Metal Gear Solid 4 - initial impressions

Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

 I'll probably be blogging about this game a few times as I get into it, mainly because I've been drooling over it for a couple years (I think it came out a little over 2 years ago). I first played MGS2 when I got my PS2 in 2007, enjoyed it quite a bit, got MGS3 - loved the hell out of it, but then made the fateful decision to go with the 360 for my next console (not a move I regret in any way). So; now PS3 day one, and these are my impressions after 2.5 hours of playing.

Graphics- they are great, but not quite as good as I expected. I suppose this is due to the fact that they were much more exceptional when the game first came out, and I was so amazed by them at the time. But, that was 2 years ago and other games have had time to catch up.  Also, while I started thinking "hmm . . . this really doesn't look much better than Snake Eater" ... I really had to catch myself on that one.  How quickly we forget how bad past graphics were (for the record - MGS3 was a good-looking game). We've probably all had those experiences where we go back and play an old game and realize our recollection of how good it looked was much more favorable :)  I'm quite sure MGS4 is a huge graphical improvement; maybe I'll go back to 3 and confirm. 
Gameplay – Still lots of cinematics in this game, that sure hasn’t changed. In the first couple hours I’m wishing there was more gameplay, and the times I am playing the game I kinda wish it were more clear what I should be doing. Maybe it’s because I started on the higher difficulty level, but I find I’m having to figure things out for myself. For example it told me how to ready and fire a gun, but for the longest time I didn’t figure out that I first had to go into my weapons inventory to equip the gun (assign it to a weapons slot). Also, have CQ take downs been removed? Because all I can seem to do is walk up to a dude and slash him with my knife. Then he turns around and shoots me. J Lovely.   While I’m sure part of the issue is just a need to put in more time and let Otocon explain things to me as they arise, I also remember that gameplay has never been my favorite part of MGS. The gameplay is decent, and enjoyable for the most part. But I always loved the crazy and intricate storylines in the MGS games, and the grand scale of saving the world Solid-Snake-style.  

So far so good here; but if I remember correctly, these games take a while to go from good to great. I’m confident some of my initial disappointment will be well worth it once things pick up.
EDIT: One AMAZING  thing I forgot to mention.  You can pause those ungodly long cutscenes. I usually play for 5-10 minutes before my toddler son or my wife need my help with something, so pausing is a must and would've been a gamebreaker :)

#1 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -

 I'll probably be blogging about this game a few times as I get into it, mainly because I've been drooling over it for a couple years (I think it came out a little over 2 years ago). I first played MGS2 when I got my PS2 in 2007, enjoyed it quite a bit, got MGS3 - loved the hell out of it, but then made the fateful decision to go with the 360 for my next console (not a move I regret in any way). So; now PS3 day one, and these are my impressions after 2.5 hours of playing.

Graphics- they are great, but not quite as good as I expected. I suppose this is due to the fact that they were much more exceptional when the game first came out, and I was so amazed by them at the time. But, that was 2 years ago and other games have had time to catch up.  Also, while I started thinking "hmm . . . this really doesn't look much better than Snake Eater" ... I really had to catch myself on that one.  How quickly we forget how bad past graphics were (for the record - MGS3 was a good-looking game). We've probably all had those experiences where we go back and play an old game and realize our recollection of how good it looked was much more favorable :)  I'm quite sure MGS4 is a huge graphical improvement; maybe I'll go back to 3 and confirm. 
Gameplay – Still lots of cinematics in this game, that sure hasn’t changed. In the first couple hours I’m wishing there was more gameplay, and the times I am playing the game I kinda wish it were more clear what I should be doing. Maybe it’s because I started on the higher difficulty level, but I find I’m having to figure things out for myself. For example it told me how to ready and fire a gun, but for the longest time I didn’t figure out that I first had to go into my weapons inventory to equip the gun (assign it to a weapons slot). Also, have CQ take downs been removed? Because all I can seem to do is walk up to a dude and slash him with my knife. Then he turns around and shoots me. J Lovely.   While I’m sure part of the issue is just a need to put in more time and let Otocon explain things to me as they arise, I also remember that gameplay has never been my favorite part of MGS. The gameplay is decent, and enjoyable for the most part. But I always loved the crazy and intricate storylines in the MGS games, and the grand scale of saving the world Solid-Snake-style.  

So far so good here; but if I remember correctly, these games take a while to go from good to great. I’m confident some of my initial disappointment will be well worth it once things pick up.
EDIT: One AMAZING  thing I forgot to mention.  You can pause those ungodly long cutscenes. I usually play for 5-10 minutes before my toddler son or my wife need my help with something, so pausing is a must and would've been a gamebreaker :)

#2 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5816 posts) -

If you check the start menu there are some tutorials and guides on how to use different CQC techniques, among other things.
 
Personally, I really loved the graphics. It's one of my favorite games to look at on the PS3, second only to Killzone 2. The story's the main draw in this game like the past titles, though if you take your time to mess around the levels you'll see that the gameplay is really good too.

#3 Posted by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

Things will not pick up, your just going to have alot more glorified boss battles, a lack of gameplay and a ton more cutscenes, like triple of what your seeing now. The game is only for ppl to conclude the solid snake story because the game is overated by metal gear fanboys.

#4 Posted by Raymayne (1226 posts) -

It was pretty disappointing imo after the awesomeness of 3.

#5 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -
@HitmanAgent47:
"

The game is only for ppl to conclude the solid snake story because the game is overated by metal gear fanboys.

"
I'm guilty!  :)
 
@FancySoapsMan said:
" If you check the start menu there are some tutorials and guides on how to use different CQC techniques, among other things.  Personally, I really loved the graphics. It's one of my favorite games to look at on the PS3, second only to Killzone 2. The story's the main draw in this game like the past titles, though if you take your time to mess around the levels you'll see that the gameplay is really good too. "

Yeah, I actually just found some of that in the manual too, thanks.
#6 Posted by killer_meatballs (460 posts) -

I thought the game was amazing.  The story, game-play,  graphics,  just blew me away. And  I'm  far from a Sony fan boy.

#7 Posted by Bigrhyno (505 posts) -

Are you playing on a standard def TV? Because MGS 4's graphics are still really great. You should read the manual or look at the tutorials if you want to learn CQC moves; the combat in the game has a ton of depth if you attempt to learn it. Overall, in terms of gameplay it is my favorite MGS. The story isn't as good as MGS 3's, though. I wish Kojima would remake MGS 3 with MGS 4's engine.

#8 Edited by Zithe (1045 posts) -
@HitmanAgent47 said:
"

Things will not pick up, your just going to have alot more glorified boss battles, a lack of gameplay and a ton more cutscenes, like triple of what your seeing now. The game is only for ppl to conclude the solid snake story because the game is overated by metal gear fanboys.

"
I played it without knowing much of the Metal Gear series at all and mostly enjoyed it. Yeah yeah, this was probably not the best course of action, but I don't have time to go back and play all the other ones. It definitely DOES pick up. Of course, stealth is always the focus, but once you get into the controls and get comfortable switching items and weapons, it becomes a hundred times more fun. I will say, though, that Snake's voice was borderline annoying sometimes. Also, the boss fight with the Raven girl took me like an hour and a half.
 
OP, you should definitely stick with it until you get through the middle east section at least. That part probably goes on too long, but it really picks up and you spend less and less time sneaking around in between interesting parts later.
 
Edit: I just remembered the reason I disliked the middle east section of the game was because there were always two sides fighting each other, and it seemed like the levels weren't as well designed for stealth gameplay. This changes later on and it becomes a true you-vs-them experience.
#9 Posted by Nate (702 posts) -
@Bigrhyno: Yes, I am playing on standard def. That probably does affect my view of the graphics, but mainly I'm just comparing it to other games I have that look equally as good, when  I thought it would be way better than anything else :)
It pretty much came down to me saving up more money for an HDTV in a few months, or getting a PS3 now. It was an easy choice for me. PS3!
#10 Posted by killer_meatballs (460 posts) -
@Nate said:
" @Bigrhyno: Yes, I am playing on standard def. That probably does affect my view of the graphics, but mainly I'm just comparing it to other games I have that look equally as good, when  I thought it would be way better than anything else :) It pretty much came down to me saving up more money for an HDTV in a few months, or getting a PS3 now. It was an easy choice for me. PS3! "
Definitely affects the graphics.  Get one...quickly!!!
#11 Edited by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -

the character models, and absurd amount of detail (guns, gadgets, items etc) and the awesome presentation (including cut scenes)  
 
just go into the menu and view items up close. its incredible.  
 
also, theres a ton of technical stuff going on under the hood, so to speak, thats makes it understandable why the graphics arent crysis. the amount of ai going on, PLay big boss hard, is incredible too.   
 
HD makes a HUGE difference here by the way. 

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