Hideo Kojima’s much revered franchise turned 25 over the weekend, which has had some of the most memorable gaming experiences. Here’s my favorite
Playing as Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2, or the closing boss battle of Metal Gear Solid 3? Neither: it’s The End
I’ve only played Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, so perhaps my favorite moment of Metal Gear history is not entirely fair. Still, those two games have some of the biggest moments in the franchise, and despite my lack of informed history I’ve picked the boss battle with The End as my favorite moment.
I didn’t enjoy Metal Gear Solid 2, not because of Raiden – his innocence and confusion over why he was around was believable – but because you’re trawling through the same environment and going back and forth consistently. Then there’s a boss on rollerblade, which isn’t hard to kill but requires standing on spots and shooting while you watch him zoom around. Metal Gear Solid 3 doesn’t have that problem, especially if you fight The End.
Eye Spy: The End
The fight against The End takes place across multiple areas in the jungle, requiring you to watch out for where The End is sniping from and shoot him before he shoots you. It sounds pretty easy, but: a) you can searching for ages and b) The End is in full camouflage, prone on grass. So the strategy I took was to walk slowly, or go prone, looking around with my sniper rifle. It was tense, and didn’t climax before the boss battle began.
It isn’t a one-shot kill either: you have to repeat the process multiple times. So you’re moving across multiple areas of the jungle, literally exploring. It combines the best elements of Metal Gear Solid: stealth, and intelligent play. The accidental run-and-gun when getting spotted doesn’t happen, unless you move out of the area and get spotted by guards. But that’s your fault.
There are definitely other highlights: the Raiden reveal, and the question of if Snake will be playable (no); the Psychonaut, and a boss battle revolving around the games you’ve played; the multi-part final boss battle in Metal Gear Solid 3; and the re-reveal of Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of Patriots, who certainly isn’t innocent and confused.