It sort of feels like Metal Gear Solid week in my life right now since The Phantom Pain just came out, so I'm going to keep this going. The first three Metal Gear Solid games hold a very special place in my heart (especially the first one) and I figured I should list my favorite moments from each one.
They all have a lot of pretty amazing set-pieces and you may disagree with me but these three moments all made me realize something about video games or made me feel feelings I didn't think I had.
Metal Gear Solid 1 -- Rappelling
I was pretty young when I first played this game and honestly, I haven't revisited it in over a decade but I can still remember how I felt when I first got to this part in the game. When it became clear that Solid Snake was going to jump off the side of the building with a rope, I was convinced that the game was going to stop and play a little cut-scene then resume at the bottom of the building.
For the first time, I saw what video games can do. Like, what real video games can do. They don't just show you the action, they let you participate in it. My 8 or 9 year old mind was blown. I couldn't believe what was happening. That being said, I'm pretty sure I failed this sequence numerous times but I still love this set-piece so much.
Metal Gear Solid 2 -- Multiple Metal Gears
This is probably one of the best boss battles in Metal Gear Solid history (note: one of the best, there are definitely better). After the weird breaking the fourth wall moment of the game you find yourself atop Arsenal Gear (was it Arsenal Gear, I can't remember the names to these places for the life of me) and an avid Metal Gear player -- as in, they've played the first one a million times, as in, me -- knows that the story beats up to this point have lead up to a boss battle with Metal Gear Ray.
But instead of fighting just one of them, you fight multiple Metal Gear Rays. I can still remember the way my palms were sweaty as I saw one after the other make themselves visible on the horizon. It gave a feeling like it wasn't going to end and when it finally did, it felt welcome, it was like Hideo Kojima was patting your shoulder and saying, You've done it, son. You got through it.
Metal Gear Solid 3 -- Naked Snake vs. The Boss
I'm putting this one on here simply because of the way it still resonates with me today. I first played it when I was 17 or 18 years old and then I replayed it last winter. It's a really intense fight between "teacher" and "student". You spent the whole game as Naked Snake trying to figure out why The Boss (someone you loved) betrayed you and her country.
When you try to use guns in the fight, she disarms you and forces you to fight hand-to-hand. And if you choose to do so (fight without figuring out a way to use your weapons -- because there are ways, and they are sneaky), it becomes one of the hardest fights in the series up to this point. It's based on your personal skill at the game and since that's the case, you become Naked Snake. The difficulty in the fist fight represents the struggle Snake was going through during the course of the game. It's pretty important to me.
Once I finish getting through the latest MGS, I'm definitely make another list of the next 3 set pieces that completely blew my mind.