Metal Gear Solid Noob Diaries #4: Harrier Battle from Hell
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!
So today I spent a couple of hours in a section of the game that probably should’ve taken about a quarter of the time it took me. I’ve discovered Mr Ames, who knew the whereabouts of the President. Revolver Ocelot has rocked up on the plant and a big new kingpin is in play - Solidus Snake. He’s the third clone of Big Boss by the looks of things, although I prefer Solid and Liquid’s lighter touch to his mechanic presence. Raiden has finally put 1+1 together and realised that Snake is Snake, oh and I’m starting to warm to David Hayter’s voice work. Honestly, I still think it’s horrendously over the top, but I guess that’s part of the charm of the whole series, really. Gray Fox is back too by the way, he didn’t die... nobody apart from Raiden was surprised.
So while it was revelation central with plenty of great moments in the story department, the gameplay was really quite lacking, making it by far the most frustrating play session yet. Now admittedly, this lapse is largely my own fault. At numerous points during play I had to backtrack around the Shell to find crucial pieces of equipment that I’d missed the first time round. It wasn’t always my fault though, as the game sometimes forced me to rediscover previously traversed struts (the name for the individual rooms around the plant).
This need to hunt down specific items (AK, Sniper Rifle, Socom suppressor) that can only be found in one very specific place is a bit of a flaw in my opinion. It makes exploration a chore rather than a delight and proved to be horrendously frustrating. I ended up googling a walkthrough again so I didn’t have to check every part of the damn map. Turns out pretty much everything was in strut F. Stupid strut F. I know my overfamiliarity with modern gaming has made me a bit of a softy, but hiding really useful or even integral stuff in hard to find places is a bit of a dick move. Sorry.
So that’s the main thing I took from today’s session, but it wasn’t short of awesome moments as well. The big Harrier battle at the end was fun, even if it was a little on the easy side. Posing as a guard and smuggling my way into the Big Cell core was pleasing, although I wish someone could have told me that walking into the other guards was a bad idea. Plus, getting hold of that Socom suppressor means I can, from now on, kill guards silently; which is sure to be a godsend. We shall see.