Back when Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was first released, it took audiences a little by surprise.
The last game in the series, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, had left players standing in the middle of (a then) modern-day New York City, and now they were being dropped into a 1960s-themed sneaking mission into the heart of a Soviet jungle, in control of a mysterious new character known as "Naked Snake".
It was a huge departure for the series, which had typically taken place in or around manmade structures, and was therefore considered a bit of a risk at the time. And it's arguably because of this that some inside Konami were initially quite resistant to these changes. As Kojima recently revealed on Twitter, after a live stream got him reflecting back on the game's development, staff inside Konami were pushing for Metal Gear Solid 3 to be more straightforward, with an older employee even telling the director outright that "People want a very normal sequel".
In particular, Kojima claims that the game's new survival elements were subject to scrutiny, with only three people supporting the inclusion of the ability to capture food, cure oneself, and adopt camouflage with various uniforms and face paint.
Reflecting on these comments today, it's interesting to hear how divisive these mechanics were inside Konami, as it also mirrors the mixed response from reviewers upon release.
At the time, Western reviewers like Gamespot's Greg Kasavin and the publication GameSpy enjoyed one or more of the mechanics but highlighted several frustrations with how others were implemented. Kasavin, for instance, enjoyed the camouflage system but criticized the healing system for the abstract way you administer treatments and for being able to cure yourself during combat. Gamespy, meanwhile, called camouflage just "a number to monitor, and not a terribly interesting one", but was satisfied with the new hunting/stamina/life system, calling it "pleasingly friendly to newbies."
We'd be interested in hearing your opinions on the survival features. Do you think they added to the game? Or did you find them frustrating to manage? Let us know in the comments!