Friday, 2 October 2009

Some thoughts on Metal Gear

Some of the inspiration for the 'First Person Talker' idea came from the 'Metal Gear' series. I want to talk about what's special about the series of games.

I really, really love Metal Gear Solid 1, 2 and 3. I haven't played 4 yet, because, well, I'm broke haha! Sometimes, they can be a little too verbose in the cutscenes, which is my only real criticism of the series. Overall, they're original games with great attention to detail and memorable characters. I still remember the first time I saw MGS1, my jaw just dropped. Even though it was one of the earlier PS1 games out, the graphics still looked good toward the end of the console's life, so when it game out, it just looked amazing. The voice acting was great and it was so atmospheric!

There are two things that really stand out for me in MGS games:

1. Cinematic reality and the 'rule of cool'.
Unlike other stealth games, which depict realistic situations in a fairly realistic way, like the uncompromising 'Rainbow Six' series, 'Metal Gear' games are more concerned with being FUN. In a Metal Gear game, you're not just some soldier, you're a badass action hero who's a one-man army. It puts you in the role of main character in an action movie, allowing you to do things like hide under a cardboard box, dodge roll into people to knock them over and fight mecha with rocket launchers! Because of this, it's a lot more forgiving on the player and less fiddly. It's not like other Stealth games where you can die without even knowing what the heck killed you. It also allows for over-the-top Bond style baddies. Not only are they wonderfully cheesy fun, but the themed bosses all have different tactics and stuff.

2. Attention to detail.
There are so many ways you can play a Metal Gear game. You can play cautiously, carefully edging around, tranquillising guards as you go. You can play like a swift, darting ninja, running circles around the guards before they notice you're there, or you can play a gung-ho action man, who shoots anything in his path. In MGS3 you can have fun blowing up enemy food stores, to starve guards in the area so they'll pounce on whatever food they find, even if it's rotten or poisonous. Not to mention details like catching cold by being out in the rain, or posters in lockers etc. I'm always amazed by what your helpful colleagues over the codec radio will comment on. There's so much to see and try in these games, it's just great fun.
I also really like how you get extras for completing the game under different circumstances.

So as games go, I would rate the MGS series very high. It's a shame the cutscenes are so long though! (MGS2 was the worst, though I hear 4 is pretty bad too). As far as gameplay goes, I really can't fault them.

No comments: