TURN TO CHANNEL 3: ‘Metal Gear Solid’ remains a solid stealth game even with dated graphics
I think the most difficult part of being a video game developer is realizing when your established franchise needs a reboot and, more importantly, just what that should entail.
Today’s topic on Turn to Channel 3 is largely considered one of the greatest examples of doing so the right way, ushering a whole new generation of gamers into the fold. This is a very important mission, so let’s delve right into “Metal Gear Solid” on the original Sony PlayStation!
“Metal Gear Solid” (PS1, 1998)
In one of those grand situations, “Metal Gear Solid’s” soundtrack was tailor-made for the game, with each tune of stealth and white-knuckle action composed seemingly with each bit of the game, each cinematic scene, in mind. Nothing feels out of place or boring in any way.
The sound effects are also pretty spot-on, and the voice acting (as cheesy and over-the-top as it can be sometimes) adds a whole new dimension to this franchise that previously was unavailable, bringing you that much closer to the characters and the story as a whole.
Sure, while looking at the graphics today, “Metal Gear Solid” is often regarded as one of the earliest forms of polygonal madness that infiltrated the gaming scene during the mid-to-late-‘90s but, in truth, it really wasn’t the design as much as how they were used. While not all, many cinematic scenes in this game still hold up pretty well, and you have to show some respect to developers for taking what truly was bland and 2D and making it into the closest thing to an action movie on our home video game consoles that we could have had at the time.
In addition, this game’s graphics gave birth to so many lasting and iconic characters, so I know I can look past those moments of blurry and chunky graphics that look archaic in today’s high-definition world.
What makes games like “Metal Gear Solid” regarded as one of the best in its distinct genre – AND one of the main components in others like “Assassin’s Creed” – and so successful is that they are still so much fun to play now in 2018. “Metal Gear Solid” has a compelling story, one that’s action-packed from start to finish, skills that are fairly easy to grasp (even if there are some moments that can be a bit frustrating) and, on top of it all, Psycho Mantis can go in and read your PS1 memory card! I mean, what other game does something like that? None is the correct answer.
“Metal Gear Solid” tests your patience, reflexes, and gaming prowess in a way that can be torturous and yet incredibly rewarding. You feel like you’re inside a movie in key moments in the game, and all of this stands the test of time.
For many gamers who grew up with the original PlayStation as their very first experience with video games, “Metal Gear Solid” is one of those games that has become synonymous with the console, and rightfully so. Sony was changing the way we looked at video games, and “Metal Gear Solid” was ushering in the stealth genre to a whole new demographic of gamers.
Ahead of its time, this game will run you between $15-$20 in most situations, if not less, so it is also a highly affordable romp back through the glory days of the PS1.
Next time on Turn to Channel 3, we head back to the NES for the follow-up to the original classic, “Super Spy Hunter!”
Until then, duck down in a cardboard box, stay cool, and game on!