The Metal Gear Franchise (And How to Get In)

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I have never played a Metal Gear game, and yet I find myself kind of obsessing over it. I absolutely love the music, and despite the convoluted plots that go nowhere until suddenly being drawn from the back drawer for MGS 4, I find the setting extremely compelling for how much stuff gets crammed into such contained stories.

If I were to start with the Series, where would be better for me: Metal Gear Solid 3, or Metal Gear?

Soviet Heavy:
I have never played a Metal Gear game, and yet I find myself kind of obsessing over it. I absolutely love the music, and despite the convoluted plots that go nowhere until suddenly being drawn from the back drawer for MGS 4, I find the setting extremely compelling for how much stuff gets crammed into such contained stories.

If I were to start with the Series, where would be better for me: Metal Gear Solid 3, or Metal Gear?

Do what I did recently:

Pick up Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection for the PS3/Xbox 360.

Play Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater;
Play Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker;
Play Metal Gear
Play Metal Gear 2
Play Metal Gear Solid (PSN/Gamecube)
Play Metal Gear Solid 2
Play Metal Gear Solid 4

I still haven't beaten 4 so I am not too sure on what happens.

Well, if you intend to play all the games anyway it would make more sense to follow the release order, otherwise you'll notice the shortcomings of older titles much easier. And even though MGS3 is a prequel it still kinda expects you to know what happens in other games. I doubt the Metal Gear games are worth playing, though, considering the rudimentary gameplay and graphics.
Alternatively you could always just watch an LP of the whole series like I did.

I hear more people saying you should play them in order of their release. I'm inclined to agree, despite the fact that Metal Gear Solid 3 and Peace Walker are chronologically before the others in terms of the in-universe storyline.

Capitano Segnaposto:

Soviet Heavy:
I have never played a Metal Gear game, and yet I find myself kind of obsessing over it. I absolutely love the music, and despite the convoluted plots that go nowhere until suddenly being drawn from the back drawer for MGS 4, I find the setting extremely compelling for how much stuff gets crammed into such contained stories.

If I were to start with the Series, where would be better for me: Metal Gear Solid 3, or Metal Gear?

Do what I did recently:

Pick up Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection for the PS3/Xbox 360.

Play Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater;
Play Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker;
Play Metal Gear
Play Metal Gear 2
Play Metal Gear Solid (PSN/Gamecube)
Play Metal Gear Solid 2
Play Metal Gear Solid 4

I still haven't beaten 4 so I am not too sure on what happens.

As I said, I have a very basic understanding of the lore, so please correct me if anything doesn't add up.

- Snake eater involves Big Boss/Naked Snake going into Soviet territory to stop a nuke, but then the Soviets nuke themselves and try to blame the states. The Boss turns out to be running as a double agent, and Ocelot is a young guy responsible for Big Boss losing an eye.

- Peacewalker regards Big Boss's creation of Outer Heaven and the origins of his mercenary army

- Metal Gear is about Solid Snake infiltrating Outer Heaven to rescue another Foxconn operative and stop the superweapon Metal Gear, only to discover that his commander, Big Boss is evil and wants to use Metal Gear to take over the world. Snake beats Big boss and blows up the place. Snake finds out he is a clone of Big Boss

- Metal Gear 2 is pretty much the same deal, but with a different Metal Gear and some other stuff I don't know too much about.

- Metal Gear Solid, Snake infiltrates Shadow Moses to rescue Merril and a scientist who have been working on Metal Gear Rex. While there, Snake meets Otacon, and fights a bunch of crazy mercs like Sniper Wolf and Psycho Mantis. Liquid Snake is your brother/clone and you fight him and he dies. Ocelot grabs his arm and runs off

- Sons of Liberty involves Raiden stealing the spotlight from Snake, getting in trouble with colonel for shooting birds, and running around naked looking for the lalalalalaliloulaylow, yeah I'm confused

- Snake is dying of rapid aging, Ocelot has grafted Liquid's arm onto himself and gone nuts. Shit happens and I can't make heads or tails out of it.

How's that?

Soviet Heavy:

Capitano Segnaposto:

Soviet Heavy:
I have never played a Metal Gear game, and yet I find myself kind of obsessing over it. I absolutely love the music, and despite the convoluted plots that go nowhere until suddenly being drawn from the back drawer for MGS 4, I find the setting extremely compelling for how much stuff gets crammed into such contained stories.

If I were to start with the Series, where would be better for me: Metal Gear Solid 3, or Metal Gear?

Do what I did recently:

Pick up Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection for the PS3/Xbox 360.

Play Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater;
Play Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker;
Play Metal Gear
Play Metal Gear 2
Play Metal Gear Solid (PSN/Gamecube)
Play Metal Gear Solid 2
Play Metal Gear Solid 4

I still haven't beaten 4 so I am not too sure on what happens.

As I said, I have a very basic understanding of the lore, so please correct me if anything doesn't add up.

- Snake eater involves Big Boss/Naked Snake going into Soviet territory to stop a nuke, but then the Soviets nuke themselves and try to blame the states. The Boss turns out to be running as a double agent, and Ocelot is a young guy responsible for Big Boss losing an eye.

- Peacewalker regards Big Boss's creation of Outer Heaven and the origins of his mercenary army

- Metal Gear is about Solid Snake infiltrating Outer Heaven to rescue another Foxconn operative and stop the superweapon Metal Gear, only to discover that his commander, Big Boss is evil and wants to use Metal Gear to take over the world. Snake beats Big boss and blows up the place. Snake finds out he is a clone of Big Boss

- Metal Gear 2 is pretty much the same deal, but with a different Metal Gear and some other stuff I don't know too much about.

- Metal Gear Solid, Snake infiltrates Shadow Moses to rescue Merril and a scientist who have been working on Metal Gear Rex. While there, Snake meets Otacon, and fights a bunch of crazy mercs like Sniper Wolf and Psycho Mantis. Liquid Snake is your brother/clone and you fight him and he dies. Ocelot grabs his arm and runs off

- Sons of Liberty involves Raiden stealing the spotlight from Snake, getting in trouble with colonel for shooting birds, and running around naked looking for the lalalalalaliloulaylow, yeah I'm confused

- Snake is dying of rapid aging, Ocelot has grafted Liquid's arm onto himself and gone nuts. Shit happens and I can't make heads or tails out of it.

How's that?

Basically. Although there are many recurring themes underneath the story and blah blah blah. I just stay for the convoluted stories and the ability to hide in a box.

Capitano Segnaposto:

Soviet Heavy:
I have never played a Metal Gear game, and yet I find myself kind of obsessing over it. I absolutely love the music, and despite the convoluted plots that go nowhere until suddenly being drawn from the back drawer for MGS 4, I find the setting extremely compelling for how much stuff gets crammed into such contained stories.

If I were to start with the Series, where would be better for me: Metal Gear Solid 3, or Metal Gear?

Do what I did recently:

Pick up Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection for the PS3/Xbox 360.

Play Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater;
Play Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker;
Play Metal Gear
Play Metal Gear 2
Play Metal Gear Solid (PSN/Gamecube)
Play Metal Gear Solid 2
Play Metal Gear Solid 4

I still haven't beaten 4 so I am not too sure on what happens.

do you find 4 lacks compared to the others? I do

Get the HD Collection, I've played them all except 1.

You could start with 3 then work your way forward chronologically if you want.

you need to play Metal Gear Solid 3 then Portal Ops(I haven't played it yet) then Peace Walker you can skip MG1 and MG2 and then move onto Metal Gear Solid and the MGS2 and then MGS4.

Revenegence happens after MGS4 and Ground Zeroes happens after Peace Walker

Personally I would play them in the order they were released as that was how it was intended. But it doesn't really matter.

Play them in release order, not chronological order. There are references and call-backs (call-forwards) to previous games in the series that you won't get if you play them chronologically. It wouldn't ruin anything major, but I think you'd get more out of it if you played them in release order.

I played Metal Gear Solid 1 & 2 and I didn't have a problem understanding the plot. At least until the point late in MGS2 where the plot goes apeshit, that is.

Sweet jebus play them in order, you'll get much more of it.

Fission Mailed.

you can skip MG and MG2, while they are hilarious when referenced in the solid games, they're not really all that worth it.

...oh and also don't play the PS version of MGS if you can help it, while first...Twin Snakes is probably the easiest of the games to handle.

The stories are also not as nonsensical as people say, they make sense in their own universe. Like..not...reality. >>

I was familiar with the series, but didn't get playing them myself until I got MGS3, and I felt like I got a lot more out of it having played them first, at least with the silly, silly story. I mean, the Big Boss and a lot of the other characters didn't really work for me before I had a chance to see them building their legacy from the ground up.

However, as far as the game experience goes, it'd behoove you to start chronologically. Refrences, game mechanic developments... Its the same reason why I'd suggest starting chronologically with most games. Nothing's quite as annoying as jumping multiple games in the series to go chronologically to find that the perception of the guards is actually quite developed and getting caught multiple times in the very first room of MGS 1... >.<

Play the first three games in release order, see if you feel like trying the others.

If you want my opinion you could do without playing the fourth game. The gameplay is tolerable but it has the worst mess of a story ever conceived in videogame history. Indeed the controversy surrounding the fourth game is so polarizing that some people think Kojima himself meant for it to be hated.

Also consider this question when you play the games "What do you think of soldiers?"

oplinger:

...oh and also don't play the PS version of MGS if you can help it, while first...Twin Snakes is probably the easiest of the games to handle.

Why shouldn't he play the PS version? It might be harder but it'll spare him the excessive cut-scenes of the remake.

As for the difference between the PS and the GC version, I'd suggest to try the PS version, and once you've done it and MGS 2, the GC version. The latter has the controls of MGS2 and, as said above, crazy over-the-top cutscenes that's make John Woo shake his head in disbelief.

People will suggest to play the games in the chronology of the MGS universe. DON'T LISTEN TO THEM! Metal Gear Solid 3 references the others a few times. You will be left confused on a few things.

Lovely Mixture:
Play the first three games in release order, see if you feel like trying the others.

If you want my opinion you could do without playing the fourth game. The gameplay is tolerable but it has the worst mess of a story ever conceived in videogame history. Indeed the controversy surrounding the fourth game is so polarizing that some people think Kojima himself meant for it to be hated.

Also consider this question when you play the games "What do you think of soldiers?"

oplinger:

...oh and also don't play the PS version of MGS if you can help it, while first...Twin Snakes is probably the easiest of the games to handle.

Why shouldn't he play the PS version? It might be harder but it'll spare him the excessive cut-scenes of the remake.

Uh, those cut-scenes are amazing, thank you.

Also, not having to equip keycards is a plus. the first person aiming also helps. Not having to get a rope...even if it's kinda given to you. There are a lot of things to make it simpler. MGS was already easy.

Know at least the order of the core games, MGS 3, MGS 1, MGS 2, MGS 4.

I myself played the games in this order: MGS 1, MGS 2, MGS 4, MGS 3.

The point is, all the games are fantastic and pretty standalone so don't worry about seeing them in the order in which they were released, or indeed in any order. I think MGS 2 was the most impressive one, though the gameplay is jjjjuuust starting to age. It's still beautiful.

Soviet Heavy:
If I were to start with the Series, where would be better for me: Metal Gear Solid 3, or Metal Gear?

The plot will make the most sense if you play MGS3, Metal Gear Solid, MGS2 and then 4.

If you can find them (emulator?) the two original Metal Gear games fit in between 3 and MGS1 in the timeline.

By pure gameplay quality. MGS3 is wonderful, still very much Metal Gear, but the best one so far. The MGS and 4, then 2 makes you run round in circles for four hours. It's actually pretty solid, but seriously, one big level makes up the whole middle of the game and by the end you will be bored with that map...

oplinger:
Also, not having to equip keycards is a plus. the first person aiming also helps.

No you fool! Taking off your gas mask to use the key card is one of the defining moments in gaming history!

I know how I got into MGS. I read every article explaining why MGS is the greatest PS1 game along with FF7, then finally made myself play it in 2009 or 2010. I have the ability to put myself in the mindset where it's year 19XY again and I'm playing the top quality game available on the market. After a difficult 15 minutes I was indeed enjoying MGS more than any other PS1 game I played. By the time I beat it I was obsessed and wanted more.

MGS 2 was a bit of a disappointment on the fanboyism front due to freaking Raiden but I guess you spend the intro playing as Snake so it's not all bad. Gameplay and story-wise it was at least as awesome than 1 and the graphics were obviously better.

This is where my journey of MGS fandom ended abruptly as no other titles are available on PC. One fine day when Konami stop being such pricks and port a proper MGS collection to Steam, I'd spend half my monthly salary on it and lock myself on a sick leave because I've got the freaking herpes or something and play the whole damn thing.

[Edit] I forgot, I have a PSP but I found the PSP installments impossible to play and control and kept getting my ass shot to pieces every 2 minutes so I gave up. [/Edit]

oplinger:

Uh, those cut-scenes are amazing, thank you.

Yes some of them have really good cinematography. Others are amazingly overdone matrix bullshit (eg. jumping on the helicopter missile).

Metal Gear Solid ran it's course after the first one. Such a convoluted mess of random paranoid world conspiracy bs. The story has gotten beyond ludicrous with all the retcons and stuff pulled from asses. I'm not sure if Kojima has gone bonkers, is on heavy drugs, or it's all just a practical joke aimed at the rabid fanboys.

I vote MGS 4 as the worst film of 2008

Personally, I'd start with Snake Eater, as it is canonically the first Metal Gear. It stands on it's own, so you don't really need any knowledge of the other games to enjoy it.

Of course, as others have said, you might want to play the games in order of release. If only to see how far the series has progressed in terms of gameplay and controls.

I highly suggest you play the games in release order then chronological order just so you may experience what fans experienced and evolved by from 1989 to 2010.

I say play Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater first, being the starting point for story I think with the games and it's also just my favorite MGS game out of the franchise for a vast number of reasons.

I went 3 to 2 to 4 and the series pretty much made sense to me. 3 is a pretty good place to start because its story is fairly well balanced, although it doesn't really get going to the end. There's a lot of references and maybe it would help to play maybe 1 at least before 3 but it's still manageable and enjoyable

I'm surprised there's so much hate for 4 now though, it's probably my favourite one.

I would play MGS, MGS2, MGS3 then MGS 4. Play Peace Walker after 4 or before, works both ways for me but release order gives better context, PS1 version of MGS is my preffered option, Twin Snakes cutscenes came across as over kinetic balls (the director of the cutscenes has only done one good movie imo, Versus) and the HD collection is my preffered way of playing MGS 2 and 3

I recommend playing them in chronological order, both to get the plot in it's intended order, and to see how technology has evolved. (I've personally played them in chronological order.)

Edit: let me put it like this; do you in hindsight think that you would have had the better Star Wars experience if you'd originally seen the films in numerological or chronological order? It's not dissimilar.

Lets be serious ...the chances a new player is going to want to play the 2D NES or SNES version is remote (one is called 'Metal Gear'..the next is called 'Metal Gear: Solid Snake' - The next in the series -the first 3D one- is the famous playstation title called 'Metal Gear Solid' or MGS1)

If you can just start with MGS1; The PS1 or twinsnakes the gamecube remake. It's the game most MGS fans of this generation started from.
It references the story of the 2D metal gear & metal gear 2 for new players to the franchise, where Solid snake goes up against Big Boss and comes across another key character. So you will be on the same path as most players. I started with MGS1 on PS when I was 14 and I kept up with the story referencing the SNES games so I'm sure you will be fine.

Then just get HD collection, and play in order of release.

I agree with - ''Well, if you intend to play all the games anyway it would make more sense to follow the release order, otherwise you'll notice the shortcomings of older titles much easier''

Start with MGS1 read up on events of metal gear in MGS WIKIA and don't even think about playing them in fixed chronological order it will ruin stuff for you. You absolutely have to play in order that they were released.

Play them in order of release:

MGS 1
MGS 2
MGS 3

Chronologically MGS3 is the first one, but it's filled with little references and jokes pointing back to the first 2 MGS', like the "time paradox" and "Raikov". If you play MGS3 first all these wonderful little callbacks will be lost on you. Also it's the best one in the series, so it's best to keep it for last.

And avoid MGS4 like the plague! Seriously, it's a giant bloated heap of fan service-y bullshit.

IronMit:
Lets be serious ...the chances a new player is going to want to play the 2D NES or SNES version is remote (one is called 'Metal Gear'..the next is called 'Metal Gear: Solid Snake' - The next in the series -the first 3D one- is the famous playstation title called 'Metal Gear Solid' or MGS1)

If you can just start with MGS1; The PS1 or twinsnakes the gamecube remake. It's the game most MGS fans of this generation started from.
It references the story of the 2D metal gear & metal gear 2 for new players to the franchise, where Solid snake goes up against Big Boss and comes across another key character. So you will be on the same path as most players. I started with MGS1 on PS when I was 14 and I kept up with the story referencing the SNES games so I'm sure you will be fine.

Then just get HD collection, and play in order of release.

I agree with - ''Well, if you intend to play all the games anyway it would make more sense to follow the release order, otherwise you'll notice the shortcomings of older titles much easier''

....................you can play the original MSX versions on the HD Collection...

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