The Watcher

18 Jul

I finally had a chance to play through Act 3 of Metal Gear Solid 4. Actually, “play” isn’t really the right word. Let me start again…

I finally had a chance to watch Act 3 of Metal Gear Solid 4.

Seriously, there are only three separate portions of gameplay in Act 3, all of which were incredibly linear. Before, after, and in between were loads of conversations riddled with acronyms. GW, JD, CQC, SOP, GOP, LOL, WTF…

Yes, there were moments where I understood enough to be entertained by some of the major plot revelations, but I have to repeat a question a friend asked while I sat and listened: “Is this a movie or a game?” That’s a problem.

Metal Gear Solid 4 started off as a game. I enjoyed the Middle East, and I had a lot of fun in South America. Europe, however, marks a major shift in the gameplay/cinema balance. Now, it’s a movie with drawn out action scenes. It’s sad when the long-winded conversations are more entertaining than the gunfights (that you don’t get to participate in).

I did get to participate in one major fight, a boss battle to be specific. It was the same as the first: long yet superfluous. I said as much to my brother who responded with a question about whether or not Psycho Mantis was superflous in the original Metal Gear Solid. My answer was “no”.

That’s because MGS wasn’t so reliant upon its predecessors to deliver an enjoyable, interactive experience. The game was fun on its own, and because of that, the boss battle with Psycho Mantis, as well as his backstory, was an enjoyable addition that only added to the style and presentation of the game.

On the otherhand, MGS4‘s Beauty and the Beast Corps are just an aside to an already drawn out plot. I can appreciate that they serve to give the player more gameplay, but the battles themselves just aren’t fun.

Several times, my brother asked me why I was playing the game if I didn’t enjoy it to which I repsonded, “I’m not playing because it’s fun. I’m playing because it’s important.” It sounds corny, but I’m serious. With a game this critically acclaimed, I feel that I’d be missing out by not playing. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to play.

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