Hideo Kojima’s award winning stealth action series is making its debut on the Nintendo 3DS. Billed as a remake of the PS2 sensation, Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D comes to the 3DS boasting improved visuals and a new experience when combined with all the features packed into Nintendo’s handheld.
Metal Gear Solid 3D essentially has the same story as the PS2 version which released back in 2004. If you don’t know already, Metal Gear Solid 3D is a prequel to the other Metal Gear games and acts as a history lesson for characters and story arcs in the other titles. You assume the role of Naked Snake who is later known as Big Boss in other MGS titles. The plot revolves around Snake being sent into Russia to save a scientist who is being used to create nuclear weapons. Of course with it being a Metal Gear game it features all the dramatic twists and turns you’d expect, add on to that betrayal, deception, and drama and you’ve got on hell of an engaging story in your hands.
Gameplay is what you’d expect. The classic stealth formula from the original game hasn’t changed one bit. Set-up much like Peace Walker, you’re put in segmented areas where you make your way from one end to the other. In between those areas you’ll encounter enemies which can be dispatched via your tranquilliser gun or any other means. A headshot to enemies will send them to sleep straight away or kill them if you went for the lethal method. You’re also equipped with camouflage which can be used effectively to stay out of enemy sight. Of course with it being set in the jungle, Snake needs to eat from time to time and there’s plenty to keep him going. Crocodile, rats, mushrooms and snakes are all some of the edible animals on show in Metal Gear 3D.
Visuals in Metal Gear 3D are some of the best yet on the console. Boasting graphical swagger, MGS3D maintains superb visuals throughout the whole game, showing off detailed textures, gorgeous vegetation and stunning lighting. Cut scenes still sparkle with impressive rendering and lighting whilst still maintaining that epic story telling vibe.
The 3DS doesn’t feature a right analog stick so the game assumes the same control scheme as Peace Walker on the PSP. You control the camera using the X,Y,A,B buttons to move the camera up, down, left or right. Holding the L button will of course bring out your weapon ready to fire with the R button. Weapon and item management is done via the bottom screen on the 3DS. Tapping weapon will equip it or unequip it, while the same method applies to items. Calling allies on the codecs is also handles via the bottom screen. Simply tap on the person you’re trying to contact and the conversation will take place below while still being able to play the game, one of the advantages of the 3DS hardware.
The 3DS analog works really well with this title as opposed to the PSP MGS games. It has a more comfortable feel and gives precision and durability which is a must for any Metal Gear title. The game also utilizes the 3DS’s gyroscope. When walking across unstable beams or bridges the game will engage you in a sequence where you have to tip the hardware left or right to maintain balance. This is a new for the MGS series and mixes things up in a way that provides variety.
The 3D effect is a mixed package. Ramping the 3D slider to full created a distorted picture in my view and ruined the gameplay experience for me. Once I found the sweet spot on the slider the game just did the rest. Effective use of 3D sees enemies appear in 3D in great detail, small objects also stand out in 3D giving a really unique perspective on the game that works very well.
This Metal Gear title is a successful entry into the series. It doesn’t try to change anything or add some revolutionary gameplay mechanic, it’s just pure Metal Gear just the way fans like it. The game is a must for 3DS owners but with the Snake Eater being bundled in the Metal Gear Solid Collection it’s a perfect solution if you want MGS on the move. It would have been ideal if transferring was on the 3DS for the MGS collections sake, but Kojima hasn’t got that in his master plan. Despite this though it’s a worthwhile experience for fans past and present.
Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D is due to release sometime in 2012. You can pre-order your copy here.