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January 12, 2005
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
17/3/2005AtariKonami1 $99.95

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Just hanging around.
Think this game is going to be big? Think again. This is going to be enormous. The Metal Gear games have been a massive success on the Playstation, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater looks set to bring an entirely fresh slant to the series, with a great majority of the game being played outside in the jungles. This has been one of the most talked about, rumored about, and drooled about games since its unveiling at the 2003 E3 show in America. To be honest in typical Hideo Kojima style little was actually revealed about the game and it hasn't been until the latter part of 2004 in the leadup to the Japanese release that mode details have been revealed.

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Ze Russians... it's ze Russians!
As with previous games Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is being developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan - West, and Hideo Kojima has returned as the producer, which will ensure that the game ties in perfectly with previous games in the series. While little is known of the storyline Hideo has promised that this game will go back to a primal instinct - survival. This is evident in the need to kill animals (such as snakes) to eat for food. Interestingly while some animals will provide much nourishment others may not taste nice, or provide negative effects on the hero. Another new ability in the game is that of shooting while swimming, which should add a new element to many aspects of the title.

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Up high on a bridge.
The storyline is still shrouded in secrecy although the game is confirmed to be set in the 1960's. As yet Hideo hasn't confirmed how the era fits into the Metal Gear Universe. Is the game a prequel? Is the main character in the game Solid Snake? Only time will tell, but once again it's one man against an army.

Military advisor Motosada Mori will be on hand to ensure the weapons will remain authentic given the Cold War setting of the game with semi-automatic and automatic guns available as well as grenade and pistols. Konami are also promising plenty of other weapons for use in the game - whether or not they remain faithful to the 1960's remains to be seen. Camouflage will also play a major part in the game. Depending on the clothing you've selected to wear will determine how well you blend into the background, and remain hidden from the enemy. An interesting concept that could have some interesting gameplay results.

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Using the heat vision.
Speaking of enemies Hideo Kojima is promising an improvement to the enemy AI in the game. Enemies will react to Snake walking on twigs, or making the slightest of noise and it won't just be Solid Snake that hides in the jungle, the enemy will use the same tactics to kill him. One interesting removal from the game is the radar. No longer will gamers be able to rely on the radar to give away positions of the enemy.

Graphically Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has improved significantly from Metal Gear Solid: Sons of Liberty primarily due to the lush jungles throughout the game. Indeed the development team had to re-build the graphics engine from scratch to cope with the outdoors locations and massive improvements Hideo Kojima expected. What is interesting is that Hideo Kojima believes that jungles still haven't been reproduced with authenticity in games - something which he is trying to, and seems to have, achieved with this title.

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That should sort him out!
The levels will be open, not narrow paths as in so many other games. Trees can be climbed allowing Snake to attack enemies from above, or to hide and let them pass. The grass moves in the breeze and as the hero moves through it. Approximately two thirds of the game will take place in a jungle setting - the other third remains a mystery - although some sort of enemy base is certain. Character and Mechanical Designer Yoshi Shinkawa returns to the series to ensure a quality rarely achieved in other titles. Composer Harry Gregson-Williams returns to the series to provide the music which should ensure, once again, top quality.

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80% hidden in the grass.
You may be wondering what is happening with the online logo above. Well, while nothing has been confirmed as yet, it is believed that Hideo Kojima is toying with the idea of including online aspects with the title. The most likely outcome is that this game will include downloadable content and/or high score rankings. Much like you could enter a code for the previous game you may be able to upload your stats to get a world ranking for this third game. Expect to hear more about this closer to the release of the title.

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Taking a hostage.
There is little to do now but wait for this title. The only dodgy aspect to this game is the name. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is one of the most ridiculous game names given to a game, even if it relates to the gameplay, or the broader storyline. While Japanese and American gamers got their hands on this title in December 2004, PAL gamers have to endure an agonising wait until March 2005 to play this game.

The wait isn't all bad with Konami confirming several exclusive bonuses for PAL gamers including a new ‘DUEL MODE’ which allows players to play through the game’s ‘Boss Fights’ independently, showcasing the rich variety of adversaries Snake faces during the course of the game. A ‘DEMO THEATRE’ has also been created, and can be used to play the game’s stunning link sequences in order to enjoy the many dramatic plot twists in order. More bonuses are expected to be announced in the lead-up to release here.