So I bought it. Well technically my girlfriend bought it for me from JB Hifi for $99, which is the going rate for a PS3 game here in Australia. FIRST IMPRESSIONS
I've played it for about 3 hours now and am loving every minute. It's great after being in a frantic firefight, or an intense stealth sneak attack, a cut scene will come on and go for about 3-4 minutes in which I can sit back, eat some pizza and re-hydrate, remember kids, water is good for you, drink it all the time. You also need to push start after it loads each new level, which I thought was a great idea.
The stealth is stealthy and the action is actiony. You can pretty much approach an area in any way you want to, and there are multiple ways to tackle each section. First person mode is very handy in certain situations and handles very well; I was a little put off by the gun being centered Doom style, but it works perfectly. 3rd person mode is also superbly well balanced in regards to spray/accuracy ratio, and even in hectic fights you will always know if you are hitting someone.
Snake looks like he doesn't move very fast, but he actually outruns most enemies when no weapon is equipped. Everything is easy to do, weapon aiming is mapped to the left shoulder button, while the shooting is mapped to the right shoulder button. The left trigger accesses the Item menu, while the right trigger accesses the weapons menu; tapping either trigger will equip/unequip the selected item.
Again there is no jump button, but triangle lets you jump on top of boxes and hang down from ledges, as well as hug walls and interact with things, while X lets you combat roll in any direction and holding it will end the roll with you on your stomach, like in previous MGS games.
***USABLE ITEM / ITEM IN CUTSCENE SPOILER***
I was really surprised to see a fully working iPod in the equipment menu, which comes stocked with 20 or so MGS tracks from throughout the series, and you can find new tracks by finding them throughout levels; it even reads your harddrive and automatically includes any music you have on your PS3. You maneuver through it like you would an actual iPod, the left analogue stick simulating the track pad and the face buttons simulating RW, FF, P/P, MENU. It's really clever. I also noticed in one of the cut scenes that they were using an Apple iBook.
The frame rate is rock fucking solid, even in extremely intensive scenes with TONS of NPCs on screen as well as light rays, dust, blood particles and gun fire; all that and it was perfect, I kid you not. Just watching snake look around such a lush environment with silky smooth movement is a sight to behold.
***A FEW WEAPONS SPOILER***
There is certainly no lack of weapons in this game, from the get go you are given a plethora of machine guns and 2 pistols, one deadly, one passive. From there you just find more and more that you can freely use. One other very surprising thing was that you befriend an arms dealer, which enables you to buy guns and ammo on the go, mid battle even. You earn money by collecting items and equipment from guards you pat down or hold up; it's automatically sold and converted to credits at the dealers store
All in all, it's more than met my expectations, and to those who watched the in-game demo by Kojima, a bit of info, they've changed up the sections they played in the demo so they are not the same.
Now if you will excuse me, I must go to bed. It's midnight and I have work in the morning.
Damn you snake......