METAL GEAR SOLID brings the popular METAL GEAR series to the PlayStation. A vagabond group of terrorists, led by a former member of the elite military group Fox Hound, has plans to launch a nuclear warhead from a military installation in Alaska. Only one man can infiltrate the compound, investigate what is going on, and prevent the potential end of the world: Solid Snake. You take control of Snake as he undertakes the most important mission of his life. The key to the game is stealth, as more often than not you're better off avoiding a fight if possible.
The struggling armed nation of Outer Heaven and the remaining members of Fox-Hound have captured a nuclear weapons facility on the coast of Alaska. They're demanding that the American government hand over the remains of Big Boss, something/someone a special-forces agent destroyed twice. If their demands are not met within a 24 hour time period, the terrorists will launch a series of nuclear warheads.
Unfortunately, there is more to the story. Not only have they infiltrated the weapons facility, but they have also captured two key hostages -- the DARPA Chief Donald Anderson and the President of ArmsTech, Kenneth Baker. They are being interrogated for vital information regarding the government's plans and technology to construct a new destructive device.
Solid Snake is the special-forces agent that destroyed Big Boss twice and foiled Outer Heaven's plans. Hired on a mission to mission basis, he works alone; infiltrating compounds and practicing stealth to overcome his objectives. After destroying Big Boss a second time at the Zanzibar Riot of 1999, he retired in Alaska...or so he thought.
Because of the current crisis with stolen nuclear warheads, Roy Campbell, the commander of the operation, has contacted Solid Snake and asked him to help out. His mission description was brief and to the point: infiltrate the weapons storage facility; rescue the DARPA Chief and the President of ArmsTech; and destroy any special weapons being created by the terrorists. Reluctantly, Snake accepted the mission and infiltrated the base.
Thus is the premise of Konami's PlayStation update of Metal Gear Solid. Assuming the role of Solid Snake, players must overthrow the terrorist organization using a variety of weapons and stealth. The latter is very important as that he must remain unseen by any means necessary; if the guards or various members of Fox-Hound find him, the mission will be terminated and the warheads will be launched.
Remaining unseen will be a difficult task as guards patrol areas of the base and security cameras line the ceilings/halls. In order to succeed, Snake cannot run into the open; by doing so, he will activate security alarms and will be met with heavy resistance.
Because he's working alone, this is unacceptable. Instead, Snake must pick the perfect time to strike; as a guard's back is turned, run up to him and either throw him or break his neck. When dealing with security cameras, he must wait until the camera's line of vision is positioned in such a way that he can sneak past.
Fortunately, players are provided with a radar detector that picks up guard movements/field of visions, security camera positions, and a rough map of the general area. When unwanted contact occurs with either a security camera or guard, the radar goes into Alert mode. Snake must then either confront his attackers or find a hiding place. If he can avoid the guards, the radar switches to Evasion mode (the guards cannot find Snake) and will eventually give him use of the radar.
Though he's working alone, Snake does have a few eyes and ears watching over him via Codec, a transmission/communication device. By tuning it to different frequencies, players can converse with various members helping out on the mission. Roy Campbell and Naomi Hunter provide mission information, Mei Ling offers ancient proverbs and saves your game, Natasha Romanenko is a military/weapons expert, and Master Miller is one of Solid Snake's old friends and knows a lot about the environment. More become available throughout the duration of the game.
There are also a variety of weapons and helpful items laying around the weapons base. Players are provided with a wide range of weaponry including the SOCOM semi-automatic pistol, FA-MAS assault rifle, C4 explosives, a variety of specialty hand grenades, the NIKITA remote controlled missile launcher, and a few more.
Items include cardboard boxes for hiding purposes, rations, thermal goggles, and cigarettes. The latter is seldom used though important as the smoke reveals security traps with hidden lasers. Players can also use a pair of binoculars that lets Solid Snake zoom in and out while watching over any given area. ~ Matthew House, All Game Guide