Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Developer(s) Kojima Productions
Publisher(s) Konami
Designer(s) Hideo Kojima (writer, producer, director)
Sadaaki Kaneyoshi (co-director)
Series Metal Gear
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release date(s) Japan December 22, 2005 (JP)
United States/Canada March 14, 2006 (NA)
European Union Q3 2006 (EU)
Australia/New Zealand October 13, 2006 (AU/NZ)
Genre(s) Stealth-action
Mode(s) Single player
Online multiplayer
Media/distribution 3 DVD-ROMs + 1 DVD video (Limited Edition pre-order)
3 DVD-ROMs (Limited Edition)

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence is a video game that serves as an expanded version of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater for the PlayStation 2. Like Metal Gear Solid: Integral and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance before it, Subsistence adds several new features, including content that was previously available only in certain localized releases of the original game.

The core Subsistence package is comprised of two DVD-ROMs. The first disc, titled Subsistence, contains the updated Snake Eater game. The second disc, Persistence, contains all supplemental game modes and materials, including an online multiplayer mode titled Metal Gear Online.

"Limited edition" copies include a third DVD-ROM, Existence, that contains the game's cutscenes edited into a three-and-a-half-hour feature film with additional scenes and remastered sound, as well as the TGS 2005 trailer of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. In a departure from previous expansions, the Japanese release of Subsistence also retains the original Japanese-language voice actors.

A bonus documentary DVD video titled Metal Gear Saga Vol. 1 was bundled with pre-orders for Subsistence in North America. The disc includes a five-part, 30-minute featurette about the entire Metal Gear series interspersed with an interview of Hideo Kojima, as well as trailers for various current Metal Gear games.


Metal Gear OnlineEdit


Subsistence's online multiplayer component is comprised of five tournament-style game modes, each with a capacity of up to eight players and set in various new maps (as well as three from the main game). Depending on the mode and host configuration, the player can join either the KGB, the GRU or the Ocelot unit. At the start of each round, players select a primary, secondary and support weapon (others can be found in the map), and a soundtrack from any of the canonical Metal Gear games (including original MGO music). In team-based modes, the highest-scoring player in each unit assumes the role of team leader, represented by a unique character from the main game (or Reiko Hinomoto of Rumble Roses if the host chooses) with unique abilities, items and/or taunts. Weapons can be dropped at will, and when a player dies, all weapons are dropped automatically. Empty, destructible cardboard boxes are scattered across every map, so players can use their own boxes (which are always available) as camouflage, among other things.

Some single-player features have been functionally condensed or altogether omitted. Replenishing stamina is now simply a matter of picking up instant-use ration-shaped items, with no risk of ingesting poisonous or rotten food. The first aid system has been removed, and the only CQC technique available is the knock-out slam. Finally, all successful tranquilizer shots take effect instantly, and all doors (including locker and bathroom stall doors) have been removed.

The new camera system is mandatory in online mode, with the R3 button used to manually reload in place of the traditional "quick reload" method.

Like in the main games, MGO implements a performance-based player ranking system using various animal names. Detailed global and game-mode-specific player statistics are available, and hosts can choose to restrict participation based on ranking level.

Recently, a hidden gameplay modifier has been discovered in the North American release, in which assigning the host name "HEAD SHOTS" forces all players to kill opponents via headshot under penalty of death. It is currently unknown whether more such modifiers exist.


While the game flew under the radar for many gamers (especially due to the anticipation of next-generation consoles), critical reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, the game was received even more warmly than the original, judging by its ~95% rating at GameRankings, compared to the original's ~92%, also ranking #3 of all time PlayStation 2 games.

However, the reactions from fans were mixed, mostly concering the online portion of the game. While the extra features, such as the third-person camera, were perceived with virtually no complaints, some people weren't satisfied with the multiplayer. There has been controversy as to the design. There are many glitches revolving around lag, such as the delay from bullets. For example, the lock-on will still function even if the player loses sight of the target. There will be a delay for a few moments, but the bullets will still follow the target, even if he somersaulted behind a solid wall. But most of all, the game encourages players to kill and rush more than use stealth, thus changing the game into an online shooter. Although sneaking behind people is still a common sight, players who rush out and kill people will get a higher score (and eventually, a higher rank) as opposed to someone who plays the game like a Metal Gear game. Unlike the single player portion of Metal Gear, you get a higher score for killing more people, instead of a decrease. This eliminates the demand for stealth.

Another criticism of the online mode stems from the weapon diversity. While many users only complain about the shotguns, those who have played other online games see an uneven weapon selection. For example, the XM16E1, perhaps the most widely popular weapon, is a very accurate and deadly weapon. However, this may become a problem, because the gun can be used as a sniper rifle or an assault rifle. This means kills will be awarded more to those who use the more versatile weapons. The need for the sniper rifles (the SVD and Mosin Nagant) is eliminated, as well as the need for other automatic weapons, such as the AK-47.

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