I’ve seen the light, ya’ll!
Metal Gear Solid, as a series, is known for many things; whether it be the auteur creator, Hideo Kojima and his somewhat eccentric, Tarantino-esque style of directing, the absurd, yet somehow badass cast of characters, the enormous innovations that the series made in the action-stealth genre or any number of things, Metal Gear Solid is arguably as legendary as the Mario franchise, The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, et cetera. Another thing that Metal Gear Solid is infamous for is a gargantuan, weblike overarching plot that was released out of chronological order. And as if that was not confusing enough, there are multiple characters and organizations who persist under new names, appearances and affiliations as the series goes on. I know, it sounds far too confusing, and you may even think that it is too puzzling to be worth attempting to decipher the plot; be not afraid, my friends. If you can be persistent and strive to understand the complex lore, the payoff is outstanding. There is a reason that the Metal Gear Solid games are as renowned as they are.
The miniscule amount of story that I have learned so far through playing only one game in the series and researching quite a bit of the lore has already whetted my appetite to hell and back. Kojima has crafted such a ludicrous, brilliant universe with fantastical, multi-dimensional characters and an imaginative military, sci-fi plot and setting that deserves to be mentioned in the same conversations as some of the most highly regarded novels and films in similar genres. He managed to make a distinguished, signature series that is iconic and unique to the medium of video games.
I write this with the tone of someone who recently found religion or that I have achieved some level of clarity I have never experienced in my life, and that is not far from the truth. While I have not just now discovered religion, I have only recently discovered how amazing the Metal Gear Solid series is. I did not play the games during my childhood or younger years, so sometime around the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, I decided that it was time to finally take the dive and experience the series.
With about a dozen games comprising the saga, I wanted to receive the story chronologically; starting with the Cold War-focused, espionage thriller Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Snake Eater develops the character of Big Boss/Naked Snake/The Man Who Sold the World/(fill in badass ambiguous pseudonym here.) It also calls back to a number of incredibly important organizations, side characters, future villains and more. Snake Eater is a phenomenal game from top to bottom, and a great place to start the series for newcomers. For those who are interested, the chronological order of the series is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Portable Ops (which has not been confirmed to be canonical,) Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Metal Gear, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and finally Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. For those of you like me, who are only just now starting the series, you can obtain every single game in the saga if you own a Playstation 3; there is a collection called Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection which has every game, except Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain.
I am ecstatic to continue my adventure in the world of Metal Gear Solid as I work my way through the series. You can certainly expect a healthy dose of Metal Gear Solid references in most of my work from here on and probably daily blurbs that are only textual vomit of my praise for the games. In all seriousness, I will try to write reviews for each of the games and try to somewhat journalize my adventure through each. It’s time to dive into Peace Walker.