While I played through the original MGS so many times in my youth, I’ve only played these ones twice and once respectively… 8 years ago. Let’s memory!
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Oh boy, a whole new entire game featuring our hero the unkillable Solid Snake. He and Otakon are now an independent team called Philanthropy, working to prevent proliferation of Metal Gears by bungee jumping onto US Military tanker ships in search of evidence. Turns our a bunch of Russians led by General Gurlukovich and his daughter Olga had the same idea, and invade the ship in force. Snake gets his fight and infiltration on to make it to the main hanger, where he gets spooked by an action figure of Raven, before sneaking around the back of an entire platoon of highly trained Navy Seals watching a briefing. Mission complete.
Nope. Ocelot shows up and double crosses Gurlukovich and steals the new Metal Gear Ray. And he’s possessed by Liquid via his newly borrowed arm. And he sinks the tanker. And Snake dies.
A few years later Snake is sent in via scuba suit to rescue the President from the oceanic research platform Big Shell. For some reason Snake sounds like a whiny loser instead of David Hayter’s unsackable performance. This Snake is actually Raiden, a new operative working for General Campbell and supported by his pining ex-girlfriend, which seems like a sound military decision. They angst at each other throughout the whole game.
Raiden gets his sneak on. On the way he has to fight various members of Dead Cell, the new terrorist threat. One of them is a lady who’s power is having a huge gun or something. Thankfully, he is able to rendezvous with a soldier who has managed to evade them, who’s name is
Snake Pliskin. It’s totally not Snake. Another member of Dead Cell is an actual fat man called Fat Man, who wears rollerblades and plants bombs all over the place which have to be sprayed with coolant by pressing X really firmly, because everybody knew the PS2 had pressure sensitive buttons right?
Their leader is Solidus Snake, another clone, and Ocelot is with him. Turn’s out there’s a Metal Gear hidden on the Big Shell. Otakon has been brought in by the military to help, and his younger step-sister Emma is already here as the overseer for this Metal Gear. She agrees to help, but first you have to swim her through a bunch of flooded corridors because she is afraid of water. And she hates her brother. More on how those two things are somehow connected later!
While aiding you she is killed by Dead Cell member Vamp. Can you guess what he is, and also just how many times you’re going to have to fight him without ever winning? Oh yeah, Emma forgives Otakon as she dies in his arms. I guess when they were teens her dad committed suicide in their pool, almost killing Emma in the process, while Otakon was upstairs screwing his stepmother. Yep.
Raiden gets betrayed by
Snake Pliskin and kidnapped and tortured, before escaping in the buff. Turns out it was a scheme by Snake, who reveals himself to great surprise at this point, to get into the depths of Big Shell, which is in fact one huge Metal Gear called Arsenal Gear. Raiden is somehow ok with a plan that involved his torture. Campbell isn’t happy and starts freaking out and smashing his face up against the fourth wall. He’s an AI, fuelled by Arsenal Gear’s supercomputer as some kind of test to turn Raiden into a perfect soldier.
So Team Snake fight a bunch of dudes and like 90 Metal Gear Rays before Arsenal Gear crashes into Manhattan. Turns out Solidus was previously secretly the President of the United States, but the world is controlled by his former handlers, a secret organisation called the Patriots, who used to be real people but who now live on as an artificial consciousness. Raiden kills Solidus with a badass sword and everyone sets off to destroy the Patriots, presumably in the next sequel.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Somehow Snake is in the 1960s, liberating nuclear scientist Sokolov from the Soviet Union. His boss is Major Zero, a harmless, likeable old Brit full of movie trivial. Equally harmless are medical expert Paramedic and weapons expert Sigint. The former will come in handy because in this game Snake is inordinately hungry and must constantly feast on every frog, antelope or alligator he sees, just like in real life.
Snake’s boss, the Boss, is here too, and in true Metal Gear mentoring tradition she quickly betrays Snake and defects to the Soviets, handing over some nukes to General Volgin in the progress, who in turn blows up the base because he’s bored, causing an international diplomatic incident. Snake is kicked off a bridge into a canyon, before being sent back into battle literally a few days later to kill his mother figure.
Also the now rogue Volgin has a giant metal tank, a metal tank made of gears, called, you guessed it… The Shagohod!
Snake gets his sneak on through lots of convenient long grass and meets up with his contact Eva, who has infiltrated Volgin’s group, before being interrupted by young Ocelot, who think’s he’s super cool with his own super secret team of soldiers, whcich he summons to his side with a completely badass call to arms.
Obviously Snake beats his ass, suggesting he could be a lot cooler if he had a revolver. Continuity!
Lets try and remember the various boss mooks from this game… there’s The Fear, with the power of jumping around shouting his own name; The Pain, with the power of BEES; The End with the power of 6 hour long sniper battles and dying of old age when you shut off the console; some ghost guy with the power of guilt tripping you via hallucination; and astronaut guy with vacuum-of-space appropriate flamethrower weapon.
Later on, after a night of passionate shirtless hugging, Eva reveals that Volgin is actually after something called the Philosopher’s Legacy, a big stash of cash put aside by the world superpowers prior to the Second World War. Then she ditches you because she works for the Chinese, but not before Snake takes a bullet for her while being tortured. Goodbye eye. Hello continuity!
After brawling with Volgin and destroying his drill-tank-gear-thing, Snake is forced into a fight with the Boss, in spite of their pseudo mother and son bond, in order to make her a scapegoat and settle the international incident. Meanwhile, Snake becomes a hero, and is granted the title of Big Boss, which they presumably think is good enough recompense for all the emotional trauma, thus ensuring he never turns against the US Government.
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