The novelisation of Metal Gear Solid was a big change for me in my reading. When I do read gaming books they tend to be based within & often offer fresh ideas about the worlds. Rarely are they written as a companion piece to a game. The novelisation of Metal Gear Solid is that, an almost word for word write up of the game. That may not seem that appealing especially if you’ve played the game as much as I have but it turned out to be a bit of a surprise.
Metal Gear Solid tells the story of Solid Snake, a retired military man living alone in Alaska. He is called out of retirement when terrorists take over a nuclear testing facility & threaten the US. Snake must infiltrate the base & stop the terrorists at all costs.
Now I’m going to presume you’ve played the game, if you’re reading this & if you haven’t I suggest you go & pick up one of the gems of the PS1 generation.
The book mirrors the game so closely that you can actually picture every scene as it plays out. I had to laugh that the author actually managed to include some sections were Snake is picking up chaff grenades & ammo like you do in the game. It works really well though & feels very natural.
So like the game Snake makes his way through the facility meeting people, dealing with enemies & bosses while learning lots of valuable lessons along the way. Where the book excels is during some of these boss battles. In the game it can be hard to take stock of the area as the battles can be very frantic. In the book you get a much more vivid description of how these play out & it makes them so much more…epic.
It’s not all about the game though…..the book does include a few new sections to help flesh out the story. We find out what happened to Master Miller & we get much more insight into Naomi. Her quest to kill Snake feels much more believable & I understood her quest for vengeance better.
I also felt a lot more empathy for Liquid Snake that I never felt in the game. I felt sorry for him in the end..
So it is a great companion piece to the game as well as being a book non-gamers could enjoy. At times the author is a bit too rigid when it comes to the dialogue (a lot of the time it’s word for word) but its like putting on a comfortable pair of shoes, it’s something you’re happy to slip back into..
“She had a funny walk, a cute bottom”
Metal Gear Solid
The Final Score - 8/10
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