Metal Gear
for PC (DOS)

Company: Banana Development
Year: 1990
Genre: Action, Strategy
Theme: Espionage / War
Language: English
Licence: Freeware
Views: 6957
Review by contrafan (2018-04-04)

Metal Gear for DOS is a very obscure port of the original Metal Gear game. It is not known by nearly enough people, and the same goes for its Commodore 64 counterpart. Surprisingly, these home computer ports are conversions of the NES port, not the original MSX game.

As a quick overview for context about the game itself, Metal Gear is a stealth-based overhead view action game. The player assumes the role of Solid Snake, who must infiltrate a terrorist-occupied land to rescue a key team member and stop a nuclear-capable weapon of mass destruction. Unlike most action games, players are encouraged to progress while avoiding enemies, rather than engaging them (hence, the stealth aspect). However, weapons are found and collected along the way; these are useful for dealing with soldiers, but primarily for boss battles. Additionally, a wide variety of items can be found to help with the mission, some essential to progress.

The game is not unforgivingly difficult; its pattern-based nature requires memorization of certain aspects, such as sneaking routes and boss strategies, but none of it is overwhelming. The controls are also pretty simple and straightforward, minimizing potential frustration.

Broadly, this port appears competently constructed. It features very flexible options for both audio and visuals, and players can choose to play either with joystick or keyboard. A quick glossing through the game, while troublesome due to the game's difficulty, shows that most of the source material was retained and translated with fairly good accuracy.

It is when playing this DOS version more in-depth and actually spending time on it that numerous flaws are unfortunately uncovered. There appear to be numerous bugs and glitches that plague nearly every part of the game, resulting in strange occurrences, either random or consistent. Many of these problems are fatal to the gameplay, preventing any further progress by the player. Some gameplay elements are also unbalanced, possibly unintentionally; this includes enemy movement and attack speed, as well as player health degeneration. These make it easy to get killed and lose in the game.

If played with the original MSX and, especially, NES versions as context, this game is quite straight forward and overall coherent. However, as mentioned before, fatal gameplay flaws prevent the game from being completed. This is unfortunate, as the game does show a lot of potential, and it devalues the overall experience with Metal Gear.

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