So I finally got to use my Playstation 3 for something other then an overpowered Blu-Ray player, Metal Gear Solid 4. I am still not really sure if I am writing a review of the game or not with this post, but I tend to think its not so much of a review, more of just some of my impressions of it.
So I started the game out on “Big Boss Hard” mode and it took me about 4 hours to get about an hour into the game. Even though I generally play every game I get on the hardest skill level, it got so frustrating that I finally just kicked it down to the normal difficulty level. It became a lot more fun after that, since the game is about sneaking around everywhere and the only way we were able to succeed on hard was to shoot everything, really took the fun out of it.
After I finally got a chance to play without dying every 10 seconds, it didn’t take long for me to realize just where the rumors of the game possibly requiring more than one Blu-Ray disc came from; cut scenes. In fact, as the title of this post says, my friend and I quickly realized that we might have been spending more time watching cut scenes then we were actually playing the game. Each day after dinner one of us would say “Hey wanna go watch some Metal Gear?” And watch metal gear is what we did.
I searched high and low and I was unable to find exact figures, other then this, which is highly argued about what “running length” they are talking about in the article. According to everything I can find, the best estimates of total cut scene length in the game is 9+ hours. When we finally finished the game we had logged approximately 19 hours of game time. We are still unsure if the total time we get at the end includes the length of the cutscenes, or if it was only timing us during actual gameplay. I honestly can’t even take a guess as to weather we played the actual game for 9 hours or 19, which I believe is a testament to how good the game actually is.
So lets just assume there is actually 9 hours of cutscenes. This sounds totally crazy right? Well, I can say from experience that it certainly felt like there was 9 hours, if not more. I will also say, that I was never bored, not even for one minute, during my time playing the game.
This game truly impressed me and made me finally realize the potential the PS3 actually has. Prior to Metal Gear I never felt that the PS3 was superior to the Xbox 360 in any way. I have owned an Xbox much longer then my Playstation and when a game comes out on both consoles, I always get the Xbox version. However, I feel the PS3 will be a lot like the PS2, meaning it will LAST. Games are still coming out for the PS2 and it is almost 10 years old. I don’t want to get on too much of a tangent here but I must also say that contrary to much criticism, putting a Blu-Ray player in the PS3 was absolutely the right choice for Sony. Not only did it essentially win the format war for them, but it also gives them a lot more potential for games that wont fit on a conventional DVD. Games like Metal Gear. I also just want to mention here real quick that while I was also an avid HD-DVD supporter, after it finally lost the format war, I invested in Blu-Ray, obviously. Watching a Blu-Ray movie on my 1080P 60″ TV is absolutely the most pleasurable and impressive HD viewing experience I have ever had. It completely blows anything you’ll ever see on an HD tv channel.
So back to the game. I have always been a huge Metal Gear fan. I have to admit though, I never actually owned a Playstation 2. It is the ONLY console I have not owned, ever. I am still not sure why I never got one, I think I was just too busy in college, and too broke, to get one. So you can say, well, you missed the two best Metal Gear games ever by not having a PS2. While I am inclined to agree with you, that didn’t stop me from reading a lot about the elements of the story which I missed out on by not playing those games. Going into MGS4, I was totally caught up on the story.
The gameplay is phenomenal, the controls work wonderfully, and there are many elements of humor throughout. While it has many many unique features which the other games did not have, the game still feels extremely familiar, and easy to get the hang of. I have seen a lot of people complaining about the excessive length of the cut scenes, but to be perfectly honest, I enjoyed every minute of them. It was nice to essentially watch a movie between each mission. A welcomed break. Not to mention the story line flows like an epic trilogy all rolled up into one long ass movie. The plot of the game integrates perfectly with all of the other titles and it is very interesting to watch it unfold.
While there were a lot of cut scenes, I still feel like there was more then enough gameplay. Surprisingly, there also seems to be a great amount of replay value. It is very seldom I play any linear single player type game through more then once, and yet I fully plan to play MGS4 again. Maybe I’ll even play it on hard mode this time! I haven’t even begun to explore the online component, and I missed almost every secret item during my first play through.
Basically, to sum it up, Metal Gear was an extremely fun game, and had a very captivating plot. The length of the cut scenes was not a problem for me at all, and it finally made me realize just how powerful the PS3 is. If there ever was a “killer app” to come out for any console in history, I’d say this is one of them.
If you get a chance, I highly suggest you watch Metal Gear.