Poll Winner: METAL GEAR SOLID
Developed by Konami and released in 1998, Metal Gear Solid was directed, produced and written by Hideo Kojima. Kojima is now synonymous with the Metal Gear Solid franchise and its because of his love and dedication that the series has been so spectacular. The game features Solid Snake, a secret agent who must invade a military base without being detected, discovering sinister plans, plot twists and interesting characters along the way. Metal Gear Solid was only for the Playstation and had significant success in sales and review scores, helping it spawn several sequels over the next couple decades. It was later rereleased on the GameCube as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes.
There isn’t much to comment on towards Metal Gear Solid‘s cover art. Visually the game holds up surprisingly well for one that had made a valiant attempt at looking realistic. In the graphics department the game is definitely in the top echelon in its generation. Musically Metal Gear Solid holds up incredibly also, with a soundtrack that helps set the tone of this game being basically a play along secret agent movie and less of a traditional video game. Nothing helps set that tone better than the intro of the game, which sets up the story and characters with Hollywood quality camera angles and cuts that made me forget I was playing a video game for a few minutes. There are also small touches, like the mind-blowing moment when Psycho Mantis somehow knows what you’ve been playing or watching recently on your PlayStation (reads the memory card). Superb voice acting adds to the experience, making me feel like I was listening in on actual real life conversations. It was so good in fact that it helped these fantastical, outlandish characters like Psycho Mantis and Revolver Ocelot feel somehow grounded in realism. Everything is set up to immerse the player in the game/movie and pulls the task off beautifully.
As far as the story itself (I may get crucified for this) I am not a huge fan. The story is interesting enough that it keeps me engaged, but the word convoluted does not even begin to describe the plot that this series has shaped into over the years. I love the stealth gameplay of Metal Gear Solid, which rewards patience and intelligence. The style of the gameplay holds up well with time, as it doesn’t rely on killer graphics to be fun or rewarding. Exploring isn’t required, but is rewarding, adding more time and interest to a game that is already a healthy length.
The only place I really found Metal Gear Solid lacking was in the controls at some points in the game. Choosing your weapon and changing the camera are not easy tasks, especially in a frantic point of the action. Later Metal Gear Solid games improved upon these small issues and I’m thrilled with that. Of all the games of the Saturn/PS1/N64 games I’ve played lately I have to say Metal Gear Solid may just hold up the best out of all of them. The energy, interesting characters and killer gameplay age even better than Big Boss himself.