MGS3: Subsistence gearing up

Online play, MSX2 titles.

Konami has announced a revised version of Metal Gear Solid 3 for PlayStation 2, bringing online play to the series for the first time, introducing a third-person camera perspective for every stage of the game and bundling in ageing Japan-only MSX2 titles Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.

The name, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, reflects the fact that this version is merely an iteration of MGS3 - much as Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance was to vanilla MGS2 - although this adherence to tradition apparently doesn't extend to multiplatform ports, as there's currently no word on Xbox or PC versions as we saw in the previous generation.

What MGS fans can expect however is a pair of online modes, "Team Battle" and "Snake and Enemy". Konami's E3 literature tells us that "Snake and Enemy" sees one player controlling Snake and another "blocking out his mission", which doesn't sound too far away from what Ubisoft's been doing online with its Splinter Cell series, often identified as MGS' biggest competitor in the stealth stakes.

The addition of "different camera perspectives" isn't explained in great detail, but apparently we can expect a third-person view for every stage of the game rather than fixed perspectives.

Subsistence also adds Duel Mode and Demo Theatre, both of which were part of the European release of Metal Gear Solid 3 having been absent from the US and Japanese releases in late 2004, as well as new levels for the Snake vs. Monkey mode that drew upon creator Hideo Kojima's fondness for Sony's Ape Escape series.

On top of that, inquisitive types will be able to see how the series began life back in Japan on the MSX2 console with the inclusion of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, both of which are set slightly after the events of 60s-set Metal Gear Solid 3.

Hideo Kojima himself wasn't giving interviews to the UK online press at this year's E3, but on the topic of online play he did go on record claiming: "[it] offers a wealth of new possibilities for Metal Gear Solid.

"This game also contains the milestone game Metal Gear. I hope that through this title, gamers will be able to follow the route we have taken at Kojima Productions, and that they enjoy the flow of the story that runs through the series."

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence has yet to be dated, but we'd expect to see it later this year. You can find screenshots linked from the game's page elsewhere on Eurogamer.

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