Metal Gear: 30 Years Of Mayhem And Meta Madness (Part Two)

By GlobaX Gaming Staff

Licensed by Shutterstock

Licensed by Shutterstock

We’re back! Did you enjoy our last instalment? Or did the nanomachines in your blood merely make you think you enjoyed it? How can you know if the last article was real, or merely a simulation? When Jennifer talked about Snake’s butt, was that really Jennifer or was it a super-powered, butt-obsessed clone?

We can never truly know. But what we do know is, it’s time to finishing running down the series on the Metal Gear games. Strap in!

Metal Gear 3: Snake Eater (2003, PlayStation 2)

Whoa here she comes
Watch out boys, she’ll chew you up
Whoa here she comes
She’s a Snake Eater

Okay, sorry. Ben informed me that some people, himself included, do not really like MGS3. These people, in addition to being incorrect, are all beardy intellectuals who would rather stroke their chin thoughtfully while smoking a pipe than play an actual fun video game (Ben is technically my boss, by the way).

Metal Gear Solid 2 has its moments, but Hideo Kojima is not as clever a lad as he thinks he is, and a result any political or social statements in MGS2 are hideously muddled and are of primary school subtlety at best.

Metal Gear Solid 3 is not only the greatest Metal Gear game, it’s the greatest stealth action game ever. Full stop. It’s not as byzantine and surreal as MGS2, but it’s not just a dumb action game. The stealth is really good, especially with the improved controls of the PS3 version. It’s also a sly, well-executed deconstruction of both James Bond and prequel tropes, playing with player expectations in a way that’s surprising but less alienating than other instalments. (Terri Rose)

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008, PlayStation 3)

Hey kids! Wanna buy some…satire?

Metal Gear Solid 4 begins with some delirious, off-putting live action programming from MGS 4’s dystopian military-industrial complex and just goes from there. I’m personally of the mind that all of MGS4’s theatrics and political commentary are better executed than those of MGS2’s, particularly coupled with series-best gameplay.

As for the story…well, let’s just say the ending isn’t the best thing Kojima has ever written. But let’s be honest with ourselves, aren’t bizarre plot twists that don’t track with previous events or make a lick of sense what this series is all about? When you really come down to it?

I don’t know. Metal Gear is a tough series to love sometimes, especially when you actually sit down and read a plot summary, but they’re just so fun to play! And MGS4 is the most fun, in my view. (Jennifer Çalheiros-Martin)

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (2013, Multi-Platform)

Here’s a take that may or may not be a hot one: I love Metal Gear Rising. I want more Metal Gear Rising. I want to play as cyborg Raiden in a kinetic hack-and-slash that, along with the Bayonetta games, made me love 3D beat-em-ups. It’s a fun, well-paced game with superior mechanics to something like Devil May Cry.

Is it the most thrilling entry story-wise in the MGS canon? Not at all. Does it play with genre conventions and make the player think about what it truly means to play a game? Hell no! And it doesn’t need to be. You’re a cyborg on a killing rampage — what else do you need? (Ben Beck)

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (2014, PlayStation 4)

Here’s a bit of an odd one — this isn’t really the fifth Metal Gear Solid game, but rather a standalone prequel mission to the final instalment. I guess it’s a little like Kojima’s other standalone prequel, P.T., except that game is a classic and Ground Zeroes is easily the worst mainline instalment in the Metal Gear franchise.

It’s not that it’s a bad game, not entirely. Mechanically it’s a fine game, introducing some of MGS5’s new stealth system and various other gameplay features. But on a fundamental level, this game shouldn’t exist. It does nothing to justify its standalone existence in terms of plot or mechanics, and while it’s tempting to call it a cash grab from the big bad Konami it does seem like it was Kojima’s baby from the start. (David McDougal)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015, PlayStation 4)

More so than any other game in this franchise, Metal Gear Solid V seems like a product of its time. The series, through its ups and downs, has always been mostly an innovator. With Metal Gear Solid V, the open world and interconnecting systems make it seem like one of Ubisoft’s annual instalments more than a Metal Gear Solid game.

And the plot? Well, I can’t honestly say I was particularly overwhelmed by the plot’s brilliance. It’s rote MGS meta machinations for the most part, and the addition of a distractingly mo-capped Kiefer Sutherland adds nothing.

All this being said, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a good time with the game. It’s a disappointing note to go out on for Kojima, but the game looks, sounds, and feels absolutely terrific. There is a level of polish and care here that makes up for a lot of the game’s weaker aspects, and it’s absolutely worth playing even if you’re not a Metal Gear Solid completionist. (Terri Rose)