If the recent release of Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection proved anything, it was that Snake Eater was the finest game in the series; and almost inarguably so. Peace Walker remains the most underrated instalment and time hasn’t be massively kind to Sons of Liberty, but Snake Eater continues to engage and excite, and in terms of sheer playability it’s easily the least antiquated of the bunch. This 3DS port isn’t the definitive iteration, but it nonetheless manages to consistently impress.
There are certainly hiccups – the frame-rate struggles to maintain itself during the odd cutscene, and the control scheme really does take some getting used to – but this is still Hideo Kojima’s madcap near-masterpiece in the palm of your hand. For the uninitiated, Snake Eater tasks the gruff FOX operative with destroying a stolen nuclear shell during the Cold War, and the gameplay is almost entirely reliant on stealth tactics and close-quarters combat.
The 3D flourishes are terrific. The sense of depth that you get when you’re pensively making your way through the underbrush is surprisingly captivating, and the weather effects are emphasised and tinkered with too – this is no rush job. There are also a few very neat context-sensitive embellishments, such as being able to use the gyroscope to cross those rickety bridges, and having the ability to create your own camouflage using photos taken with one of the 3DS’s two on-board cameras.
Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater is somewhat light on frills and is definitely best enjoyed with Nintendo’s Circle Pad Pro attachment, but visually it’s about as impressive-looking as a non-HD port of an eight year old PS2 game ever could be; and the often intricate new 3D flourishes are exceptionally well done. If Nintendo’s 3DS is your platform of choice, and (especially) if you’ve never played it before, Snake Eater is a very sound investment indeed.
Metal Gear Solid 3D: Snake Eater is out now for the Nintendo 3DS.
Watch the trailer for Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D below: