Monday, 10 October 2011

Looking at Video Games: Metal Gear Solid

And the fifth...

Game: Metal Gear Solid (series)
Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Japan
Genre: Stealth/Third Person Shooter
Year: 1998-2012
Cultural Background: Eastern

In the stealth/action series Metal Gear Solid, Players take control of secret agent, Solid Snake who is tasked with taking down military powers who are often in possession of powerful weapons known as Metal gears. Players control Solid Snake as he ultimately infiltrates the enemies base and defeats the key figure but with the key element being stealth. If snake is spotted by any guards who may be patrolling the area an alert will sound and Snake's cover is blown and the player must either hide from the oncoming guards or defeat them. Throughout the story driven game players are given objectives to complete before they can advance such as collecting key cards of defeating a particularly powerful enemy, players can also pick up various weapons to help them through their mission. Often the boss characters that the player must defeat become popular either for their back story or their design such as the character called "The End", an aging sniper who if you take to long to reach his area in the game will have died of old age. This shows the game is not above adding little elements of humour here and there to counter balance the very serious (all be it over the top) main plot. The key challenge of the game though is to complete objectives as stealth-ily as possible such as the game play below shows.

Many of the levels are based inside military bases but since the inclusion of the third sequel outdoor environments are becoming more clear. Being a story driven series Metal Gear relies on the characters and keeping the player interested in the story, most notable the Metal Gear Solid 3 was heavily influenced by James Bond films and the 60s era with the story being set during the cold war.

Another reason players come back to the series is the character of Solid Snake, starting out as a homage to Kurt Russell's Character from Escape From New York. The character is a strong male lead and is potentially what James bond would be without all the suits and dinner parties. The characters has gone on to be very popular to the point where he's had other appearances in video games outside of the Metal Gear Solid franchise.

The Metal Gear series appeal clearly comes from three points; Story, Characters and Game play. Showing that sometimes just the right combination of elements in anyone game can really make it memorable in people's minds.

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