1 Store414 Reviews
Pros: Looks entertaining. Decent voice acting. Mostly good cinematics.
Cons: Lousy situational awareness due to poor viewing controls.
Metal Gear Solid is a one man, special ops mission game with an emphasis on stealth. Terrorists have taken a military base, and as operative Solid Snake, it is your job to rescue their hostages and stop their nefarious scheme.
I bought this game because of all the positive reviews I've read on it. I loved Deus Ex, and I've heard this game mentioned in conjunction with DX on many occcassions, so I thought it might be similar. So is it? The answer is sort-of; it is superficially, but not very.
After playing MGS for a while, I discovered that I could not get into the game. I became very frustrated with the control scheme. As a result, I did not finish it. I should add that the game may become a great deal more interesting when you get deeper into it. But my main contention was with the controls.
The graphics were good for a Playstation game. The music was average. The cinematics didn't suck, but they won't win any Oscars either. Think B grade Delta Force/Schwarzenneger commando flick, and you have some idea of the cinematic quality.
Even from the beginning of the game, I became annoyed at some of the cinematic aspects. I don't have any problem with cinematics in my games, but I do want them to be *relevant* and *appropriate* Many of the cinematic moments in MGS did not meet these criteria. For example, how realistic is it for a special forces op who is located deep in enemy territory to stop and flirt and make small talk with some girl on his communication channel? *rolls eyes* On another occassion, I was trying to sneak under a surveillance camera, when the action suddenly stopped without warning, as a cinematic moment occurred. Snake exclaimed with surprise "Gasp! A surveillence camera?!" Imagine that! Who would expect such a thing -- here in this high security military installation? *GROAN*
But the biggest frustration that I experienced with MGS was with the visual control. I've played plenty of FPS's (First Person Shooters) on my PC, so I'll admit that I'm used to viewing the environment from that perspective. I greatly enjoyed Deus Ex on the PC, and the first person perspective added substantially to that game's feeling of realism.
While MGS does have a FPS view, it is only usable when you are standing still. When you are moving, your view is "top down" and it is restricted to about 20' in every direction. Although there is a "radar" window that shows you your enemies positions and facings to a greater distance than that, it is still nowhere near as far as you would be able to see in a FPS.
The fact that this game emphasizes stealthy movement made this issue especially troublesome. I was frustrated that I could not see the place that I was moving toward, and that I could not see what my enemies were doing while I was moving toward that location. It's like having a neck injury that forces you to look down all the time, so you can't really see anything in the distance. The fact that this kind of restriction exists in a game that places so much importance on movement and evading detection really blows chunklets, IMO.
This is the main reason why I will not play MGS. There are many who don't find this a problem. If you're one of them, then you might enjoy MGS. In other respects, it appears to be a pretty decent game (although still not as exceptional as others say, IMO.)
As far as I could tell, combat does not play a large part in MGS. But I only played the early levels, so it may become more combat intensive later. At the early levels, I would sneak up on an enemy, and attempt to render him unconscious or dead. But despite repeated attacks, he would get up after a few seconds and fire on me. It did not appear possible to kill them by hand.
If you were wowed by Deus Ex, and have heard about MGS in connection with DX, be prepared for disappointment. MGS is no DX. It appears to be much more linear, forcing you to follow a single predefined path to finish each level. The MGS levels I played were miniscule compared to the huge levels in DX. And of course, the Playstation graphics are blotchy and poorly defined compared to the sharp images on a decent PC.
So, as much as I wanted to enjoy this game, I cannot recommend it. If you need to be able to see where you're going while moving in a game like this, I would not recommend it for you either. But if you enjoy isometric, "top down" views in your shooting games, you might be fine with this one.