"What a thrill, with darkness and silence through the night." I was coming up for 19 years old when Metal Gear Solid 3 landed on European shores in 2005, and didn't quite understand what was going on during its opening credits anthem. I understood the action-adventure stealth series had long been inspired by creator Hideo Kojima's passion for the James Bond franchise, but until that point, the likeness as I understood it was more of a mechanical one.
For all intents and purposes, Snake was a trigger-happy spy. He had an uber-intelligent colleague in his ear at all times, and had access to the most cutting-edge technology that helped get the job done. He fought scores of faceless foot soldiers, and some of the most memorable, larger-than-life boss baddies I'd ever seen before in video games. And, more often than not, there was a love interest in the mix in some shape or form.
It was all very, well, James Bond. By the time Metal Gear Solid 3 rolled around, I firmly understood the comparisons with Ian Fleming's novels and the subsequent multiple film adaptations – I just hadn't ever considered this would extend to the cheesiest of theme songs, with screeching trumpets and booming kettledrums and skin-crawling lyrics. That's exactly how Snake Eater kicked off 18 years ago, and I remember turning to my mate at the time and asking: What the hell was that?
When the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake trailer dropped at yesterday's PlayStation Showcase, GamesRadar+'s Hirun Cryer asked in earnest: Did it really have to be with such a bad trailer, though? And, honestly, I think the answer is yes.
Dealt a solid
Unlike its forerunners, Metal Gear Solid 3 stepped away from the first Solid games' industrial settings, and dropped us into the jungle. We could hunt wildlife for food, don camouflage that helped us blend into our surroundings, and wade nose-deep in freshwater lakes like a Second World War Commando. The Metal Gear Solid 3 remake trailer hints at all of that, with its on-the-nose circle-of-life theme, predatory animals, a body of water that looks similar to the one that houses The Sorrow encounter, and, of course, Snake camped in the drink covered in black paint wearing a bandana and a thousand-yard stare. And then it's game time, the camera swings upwards, the trumpets blast and the kettledrums rumble. "What a thrill, with darkness and silence through the night."
Simply put: it is cheesy as hell, and that's exactly what makes it wonderful. There are still some pretty vital details to be ironed out at this point in time – not least who's actually helming development – but it's reassuring to know that the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake's level design looks identical to the original, and that the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake is a "faithful" story recreation, but offers evolved gameplay and visuals. Even the daft delta symbol that appears to have replaced the number 3 on the end of the game's title feels in-keeping with MGS 3's self-assuredness – something that forced those behind the scenes to clarify, despite being unable to stop fans from clowning on it. "The Delta symbol was chosen because its meaning fits the concept of the remake project," reads this tweet. "Delta means 'change' or 'difference' without changing structure."
The Metal Gear Solid series has always boasted iconic baddies, but there's argument to be made that MGS 3 includes the best and most memorable. From a young Revolver Ocelot, to The Boss and her motley crew of dedicated and deranged denizens – The Fear, The Fury, The Pain, The Sorrow, and The End – I can't wait to see how each of these bastards is reimagined against modern expectations. Without spoiling anything specifically, I also wonder if the remake will include the same intuitive workarounds for certain fights that the game's original offering did almost two decades ago.
Time will tell, but I'm already confident the cheesiness that drove so much of Naked Snake's maiden voyage in 2005 will be retained this time around, god awful/spectacularly wonderful theme song and all. Whether you were around the first time or not, I guarantee the trumpets, drums and vocals are now stuck in your head for the remainder of the week. Get ready to search and melt into Snake. Or something. I still clearly don't understand what any of it means. What a thrill, indeed.
Check out everything announced at the PlayStation Showcase 2023