Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #32: Metal Gear Battle!
Welcome to the Metal Gear Noob Diaries. This is the recounting of my experience through the MGS series from MGS2: Sons of Liberty all the way to MGSV: Ground Zeroes. I’ll be updating every so often with new thoughts on sections of the games and taking a look back at memorable and enjoyable moments. I’ve never played the series before, so for the fans out there it could be an amusing tale of one noob’s journey, while those as green as myself could well learn a little about the mad world of MGS. Enjoy!
Just as I start to lose a little faith in MGS4, the game pulls me back in with a play session sent from the gods! I spent about two hours with the game today and in that time I had the best session yet with Guns of the Patriots; just a non-stop thrill ride with twists, turns, comedy and plenty of brilliant action. Oh, and I got to pilot Metal Gear REX - so that was cool.
The session formed the tail end of chapter four, still based on Shadow Moses island. The classic sleuthing mechanics really are on best display within a tight environment like this. It did make me realise that I’ve started to lose my sneaking skills though. MGS4’s action focus stands in contrast with the largely-sneaky Sons of Liberty and Snake Eater, something that has made me rather sloppy when traversing the MGS world. Where I could once bypass enemies and machines with ease, I’m now alerting every threat I come across. It’s a bit sad, but my M4 has a tendency to get me out of the situations that would have killed me in the previous games.
Really though, the classic stealthy gameplay was all a build-up to the MEGA ACTION SECTION that would follow. Snake finally gets to Metal Gear REX, only to discover that the whole thing was a set up. Well, not the whole thing; Liquid did indeed take the nuclear weapon launcher from REX, but he didn’t take the actual weapon. So, predicting that Snake would make his way to Shadow Moses island, he has Vamp lie in wait. Which means a big ol’ showdown between the two legends and, naturally, a boss fight for me. It was a pretty simple one that essentially required me to do a little thinking as opposed to firing hundreds of rockets - which is what I tried to do first. Of course, Vamp can’t be killed, so the only way to stop him was to inject the creepy bastard with an anti-nanomachine serum.
With his nanomachines taken down, Vamp became mortal once again just in time for Raiden to bust in on the scene. Which obviously means a crazy duel between the two, although this time the fight took place within half of the screen while I had to take down endless hordes of Gekos on the other. A strange design choice, and not one that worked at all, in my opinion. I had to concentrate on shooting the mechs when all I wanted to do was watch the Raiden vs Vamp showdown. Really stupid. Thankfully, I did get to see the end of the duel in which Raiden deals the final blow on Vamp.
So with Vamp finally, actually, on death’s door, Naomi, whose allegiance is becoming increasingly confusing, rocks up to put him out of his misery. She created him, remember? Or at least she created his immortal state. Turns out they have a ‘thing’ - I’m not too sure what that thing is, but it’s definitely a thing. Well, it was a thing. Vamp’s dead now, for good this time, and so is Naomi! Apparently she had cancer that was being suppressed by nanomachines. For some reason (shame?) she stabs herself with the anti-nanomachine needle, basically committing suicide. Her death was weirdly dramatic, with piano concertos and crying Otacons, it seemed a little over the top for a somewhat minor character. Still quite sad, mind you.
Moving on, today’s session featured one of the coolest moments in all of Metal Gear Solid. After busting out of the Shadow Moses facility at the helm of Metal Gear REX (which was awesome enough in and of itself), Snake parks the weapon in front of a harbour. The camera slowly panned out over the water, and I totally knew what was coming. Metal Gear RAY busts out of the ocean with Liquid at the helm, and squares up to Snake and REX. An incredibly awesome little moment made all the better by the ensuing Metal Gear battle! It wasn’t the most technically astounding section in the series, but it was easily one of the coolest. I vaguely remember actually saying “ooooooooh!” rather loudly when it kicked into gear.
The whole scene (and chapter) concluded with Liquid getting the upper hand on Snake and almost crushing him with his giant ship-base-thing called Outer Haven (not Heaven). It’s Raiden that saves the day, but he’s almost crushed to death in the process. A really awesome little flashback accompanied his near-death, looking back on his relationship with Rose. It does kind of suck that she went off with Campbell - even if Raiden isn’t exactly in prime physical condition to lead a romantic lifestyle (especially now that he cut his own arm off). The chapter closes with Mei Ling rocking up with her battleship, saving Raiden and Snake, and taking them on board in preparation for the invasion of Outer Haven.
Everything's coming to a head.