So I have never played a Metal Gear....Should I start here?

#1 Posted by jking47 (1209 posts) -

Hey, so I have never played a Metal Gear game. I know, I know, I have heard the hype surrounding them but I did not play this one so I felt like I couldn't just jump into the middle. With the recent news surrounding the series, Ground Zeros and The Phantom Pain (pretty obviously a Metal Gear game I think), and I have gotten interested. I have absorbed some of the story and some moments throughout the years, but I would not say I know what happens in each game or anything. I own the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, but I only bought it because a friend of mine who does not own any consoles really is into them and let him play, so I have those 3. I would also be willing to buy any others I needed to for the main storyline (I think only MGS1 and 4?). So my question, do I start with this and work my way through the whole series? Is it worth it? Since I have not played them I do not really know what I like that is similar, so maybe name something that people like for the same reasons and I can tell from that? I don't know, I am really thinking about it, but it is a serious time commitment and I just want to be sure before I start.

Thanks in advance for any help!

#2 Edited by midnightsandwich (25 posts) -

I'm kinda in the same boat. I bought MGS 1 the other year, new to the franchise, and played through it, highly enjoyed it. I'm now currently playing through MGS2 and working my way through the HD Collection. I am having to Wiki a load of stuff I've forgotten from having played MGS 1 lol but I do recommend you play MGS 1 first as it's a great game that ties into the second game. Just be prepared for a very convoluted plot

#3 Edited by haffy (673 posts) -

If I was you I'd only play MGS 3. MGS 1 is a good game, but I might just think it's good because I played it when it came out, so hard to tell if someone new to it might like it. Also some weird things in that game, like expecting you to look at the back of the case to find a codex number, which I didn't know about so went through all the numbers individually and psycho mantis fight. Can be really frustrating if you don't know what to do and can kind of feel unfair when you look it up. Absolute worst decision that still pisses me off now is how stupidly hard the button mashing was on harder difficulty's as well.

MGS 2 is alright. Story gets a bit too stupid in my opinion.

#4 Posted by GunstarRed (5047 posts) -

I think you will get more from the other games if you play the first game, especially MGS2. Yes, start there.

#5 Posted by Sayishere (1839 posts) -

To play MGS1 again might be hard to swallow, it just looks so bad. I would highly recommend finding a copy of Twin Snakes for the Gamecube and playing that, then continue with the HD collection since Twin Snakes is basically a remake (although some may arguably say an inferior version of the game).

#6 Posted by Rafaelfc (1318 posts) -

I also had never played an Metal Gear game before and started with MGS1 (the psone originals version), and had an absolute BLAST with it, loved the game and proceeded to make my way through 2 (the HD collection version) and I plan on beating both MGS 3 and 4 by the end of the year.

MGS 1 holds up surprisingly well, I didn't get stuck on any parts and the gameplay is ok (the stealth is obviously outdated, but it's manageable). The graphics may be an issue for some people, I didn't find it bad looking at alI, about 2 hours in I already forgotten games look much better now and was partying like it was 1998 all over again. But hey, your mileage may vary specially if you don't have any nostalgia for the PS1.

I think you should totally play it!

#7 Edited by AuthenticM (3700 posts) -

@jking47: As a crazy Metal Gear fanatic, let me be clear when I say that, the two MSX games aside, you need to play them in the order they've been released. Which would be:

-Metal Gear Solid (the PSone game; don't touch the POS that is Twin Snakes)

-Metal Gear Solid 2 (HD)

-Metal Gear Solid 3 (HD)

-Metal Gear Solid 4

-Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker

The first PSP game, Portable Ops, is canonical, but nothing in it is relevant at all. It wasn't made by Kojima and the way he's treated it so far reminds me of Sylvester Stallone and Rocky V; basically, it's as if he'd prefer the game to have never existed. Once you've played them all, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake are great pieces of history which have to be experienced if you are a MGS fan. Especially Metal Gear 2, which plays like an XBLA game released around 2008. It's crazy how advanced it was for its time (1990 !). They are both in the menu of MGS3 HD. You'll need a FAQ for both in a couple of spots, but try them.

#8 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3758 posts) -

You ask what is similar... and honestly nothing. I don't really know what to compare the games to. The story is so unique, the stealth in itself is quite unique compared to other stealth series, no series has boss fights quite like it... hard to pin down! I think it's worth it for certain to play these games, they are as I said one of a kind.

My biggest advice, please don't listen to people who say "X" game in the series sucks and not to bother with it. MGS has mixed opinions on 2 and 4 basically but IMO you need to experience them all because you could swing either way. For example, I didn't like 2 that much but some people will say that it's the best game ever. Some will hate on 4 and I had some issues with it but overall it was a pretty great game, especially if you've played the whole series.

Also, Twin Snakes is just fine. I'd recommend the original over it but if you can just find that game for whatever reason it's still good. The cut scenes were messed with a bit and became a bit ridiculous (that's saying something) but otherwise it's good.

#9 Posted by Benny (1948 posts) -

Play them all, if you don't find the less refined gameplay of the first few very fun just play on very easy or easy so you don't have to worry about ocelot sliding a long silver bullet into your well greased chamber. Wait what

#10 Posted by SharkEthic (1010 posts) -

Play them chronologically. You play Metal Gear for the story, so why would you skip a chapter or start in the middle? Plus, the game totally holds up.

#11 Edited by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

MGS1 is a great game. Yeah, it looks like shit, still fun.

Then everything goes crazy in the absolute best way.

Play them in the order they were released. Also, fuck Twin Snakes, it makes Snake Superman instead of Batman. Fucks with the atmosphere of you being a badass normal dude who fucks up all these paranormal assholes. Play the ORIGINAL MGS1.

#12 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3749 posts) -

@SharkEthic said:

Play them chronologically. You play Metal Gear for the story, so why would you skip a chapter or start in the middle? Plus, the game totally holds up.

Because of plot twists and story setups? Watching the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy before the Original Trilogy would completely ruin many aspects of the OT if you didn't know the plot points going in.

And with games, it's hard to play a more advanced version of a game and then go back and play a less refined version.

Unless you meant chronologically by release date, I think you're wrong, at least on your first time through.

#13 Edited by Abendlaender (2768 posts) -

That is creepy.

I just started playing MGS for the first time yesterday on my Vita. I think it still holds up, but don't expect good AI or good grafics (obviously). And if you can you should play it on a PS1 (not because of controll issues but because of a particular boss fight that is sadly a bit less impressive on the Vita)

#14 Posted by SharkEthic (1010 posts) -

@Wrighteous86 said:

@SharkEthic said:

Play them chronologically. You play Metal Gear for the story, so why would you skip a chapter or start in the middle? Plus, the game totally holds up.

Because of plot twists and story setups? Watching the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy before the Original Trilogy would completely ruin many aspects of the OT if you didn't know the plot points going in.

And with games, it's hard to play a more advanced version of a game and then go back and play a less refined version.

Unless you meant chronologically by release date, I think you're wrong, at least on your first time through.

Not entirely sure what you're getting at (don't know a thing about Star Wars), but I think we're on the same page:) I meant chronologically by release date, as in start with MGS, then 2, then 3 and then 4.

#15 Posted by SharkEthic (1010 posts) -

@Abendlaender said:

That is creepy.

I just started playing MGS for the first time yesterday on my Vita. I think it still holds up, but don't expect good AI or good grafics (obviously). And if you can you should play it on a PS1 (not because of controll issues but because of a particular boss fight that is saidly a bit less impressive on the Vita)

That boss fight blew my mind back in the PS1 days!

#16 Edited by Ducksworth (659 posts) -

I've been slacking on playing MGS4...I guess I might as well jump in and get through it now before Ground Zeroes comes out. I would go with what other people recommended and playing through the games in the order of release.

#17 Posted by Soap (3570 posts) -

Play them in the order they were released, references and story beats wont make sense otherwise.

#18 Posted by Mnemoidian (955 posts) -

Yeah, I'd play them in the order they were released (subsituting in the HD versions where available), not in chronological order of events in the games. Evolution of mechanics and controls will probably trip you up if you jump around too much, really! Also, don't forget to play Peacewalker. It's quite a lot different (has you gathering a team, etc), but it has a lot of interesting additions to the overarching plot. It fits into the story after Metal Gear Solid 4. Portable Ops is optional.

I would not suggest you hammer them out in a marathon as I know that they take quite a lot out of me when I play them, I would hate to miss any of the insanely nuanced parts of the game. Play one game, take a break for a brief while (play something else?) and come back ready for more crazy :)

The first game might be a bit hard to stomach due to the age of the mechanics, but I think it'd be worth it, if you can.

#19 Posted by Kill (298 posts) -

I still get chills thinking about that opening scene of Snake coming out of the water and the camera pan over the first warehouse. The PS1 original is a stone-cold classic.

#20 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

Play them in Order of release. Mechanically they get better since 1. But 1 has some great parts to it.

#21 Posted by SpacePenguin (476 posts) -

I would start with MG1 its still a great game. Without a doubt play them the order they were released it will ruin the story if you do it any other way,

#22 Posted by HistoryInRust (6276 posts) -

Don't cherrypick. Just play them all. For as fervently as people claim one is objectively better than the other, you'll see it ends up being a pretty even split, which means all the games have their own merits.

They're all a blast.

#23 Posted by Winternet (8008 posts) -

Play MGS4 first. Then if you really got into it, play the others.

#24 Posted by Stete (725 posts) -

Start with MGS1/Twin Snakes or Metal Gear Solid 3. I would actually recommend that you start with MGS3 since its the prequel. Then play MGS2 followed by MGS4.

And MGS Twin Snakes ain't as bad as everyone says. Sure its abit baffling that they changed some of the voice actors and went totally nuts with the cutscenes (I remember reading the guy who directed Versus directed some of the MGS TT cutscenes and boy does that show) but other than that its a pretty solid (pardon the pun) game. If you got a gamecube or a backwards compatible wii then you should definitely get that since it aged much better than the original PS1.

#25 Posted by JohnstonThistle (42 posts) -

Yes you should. It's the best one.

#26 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5808 posts) -

To get the most out of the story, you need to play all 4 titles in order.

Apart from the graphics, 1 has aged pretty well. It's still a really fun and unique game.

#27 Posted by Alexander (1721 posts) -

Twin Snakes is very good and has held up well from a visual standpoint.

#28 Posted by BoG (5185 posts) -

You need to play them all. It's best to play them in order, honestly. MGS3 is the only other starting point. It's the first game chronologically. It's also the best game in the series, and one of the greatest games of all time. Of course, the original is also fantastic. MGS2 is... also fantastic. MGS4 is my least favorite game in the series.

#29 Posted by Max_Cherry (1131 posts) -

Absolutely. Just don't submit to Ocelot's torture if you want to see the canonical ending. I recommend buying a Mad Catz Turbo Controller.

#30 Posted by Demoskinos (14591 posts) -

Yes, yes you should play the best game in the series. =p

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#31 Posted by KoolAid (855 posts) -

I would say play MGS1, but don't play Twin Snakes UNLESS you are an apprising game designer. That game is a great example in conflicting design. You get to see what happens when you take the mechanics of one game (MGS2) and put it in the level design of another (MGS). It just doesn't work...

And I think the cutscenes are bad in twin snakes, but that's just my opinion.

#32 Edited by GaspoweR (2835 posts) -

MGS was probably the game that sold me on how complex but still interesting storylines punctuated by cutscenes can actually work in a video game format. Plus, Psycho Mantis. People who played through MGS knows how ridiculous (in a good way) that boss fight is. I'd loved that game to death. MGS2 was kind of a disappointment but I kinda appreciate what it actually was in my mind, which was HIdeo Kojima trolling the fuck out of everybody in video game form. Skipped MGS3 and didn't get a PS3 so I don't have 4.

#33 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2214 posts) -

You should definitely play the first MGS as it's still a great game that holds up in the story and game play aspects.

#34 Posted by Xtrememuffinman (958 posts) -

Download MGS1 on PSN, and crank through it on easy. Story holds up, but the gameplay doesn't.
Then play through the rest in order of release, on the regular difficulties- gameplay for 2, 3, and 4 most definitely hold up. And even if you don't like 2, push through the series, as each game is radically different. 
 
Even as a mega Metal Gear fan (I have signed copies of MGS3 LE and HD collection LE!), I couldn't make it through Peace Walker. The controls were just horrendous on the PSP (stripped down to excess), but I might try again one day in the summer. Apparently the story is pretty good, even if the gameplay isn't.

#35 Posted by Hosstile17 (763 posts) -

The first Metal Gear Solid game is pretty crucial to a full understanding of what happens in the rest of the series.

#36 Posted by killacam (1284 posts) -

@haffy said:

If I was you I'd only play MGS 3. MGS 1 is a good game, but I might just think it's good because I played it when it came out, so hard to tell if someone new to it might like it. Also some weird things in that game, like expecting you to look at the back of the case to find a codex number, which I didn't know about so went through all the numbers individually and psycho mantis fight. Can be really frustrating if you don't know what to do and can kind of feel unfair when you look it up. Absolute worst decision that still pisses me off now is how stupidly hard the button mashing was on harder difficulty's as well.

MGS 2 is alright. Story gets a bit too stupid in my opinion.

Metal Gear Solid came out 15 years ago.. You're being a little harsh. MGS3 is a damn fine game, but the story will be meaningless without at least playing MGS. I say play them all. It's absolutely worth it.

#37 Posted by GnomeonFire (700 posts) -

The story is mad no matter how you play it.

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#38 Posted by tallTuck94 (553 posts) -

Play Twin Snakes instead of the original if you can it's got the improved mechanics of, and it looks a lot better.

Honestly with hindsight of the whole series so far it might be best if you play through it chronologically. It might be a bit hard though due to the varied array of machines they are on.

#39 Edited by xyzygy (9899 posts) -

Yeah, play them in order. I think the story peaks with MGS2, but in terms of gameplay they get better until MGS4. MGS4 is arguable the worst because of the shit story (nanomachines) and octocamo, while a good idea, is just kind of lame in how they implemented it. I felt that MGS4 was too dramatic and not at all introspective like the rest of the 3 games.

#40 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

Just go on YouTube with a controller in your hands and watch all the cutscenes and occasionally press 'A'.....then you've pretty much played the entire series.

#41 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -
#42 Posted by Carryboy (633 posts) -

Having played all but 4 and peace walker, would it matter much if i played peace walker before 4?

#43 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

Don't listen to people who say to play them from 3 first.

Another vote for order of release.

#44 Posted by jking47 (1209 posts) -

Alright, thanks for the input guys, looks like a vast majority advise to play through them all. I will buy it sometime this week and get started. Wish me luck!

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