For an outsider, it’s hard to see what’s so damn special about any 3rd person action-stealth game these days. We get a Splinter Cell almost annually and Vampire Rain ain’t exactly lighting the world on fire. So, why do gamers like us constantly heap massive amounts of praise for writer/producer/director Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series? Somehow, his successful formula of flawed characters, anime-inspired giant robots and whacked-out villains with more emotional baggage than your ex-girlfriend yields an endearing mix of battlefield drama and quirky comedy.
What lies ahead isn’t necessarily a list of specific instances, but rather a collection of Metal Gear Solid’s most defining attributes, and yes, we said Solid (we believe the original Metal Gears didn’t endear themselves nearly as much as the 3D era titles have). These attributes make the series what it is and are the things you and your friends never stop talking about. We’ll start with the most fitting entry:
7) Boss fight - The End
A telekinetic gas-mask wearing anorexic who reads memory cards, a knife-throwing bisexual vampire that runs on water and a…crusty old fart that falls asleep in battle? The MGS series is known for eccentric bosses and their famed soliloquies after defeat.
MGS3’s villains, while varied in combat, actually contain shallower personalities than those found in the previous entries. There are scarcely any haunting back stories, everyone explodes when they die and the cast list looks like a who’s who of GI Joe rejects. However, your fight with The End stands above for being a memorable, hour-long sniper battle.
Without radar to rely on, you’ll be using ‘60s era equipment and such as infrared goggles or a directional mic, while keeping your eyes peeled for any details that’ll give his position away. Take a peek through your sniper scope; see that sunlight glinting in the distance? Shoot it! What follows is some tense strategizing as you play a game of cat and mouse across three giant maps, trying to off this geriatric assassin. If you’re too slow, he’ll sneak up and either kill you or throw you in jail. Wait too long and your stamina depletes to the point of passing out.
While there are simpler ways to defeat him (changing your PS2’s clock, or sniping him dead earlier in the game), you’ll only get satisfaction after defeating him the hard way. MGS4 has given us relatively little info to go on in terms of villains (Liquid Ocelot and who else?), but we’re sure each boss fight will be just as memorable as the preceding games. Besides, what other game enables you to eat your enemy's pet parrot?