Saturday, December 8

Metal Gear Solid The Twin Snakes Review

I played on: GameCube
I paid: £0 (Present from my Dad for Christmas 2017)
Available on: GameCube
Notes: Thanks, Dad!

The Twin Snakes is a GameCube exclusive remake of the PS1 classic - Metal Gear Solid. You play as Solid Snake, now retired after the events of Metal Gear 2. As with most retired legends, clich√© dictates that he can’t stay retired for long. Foxhound, Snake’s old unit, goes rogue and takes control of a base on Shadow Moses Island. This base is used to store nuclear material but the terrorists claim to be able to lunch a nuclear strike. It’s up to Solid Snake to assess these threats and rescue both Donald Anderson and Kenneth Baker. Of course, this doesn’t go as planned and as you continue your mission you start to learn that there is more to Shadow Moses. Although not as deep as later Metal Gear games this does a fantastic job at setting up the groundwork for future twists and turns.

All great stories need great presentation and with gaming, this falls mostly to the vocal talent. All of the dialogue has been re-recorded for the Twin Snakes and it works with the new exaggerated style of the cutscenes. Metal Gear has always been a ridiculous series but here the action is kicked into overdrive and I kinda love it. For example in the original PS1 version Revolver Ocelot makes his introduction with a speech. In this remake, he shoots at Snake who then does a backflip in slow motion to avoid the bullet. The reason this works well is that we’ve seen the PS1 cutscenes before and seeing them again unchanged would be boring. Although the story is the same the action is not and along with the new overblown reactions to everything it helps make this retelling feel fresh. This is not you’re 90’s Metal Gear anymore, it’s very much a product of the new millennium and the 00’s

Although the cutscenes and voice acting are great I still find the codec calls to be a tedious experience. This may be because I’ve finished the PS1 original so many times I could almost read the characters lines along with them. The first or even second time through the game the codec is not that much of an issue as the writing, interesting story and amazing voice actors carry it. However, when you’ve played the game enough the mostly static screen with 2 barely moving faces talking to each other becomes as boring as it sounds. You are able to speed through these by holding down Y which you can’t do in the original so that’s a very welcome addition. The fact still remains, however, that this is not the most engaging way to relay information to the player.

The gameplay although similar to the original now allows for you to hang over ledges, fire in first person, roll to cover and more. If you have played Metal Gear Solid 2 then you will be very familiar with the updated gameplay here. I was surprised at how much the little changes to Snake’s move set affected my play style. Being able to shoot out CCTV cameras or getting a headshot on a guard in first person felt amazing.  Suddenly a game I’ve beaten countless times and at one point could even speed run felt new. The only drawback to this improved gameplay is that the base itself is the same. This means that rooms designed to work with the limited actions of the PS1 game now feel borderline broken. Metal Gear Solid 2 limited the players use of the mini-map and purposely used smaller rooms with more corners and blind spots. The reason behind this is the player’s new abilities. You couldn’t quickly headshot every guard because they would be behind corners or on different levels of the room. In the Twin Snakes, however, the rooms are still mostly open and flat meaning that you’re too powerful for them. Still, if you’re a fan of the first Metal Gear Solid then you need to at least play this version. It feels so good to revisit these locations with the gameplay of MGS2. Just as a great remake should it feels both faithful and modern at the same time.

While I do find the new cutscenes to be silly even by Metal Gear standards they work as an alternative to the original cutscenes. Being able to see Grey Fox, Sniper Wolf and all the other members of Foxhound with these new beautiful graphics was a real treat. It breaks my heart that we don’t have an HD version of this for more modern consoles. As it is this is a hard game to find and as such is not cheap. Still, if you’re a Metal Gear fan then I’d say this is worth the investment because it’s just such a well-made remake.

Recommendation Rating: 8 out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment