MGS3, then MGS1, then MGS2 and then get MGS4 for PS3."
Definitely don't play them in that order, play them in the order of release. MGS2 is my favourite MGS game, if not my favourite game of all time, but I really recommend playing MGS1 first. MGS1 is a brilliant game too, so you should play it at some point anyway."
Chronological order makes some sense, but the way MGS2 ends actually sets up events in MGS3, so I agree with samcotts that it's better to play them in order of their release.
#19 Posted by Hexpane (1397 posts) -

MGS2 is easily the WORST game in the series for the following reasons

1. Not nearly enough Snake
2. Boring story told mostly through CODEC (text and static images on a low res display)
3. Not only is the story boring, it's told poorly with CAMPY HAM FISTED dialogue, and lots of long winded speeches about freedom and such
4. not only is the story boring, too long and ham fisted, it's also RE_USED from a bunch of other Anime and films, the story is NOT EVEN ORIGINAL
5. The character you play as for most of the story is considered the worst character in the MGS universe.   His special move is a friggin CARTWHEEL
6. Tons of naked men
7. Level design is the worst of the MGS series.  Lots of indoor hallways, metal stairs, ramps, more hallways...
8. Still has the OLD CAMERA from the PS1 game.



IMO the PS1 game is the first must play.  The story is much tighter and the characters are far more likable.  I wont give any spoilers but Sniper Wolf is something you have to experience

MGS3: Substance is also awesome.  They fixed the camera.  The levels are much better designed, more varied.  The story is also much tighter and less preachy.  The boss battles in are some of the best in the series.  MGS3:Subs really makes MGS2 look tired, boring and old by comparison.

They probably learned a lot making MGs2 but IMO it's like the series would have been better off if they just skipped it.

MGS3 is like a really good action movie.  MGS2 is like some really bad SCI FI channel saturday TV movie.

#20 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
Hexpane said:
"1. Not nearly enough Snake"
That was the point. If you really want to spend all your time playing as Snake, you're missing out on a lot of what the MGS franchise is trying to do. Playing as Raiden, a character who idolises Snake as much as the player does and actually wants to be Snake as much as the player does was so smart.

Hexpane said:
"2. Boring story told mostly through CODEC (text and static images on a low res display)"
I'll admit, it did get stupid towards the end when you had 45 minutes at least of CODEC but the story was fascinating. The problem was that the story was told in such an awkward manner that is never really sunk in until you played it a few times.

Hexpane said:
"3. Not only is the story boring, it's told poorly with CAMPY HAM FISTED dialogue, and lots of long winded speeches about freedom and such."
Isn't that everything in Metal Gear? I, personally, love all those monologues and speeches and while it is your entitled opinion if you don't like them, but in that case, what are you even doing playing a Metal Gear game?

Hexpane said:
"5. The character you play as for most of the story is considered the worst character in the MGS universe.   His special move is a friggin CARTWHEEL."
How is it a special move? It's simply evasion. At the risk of sounding elitist, most people hate Raiden simply because they're gamers and they want to be the big macho hero and totally ignore that Raiden is one of the most human characters in video game history.

Hexpane said:
"6. Tons of naked men."
I only remember the naked Raiden section which was quite good in itself. Raiden is also cute, so it's not like we had to put up with a polygonal bear or something.

Hexpane said:
"7. Level design is the worst of the MGS series.  Lots of indoor hallways, metal stairs, ramps, more hallways..."
It didn't seem any different from Shadow Moses to me besides for not having a big outside area and everything being orange rather than grey.

Hexpane said:
"8. Still has the OLD CAMERA from the PS1 game."
And it works totally fine in context. It's a complaint in MGS3 where you'd be spotted miles away by someone you never even saw but here, it still had the hide and seek mentality of the PSone game so it was fine.
#21 Posted by TeflonBilly (4713 posts) -

No, play MGS1 first. 2 is the worst of them all, but still essential playing if you're into the whole lore

#22 Posted by pixelrevolt (5 posts) -

Thanks for all the great responses guys. I played the first twenty or so minutes of it to get a taste of the gameplay as someone suggested, skipping the cutscenes and codec conversations so as not to spoil the story. While stealth isn't usually my sort of thing, I could actually see myself enjoying it after a while, especially if I knew what was going on and was interested in the characters and where the story was headed. For this reason, I have decided to stop and try to get a copy of the first game to play before I carry on.

As for which version, I'm sort of leaning towards the Twin Snakes for a few reasons; nicer visuals would be good, the changes to parts of the game wouldn't be a bother to me as I have no prior knowledge of the series, my Wii is always set up whereas my PS2 is usually not, and I find the Gamecube controller a little more comfortable in general than the Dualshock. Though I was wondering - while I don't know much about Metal Gear, I have heard about the odd amusing fourth-wall breaking moments, like being told to set the controller down and watch it move, and some comments about save games on your memory card - are these elements retained in the Twin Snakes version, or are there some things I'll only find in the original PS version?

#23 Edited by Hexpane (1397 posts) -
HandsomeDead said:
 
 

Hexpane said:
"3. Not only is the story boring, it's told poorly with CAMPY HAM FISTED dialogue, and lots of long winded speeches about freedom and such."
Isn't that everything in Metal Gear? I, personally, love all those monologues and speeches and while it is your entitled opinion if you don't like them, but in that case, what are you even doing playing a Metal Gear game?

Hexpane said:
"5. The character you play as for most of the story is considered the worst character in the MGS universe.   His special move is a friggin CARTWHEEL."
How is it a special move? It's simply evasion. At the risk of sounding elitist, most people hate Raiden simply because they're gamers and they want to be the big macho hero and totally ignore that Raiden is one of the most human characters in video game history.

Hexpane said:
"6. Tons of naked men."
I only remember the naked Raiden section which was quite good in itself. Raiden is also cute, so it's not like we had to put up with a polygonal bear or something.

Hexpane said:
"7. Level design is the worst of the MGS series.  Lots of indoor hallways, metal stairs, ramps, more hallways..."
It didn't seem any different from Shadow Moses to me besides for not having a big outside area and everything being orange rather than grey.

Hexpane said:
"8. Still has the OLD CAMERA from the PS1 game."
And it works totally fine in context. It's a complaint in MGS3 where you'd be spotted miles away by someone you never even saw but here, it still had the hide and seek mentality of the PSone game so it was fine."
Handsome, you make reasonable points and I can see you are a deadwood fan so I have a feeling you have good taste in media.

I honestly don't see how anyone can play MGS3 then play MGS2 and tell me the MGS2 levels are boring.   The entire raiden section (2/3 of the game?) is nothing but metal hallways, cubicles etc...  At the time I was like, well I guess they can't do any other type of environment w/ this engine.  But then you play MGS3 and realize how awesome they can make levels on that aging PS2 hardware.

Snake is not my fav vidoegame character, and quite frankly I enjoy playing as a female character more than a male. So I do not want a macho hero w/ a moustache.  I was hoping when I was playing MGS2 then when the mask came off it would be a chick, and I was confused at first, i was like, wait, where are the boobies? 

If "raiden" had been  a chick ninja instead of a Jpop boy band carthweeling crybaby I would have been ok w/ it.

But quite frankly your defense of MGS2 is so level headed and calm I am a little shocked.  Most MGS2 fans flame me to no end and call me "stupid for not understanding the story" when I complain that it was boring and poorly told.

Your counterpoints are so rational and even keeled that I really am beside myself.  I've never in all my years on the internet seen someone post pro MGS2 in such a matter of fact way, and with NO FLAMES?   What has the internet come to w/ rational people posting calm opinions?

Oh and pixelrevolt     PLEASE DO NOT PLAY TWIN SNAKES!!!  The PS1 version is better for many reasons. 
#24 Posted by Keeng (1002 posts) -

Raiden is one of the best CHARACTERS in a game period. There are multiple levels to his personality just like there are with real people. I love the hell out of Snake but there's more to MGS2 (and the entire franchise for that matter) than just his heroics. Vulnerability, like it's displayed by Raiden in MGS2 and Old Snake in MGS4, goes a hell of a long way in making a character seem like a person. I agree with Hexpane that most people don't like Raiden simply because he's not the guns blazing, shit-talking hero people think games are about. 

#25 Posted by Apparatus_Unearth (3245 posts) -

I'm pretty sure I'm on the last third of MGS2 and I'm loving it. It is totally crazy but if you give the story a little thought it does make sense for the most part, but only if you played the original. I just recently got my MGS virginity taken (See my thread in the original game's forum for that) and I am so glad that I played MGS first. The concepts that are introduced in that are great and really make what happens in the second game a lot more hard hitting, like the whole thing with Snake and all of the crazy revelations that go on. So, if possible, get yourself a copy of the first game and play through that.

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