Evolution of the tree


Metal Gear, MSX, 1990

On MSX, Snake is wearing a similarly-colored sneaking suit and bandana to the Snake we know and love today. But where’s his face? Look – it’s just a mess of colored squares. And yet, if you squint, it’s Snake wearing the Solid Eye. OK, maybe we’re imagining it.

Metal Gear Solid, PSone, 1998

This is more like it. Snake’s now in 3D. Only... wait – he still has no eyes! He’s doing his best impression of French Stewart from Third Rock From The Sun. Brilliantly, you can unlock and ‘wear’ this blocky, flat-packed face in the glorious MGS4. One for nostalgia buffs only…

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, PS2, 2001

There he is. Look, you can even see his dimples. The extra polygons offered by PS2 allow Snake to have expression in his face (and eyes in his head). Admittedly, he only really has ‘gruff’ or ‘snarl’ to choose from, but it’s getting there.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, PS2, 2004

MGS3 gives Snake a much less roughly hewn look, with smoother cheeks and better hair. Mind you, that might just be the age thing. There was also the ability to add camo face paint, making this face functional as well as funky.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, PS3, 2008

What can we say? It’s a million miles away from the MSX sprite (or a few centimeters, depending how you look at it), but the PS3 Snake is stylish. Full of emotion, furrowed by age – Snake is larger than life on PS3. Would you go back? Nope, neither would we.