Thursday, July 03, 2008

Metal Gear Solid 4 in a nutshell

Joystick Division's Gary Hodges on MGS4:
Playing through MGS4 in all its extravagant glory, I can't help but think of it as something like a Tyrannosaurus rex: the biggest, most extreme, most fully realized example of something that's ultimately an evolutionary dead end.

Can't put it much better than that.


Gary Hodges said...

Thanks for the compliment!

Six Gun said...

I really enjoy your blog, and while I am an MGS fanboy, I'm not mindless and I love good criticism that challenges me to rethink my own perspective. But when both you and Gary Hodges call MGS4 a T-Rex. Are you taking into account the 3.5 million units shipped that seems to show that there is a substantial market for this dino?

By calling this game a dinosaur, you aren't actually criticizing it. Rather your just saying that other developers can't make it a game of its type in today's market. That by no means means it's bad, but just that the economics of gaming have evolved in a different direction.

I'd really like to see you develop this idea, because you're an incredibly perceptive guy and probably have a good argument there that I'm just not seeing.

Mitch Krpata said...

Six Gun, it's obviously an incredibly popular game, and I'd never pretend that mine is the only legitimate opinion about a game. But it's not the economic side I'm talking about, nor is that what I imagine Hodges is trying to say. Rather, in the past several years we've seen some exciting innovations in the way games tell stories without relying on cutscenes. MGS4, which relies totally on cinematics to get its story across, seems like a relic of a different time.

Obviously, people can disagree about how effective this technique is for conveying a story. I think Hodges and I would agree that we'd prefer to play games that advance the story thanks to the player's own actions. It seems that 3.5 million people would disagree!

Six Gun said...

And I agree with you on that front. MGS4's cinemas are excellent (in my opinion) but they aren't uniquely "game". I'm playing through Condemned 2 right now and it does things with storytelling that are far beyond MGS4 in marrying narrative and gameplay.

I guess my only disagreement is that I don't think that makes one method inherently better than another. For you, it appears that it does and that's perfectly fine, but I guess that I'm still one who finds the experience MGS offers unique and immensely more enjoyably than anything else I've played this generation (well, Super Mario Galaxy is pretty close).

Thanks for your response. Keep up the great work!

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