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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Game review by
Aaron Lazenby, Common Sense Media
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Game Poster Image
Complex, violent, and for adults -- like C-SPAN.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 32 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

In addition to sterotypes of women and Russians, the main character of MSG3 is often criticized by allies and enemies alike for blindly following orders, not having guiding principles in his life, and resorting only to violence to solve problems. These imperfections--coupled with the fact that he is still positioned as the hero of the game--send a complicated message to younger and more impressionable players.


The game features torture. Otherwise, not too graphic. Blood is shed during battles, but players have the option of avoiding combat by using camouflage and stealth.


Some suggestive interactions with underwear-clad female agents.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Snake always carries a cigar, although it has a medicinal use (removing leeches) and is described as dangerous and habit forming. That doesn't prevent the game from showing him smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game features torture and battles, though it's not as graphic as some others. The game -- which layers a fictional story over the real events of the early Cold War era of the 1960s -- sticks close to its time period by incorporating stereotypical treatment of women and Russians. The images of nuclear destruction will most likely resonate more intensely with parents than with children. The "hero" always carries a cigar and is shown smoking, and he's often criticized by allies and enemies alike for blindly following orders, not having guiding principles in his life, and resorting only to violence to solve problems.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17 year old Written byPirate fan February 14, 2010

Awesome game with some iffy parts

I have played and mastered this game. It is easy except for non gamers on the bosses. Itis very informational on the cold war and isnt as bad as the normal shoo... Continue reading
Adult Written byG-Albaxter April 9, 2008

Not as bad as one would think..

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is not a game for anyone under the age of 11-12. Some of the parents who have been told about this game may be thinking that thi... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bySovaso June 14, 2013

A Snake and a Cobra Aren't Always the Same Thing

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is amazing. But it does have some suggustive content. Throughout the game you play as Jack A.K.A Snake on a mission into the Sov... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bypocketMAD March 1, 2012

Review of this game

Okay, I just got this game (Naked Sample version) and it is great. Additionally, I am 13 years old. The sexual references is just a little 20 second make-out sc... Continue reading

What's it about?

METAL GEAR SOLID 3: SNAKE EATER is the latest entry in the long running and popular Metal Gear series. The year is 1964, and players control a CIA agent code-named Naked Snake, sent into the Soviet hinterlands to extract a famous scientist being forced to work on a super weapon that could change the balance of the Cold War. Snake is double-crossed and his mission fails; the scientist is spirited away by the menacing and seemingly supernatural Colonel Volgin, and a small nuclear device is detonated on Soviet soil along the way. Facing internal political pressure to respond to what looks like a hostile act by the U.S., Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev tells President Lyndon Johnson that the U.S. has one week to quietly remove his opposition and restore order within the Soviet empire -- or face a nuclear war.

Is it any good?

Wrapping amazing graphics, countless gadgets, top-quality voice acting, and hours of cut scenes around a complicated, history-based scenario, MSG3 looks as good as any Hollywood summer blockbuster. Too bad it is so weighted with realistic detail that it's almost a chore to play. Many younger players may simply give up after a couple hours of wrestling with the controls.

There are a handful of scary and complex themes that should send up a red flag for parents, including nuclear war, betrayal of friends and country, and a dark, imperfect protagonist who excels at violence. But all of these issues are addressed with respect and often restraint. There's a lot to be said for game's tone and approach toward subjects the video game industry often gratuitously exploits. But parents may find this a moot point: It's unlikely any child of an impressionable age will have the patience or interest to play this game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about post-World War II Soviet-U.S. relations and cultural climate that era created. Why is this period such a popular setting for books, movies, and games? Families can also discuss whether Snake can really be seen as a hero. What are his flaws? What messages do those flaws send to players?

Game details

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