Does Metal Gear Solid 4 get better? Cause I'm not loving it...


I had high hopes for this game - it was my main reason for getting a PS3 - but I gotta say, I’m a little let-down. Let me explain why.

  1. The environments are boring. Gray, brown, tan, brown, tan, brown, gray, tan, brown, and saturated with bright sunlight. This is one of the reasons I hate the war in Iraq - it has saturated America’s TV screens and public consciousness in palettes of boring tan and drab sun-baked sand, and this aesthetic has come to define “warfare in the year 2009” and it has carried over into video games. Part of me feels guilty for deriving entertainment from games based on war that real people are fighting and dying in, but the other part feels that, strictly from an aesthetic standpoint as a consumer of entertainment, some wars are just more photogenic than others. I love World War II games because of the verdant scenery of the European countryside and the old towns with historical churches and everything. It’s just an interesting environment to look at. But a sun-baked, desolate, generic Middle Eastern environment (the setting for MGS4 doesn’t even have a name, it’s just labeled “Middle East”) is not easy on the eyes ESPECIALLY after the jungle setting of Snake Eater which was, by comparison, extremely diverse and interesting to look at.

  2. Cliched special-ops team. Huge muscular black guy, tattooed guy “with attitude,” nerdy computer-hacker specialist guy, and HOT CHICK. This is like, the most cookie-cutter kind of team for a video game. It’s the equivalent of the World War II movie with the tough Italian guy, the wisecracking Jewish guy, the hayseed redneck guy, etc. Why do they feel the need to keep sticking to these stupid, token stereotypes? It’s become a caricature of the genre.

  3. It’s annoying that you have to play in the midst of other guys fighting each other. The “PMC” and “The Militia” are blasting the hell out of each other in every stage of the game, and you have to sneak by them. It’s just…annoying. The other Metal Gear games never overdid it with the number of enemies. There were a few guards in strategic positions and the challenge was to figure out their routines and movement and then sneak by them unnoticed. It kind of takes the suspense out of it when there are a zillion other guys in every area blasting each other with automatic rifles and RPGs. If you get detected by one guard, all you need to do is kill him and run into a corner and hide with your “Oto-Camo” and in five seconds the enemies will all be back to shooting at each other and forget about you. (BAD ENEMY AI.)

  4. Toilet humor? Really? It’s not enough that Johnny shit in his pants, they’re actually going to have a big brown stain on the seat of his trousers, and have him make farting and shitting noises in every successive scene? One gag, a nod to the character’s recurring stomach problems from the other games, would have been enough. Having him fart and shit his head off throughout a half-hour of gameplay is really beating a dead horse.

Right now I’m just at the point where the female harpy-like android things are swooping down out of the sky. I’m just feeling…apathetic.

It’s not like Snake Eater, where as soon as I got that game, I was glued to it until it was over, like a book you can’t put down. Everything about that game, the hip retro Cold War aesthetic of it, the lush environments, the hunting for food and interacting with your environment, the interesting conversations over the codec radio about all the items and weapons in the game, just totally captivated me. There was a unique game. This one…just, blah. I don’t know what to say. The graphics are sharp as hell, but the game itself is just a pretty huge disappointment.

Should I soldier on? Does it get better? Does the environment ever change? Does the story become SO incredibly interesting that it’s just impossible not to get sucked in?

And there’s no Zager & Evans! :stuck_out_tongue:

There sure fuckin’ is, if you load it onto your PS3’s hard drive and play it on your “iPod” in the game. (That’s another thing, the annoying product placement.) Reginald Ludwig would make a badass accompaniment to the game’s action sequences and might be able to help me forget about the boring textures.

Is there a Gameshark code to put Snake in cuirassier armor?

The last one I played was MGS2. I played it on normal setting, then tried it on the hardest setting but I couldn’t get past the Tengus without getting Snake killed. Did you play 1 and 2? How does 3 compare to them? It’s been a while since I put real time into a video game. I wasn’t sure about the appeal of the Cold War stuff either, though. I’ve read my share of Tom Clancy and whatnot, and it just seems dated to go back there.

I agree that the desert setting doesn’t look very good in the promos.

The Cold War setting of MGS3 was fascinating because you could have radio chats on the codec with “SIGINT” and he would tell you the technical details and the history of literally every single weapon and item in the game. It was also interesting because they would make a lot of funny fourth-wall breaking predictions about how the future would be, like saying “someday, they might even have movies where YOU can control the character!” and Snake would be like, “no way!” Or predicting that sushi was going to be very popular in America (“Raw fish? Who’s going to want to eat that?”) For the military history geek, it showcased a lot of interesting technology that was, in reality, in development by the Soviet Union, such as WIG (Ground Effect Vehicles,) hovering platforms, new anti-aircraft systems…there were a lot of really interesting conversations about Soviet military technology and you actually learned new things.

God damn this is a hard question. Can I answer both yes and no? The game is both a complete mess at times, and brilliant at others. In total, there are five chapters in the game, of which I enjoyed 2…okay, maybe 2.5.

You’re quite right the game is no Snake Eater–that was fantastic through and through. However, the best parts of MGS4 are about on par (or close enough) with that game, and for that alone, I might recommend playing through it.

I don’t want to give anything away, but there are a couple of parts later on that are simply brilliant from a narrative perspective (the plot itself is just meh), and if you were at all affected by the ladder sequence, boss battle, or the ending of Snake Eater, I would definitely recommend finishing MGS4 for a couple of equally fantastic moments.

But be warned, there’s a lot more shit inbetween those sections. :stuck_out_tongue:

I did indeed like the “ladder sequence,” if you and I are thinking about the same thing. I thought it was actually one of the best moments in the whole game - what a surprise when the camera showed the full height of the tunnel! And when the theme song came in. Truly a cinematic scene.

Snake Eater took me back to the first James Bond movies I saw as a kid and the fascinating aura of mystery it made me feel about Soviet Russia and the Cold War. It truly captured a moment in time, albeit retroactively. The quasi-futuristic setting of MGS4 just doesn’t measure up aesthetically or evocatively - it feels very phoned-in and, for lack of a better word, “video-gamey”.

Nah it doesn’t get better, unfortunately. It’s no MGS2.

MGS2 was pretty terrible. It started off great, then slid into a mass of medicrity. MGS4 just spreads that around a bit better. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, I never played any of the earlier MGS games, but for the most part I think that MGS4 is great. I love a game where you can kill everyone or no one. The options are limitless and you can go through most areas in 3 or 4 different ways… Plus the titles add to replayability. So it seem that my mileage does vary…

I loved MGS2 (at least up until after the torture room and the big “It’s a game!” reveal, which sucked big-time)- maybe its just me but I replayed that game for a long time. MGS3 was even better, but at the time no one else agreed with me so I stopped saying it.

By the way, the US voice acting of MGS2 was really horrible (Raiden had basically, what I would consider to be a girls voice), and that may be one reason why the US folks didn’t like it.

The biggest complaint that I heard and read about MGS3 was the fixed camera mode, which people found frustrating. I never had a problem with it, and actually liked alternating between fixed camera 3rd person view and 1st person view (which was activated by holding down R1) but a lot of other people apparently couldn’t stand it. I think some fans also hated the boss battle with The End (which, again, I loved) but I can see why someone who didn’t have patience could get very frustrated with it. And finally a lot of people did not like the removal of the radar system. I personally found the game much more suspenseful without it, and there are a lot of other ways to detect enemies (directional microphone, vibrating sensor, that beeping thing, just looking around, etc.) And I guess some people didn’t like having to hunt for food to keep the stamina meter going (I loved the hunting part of the game, especially because you could have long, detailed radio conversations about every single type of plant or animal in the game.)

I think Snake Eater was the peak of the series, and it will always be my favorite Metal Gear game.

Agreed. Except I got lucky and only played MGS3 after Subsistence came out, so I actually played with a good camera :slight_smile:

I will concede that the controls are janky and covoluted as hell though, and is the worst part about going back to that game.

MGS4 is one of the few games I’ve beaten on PS3. I loved MGS1 and 2, didn’t finish MGS3, though I can’t remember if I liked it much.

My random thoughts on MGS4:

The story is WAY overdone. I know MGS is known for having lots of long cutscenes, and I’m okay with that and was prepared to “watch”. MGS4 takes it to a whole nother level though. I literally spent more times watching cut scenes than I did controlling Snake. And the cut scenes were rarely long due to interesting and relevant plot development, they were normally long because Kojima wanted to include all kinds of irrelevant philosophizing and exposition. The last 30% of the game dragged on and on and on because of the constant cut scenes that didn’t do anything but HURT the story. The ending was terrible for 2 reasons BIG SPOILERS HERE SO BEWARE They pussed out on Snake killing himself and the wedding sequence was completely fucking retarded and went on for FAR FAR FAR FAR too long. If they would have ended it at the sound of Snake pulling the trigger the endind would have been MUCH MUCH MUCH better and easier to be happy with. Instead it felt like they didn’t want to close the door on a very profitable franchise.

Other than the story though I really liked the gameplay and the graphics were phenomenal. The game looks fantastic and controls quite well. This was the first time I’ve ever played a video game with a female character who, using in game graphics, made me genuinely say “She’s pretty hot”. (This big titted scientist female. Can’t remember name. Been a long time).

If they just would have rescripted the thing for American tastes the game would be one of my all time faves. As it is though I would never play through it again. I couldn’t handle sitting through the story another time.

Also, I thought the weapons were a little TOO easy to come by. Took away alot of the challenge when I was able to load up my M-60 with 900rds and just spray and pray during the last 20% (just to get the game over with). There were also alot of useless weapons that I never fired once.

Totally agree with this. At that point, I was like “that was fantastic…” then it kept going and destroyed it. Ugh, so frusterating.

I will say, in general, that this the typical Japanese representation of Americans in games. They have always been really bad at creating believable American characters in their games. I’m not saying US developers always get it right when creating characters from other cultures but they sure get it right far more than the Japanese do. I really can’t think of a single Japanese developed game where Americans are presented in a believable manner.

Hell, they don’t even create believable Japanese characters for that matter. They are almost always “extreme” Jap femdudes, with pale white skin, blonde hair, blue eyes and the entire population must be under the age of 17 because that’s what all the VG characters are.

Naomi. One of the cutscenes in the Peruvian lab is funny as you see Snake trying to look up her skirt.

I really liked The Boss from Snake Eater. I think they actually modeled her face on Kim Basinger’s. But mostly I found her appealing because she was a mature, confident, intimidating woman, and that (combined with being attractive) always turns me on. Especially in the final battle at the end when her suit is ripped open.

I found it a little too "Star Wars"esque, though, that she was the unwitting mother of Revolver Ocelot.