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April 30, 2014

Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater Content Rundown


He be roaming in your jungles, snatching your cobras up...

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Verdict: Mature Gamers Only (For Extended Suggestive Content and An Extended Scene of Torture)

Release Date: November 2004

Developer: Kojima Productions

Publisher: Konami

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox 360, PlayStation Vita

Genre: Stealth Action



Areas of Concern:

Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive



NOTE: Due to the amount of violence in this game, and for the sake of brevity, only the most graphic instances will be mentioned.

--The game features an extended torture sequence where a man is punched several times for a long period of time, both off-screen and on-screen, blood spraying from his nose and blood covers his face. He falls over onto the ground with blood splattering beneath him. He is picked up and headbutted several times, blood squirting out of his nose before being punched square in the face in slow-motion, passing out.

He then wakes up and we hear a man squealing and groaning in pain as he is severely beaten. The main character then is electrocuted and punched by a man and he screams in pain as electricity surges through his body, which is shown to be bloody and bruised all over. Blood pools out beneath him.

This sequence carries on for quite some time and features a lot of screaming and dramatic focus on the violence. 

--Players can grab enemies and hold them in a chokehold; you can either strangle them unconscious, break their necks with a "CRACK" or slit their throats with a huge arterial blood squirt being shown and screams of pain being heard.

-Players can slash animals with a knife, with blood spewing out. The animals dissolve into objects when killed. 

--Players can shoot enemies; blood squirts are shown, splattering all over the environment graphically, as enemies cry out in pain. Blood stains the environment and forms pools beneath enemies. Players can strategically shoot enemies in arms, legs and crotches (ouch), with the enemy holding their respective body parts in pain as we see blood seeping through onto their clothes.

-In addition, there are several sequences where characters are gunned down by other characters, sometimes in slow-motion. In one instance, a wounded man is shot in the head with blood splattering beneath him.

--A man is elbowed in the, ahem, elbow, which dislocates his arm, with a crack being heard. He later twists it back with another crack being heard, this time he groans in pain.

--There are several sequences where planes, cars and buildings are destroyed with lots of wreckage and explosions. An extended sequence in the game depicts a huge tank rampaging through a compound and firing at several people, helicopters, buildings and vehicles with lots of explosions and wreckage being shown. These sequences are highlighted and shown in detail. 

-Grenades, mines and projectiles are used to wreak havoc upon foes, with explosions, cries of pain and people are set on fire, flailing around and screaming before eventually dying.

--Several men are swarmed by bees and stung several times; one of them falls over and we see that his face is full of warts caused by bee stings. Several others try to run but they collapse, screaming in pain.

--A man is placed inside a barrel and punched several times by a man with lightning coursing through his hands. Blood pools out beneath the barrel. He punches the barrel high into the air and a dead man falls out, hitting the ground.

--A man is shot in the eye, blood spraying out in a realistic, arterial fashion as he screams in pain and we see a dark bloody hole where his eye used to be for quite some time afterwards. 

--An electrical man is struck by lightning, screaming, setting him on fire and threads of ammo across his chest go off like firecrackers, shooting him as we see huge sparks flashing and hear cries of pain from him, before he finally falls over, dead. The fire keeps on burning, as we see him becoming charred from a distance.

Context of Violence: Shock Value (While definitely stylistic, the violence is clearly thrown in for the sake of shock value, as evidenced by the many bloody scenes which do exactly that: Shock. Also, that last paragraph with the guy getting electrocuted is kinda SHOCKING, eh? Eh? Anyone? Hello?)

Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--The character "EVA" wears very revealing clothing exposing her bra and cleavage for most of the game. There are several scenes where she is stripped down to her underwear for long periods of time, with the camera leering at her backside, back, breasts, etc. Players also have the OPTION of staring at her cleavage or backside by pushing a button.

-At certain points during the game, posters of half-naked Asian girls are seen on the walls of environments, posing in suggestive positions.

--A woman attempts to seduce a man three times during the game:

-The first time, she unzips her top exposing her underwear with cleavage and lots of skin shown. She kisses the man several times, but he doesn't react and they are interrupted. This scene is brief.

-The second time, she crawls towards him in her underwear, the camera leering up and down her body, towards the man and starts kissing him passionately. He pushes her away. Once again, this is somewhat brief.

-The third time, they roll around together and kiss passionately for quite some time before the camera cuts away. It's implied that they have sex when the man wakes up partially clothed.

--Two men are mentioned to be in a homosexual relationship. A character disguises himself as one of the men but he encounters his lover, mentioning that he was waiting "in his room" for him, and then grabs the disguised guy's crotch. Twice.

--It's implied that a woman has to sleep with a man due to being threatened with death if she tries to do otherwise. Additionally, it's implied that he abused her as well.

-A man grabs a woman's breast on two occasions to verify her gender.
Context of Sex/Nudity: Fanservice (While the crotch grab was thrown in for who-knows-what-reason, EVA's appearance, the seduction scenes and the suggestive posters are all clearly thrown in for fanservice and nothing more.)

Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Infrequent Uses of S**t, Wh**e, B**ch, B**t**d, A*s, C**p, H**l, D**n and Turd.

Context of Language: Atmospheric (Yes, atmospheric swearing is now a thing. And before you try to steal it, I copyrighted it. It's mine now!)

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--One of the character's in the game is a ghost, who appears in a vision and shows a character several people who died during the game. It is later mentioned that he was particularly skilled in ESP and was a medium when he was alive.

--A man prays to the "spirits" of the forest to give him strength and heal him from his injuries during combat, which happens. The "spirits" of the forest also appear to speak to him, allowing him to blend in with it.

--A man remarks in reference to a space program: "The earth was blue. But there was no God."

-A woman (EVA) jokingly asks a man (snake) if he's there to "tempt" her, referencing the snake in the Garden of Eden.

--A brief reference to the theory of evolution, in particular to the "missing link" and how humans evolved from apes. (Or an ape-like ancestor.)

Context of Spiritual Content: Fantasy, Spiritualism (Some of the supernatural elements are rooted in fantasy and can be easily dismissed. However, the references to ghosts, spirits of dead humans, ESP and mediums may offend some of the more spiritually sensitive gamers.)

Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A drunken man is shown taking heavy swigs from a thin pocket bottle thingy and slurring his speech. A man makes reference to his obvious drunkenness. 

--A couple of references to alcohol, including a character stating that she is drinking on duty, a man remarks that he needs a drink and two people drink wine together.

--Several scenes portray a character smoking a cigar.

Context of Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco Usage: Atmospheric

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--A man urinates in his pants, the dark stain and urination noises being heard. Later on, a character being tortured does the same, to the torturer's amusement.

--A man makes his eyes bulge out of his head, with squishing noises being heard.

--A man's face has warts all over where bees stung him; we see this in detail, up close and personal.
Scary Stuff:

--One of the characters in the game is a ghost who fires water tendrils at you, and if they touch you, his face flashes on the screen with a scream.

Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

While players have the option of killing many enemies and civilians without serious consequence, most of the violent encounters can be done non-lethally. Additionally, self-sacrifice is shown by many characters.

Morality Type: Shades of Grey (Many of the decisions made by characters in the game are firmly planted in grey morality.)

Thoughts & Impressions:


Well, due to a surprising lack of in-depth reviews back when Snake Eater came out, the only thing I'll post here is my thoughts.

Straight off the bat, while I've never played it for myself, I've watched a video game playthrough of it for the second time now and it only confirms how much I love the story. It's a great, atmospheric plot filled with memorable characters and one heck of an ending.

Hideo Kojima is one of my favourite storytellers. Say what you want about the more spotty moments in the Metal Gear games, he still remains a very captivating writer. One of the best across any entertainment medium.

While the content may be an issue (more on that below), this is one of those stories which is just too good to dismiss based on it's flaws. Truly a memorable experience...

Conclusion:


Okay, so first thing's first: The fanservice in this game is distractingly juvenile and ultimately detracts from the entire experience, let alone being potentially offensive for certain people's tastes.

I was able to look past it, but I'm aware that not every one can. And rightfully so, it's all up in your face at times. Literally. Female objectification is undoubtedly an issue here, but it should be noted that the only female character who is objectified is EVA. The rest of the women are portrayed normally.

Violence wise, things do get pretty hectic and bloody. Throat-slittings in particular are more detailed and realistic than other games. Then again, I haven't slit anybody's throat, so what would I know?

What I'm trying to say is: The violence packs a serious punch. There's an extended torture sequence which will make you squirm quite a bit. It actually fits within the game's context, but that doesn't make it any less uncomfortable to watch. 

Spiritual content is also notable here, with references to ESP and mediums, as well as a boss character being a ghost who shows a character the souls of the dead soldiers he killed during the game.

Amongst all the content, there are some homosexual characters as well. This is a very touchy subject and it's not something I'll elaborate in detail on here, but just take note if it offends you or if it offends you that I stated it could offend you.

(Yeah, I'll end it right there...)

The Preacher: Agreed. Don't want people tearing your head off. But besides the "man-love", the fanservice is distractingly over-the-top to the point of being childish. I'll venture to say that unless you're a blossoming teenager with a face full of acne, it shouldn't really bother you too much. 

I mean, come on! Where on a battlefield will you see a ridiculously busty women run through battle without losing...well, her...um...stature...in combat? You know, stray bullets and all? Anyone?

Trent: I tend to agree with childishness, but it should still be bothersome if even one female character is objectified. That, and the lip-licking torture sequence. It was awful watching such cruelty being performed on a character. And for the sake of what? Cheap thrills?

I think that while Hideo Kojima surely knows how to captivate his audience, it's for the wrong reasons. Truly good stories can be made without unnecessary showcases of the female body and sickening displays of violent acts being performed on restrained characters without exactly that: Restraint.

Verdict: 18+


For Extended Suggestive Content and An Extended Scene of Torture

Outro: Another snake bites the heel! Oh wait, that's a Bible quote talking about...um...Jesus stepping on a snake...and...it bit Him in the heel.

WHATEVER. Hope you guys enjoyed this Content Rundown! I'll see what the next week holds. Things may be a bit too busy for the coming weeks, but you guys don't need to worry. All the important games coming out this year will be done sooner or later. :)

What did you think of Snake Eater? Was the suggestive content also childishly over-the-top for you?

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