Badly In Need of Editors
There's a gem of a "stealth action on the battlefield" game buried deep within this title. It has an excellent amount of combat depth, an extensive moveset, and a complex weapon upgrading system that makes the battlefield stealth a blast to play and gives it tons of replayability.
Unfortunately, that excellent game, that shiny nugget of fun, is smothered in layers of some of the most obnoxious, convoluted verbal feces to ever grace a visual medium. Not two hours into the game I was mashing the start button through slideshow presentations explaining an illuminati's AI system and a lengthy, apologetic seminar about why someone double-quadruple crossed me 20 years ago, just so I could get back to the part where I press buttons and things happen on the screen. The first time the game gave me control, it allowed me to crawl under a truck, before wrestling that control from me once more to force me to watch again.
Kojima Productions, I understand that you have this epic tale you want to tell, but the phrase "less is more" has never been more relevant than now. The thing I love about the series is the esotericness of it (like a boss that sensually hugs you to death). Use that creativity to make something that's not so passive. Keep the surrealism without copping out to a nanomachine explanation for it all. Make it so the game is being played the whole time the game is being "played". Use audio cues to tell the story as I'm crawling around the battlefield tranquilizing soldiers. Hell, use any of the storytelling techniques utilized in games in the last decade.
I understand that there's a sense of familiarity & fondness for alot of players with the characters & their voice actors, but David Hayter's gargly Old Snake voice sounds like he's on the verge of vomitting the entire time. Otacon's voice actor has all the panache and gravitas of a Saturday morning cartoon. Nothing kills the mood of a well placed, atmospheric scene like having a call immediately afterwards that says "Oh noes! That was Vaaaaaaamp!" And I honesty can't think of a better way to ruin an intense shootout than by having a man very audibly shitting his pants the entire time.
Once I mentally resigned myself to skipping cutscenes to get back to quite enjoyable gameplay, the game was over in about 3 hours. It was really a shame considering how much fun I had while partaking in the tactical espionage action. I really see this as a missed opportunity, as there's easily enough depth there to extend into a 10 or 15 hour game (sans cutscenes). So, KojiPro, while the rest of the world hails this a cinematic masterpiece, I request humbly, as a gamer, that you make a game next time. The foundations for a great one are there.