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Metal Gear Solid 3 Euro Extras

MGS3 finishes snaking its way to Europe today. We take a quick look at what's changed since last November's US Import Review.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

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Eurogamer's review of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, based on the US version of the game, was originally published on 25th November 2004 and deals with just about everything in exhaustive detail (and sometimes-flowery prose). If you want to know whether it's worth buying, you should definitely read it. You can find it here.

The PAL version of the game arrives with four specific bonus elements - additional camouflage materials, Demo Theatre, Duel Mode and a new difficulty level. The PAL version does not add widescreen support, retains the US version's Dolby Pro-Logic II surround sound, and does not feature a 60Hz mode. It's a decent PAL conversion, but slightly bordered nevertheless.

Those bonus elements, then. Additional camouflage includes national flag face paint for various countries and the winning entries of Konami's worldwide camouflage design competition, which it ran last year. The other three elements are unlocked once the game is completed. To get the easy one out of the way, the extra difficulty level, European Extreme, is so evil that you receive an automatic Game Over upon detection. Yeowch.

The others are more likely to, you know, actually appeal to the average gamer. Demo Theatre allows you to revisit cut-scenes you watched over the course of the game, and this facility really ought to be available as soon as you've got cut-scenes to watch, to be honest. The Demo Theatre also hints at the various extra sequences that you may have missed (for example, variations on the outcome of a duel with a particular recurring character late on), although you will have to go back to the game and unlock them there if you wish to view them.

Duel Mode, finally, allows you to revisit boss encounters in Normal or Special modes. Special mode is basically stingier with your weapons loadout, and rather like the Ape Escape tie-in Snake Vs. Monkey mode, you'll gain special items for use in the main game in response to serious success there. It's worth toying around with, but if you really want to find some new toys to play with, just try replaying the game and paying closer attention to the world around you; there are countless secrets in Metal Gear Solid 3, numerous bonus items to be unlocked through completion under different conditions, and there's even the facility to download more camouflage skins through PlayStation 2 Online.

Nevertheless, upon reflection we've decided not to update our original score for the game based on the additional European extras. We're certainly pleased to have them, as they undoubtedly add to the experience for any die-hard fans that have been unable or unwilling to import the US version, but they don't cure any of the game's ills that originally compelled us to mark it down slightly. Fortunately, the game itself is one of the best of the year so far, and you can find out exactly why we believe that by revisiting our US Import Review of the game from last November, here.

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