This will be a three part editorial on why the Metal Gear Solid franchise is to me, the greatest story ever told in a video game. When Metal Gear Solid 1 for the PlayStation 1 came out I was around 13 years old and thus too young to understand the awesomeness of this game. However when Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for the Playstation 2 arrived; I was old enough to own my own console and had some money to buy any game I wanted. There was no real reason why I chose Metal Gear Solid 2. It was a complete random choice. One thing is for sure though, when I played that game I was completely sucked in to the Metal Gear Solid universe, and that one game remains to be the game that I have beaten more times out of any other game I have owned. I have played a whole lot of phenomenal video games in my lifetime, but as far as story and presentation I have to say Metal Gear Solid is the overall best.
This three part editorial is to show why I appreciate this game so much and to hopefully bring new people into this master piece franchise who maybe never tried it out before. I plan to go into depth about the genius behind Hideo Kojima’s master piece of a franchise, discussing the best parts of the series. This part of the editorial will focus on the Facts and the Reality that the series represents. Look out for Part 2 which will arrive next week.
What fascinates me about Metal Gear Solid is how well structured the whole story is, the series’s whole core is based on real life facts and events. The story is really at it’s beginning during Metal Gear Solid 3, which was a prequel allowing you to play as Big Boss. Big Boss’s story begins in the Cold War, and the story uses real life references and plays off of this to create a completely unique and believable story. Metal gear solid 3 is set in Russia during the cold war, and Naked Snake (a.k.a big boss) is sent into the jungle to rescue weapons designer (Sokolov) and sabotage the nuclear weapon known as the Shagohad (which if you will, can be regarded as the very first Metal Gear model). Even though Metal Gear Solid is not the first game, I am choosing to speak on it here because it is basically the roots of the story, and it shows just how much based on real life events the whole series is. The fact that the series uses real government events to fuel the fiction, just makes it all the more believable as every game is set in a different time line of real world events and issues.
Also the amount of knowledge the game spews out at you is overwhelming to the point you can actually have a history lesson while playing this game. They get everything right, from the weapons used, to the war techniques, to how enemy soldiers should act and react in certain situations, to how CQC (which is a real fighting type that soldiers use) is performed. Although many people skip through the tons of dialog included in the codec calls between Snake and his various mission contacts, they all include a lot of references to occurrences in the real world.
A lot of people may not appreciate all the facts in this series, but for me it just makes me feel like I am playing something very real. Which brings me to my next topic, the reality.
Metal Gear Solid includes a lot of fantasy elements from time to time; but everything is pretty much explained, thus keeping up the illusion that this could actually happen. For instance the Character Vamp’s ability to consume bullet after bullet, slash, stab and burns and not die, Is all put down to his nanomachines allowing his body to re heal wounds at a phenomenal rate. Every remarkable thing you see in Metal Gear Solid is put down to the fact that the government and patriot system has all kinds of crazy technology on their side. We all know that technology is ever evolving; so who knows what we will really be able to do 10 years from now, is it that far-fetched to say that eventually there will be a device that lets you scale up walls? Or a gizmo that deflects bullets? Of course we won’t expect anything like that next month, but who’s to say this technology cannot be developed?
Even the fact that Solid, Liquid and Solidus snake are all clones of big boss (Via a government project) is not that far-fetched. I am sure we are all aware that scientists have been working on cloning genes for years, and have even had success on some level (They have managed to clone embryo’s, and we all know about stem cell research).
This is why I love how this franchise raises these questions, and makes you think if the government are really doing these such things. I am not saying that everything in the series is possible, after all I highly doubt we will be seeing some schizophrenic maniac in a helmet moving objects around with his mind at any point in the future. For the most part though, everything you experience in the Metal Gear Solid games feels possible, this aspect makes all the conspiracy and mystery all exciting.
That’s it for this week, In part two I will explore the visuals and talk on why the characters draw you emotionally into the game. I try not to make these editorials too long as I know most people will not read, but for I also have to do justice for all the true Metal Gear heads out there such as myself. Stay locked to The Koalition, part two will be up around the same time next week.