The Metal Gear Franchise is one of the longest running and most fascinating series in all of gaming. Taking inspiration from film and the gaming medium itself this series has sneaked its way into the hearts and minds of many gamers the world over. The series took a turn when brought to three dimensions in 1998. It turned from being a clever action/ stealth game into a three dimensional narrative driven stealth game with the first real use of modern cutscenes to progress the story while bringing life and personality to these characters. It was a landmark title that changed the face of gaming. It’s influence still is far reaching and felt in the newest games to this day. It’s an impressive feat for any individual title to do. Instantly becoming a classic that changes everything is a rarity and Metal Gear Solid did this. With all of these accolades and accalaim I began to realize that I have never played it myself. I knew of its impact and I knew of its legacy, but I never got the opportunity to play it for myself. I realized that I really should take a good, long look at this series and while the original Playstation Game is a masterpiece I wanted to check out the story with improved graphics. This desire to play it upgraded led me to diving into the Gamecube classic remake, Metal Gear Solid: the Twin Snakes. Twin Snakes was released in 2004 and what it did was take the original Metal Gear Solid and put it in the engine for Metal Gear Solid 2, creating a much better looking remake. I didn’t know what to expect from the game, but what I found was a surprisingly deep and thrilling experience that deserved to be reviewed and dissected.
Hideo Kojima is the mastermind behind the Metal Gear Franchise. His vision stems past the gameplay and often into the narrative and the characters, which are all extremely top notch. This remake was done by Silicon Knights, but the story presented in the original is brought back here with the majority of the original voice cast. The story follows Solid Snake on a covert mission to stop the members of Foxhound who are threatening to use the Metal Gear weapon to launch a nuclear attack. Snake with the help of the Colonel Campbell and the rest of his team have to stop this potential threat while Snake tries to discern the secrets and lies that have been told to him.
It’s an incredibly dense story, which is extremely cinematic and also has moments of humor that’s both intentional and unintentional. The original game’s story was ahead of its time in terms of cinematic storytelling in a game, but Twin Snakes is able to take the iconic moments from that game and highlight it with the improved visuals and updated voice acting. These improvements are able to present the iconic scenes from the original game in a way that feels fresh. This was my first time living through the story. It was a thrill to experience the twists the story takes as well as the appearance of several very memorable characters. These characters define what makes the story good and how it all culminates into a thrilling narrative experience in the end.
The main draw to any game is that of gameplay and the mechanics. This game in particular is a stealth oriented game. The fun and skill comes in through avoiding being detected because if you are detected you are vulnerable to being killed. The controls are adapted in this remake to the Metal Gear Solid 2 engine so the controls are tight and feel fluid. The bulkiness of its controls emphasizes the importance in stealth and each movement you make reflects that. The Gamecube controller is one of the best controllers to have ever been made and it’s rigid feel is complimented by the gameplay of this game.
The game offers players a wide range of weapons and gadgets that they can use to get through as sneakily as possible, but there are moments where stealth is more dangerous than beneficial and that comes into play into the epic boss battles. Each of the villains you face off with are memorable and they all have their own unique qualities to make them all fun and challenging. With those that have played it, the fight with Psycho Mantis is one of the most fun fights I’ve had in a video games. The implementation of clearly action settings set against stealth moments allow for the game’s narrative to drive an exciting adventure that keeps you engaged the entire time with no moment feeling tedious or boring.
The gameplay is incredibly dense and exciting and certainly is one of the best elements to what makes this game work so incredibly well. Even to someone who is new to the franchise like myself.
Twin Snakes Changes From Original
Twin Snakes does a lot of interesting things to Metal Gear Solid. It completely remakes the entirety of the original game in the engine of Metal Gear Solid 2, which came out a few years prior to this. What this means is that the controls are a bit smoother especially with the ability to shoot your weapons in first person, which helps a lot. The cutscenes are also completely remade with new recordings from many of the same voice actors as well as extended moments of stylish action that’s present in MGS 2.
The changes in this from what I’ve seen has been met with mixed reactions from fans, but having played this first I felt like all of these moments just helped it to fit into the series well. The stylish action is beautifully done even if it is completely silly and the voice acting is excellent all around. This version is excellent for those that want a more visually modern approach to the same story and gameplay. It’s certainly worth a look even for fans of the original to see how everything was changed around and it’s certainly one of the most extensive remakes of a game. Twin Snakes stays true to the series and to the original game, while also tweaking certain elements to make it fit more in line with the second game.
Metal Gear Solid The Twin Snakes is a triumph of a game. Taking the elements that worked in the original, while also updating and changing a few things makes this experience something special. With this being my first Metal Gear game I’ve played I may have a different view from those that are huge fans of the series. Even with this though I have nothing but praise for it. I do not have many criticisms outside of some of the long winded cutscenes. The game has firmly planted itself in my mind as one of my favorite games of all time and I certainly wouldn’t mind playing through it again. I highly recommend it.