Beginners guide to getting into the Metal Gear Solid Franchise
Metal Gear Solid is arguably one of the most beloved and longest running video game franchises to have ever existed. The series has run for more than three decades and although is considered to be over, still remains close to the hearts of those who have experienced it. Metal Gear is known for its trademark stealth-based gameplay. The series has a slavish devotion to realism and at the same time is highly dependent on elements of fiction. From all of the different types of Snakes to all of the different types of Metal Gears and the time zones, today we attempt to clarify the series so that you don’t get convoluted as I did.
This Article does not include any spoilers for the MGS Franchise so calm down their buddy…
Although the plot of metal gear is often considered complex and even convoluted. The beauty of the franchise is that the very first Metal Gear game which was released in 1987 connects the dots to the most recent canon game which is Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain which was released 28 years later. Hence the overall plot is sheer brilliance once one fully understands. Provided one fully understands it that is.
There are basically three main characters that the player has at his disposal.
Big Boss also is known as Naked Snake and for beginners even Venom Snake is a mercenary. He along with his teacher “The Boss” developed CQC (Close Quarters Combat). He created the Mercenary unit “Fox” which later became “Foxhound”. He is considered the greatest soldier to have ever lived in the metal gear universe and because of his talents, people attempted to artificially preserve his body. Hence we come to the “Sons of the Big Boss”.
Solid Snake later known as Old Snake is the son of Big Boss. He is a member of Foxhound. He is also incredibly skilled in CQC and is a protagonist for later games.
Raiden is although unrelated to Big Boss is also a soldier of Foxhound. He is the protagonist of Metal Gear Solid 2.
A very raging debate between gamers is how one should experience the metal gear franchise. The series has more than a dozen games and of the ones that are considered canon all of them are at a different time kind of like Star wars. So what order do I exactly play these games…?
A common suggestion is to experience the games in the order in which the story of games is set. Such as
|Game||Time of Plot||Platform|
|Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater||1964||PlayStation 2, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360|
|Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops||1970||PlayStation Portable|
|Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker||1974||PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3|
|Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes||1975||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain||1984||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Metal Gear||1995||PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360|
|Metal Gear 2||1999||PlayStation 3, PlayStation2, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, MSX, Wii, Java|
|Metal Gear Solid||2005||PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Microsoft Windows|
|Metal Gear Solid 2||2007/2009||PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, Android|
|Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots||2014||PlayStation 3|
Another common suggestion is to play the games in the order they were to be played i.e. the release order
|Metal Gear||1987||PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360|
|Metal Gear 2||1990||PlayStation 3, PlayStation2, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, MSX, Wii, Java|
|Metal Gear Solid||1998||PlayStation, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Microsoft Windows|
|Metal Gear Solid 2||2001||PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, Android|
|Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater||2004||PlayStation 2, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360|
|Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops||2006||PlayStation Portable|
|Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots||2008||PlayStation 3|
|Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker||2010||PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 3|
|Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes||2014||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain||2015||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
I personally prefer choosing the latter approach as the gameplay of the games gets better and better while the player connects the dots and the bigger picture clarified.