Its realistic and emotional story was unheard of in the PS1 days.
Metal Gear Solid was a game unlike any other. Its realistic and emotional story was unheard of in the PlayStation 1 days. You really felt that Solid Snake was an actual person, not just lifeless pixels on a screen. The game is somewhat mature, with dialog and jokes for older audiences.
The story and voice overs truly are movie quality. It is equally balanced with dialog and action. Someone who does not like video games may be interested in this game for its story. Even with much of this dialog, the game is not boring. You feel for these characters and want to know what happens next, and even what happens after the game is over, which is why they've made four more games since.
This game may not seem as exciting in today's video game world as it once did, but back in 1999, nothing compared. You really need to play it before you play any other MGS in the series to understand why this game took off like it did.
The graphics for its time were decent. Back then I really had nothing to compare them to, other than other PS1 and N64 games. Though, the graphics are not sloppy, much work was put into the textures and level designs.
The main character, Solid Snake, is a special ops mercenary who has a long history from previous NES games and seems to have a death wish. You feel sorry for his situation and the fact that he has nobody to love or care for. All he seems to know is how to kill and save the world over and over.
The enemies are not too smart, or have very good vision, but if they spot you, you are screwed. This game is all about infiltration without being seen. You will have to use your gun, but it's best to try and sneak attack your enemy. Find a way to take out all the guards so you can advance. There are times that you will get into immense battles, so don't think there is no action involved. The game's slogan is "Tactical Espionage Action", after all.
Each boss is a unique character with his or her own fighting style and background. Many of these bosses you actually care about and feel sympathy for after killing them, and some you truly hate.
It had a really innovative weapon and control system. All the weapons were realistic, and there are more than just guns. Expect rocket launchers, explosives and suits that make you invisible.
The music is unforgettable, you may not like Celtic/Opera/Foreign music, but you will be singing this tune after finishing the game. The theme is actually a real song with lyrics, which I had never seen done in a video game before. Usually it's all instrumental.
This is Hideo Kojima and Konami's masterpiece, and you should feel honored if you were part of the experience during its release. At ease, soldier.