Reviewed By: Matt Quinn

Computer Platform: Sony Playstation
Produced by: Konami
Price Range: $40-50
Learning curve time: 2-3 hrs.
Age level: 17+
ESRB Rating: Mature
System Requirements: Win 95+. PII 266 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 300 MB of hard disk space, 4X CD-ROM, SVGA 16-bit color monitor, 4MB 3D Accel.

Genre: Strategy
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 1 of 5
Adult Content: 3 of 5

Rated Mature by ESRB due to Animated Blood & Gore, Animated Violence, Mature Sexual Themes

Screenshot from 'Metal Gear Solid.' Illustration copyrighted.

Way back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was a game series for 8-bit Nintendo called "Metal Gear". The games revolved around a secret agent named Solid Snake who fought terrorists who invariably got their hands on Metal Gear, a nuke-launching giant robot. Although the games were fun, the technology wasn't good enough then to realize their full potential. Now, ten years later, a more advanced version, an interactive movie, is here.

“Metal Gear Solid” takes place in the Aleutian Islands. A band of rogue super-soldiers have turned traitor and taken over Shadow Moses Island, a nuke-storage facility and the testing site of Metal Gear. They have demanded a ransom of 1 billion dollars and rather then pay, the government has sent Solid Snake, recently 'brought back to the colors' to stop them. The game consists of isometric-perspective running through corridors, shooting at renegade soldiers, and solving key-based puzzles. There are also multiple endings based on choices the player makes in the game. The game is incredibly fun and interesting.

As you may have guessed already, the game is incredibly violent. People get shot at in large numbers, and there is a rather disturbing scene where a character is tortured via electrocution. There is some profanity (mostly uses of d*mn and h*ll) and some sexual innuendo. There is a small amount of 'New Age-y' material in this game, most of which comes from an Alaskan native who seems to worship the Earth (but his platitude-spouting is rare and cuts off halfway through the game).

In the ending sequence, one of the characters talks about how we 'shouldn't be slaves of our genes', a message about living our own lives, which can be taken as a good thing (trying to be the best we can be) or as a bad thing (no rules). There are positive things as well, such as self-sacrifice for the good of others (something Jesus did), patriotism, greed and selfishness being bad, that there are consequences to our actions, and good triumphing over evil. Although there are some objectionable elements, the 'good messages' outweigh the 'bad messages.'

In conclusion, this game is great. If you want to play an 'interactive movie' that isn't particularly rigid, this game is for you. However, the extreme violence suggests that younger children and less mature teens should be kept away from this.

Year of Release—1999

This is a mature game, and it is silly to pretend otherwise. It was not intended for younger audiences. It can tend to be the “little things” in games that slightly desensetize us, if not noticeably. The one reason I love this game (well, there are two) is that it approaches the story on an adult level, with worldviews intertwined in the story. The game itself is a masterpiece of cinematics and action, emphasizing not mindless killing as much as stealth skills. For mature gamers and Christians I highly recommend it. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Joshua Powers, age 17

…a great strategy game. It can sometimes be a little violent but that is not what the gameplay really focuses on; it focuses on the strategy part. I think that this game is good with a teen rating. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Eric, age 13

I won't bother to tell you about the gameplay. It's evident by the millions of fans across the globe that the gameplay is excellent. I will mention, however, the good and bad of the issues. First off, there is the violence. This is an espionage-type setting, which to many Christians is morally questioned, but I feel nothing wrong with it. Espionage is kind of like a mini-war, so the same things although sometimes worse things might happen (doubtful of worse though). The most disturbing violent scenes are the ninja in the hall and Grey fox's (second, I must note) death. The electrocution was of the Hero, and just makes you root for this hero (who you just happen to be semi-controlling) more, so that's nothing. Now comes the moral issues. There's a plethora of front page issues, from hostile takeovers to abortion. And, for the most part they are handled surprisingly well. It paints a pretty accurate picture of the way the government often handles things, and even goes as far as to say that abortion is murder, even if the subject is kind of glossed over. However, with the effort to be realistic in nearly every matter, there is the characters of Vulcan Raven and Psycho Mantis. “Psychic Soldiers” are real, and are in actual use by both the US and the russian government. It's frightening to know that our government would be funding occultic practices to be used by “our side.” But that is very accurate. And, there is the matter of Vulcan Raven. Hearing his speech caused chills to run up my spine. Those are the primary concerns of Christians like myself. Then, there is the matter of wrong beliefs. There is a sentiment felt by the majority of mankind. "Do it my way", the selfish and rebellious attitude is a basis for sin. That you will find almost anywhere, but the “Just Live” message that makes you feel so good is really a candy coated death message. Ok, so that sounded corny, but it's true. Just there are two basic “rights” for which all other rights fall under (those “rights” being "Love…God…" and "Love your neighbor as yourself") there are three basic wrongs. Pride, rebellion, and Lust (for flesh, money, power, etc…) Those three things are what all sin stem from. And the “Just Live” message stems from a type of lust. It's called selfishness. The lust to please self. That is what we need to stay away from. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Luke, age 18

Yes, this game has a bad rate in violence, you know, like most game does. Anyway, here we have the option, to take down all the enemies, or just play it soft and quite, that's the part I like from this game. And a new way of playing, with very interesting story line. I still think this is the best game I've ever played. Well, even through Christian eyes, yes the rating is a bit bad, but like what Matt say, the ending monologue is good. I like it. My Ratings: [3/5]
   —Kocu, age 19

It's a good game. High scores depend on you being able to kill as little people as possible. The highest going to those that did not kill anyone yet made it thru the game relying on stealth. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Jeremy Foo, age 16

The point of the game is to avoid shooting/getting shot wherever possible. A focus on stealth appears to have been overlooked in the review and it definitely doesn't fall under the category of shooter or first person shooter. One of the best games I have ever played. My Ratings: [4/5]
   —Michael Dowman, age 22

To add onto Michael's comments, you actually score HIGHER when you DON'T kill anyone. The game keeps track of the people you kill and a character even insults you if you are too blood thirsty. My Ratings: [3]
   —Vic, age 30, non-Christian

This games violence is not extreme however the language is extreme and some of the animated scenes are rather crude. At one point when you are captured by the enemy you are placed in a cell and if you lay around for a while the soldier outside will grab his posterior, and with some gas noises will swear a little and run off. My Ratings: [3/3]
   —Anonymous, age 16

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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