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Cameron Schott's blog

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Cameron Schott avatar 3:22 PM on 04.26.2010  (server time)
E for Effort: Metal Gear Solid 4

Metal Gear Solid 4 angers me. Every time I play it, I get frustrated while trying to figure out what about it has earned it such praise.

My final conclusion: It simply doesn't deserve its status.

Yes, you could argue that Metal Gear Solid isn't really about the gameplay, so much as it is the story, but Metal Gear Solid 4 makes no effort to appeal to new players with little knowledge of what's happening. And considering how convoluted and, honestly, stupid the storyline is, that's a pretty big problem. Maybe if the game had more than about 20 minutes of gameplay then the lack of coherence in the game's story (to me, of course) would be excusable.

Actually, maybe not. Because as much as I dislike the game's story and characters, the gameplay itself is the worst part of the game. The shooting mechanics are overly simple and somewhat clunky, the level designs are confusing, and once you're spotted by an enemy, it's pretty much impossible to hide again. Now I know what you're thinking: "You clearly just suck at the game!"

Well, you're wrong.

The problem is that the gameplay is extremely rudimentary, but it's littered with frustrations, such as constantly respawning enemies, shitty stealth and shooting mechanics, and confusing, uninspired level designs.

So basically, if the game had a better, more sensible storyline then the crap gameplay would be excusable, and if the game had better gameplay then the convoluted story would be excusable. The solution? Proper balance. Hideo Kojima has clearly put too much focus on the storyline, trying to make it complex and provocative, but all he's done is alienate people like me who just want a fun gameplay experience.

But that's fine, because people like me who want a fun gameplay experience can just go online and mess around with Metal Gear Online, right? Yeah, not so much. Why? Well, remember what I said about how the gameplay is the worst part of the experience? Well, the online play is entirely focused on the gameplay, which combined with glitches, dull matches and the fact that you have to pay for additional characters, makes for a rather terrible experience.

But the worst part is the latter of those issues I mentioned. You can only create one character for free, and then you have to pay with real money to make more. That means that you can only have one character on your system unless you pay for another slot. This is an extremely cheap, terrible way of making you pay extra for features that should have been included for free.

Also, I accidentally created my character on my brother's account and couldn't play online on my own. So yeah, that sucked. I guess.

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