Here's an account of my time with MGS3, which I'm playing for the first time after being inspired by Metal Gear Scanlon 1 and 2. I recently beat MGS2 and really loved it, so now I'm off to see what kind of crazy shit 3 has to offer.
Day 1, hours 00-02
Alright, this game is set before the events of the first game(I think). Kind of a bummer, but that leaves the interesting stuff for the PS3 to handle, so that's cool I guess. Very similar opening to the previous games so far. I'm some dude named Jack, or Naked Snake-- AKA Big Boss. I'm curious to learn more about The Boss and what impact she'll have on the story. She seems pretty mysterious. Snake has weird blue eyes.
I guess I bought the other version of MGS3, Subsistence. It asked me at the beginning if I liked MGS1, 2 or 3, or I could also pick "I'm new to the MGS series". I didn't really know the difference that each option would have on the game, so I just picked the MGS3 one, thinking it was the safest, "purest" choice. I immediately switched over to Normal mode for the camera option, as third person mode just didn't feel right. So far, I'm kind of disappointed that they take away your permanent radar. Not knowing where the sentries are looking or where they are at all times really changes the flow of the game, and I'm not a huge fan. But maybe that'll change or I'll get used to it. I hardly did any stealth stuff because of the change, though, opting instead to just plow my way through and hope I'd be alive at the end of it. The shotgun is an amazing weapon.
I ended my session with the rescue of Sokolov, who told me about GRU and Volgin. Then "Ocelet" popped up and fucked shit up. That guy is Revolver Ocelet, right? I tried shooting him in the face when he was knocked out and the game immediately ended. Maybe he's important.
Day 1, hours 02-03 (spoilers below)
So some stuff went down in this part, and I don't really know what is going on at this point. Boss lady betrayed our unit and gave electric dude, Volgin, some recoilless nuclear warheads. Also there's a ghost man and Solokov is kidnapped by the king of hornets. And then there's this guy:
Then a bunch of cutscenes happen and the long and short of it is that we have to kill Boss and Volgin or else America gets nuked.
I also got to experience a little more gameplay. Is it me, or are the enemies like 10 times more difficult than they were in the other games? It's basically impossible to sneak up behind them and there's no neck-break move to my knowledge. They're really good at swinging at you with their knives and it takes like 10 bullets to put them down unless you get a headshot, which makes sense, but… I don't know. I'm only playing on Normal and it doesn't seem too bad, but that encounter with the Ocelet guys took me a good 15-20 minutes before I could move on. It's a nice change that they've made those guys a bit more challenging, but I'm pretty terrible at that stuff so I can foresee some future difficulties. I couldn't imagine playing this game on European Extreme.
I also changed back to third person view, and the game makes a lot more sense now. I crossed some electric fences and am now in front of some sort of military base thing, and there are a bunch of dudes everywhere. Metal… Gear?
Day 2, hours 03-05
I decided to kind of just run through the base thing because I wasn't having much luck in sneaking up on guys to take them out. I've been trying to use the d-pad to walk up behind enemies, but I move so slowly when doing that and enemies can just whip around at any moment and spot me from across the map it seems like. I picked up an AK-47 from a building and then barreled my way onto the next area, where I encountered Ocelet again.
I think it was in this fight that I really started to dislike the whole backpack system, constantly having to go in and equip weapons and items, heal my wounds and cuts, burn leeches off my body, take tummy ache pills and eat rats. I might warm up to it at some point, but right now it's just a chore to manage all of that stuff.
Anyways, in this game I feel like I'm doing everything the wrong way. The fight with Ocelet was mainly me just fumbling around trying to grapple with the aiming system to get a shot on him until he died. I tried lobbing those incendiary grenades at him from the tree, but that wasn't working out so great. It's kind of hard to aim those grenades. After beating him, I was attacked by bees and then spent half an hour trying to navigate my way through some dark caves. Fun stuff. I felt like I was 10 years old again, trying to get through that tunnel in the Pokemon Red/Blue games without having the proper HM. Luckily, things start to brighten up when the game figures you're an idiot and need some help.
Then I ran into The Pain. He threw some hornets at me, I shot some bullets at him. After killing him, Zero calls me up and assumes I know who these people are? I know the Boss is leading them and they're the Cobra unit or whatever, but other than that, I know next to nothing about these people. I should probably pay more attention to using the codec to get info like that. I don't know how the hell I'm going to beat the Boss, considering how she completely kicked my ass on two separate occasions.
Day 3, hours 05-14, game beaten
I didn't really enjoy this game as much as I wanted to. The big twist at the end didn't have much payload. MGS2 had smoother gunplay and an overall better combat system IMO. The stealth stuff doesn't work that well. It just feels weird, ineffective, and out of place. I think this game is good, but it would not be the one that I'd point to if someone asked me which MGS they should take a look at. In a nutshell, pretty lukewarm experience.
Godspeed, Drew and Dan.