Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is the third installment in the Metal Gear Solid saga and is a prequel to Metal Gear Solid and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Set in 1964, the game is different from the first two games in that it is mainly set in a jungle environment. This coupled with the arcane technology of the Cold War era makes encounters more difficult to escape if the player is caught. Stealth is very important to the gameplay of Snake Eater due to more advanced AI enemies. A new engine was created for Snake Eater in order to create a richer graphical experience. Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, directed Snake Eater and the game is generally seen as an answer to the criticism that was given to Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. An updated version of Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, was released on March 14, 2006, featuring most notably an improved fully controllable camera.
Traditional to the Metal Gear Solid series, MGS3 focuses on stealth and sneaking around enemies rather than straight up confronting them in a gunfight. If the player is spotted, Snake will enter an alert phase. At ALERT: 99.99, the enemy can see Snake and is currently firing at him. At ALERT: 99.98 and below, the enemy is still searching for Snake, but Snake is hiding. If the counter runs down, the game enters EVASION. In EVASION, the enemy is still looking for Snake, but not as vigorously. If that counter runs down, the game will enter CAUTION mode. The enemy has given up searching for Snake, but is still aware of his presence.
Because of the 60's setting, the radar in previous games has not been invented, and the player must rely on special equipment. The active sonar, when you press L3, sends out a rather noisy ping, and reports the location of all animals and people, but the noise the ping makes may alert the enemy. The motion detector reports the location of all moving objects, but not stationary ones. The the AP sensor vibrates the controller upon detecting an enemy. He can also use a mine detector to locate claymores. These items take up battery power, which refills when not using items that use the battery. If the battery runs out, the items that use battery power will not operate for a short period of time.
The game also has the survival system, which is new to this game. The stamina meter, below your health bar, determines how fast you run, how much your health recovers, and how well you aim. To replenish this, you can capture animals by shooting them or attacking them with your knife. You can them eat them, which replenishes the stamina in various amounts.
The camouflage system determines how well hidden you are in the surrounding environment. Snake has a variety of uniforms and face paints he can wear, each blending him in more or making him stick out more. If you get injured, you can use the cure screen to heal yourself. You can have various injuries like cuts and burns, and you can put medical supplies on him to heal him.
New to this game also is CQC. If Snake has a CQC compatible weapon, he can sneak behind an enemy and grab him by pressing the circle button and holding it. From here he can slit his throat by holding down the circle button firmly, interrogate the enemy by holding down the left stick, choke him by mashing circle many times, or walk around and use him as a human shield.
The camera in this game does not have a 3D rotational camera of other action games, but rather the stationary camera of past Metal Gear Solid games. The main camera is a roughly overhead camera, which can be panned, but not rotated, by the R stick. This was replaced by a traditional 3D rotational camera with full player control in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, an updated and improved version of Snake Eater. The other main camera is the first person view. Snake cannot move while in first person, but can see the world around him, and aim your weapon by pressing square. If Snake presses up against a wall, he can see the area around the corner, and can get and even better view by peeking, which is done by pressing L2 or R2. The last camera angle is infiltration mode. When lying down in tall grass of crawling through a hole, the game enters first person mode, but the player is able to move around.
Snake also has some items that he can use as well.
The player takes control of top operative Naked Snake, whose relationship to the series' hero Solid Snake is not initially explained. At the outset, Naked Snake is sent behind enemy lines via a HA-LO jump to retrieve a Russian weapons designer named Sokolov
who wishes to defect to the United States. Sokolov has developed an advanced tank named the Shagohod, which is a direct precursor to the bipedal Metal Gear weapons which threaten global stability in the other series installments. Snake is aided over the radio by new characters like Major Zero, Para-Medic, and The Boss, his former mentor. After finding Sokolov under strict protection from the Red Army, a new Russian faction is explained by Sokolov named GRU, a radical movement within Soviet government under the control of a Colonel Volgin. Snake and Sokolov are confronted by GRU soldiers as well as a young Revolver Ocelot, and Snake is able to escape them. On their way back to the extraction point, however, Naked Snake and Sokolov are confronted by the Boss, her former Cobra unit, as well as Colonel Volgin. The Boss explains her defection to Russia and gives Volgin portable nuclear shells as a gift. She demands that Snake give up Sokolov, but he refuses, and he is thrown off a bridge and flows downriver.
When Volgin, the Cobra Unit, and The Boss leave on helicopters, Volgin tests his new "gift" nukes on a Soviet weapons facility. At the same time, Snake flows down river where he has sustained gruesome injuries. After he heals himself, the nuclear shell goes off in the distance, and Snake is returned to a hospital. In the hospital, Major Zero educates Snake of the United State's situation. The Soviets believed the US responsible for the nuclear shell by Volgin as an US Airforce plane was in close airspace- the one Snake parachuted out of. Lyndon B. Johnson received a phone call from Kruschev to inform him of the situation. Kruschev explains that he does not believe the US attacked, but he is under great pressure in Soviet government to respond. He gives Johnson two weeks for the United States to prove their innocence by taking out Volgin. Snake is ordered to return to bring back Sokolov, destroy the Shagohod, and eliminate both Volgin and The Boss.
After reinsertion from a jet plane, Snake returns to the hideout Sokolov was just days earlier, where a woman on a motorbike named Eva confronts him. After explaining Adam couldn't make it, and a night of desperate seduction, Snake and Eva are confronted by Ocelot and GRU soldiers once again. Eva and Snake defeat the troops, and Eva has to return to base before Ocelot, or else he may become suspicious of their internal spy. One by one, Snake defeats the Cobra Unit members, including The Pain, The Fury,
The End, and The Fear. After infiltrating the base wearing a mask disguised as a GRU Captain Ivan Raikov who is friends with Volgin, Snake is found a fake by Volgin, and Sokolov is killed as Shagohod had completed production. Snake is then viciously tortured, where he learns of Volgin's "Philosopher's Legacy", a slush fund used by the United States, Russia, and China during World War II, but Volgin's father stole it during the chaos of the war.
Snake survives the torture, also losing his eye after Volgin ordered The Boss to kill him, yet she refused. He escapes with help from Eva by jumping off a high ledge into a gorge below whilst being followed by attack dogs and Ocelot. In a death like dream, players must walk Snake through a river where ghosts of all the NPCs the player has killed haunts him. The Sorrow, a former member of the Cobra Unit and Boss's lover, also haunts Snake in conjunction with helping the player receive the codec code to open the prison cell doors. Snake later infiltrates the base and places C3 charges around the Shagohod. But Eva was discovered in the basement looking for the legacy by GRU, and The Boss discovers Snake's explosives. Snake then fights Volgin, where Ocelot refuses to help his comrade.
Snake and Eva then try to escape, only to have the Volgin use the Shagohod against them. Finally defeating them both in an intense boss fight, Snake and Eva escape to a plane on a lake, where Snake has to confront the Boss. The Boss gives a speech about soldiers and being pawns for war. In an emotional battle for the player and Naked Snake, The Boss describes her relationship with the Sorrow, how they had a child taken away during the invasion of Normandy, as well as when the Boss herself was the ordered to kill The Sorrow during the Cold War. The player must then press the actual fire button for the Boss to die, and Snake and Eva escape via WiG to an Alaskan log cabin.
In the morning, Snake awakes to find Eva gone as well as a monogram left. In true Metal Gear fashion, the plot is all explained at the very end. Eva tells Snake she is not an agent for the Americans or for the Russians, but for the People's Republic of China. Her sole objective was to retrieve the Philosopher's Legacy from Volgin, however, she was recognized by The Boss, as the Boss helped train developing spy agents. Eva explains how the Boss wanted to relay a message to Snake. The Boss in reality was not a defector to the Soviets, but an American patriot to the end. Her job was to fake defection in order to more easily infiltrate Volgin's workings. Except, when Volgin used a nuclear shell, the Soviets needed someone to blame, and that person was the Boss. The United States used The Boss as a scapegoat to avoid nuclear confrontation, and the Boss knew all along she had to die at the hands of her apprentice. Snake is disgusted by the CIA director and President as they want him to control all sneaking missions within the CIA. After achieving the codename "Big Boss", Snake goes to the cemetery where The Boss lays with no name other than "Here Lies a True American Patriot."
After the end credits roll we hear a phone conversation between Ocelot and his Russian superior informing us that he was actually a double agent working to oust Khrushchev through his activities with the GRU . A subsequent phone call with the American CIA director reveals that he was actually a TRIPLE agent by the code name ADAM, the one Snake was supposed to rendezvous with at the ruined factory. He goes on to explain that he is in possession of the Philosopher's Legacy, that the Russians have a fake, and the game ends with his mention of Granin's idea to build a bipedal tank.
Here's a list of the bosses you'll encounter throughout the game in order of their appearances:
- The Ocelot Unit
- The Pain
- The Fear
- The End (if you don't kill him earlier in the game)
- The Fury
- The Sorrow
- The Shagohod
- Volgin and The Shagohod
- The Boss
In the Graniny Gorld Lab in the Lab B1 East area, on the desk of the Control Room, are several real life video game magazines including Metal Gear Solid 2 on the cover of one issue, Zone of the Enders on the cover of PSM and Metal Gear Solid 3 on the cover of GameInformer.
When Snake is thrown off the bridge the player is prompted to press the "R1" button. If pressed the player goes into a first person view through which he can see the skeletal corpse of The Sorrow.
When Snake confronts Granin in his office the player is given another R1 button prompt. If pressed the player once again goes into a First Person mode where he can see two models of MGS1's Metal Gear Rex and MGS2's Metal Gear Ray.
Most of the themes on the Snake Easter original soundtrack were composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and Norihiko Hibino, with further contributions from Cynthia Harrell, TAPPY, and Starsailor.
Composed by Norihiko Hibino
Vocals by Cynthia Harrell
Metal Gear Solid Main Theme
(Metal Gear Solid 3 version)
Original music by TAPPY
Arranged by Harry Gregson-Williams
On The Ground ~ Battle In The Jungle
Operation Snake Eater
Across The Border ~ Snake Meets The Boss
Nobuko Toda & Norihiko Hibino
Ocelot Youth ~ Confrontation
Harry Gregson-Williams & Norihiko Hibino
The Cobras In The Jungle
Old Metal Gear
Battle In The Base
Volgin, The Torturer
Harry Gregson-Williams & Norihiko Hibino
The Sorrow ~ Everlasting Fight
Harry Gregson-Williams & Shuichi Kobori
Clash With Evil Personified
Sidecar - Escape From The Fortress -
Sidecar - On The Rail Bridge -
Takin' On The Shagohod
Escape Through The Woods
Troops In The Gathering
The Return Of The MiGs
Don't Be Afraid
Composed by Rika Muranaka
Vocals by Elisa Fiorillo
Way To Fall
Composed by James Walsh / James Stelfox / Ben Byrne / Barry Westhead
Performed by Starsailor
Rock Me Baby
Snake vs Monkey