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Product: Metal Gear Solid
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Microsoft/Konami
Website: http://www.microsoft.com/games/
Estimated Street Price: $44.95
Review By: Julien Jay

Introduction

    Microsoft has recently unleashed yet another new PC game, this time it is named Metal Gear Solid. Konami, a recognized Japanese game maker, developed this new game. This game is a kind of A-List title for Microsoft since it is an adaptation of a Playstation title. Metal Gear Solid wasn't chosen hazardously by Microsoft since it was a best seller and sold millions all around the world (the version 2 of the game is anxiously awaited by playstation 2 early-adopters) at the time it was released, two years ago. This new Microsoft game isn't just a direct port of the Playstation version and we'll review what differs from the original release.

Installation

    As usual with all Microsoft games titles, when you insert the CD a nice autoplay box appears and lets you launch the setup that'll run directly in the autoplay window. The game comes on two CDs (like the latest playstaion release of Metal Gear Solid), however only the stuff contained on the first one is installed and you obviously have the choice of the setup type (custom, full or small). The game will take up to 300MB of space on your hard disk. Once the setup is finished you're encouraged to register your new game online first before playing it.

     

History

    The game contains a subtle scenario that mixes action and strategic espionage style. In the game, you incarnate Solid Snake (a secret government agent, veteran of the Special Forces and a tactical espionage specialist actually in a peaceful retirement.) Your mission will simply consist of saving the world, one more time, from an horrible threat: terrorists have invaded a nuclear military base located in Alaska and they threaten to use nuclear weapons if their requests aren't satisfied within the upcoming 24 hours, as well as kill their hostages. The Snake's mission is to infiltrate the terrorists' base in order to retrieve the nuclear rocket. The only problem to achieve this mission is that you start without any weapons nor special equipment, so you'll have to grab the stuff you need, step by step, to save hostages (when you can) and eliminate terrorists. During the whole game, more than 30 different high tech weapons are offered from classic rifle to submachine gunÖ More conventional material is also present in the game since you can use thermal twin, mine detectors. The scenario is pretty good and is served during the game by an exceptional real life game with pretty good graphics that'll hold you in suspense diving you in a tense atmosphere.

      

 

GamePlay

    When you start the game in the first mission launched (after some video sequences that provide you with chief's instructions) you'll discover cool looking 3D graphics: if the graphics arenít revolutionary they are really good though. Compared to the PlayStation edition, the graphics have been widely revamped, making your experience with the game new and exciting. Graphics are now more realistic than ever and feature richer, sharper, more engineered textures and unlike many ports of Playstation titles, this one allows you to choose from many different resolutions, not just the usual 640x480. To play the game you'll have to use the first person view mode: that is to say you'll see snake from a top position like if you were above him. If the point of view is very nice, moving the character isn't easy or intuitive so you'll have to adapt your game play to correctly command snake. New to the PC version is the subjective view mode that will put you in the heart of the action (this view mode can be restrictive and dangerous since it often hides some enemies that are just behind you). To save the world youíll have to progress discretely to approach your ultimate goal. To achieve your mission the only help Snake can count on comes from its Codec: this Codec is in fact a radio that lets you communicate with your superiors or third persons outside of the mission, so they can give some instructions about manipulating guns, finding workarounds to fight bosses, etc. Indeed the game is divided into several levels so when you reach the end of each level youíll fight a boss to go through the next level. Attention bosses are very hard to fight and it can take a long time to do so. During conversations using the Codec youíll learn more about Snakeís life, its relationships with women as well as the secrets its superiors are trying to hide. The moves snake can do are very elaborate and even too complex to manage, so youíll be able to order Snake to run, crawl, and hide himself sticking to walls so guards canít see him. Indeed your road to free the world from a nuclear threat is often strewn with pitfalls or traps incarnated by guards. As guards are clever if they hear strange noises theyíll scan the whole area and give an alert if youíre detected so other guards will run over to eliminate you: good luck! Hopefully when you start your mission if you canít kill guards you can strangle them. Just like in every good espionage game there are tons of secret passages, secret areas to discover by destructing walls with a pack of C4, etc! Metal Gear Solid is a real good espionage game since youíll really have to be sly like a fox to go unnoticed and to explore all the areas of the base to kill all the enemies you can! But if during your mission youíll have to kill guards most of the time you will also have to destruct tanks, kill wolves (attention thereís a funny detail: you donít need to kill young wolf since theyíll always take you for a father and love you just like a dog would). Somewhere in the game youíll have to save the daughter of your chief officer from a sniper once you managed to save her by killing the well-hidden sniper by finding the correct gun. You will always be captured here, though.  During this event youíll be tortured to death and youíll be given two choices: either you submit to the terrorists by telling them all they want to know (the colonel daughter will be killed), or you resist and you find a way to escape from the jail. Microsoft has also included in the title a bonus pack of VR Missions: if you choose to accept them youíll have to accomplish more than 300 of different versions where youíll have to use force proving youíve got a fast brain to foil every trap. During the missions youíll have to kill dozens of elusive targets but youíll also be able to embody a Ninja role to cut in pieces your enemies using a wide arsenal of furtive weapons. Thatís not all, you may also choose to be the Sherlock Holmes of modern times to solve strange murders. Finally the funniest mission may be the one where youíll have to kill the highest amount of guards in only 60 seconds as humanly possible but if that wasnít enough you may try to kill a 15 meter high guard.

             

Final Comments

How It Grades

 

Gameplay: 80%
Story: 88%
Graphics: 78%
Cinematics: 70%
Sound: 85%
Music: 80%
Manual: 95%
Interface: 60%
Overall: 79.5%

 

    Metal Gear Solid from Microsoft and Konami is a good adaptation from the PlayStation title. The game play has real pleasure and stays the same as the PlayStation version, even if it can be hard sometimes. Graphics were enhanced, the scenario is still very interesting, history is poignant, and bonus missions are included making it an unique occasion for PC users to discover Metal Gear Solid and to enjoy its goodness. If PlayStation players have no interest in buying a PC game they already know every PC gamer should do so. The only regret we have is the fair quality of the cinematic animations. Everything in this game is good like the original title even if itís not a revolutionary new game. During the test of the game I spent many hours playing with it, showing the game has a strong attraction power thatíll interest most gamers and stick them to it until they can beat it, and all this despite the game starting to show its age.

 

Specs & Package

Overall Score

79.5%

Version Reviewed

Metal Gear Solid UK

Release Date

Out Now

In The Box?

2 Game CDs
1 Manual

The Good Points

Great scenario
Original Title on PC at least
Good adaptation of the PS title

The Bad Points

3D Grahics are good but not awesome,
Fair quality cinematics,
Play mode can be strange sometimes.

Similar To

Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation

Reviewers' PC Setup

Pentium 4 1.5 Ghz
Intel D850GB Motherboard

Windows Millennium Edition
384 MB PC800 RDRAM w/ECC
DirectX 8
17" Sony Trinitron Monitor
Hercules 3D Prophet II Ultra 64Mb AGP 4x Graphics Card
Sound Blaster Live! Platinum 5.1
Adaptec 19160 Ultra SCSI card
Pinnacle Studio DV Plus
Pinnacle Studio PCTV USB

Microsoft TrackBall Explorer
Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro

DVD Pioneer 105s (16/40x)
Yamaha CRW2100E

System Requirements

Windows 95/98/ME/2000 Pro
Intel Pentium II 266mhz
32MB RAM(64MB recommended)
300MB of Available Hard-Disk space 4x CD-ROM Drive
Gamepad recommended
3D Hardware Video Accelerator with 4MB RAM
DirectX 7.0a Compaitble Sound Card
28.8kbps or higher modem for internet play

 

 

 

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