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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Metal Gear

It’s the 1960s, Vietnam. B52s rule the skies and the US Army are bogged down in bloody guerilla warfare. It’s a battle of ideologies, a battle of instincts. One commando, known only as ‘Snake’ is fighting for survival in the jungle. Here, it’s eat or be eaten, hunt or be hunted, kill or be killed. Welcome to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.

So why ‘Snake Eater’? Is this another mistranslation or what? Well, no, not exactly. ‘Snake Eater’ is a general term used to describe American Commandos. Before Fox-Hound (circa; Metal Gear 1 & 2: MSX), Solid Snake was one of these so-called Snake Eaters with a speciality in jungle warfare and infiltration.

There’s one problem though – Snake wasn’t born until the 1970s, and clearly the game is set in the 1960s. There’s also a mixture of technology shown, which doesn’t fit in with the Vietnam era. Hmm.. So has Konami got it wrong? Well, Hideo Kojima is quite stubborn on the issue of MGS3’s story and has swore not to reveal anything until sometime either later this year or early next.

There’s a new game engine, which has been used to take advantage of the new, wide-open jungle levels. It has also been made with online play in mind, which may be in the final game if time allows. Snake can now perform more moves, such as climbing trees, hanging from branches and shooting, slicing throats and swimming. Of course, there’s all the usual MGS gameplay in place, sneaking around, breaking necks and the such.

One cool new element is food. Snake will have to feed himself this time to stay alive. He must keep his eyes open and his gun ready to kill and catch his prey ranging from large freshwater fish to, you guessed it, Snakes. Over time, Snake will aquire tastes for different types of animals and dislikes for others. The more he eats what he likes, the better off his health is. But don’t expect the animals to just sit there and wait for you to kill them, because as always in a Metal Gear game; nothing comes easily.

The environment you fight in will affect your progress more this time around. You’ll be able to change your camouflage to blend in with your surroundings. Night will turn into day and back to night in real-time allowing more diverse tactical options. Nature will fight Snake each step of the way, as wind and rain will beat down on him at some of the most inopportune moments.

Weapons-wise, all we’ve seen are a knife, an AK47, M16, grenades, flares, a shotgun and a silenced pistol. Presumably you’ll be able to take weapons from fallen enemies to use them yourself. It’s also unknown if the stealth suit, the cardboard boxes and the camera will return.

The graphics look frankly excellent. The game runs at a smooth 60 FPS and the visuals are as crisp as they come. Water and rain are modelled realistically and explosions seem to throw up earth and water. We’ve also seen some destructible scenery.

Well, there’s over a year of waiting, with the release set for autumn 2004. MGS3 will also be exclusive to PS2. Kojima will undoubtedly show-off more trailers and more abilities for Snake as time goes on, so we’ll keep you updated. Hungry for some Snake? Hell yes!

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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