Join Date: Nov 2004
Metal Gear Solid 4
Right, I'm going to go from what I've witnessed so far, and took in, and ignoring every review I've ever read before buying it, here I go.
My first impression was of course the install procedure which took roughly 20 minutes give or take. It shows Snake casually smoking ciggerettes, and around 5 of them before the installation is over, with various warning signs to read while waiting (sits looking at the manual instead)
(Theres a lot of scenes of smoking in this game...just like films used to do)
I'm not going to say its the best game in the world, because quite frankly from what I've played, I'm not that impressed.
No, I don't think the graphics engine is THAT great. I've seen character models that detailed before. Textures are okay, but theres also a lot of rubbishy ones too, and I wouldn't say they blow my mind with detail wherever I go.
Maybe I've been spoilt by doing CG for so long, but no, this didn't hit me as an amazing part of the game. I can tell when somethings been normal mapped, etc rather easily, for example on Snakes suit.
Post effects seem to be what this game is all about graphics wise. Poly's, its not really that high on to be honest. but yeah, post effects like Depth Of Field, Motion Blur, Lens effects, it has a lot of, everywhere.
These effects are okay and all, but I even noticed something yesterday that made me go "what?".
A smoke grenade went off, and as it's in the air, the Antialising the engine seems to have, cut off, creating jaggies where the smoke was, while I was in FPS view until it disspeared. In FPS view, you can also tell how low the texturing quality actually is on some items, where the gun doesn't look all that detailed.
This is one thing a lot of reviews praised, saying it has amazing lip syncing, and the characters hold a lot of emotion and actually seem like they are speaking what they are saying. Again, I wasn't too impressed myself. They still seem pretty rock like, like they can't open their mouths very well in response.
I haven't seen enough of emotion to really tell about that, but...hmm..
This leads me to the poor poor slow down you encounter all the way through cutscenes, and in game.
I'm sure its not just me. One review I read before buying even stated that there was NO slowdown at all throughout... yeah right. I don't know what they were viewing, but it wasn't this game.
The first scene after all the loading has finished, has loads of stuff on screen, and the PS3 cannot seem to cope, with the framerate definietly slowing.
No, it doesn't freeze or stutter, but I have very trained eyes, and it definietly slows down to half if not more of its original frame rate a lot, which really does spoil the experience for me.
Now, you may be wondering why I'm going through these things first. Well, it was meant to be a power house game for the PS3, correct? Reviews have stated graphics, 10/10, etc, and, no... I'm afraid they are not.
I'm playing on a 720p 37 inch Panasonic Plasma TV set to HDMI, with all settings correct by the way.
Sound is okay, though I haven't played this game in 5.1 yet.
I haven't heard much of the music, except for maybe the start theme, which doesn't last that long, but its sort of catchy.
But yeah, bullets, footsteps, etc are captured well.
This is one part of the game where it doesn't really dissapoint.
RUNNING INTO A WALL:
I'll start with things that have annoyed me. For starters, when in hell did they decide in games that if you kept running into someone, or hit a wall, you continue running? Yes, in this game, you do, and you never try and stop yourself like you'd actually try and do.
Controls are pretty fiddly too, and I don't think I've got used to them all yet to be honest.
One other aspect I hate is all this weapon unlocking/buying. Everytime you pick up a new weapon or item, you HAVE to press start, enter the relevant menu item and unlock or put it in your inventory to use. This was never a problem with the other games, and its seriously one I don't like one to have to bother with.
Its a layer on the cake I don't think they even needed to add. Yeah, maybe the unlocking makes sense, but having to keep pressng start, to then enter weapons, and then to enter the right menu of type of weapon while playing is heavily annoying...
I hope I'm not the only one that thinks this.
If you have read up to this point, and are going..."I've played it, and love it, so what's he going on about", then fine, but I'm just saying my experience with it, from the hype etc that it built up, and my honest feelings about the game.
It loads a lot, but these loads only last about 10 seconds at a time, but then it asks you to "Press Start". That really does get annoying.
While in cut scenes, it also asks you to press buttons to give a little flash back, and these are only like flashes of pictures that then switch off as quickly as they came on, and this seems like a pretty pointless idea to me to, as you don't know wheather to press it or not, as it seems mad not to, but at the same time, it doesn't add anything.
Yesterday though, it asked me to press a button to show another camera view of a supposed boss, that I would not have seen close up otherwise. But why? Surely, this could have been added without me having to do that?
Its little things like this, that just makes me go "wha?"
I know you are some secret agent person on this and stuff, but I also find the fact that everyone is your enemy, and they are almost impossible to avoid without killing them all annoying too. You seem to have no real friends, as everyone of them are after you. Its just a bit confusing to me. Theres no ground you stand on.
I heard you could make friends with some of the team on the ground but it doesn't seem so to me from how I've played the game.
No, I'm not that far in, but thats because in places, its so damn hard, before another cut scene comes in.
I actually wish that cutscenes lasted longer, as they are the most enjoyable part about the game, before it then throws the gameplay camera on you, when I don't feel ready to play.
I think I've mentioned all the bad points I can think of, and yes, theres an awful lot of them, but as well as hating the game, and hoping it grows on me, I'm still trying to play through it.
This is where I'd normally have a good points section, and go through what I like about the game from playing, but...er...at the moment, I can't really think of any that make me go "wow, I have to mention that".
I enjoyed all the other MGS games I played. I never go to play through MGS 3 as I never had a PS2, and it isn't playable on the PS3, but MGS1 was amazing, and so is MGS2 I have on the gamecube.
Something's missing with this one though. It feels to open to me, to actually enjoy playing it. The others had an almost closed set out, and you knew exactly where to go most of the time, but with this, except for the radar, theres a lot of places you can go wrong. I don't like being given too much choices while playing games. I much prefer an almost linear experience, with maybe the odd bit thrown here and there.
I also don't really like third person games, when they are trying to be third person games. The other MGS games had such a camera view, that it seemed natural, but when it has a control scheme, and camera like with the likes of Gears Of War, I don't like it one bit. I didn't warm up to that for the same reasons.
Well, this is where my review ends. You may disagree with me, and I'm sure a lot of you will. But these are just my thoughts on it.
I'll report back if I start loving the game.
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