In part one I spoke about how the Metal Gear Solid story really hits home when it comes to the facts and the reality. This defiantly has a significant impact in the story’s execution; after all if you’re playing something that feels so real, and so true then it is only going to grip you into the illusion even more.
With that being said, this week I wish to discuss the emotional impact and the characters within the Metal Gear franchise. These two go hand in hand; as once you begin to determine characters true thoughts, intentions and feelings, the game has a way of making you yourself emotionally attached to a certain character.
So let me begin by exploring the emotional side of the Metal Gear Solid story.
Beware of SPOILERS.
THE EMOTIONAL IMPACT
The storyline in all Metal Gear Solid games start out very sketchy, with you always seem to be knowing a lot less than you really should, considering your going balls deep into a mission all alone. Each game then picks up the pace easily within the first 20 minutes, and sweeps you into a roller coaster of emotions. Even the most mentally strong gamers out there are likely to feel, sadness, pity, anger, happiness or laughter of some sort throughout the game. The fact that the storytelling in each game arouses so many different emotions (whether felt by the gamers themselves, or just the characters in the game) just makes it nothing less than an outstanding display of humanity.
Every diehard fan of the series that has followed Snakes story from the beginning (and I’m talking about even the MSX2 Metal Gear games), felt a shit load of sorrow at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4 when Otacon spoke the words “Snake had a hard life” to young Sonny. Just for the simple fact that those words alone sum up Snakes whole journey. Snake was manufactured to do nothing but fight and anybody who has played through the whole series will know of all those scenes that bring up the harsh reality that Snake can never fit into real society. It may sound very sad (in a geeky kind of way) to those who lack the ability to comprehend what I am trying to say, but at the end of the day Snake is the main character of the series (even though he doesn’t even appear in one of the games, and a couple of the spin offs) and at the closing parts of the Metal Gear Solid 4 story, you cannot help but feel a little uneasy about the course your main character has taken throughout the years.
The combination of the characters and the plot twists which constantly take them by storm just continue to thrill the gamer, and there is no denying that. Many people get put off the first time they play a Metal Gear Solid game; simply because they’re not used to that kind of pace in a video game (I know you all just want to grab a gun and go crazy), but I can bet you that those who decided to stick it out for an hour at the least got sucked into the story. There is no denying that the constant emotional ride in this series is one of the biggest causes of the addiction to the storyline.
Metal Gear Solid has a whole ton of interesting characters that Hollywood would love to get their money hungry paws on. The great thing about them is that every single character you come across in the game has some kind of ulterior motive, whether it’s clear at first or not. Even though certain characters may seem to be siding with others, it’s made clear throughout the series that every one of them has their own independent thoughts, ideas and motives. After all, everyone you come across in the battlefield has their own tale of how they got swooped up into the storm right? Well Metal Gear Solid prides itself on not leaving anyone’s tale out.
The constant character development in this game is just absolutely incredible, and many of the great characters seem to have some sort of mystique about them, or something to suggest that they will play a huge part in the story’s conclusion later on. I mean damn, who in their right mind playing Metal Gear Solid 4 in the early stages would have thought Major Zero would become the huge significant piece of the puzzle he turned out to be? You never know what you’re in for when your introduced to somebody in this franchise, and that sense of mystery urges you to move on and on until you get to the bottom of it.
Also the fact that characters from early games you probably forgot about can come back and make you say “wow I remember him/her now”. For example, who even considered that Johnny (in Metal Gear Solid 4) was the same guy back in Metal Gear Solid 1 who had constant diarrhea and had his costume jacked by Meryl. Hideo Kojima’s emphasis on character development in this series just makes the game that more rewarding to play, and those who actually stuck with the franchise all the way through are thrown a lot of gems, which also help to tie the whole story together.
With characters such as Vamp existing in the game, how can you ever lose interest? Once you see a shocking scene from the likes of Vamp, it just forces you even more to try and get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding him. “How the hell is it possible for him to run up walls, and re heal his wounds?” you ask yourself; and the fact that you know it will all be explained, and it will even make logical sense is what makes sticking with the game all the more satisfying.
I could go on and on, but then who would even keep reading? Look out for the third and final part of this editorial soon, in which I discuss the emphasis of no right or wrong, and the morals in the story. Until then, try not to make any explanation marks appear over your heads.