[FEATURE] Retro Reviews: Metal Gear (1987)

Posted on Jun 5 2014 - 6:17am by Patryk Thomas

Metal_Gear_-_1987_-_Konami

Over the past 25 years, Metal Gear has been a title recognised among the gaming community as something to be admired. Since then, Hideo Kojima (creator of Policenaughts, Snatchers, and the Metal Gear Solid series) has not only developed as a director, but also a military visionary, with predictions such as nanomachines used for the purpose of automated healing and human performance enhancement, and the possibility of a rise in PMCs (Private Military Companies) leading to a dystopian future of “war economy”. This game series has allowed Kojima to move into the metaphorical bridge of the internet, to live as its new troll; with each new release being more deceptive and progressively leaving fans more and more paranoid, up until the point they have to take a large dose of Zyprexa to stop hearing the voices that continuously tell them to kill.

But all this genius had to have a starting point, and that starting point was in 1987, with the creation of the stealth game, “Metal Gear”. Stealth was a strikingly new concept to gaming back then, as was household gaming itself. Video games mainly consisted of either Tetris, or some repetitive, arcade-style shoot-‘em-up that took roughly ten minutes to complete. Games like Metal Gear, however, was something almost alien in the world of interactive media and brought a new style of gameplay, which was later saturated with incredibly easy games such as “Splinter Cell: Blacklist” (Yes, you heard me, easy), but back in the days of ‘ye olde’, stealth a was challenging and interesting concept, and it made you work to finish the game.

Snake infiltrates his way through Outer Heaven

Snake infiltrates his way through Outer Heaven

 

The story consisted of a young agent of the extraordinaire black-ops unit, “FOXHOUND”, derived from the unit “Force Operation X” (or FOX) that was created by the legendary soldier, “The Boss”. The agent-codenamed Solid Snake-is ordered by his CO, Big Boss, to infiltrate the military facility in North Africa known as “Outer Heaven”. The reason? Because FOXHOUND intelligence discovered a new type of weapon is being developed there, and it is unknown just how much damage it can deal. The secondary objective is to rescue badass agent Frank Jaeger-or Gray Fox-who disappeared during “Operation Intrude N312”, in an attempt to discover exactly what this new weapon was, and destroy it. After rendezvousing with the Outer Heaven Resistance members, Snake gathers the adequate intel that allows him to finally confront the TX-55 Metal Gear and demolish it. After doing so, Snake disturbingly finds out that it was Big Boss who was behind this all, and after duking-it-out in hand to hand, Snake defeats Big Boss and returns to FOXHOUND HQ, possibly traumatised by the past events.

So, what about the game itself? Well, in terms of mechanics, Metal Gear fell a little behind. But that’s not necessarily the game’s fault. After all, Kojima Productions was working with something very limited, and therefore you can’t blame any lack of gameplay features on Kojima. What you can blame him for, however, where the ridiculous boss names. One that especially stood out was a boss dubbed “Dirty Duck”, whose special ability was the continuous throwing of boomerangs without tiring his arm out. But this only added to the entertainment value, and always gave players something to look forward to. No matter how mind-numbingly easy they were.

Overall, Metal Gear was an enjoyable experience, and I found more fun in playing this game, rather than the next big Triple-A shooter. I strongly recommend this game to all who are interested in stealth, or retro games.


4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Thomas Gribben June 5, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Love this game. Although I wouldn’t call it challenging. Sure it’s harder than most games released today, but you can still complete it in about an hour. And compared to other games released in 1987 like Zelda II or Castlevania, this is an absolute cakewalk!

    • Patryk Thomas June 5, 2014 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Fair point. I was just saying how a solely stealth game would’ve defined brand-new challenges in a game. But still a good point.

  2. Sonic Bomb June 8, 2014 at 11:51 pm - Reply

    I have this game on NES its a classic and deserves its proud popularity. Great review hope there’s more to come :)

    • Patryk Thomas June 8, 2014 at 11:54 pm - Reply

      Thank you!
      I have already uploaded another review on Jedi Academy, as well as two Metal Gear news updates. Keep an eye out for more!

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