About Us | Game Reviews | Feature Articles | Podcast | Best Work | Forums | Shop | Review Game

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Second Opinion

Brad Gallaway's picture

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Screenshot

Metal Gear Solid 4 is nothing if not a difficult, frustrating, and absolutely strange experience. A vanguard in some ways but a throwback in most, this latest work fits Hideo Kojima's canon in that the final shape of the creation isn't quite what was expected, yet the shocking unevenness at its core sets it apart. Guns of the Patriots lacks the dynamic energy of the master at his craft so typical of his greatest works... Missing the mad genius, the bravado and boldness that has always defined a Kojima game, Guns of the Patriots is not the finale that Solid Snake deserves.

For an exclusive title that currently represents the primary reason to own a PlayStation 3, Metal Gear Solid 4's structural framework is surprisingly archaic underneath the absurdly refined sheen and stunning layers of graphical excellence. However, though the game looks leaps and bounds ahead of the competition (and it really does), it doesn't play that way.

In terms of game design, Guns of the Patriots is just like the last two Metal Gear games with little to differentiate them outside of small tweaks and a control scheme that finally feels comparable to the current standard. Though I didn't expect Kojima to reinvent the Metal Gear formula, what I did expect was an updating and revitalization of the "tactical espionage action" the game purports to deliver.

For example, Solid Snake is still constrained by artificial barriers that many other games of the current age have left behind. For a battle-scarred veteran with decades of experience, how is it that small boxes and low obstructions are completely insurmountable, guiding the player like a rat through a maze with a dubious level of believability? How is it that a rocket launcher still can't open a wooden door? With the amount of horsepower under the PS3's hood, why can't Solid Snake walk up mildly sloping hills and interact with his environment outside of specifically prescribed actions?

In another example of outdated design, a heated battle raged in a small compound. After being thrust into the middle of the conflict, my instinct was to take the fight to the enemy and eliminate all opposition.  I started with a stealthy approach and took out the peripheral guards before moving towards full-on assault screaming from behind a chaingun. Having the freedom to guide my own actions in this environment was a spectacular experience until I realized that the enemy army was infinitely respawning because I wasn't doing what Kojima wanted me to. In that moment, my level of immersion was completely destroyed. An endless stream of enemies because I didn't trip the right trigger? The game itself makes several references to being technologically advanced and leaving the limitations of the PS2 behind, but with design decisions like this, I fail to see what Kojima's talking about.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the  Patriots Screenshot

In what is perhaps the most offensive of all the outdated choices, Kojima devotes an unbelievably massive portion of the game's play time to non-interactive cutscenes.

Although I respect his creativity and craft as a director, the simple fact is that a videogame is not a film. Though the two mediums do share some of the same elements, many recent titles have proven that game storytelling is most successful when it capitalizes on the unique ability to involve players in ways film never could. Guns of the Patriots possesses certain scenes that had the potential to be some of the greatest of my gameplay career, yet by forcing me to be nothing more than an observer, I literally felt robbed of opportunities I should have taken part in. Rather than having memories of "being there" and "doing that", all I'll remember is that I was bored to death watching too many movies that ran on for too long.

The most baffling thing is that there are countless examples of other games which don't have a fraction of the drama that Kojima is able to create, yet their methods of making players feel a part of the events are far more successful than anything Guns of the Patriots achieves. Even something as simple as a button-pushing quick-time events would have done much to reduce the feeling of the player being completely nonessential. Unbelievably, this commonplace technique was completely ignored throughout the length of the game, until two short sequences at the end. Much too little, much too late.

Some may raise the point that the Metal Gear series has such a convoluted history and had so many loose ends to wrap up that the game needs to go places where gameplay can't follow; certain themes are too abstract or cerebral to translate into a concrete action able to be taken by a player, and I respect that.  However, Guns of the Patriots indulges this side of its identity to unbelievable excess. Quite honestly, Kojima would have been better served by simply making a film and delivering the kind of experience he so obviously wants to, and not letting the problem of integrating gameplay hold him back.

Outdated design aside, I take serious issue with the content presented by Metal Gear Solid 4. The series has always been known as eccentric, but there has ever been a method to its madness—some sense of genius and purpose underneath all the confusing elements and bizarre plot twists. Not so with Guns of the Patriots. Kojima has been quoted in the press countless times as saying that he's tired of working on Metal Gear games, and that message comes through loud and clear.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the  Patriots Screenshot

More than anything, I get the sense that there was a focused effort put towards simply ending the series and wrapping up all loose ends, regardless of the quality of the final effort.  Perhaps it was Kojima's way of making sure that he won't be forced to work on another Metal Gear game, but a lot of the nonsensical bits, absurd dialogue, tedious choices and absolutely missed opportunities feel jarringly out of step with what the last three games in this saga have been driving towards.

There was one particular scene at the end of the game that I felt could be a true milestone; a new high water mark in the kind of emotional impact that a videogame could have. The gravitas; the sheer emotional weight onscreen at that moment had intensity beyond words. At that instant, I was prepared to forgive many of the game's sins outright. Sadly, that potential for ultimate greatness was pathetically pissed away, just like so many other things that fail to crystallize over the course of what will likely be Snake's last mission. I have a hard time imagining that the Hideo Kojima of old would have allowed such a catastrophic misstep to happen, yet there it was.

So, where does all this leave Guns of the Patriots? The gameplay (what precious little of it there is) is still stuck in PS2-era levels of sophistication. A huge chunk of the total running time is non-interactive cutscenes, and these long segments of cinema are of questionable quality, filled with plot holes, nonsensical choices and fan service that undercuts its legitimacy. Is this a revolutionary, cutting-edge experience, or unchecked excess and failure to meet the standard of its contemporaries? To me, the answer is obvious.

Believe it or not, I do call myself a fan of Solid Snake, of Metal Gear, and most of all, of Hideo Kojima. These games are without a doubt significant, important titles that will not be forgotten. Kojima himself is absolutely brilliant, often blazing trails that others feared to tread and leading the way for lesser developers to follow in his footsteps.  However, as much as I admire the man and his work, even the greatest of us can tire and falter. Even the greatest of us can make mistakes. I would love to have a chance to sit down with one of the industry's most well-known, well-respected auteurs and find out exactly what significance Guns of the Patriots holds for him because, quite honestly, it's a shadow of what it could, and should have been. Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

Category Tags
Platform(s): PS3  
Developer(s): Kojima Productions  
Key Creator(s): Hideo Kojima  
Publisher: Konami  
Series: Metal Gear  
Genre(s): Stealth  
ESRB Rating: Mature (17+)  
Articles: Game Reviews  

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

suspension of disbelief

"For example, Solid Snake is still constrained by artificial barriers that many other games of the current age have left behind."

It seems that Japanese game developers just have different ideas about game design. Perhaps the threshold of one's suspension of disbelief is culturally determined?

While I think MGS4 is a

While I think MGS4 is a superb game on pretty much every level, I'm not going to argue with your criticisms of the game because most are valid to some degree, though mainly subjective. However I do think the following comment needs addressing: With the amount of horsepower under the PS3's hood, why can't Solid Snake walk up mildly sloping hills and interact with his environment outside of specifically prescribed actions?

Saying that is like playing Halo, looking at the mountains in the backdrop of a level, and then saying "Why can't I go there?". The things you see around the play-area are there purely for realism and authenticity.

I'm not trying to sound patronising, but I think it's pretty clear that MGS isn't a "free-roaming" game, and that most non-free roam games will have similar 'problems' of the like you have commented on. It's called linear gameplay.

I watched "Escape From New

I watched "Escape From New York" last night, as it was on TV. I had never seen it before, but I remembered reading somewhere that Kojima got inspiration for the character Snake from this film. (A terrible movie, by the way)

Boy, was I surprised at what I saw. For the next hour, I witnessed "Metal Gear: The Movie." The main character's name in the movie is actually Snake! He wears an eye-patch, the gun looks like it came from the metal gear universe, and all the talk of corporations and war fit in perfectly with Kojima's vision. If the movie genre had a name, it would be called tactical stealth espionage. Needless to say, I was rather taken aback that one of my idols suddenly transformed into a copycat. All elements of Snake's character were taken from that movie. The only thing that Kojima seemed to add to the universe was the Metal Gear itself, which only really serves the purpose of being a stand-in for a Nuke.

I wonder if he had to pay licensing fees to take a character so fully and transfer him to a series spanning 20 years.

Re: While I think MGS4 is a

Crofto, I agree with your point about game objects that are outside of play area simply being there for immersion. However, the way the game space is designed needs to leave little ambiguity about what can be interacted with and what not. Please correct me if I am wrong, but if I read your Halo analogy correctly, you are talking about a "backdrop" or "skybox". Skyboxes always appear very far away from the playfield, so there is no ambiguity about whether or not they can be interacted with.

On the other hand, it sounds like Brad is talking about actual geometric pieces in close proximity to the player - boxes, crates, slightly sloped terrain, etc. I think it's fair to say that players should expect to interact with these items. After all, if Solid Snake can crouch down and hide inside a cardboard box or a metal barrel, hang on ledges and do other acrobatic maneuvers, it is reasonable to expect him to be able to mantle over other such storage containers and walk up gently sloped hills, provided these items are right up next to the player and don't appear to be miles off in the distance. It is especially reasonable given the fact that other games have already set the standard to where the player can mantle over low obstacles and walk up slopes. So it doesn't sound like your analogy holds.

You are right about MGS being a relatively linear game, but is linear gameplay really what we should be striving for? Within the different levels or play-fields it is good game design to give the player different ways to pass obstacles. In other words, give the player interesting choices, because that is what differentiates games from other media and makes them fun. Brad's point is that MGS4 doesn't give the player interesting choices. Instead, it forces the player to make certain choices, as evidenced by his example of an endless stream of enemies because he didn't trip the right trigger.

The ultimate in not giving the player interesting choices are non-interactive cutscenes. When the time spent being non-interactive dwarfs the time spent being interactive, the "game" ceases to actually be a game.

Lost Planet: 8.5 MGS 4:

Lost Planet: 8.5
MGS 4: 6.5
spooky.....

Anonymous wrote:I watched

Anonymous wrote:

I watched "Escape From New York" last night, as it was on TV. I had never seen it before, but I remembered reading somewhere that Kojima got inspiration for the character Snake from this film. (A terrible movie, by the way)

No, it's not a terrible movie. It's a pretty good movie. It's part of John Carpenter's early awesome streak. Yeah, it's kind of joyless and dated, but it's still well made and Kurt Russell is great in it. Plus any movie that has pre-Scientology Isaac Hayes playing a guy named The Duke automatically has class.

Anonymous wrote:

Boy, was I surprised at what I saw. For the next hour, I witnessed "Metal Gear: The Movie." The main character's name in the movie is actually Snake! He wears an eye-patch, the gun looks like it came from the metal gear universe, and all the talk of corporations and war fit in perfectly with Kojima's vision. If the movie genre had a name, it would be called tactical stealth espionage. Needless to say, I was rather taken aback that one of my idols suddenly transformed into a copycat. All elements of Snake's character were taken from that movie. The only thing that Kojima seemed to add to the universe was the Metal Gear itself, which only really serves the purpose of being a stand-in for a Nuke.

I wonder if he had to pay licensing fees to take a character so fully and transfer him to a series spanning 20 years.

I don't think you're giving Kojima enough credit. He did take the gravel-voiced Snake and some general structural cues from Escape from New York, and the Colonel from Rambo (both of whom are really more like iconic 80's action movie archetypes that he, as a slightly Tarantinoid postmodern film geek, is "quoting"), but out of that he managed to make his own thing by combining that with a quirky, distinctively Japanese sensibility.

Also, John Carpenter contributed a blurb to MGS2 talking about how much he thought it rocked, so I don't think he's very mad about the homage.

Shame about MGS4, though. I'll still play it, but I kind of wish it'd never been made.

Odofakyodo wrote: Please

Odofakyodo wrote:

Please correct me if I am wrong, but if I read your Halo analogy correctly, you are talking about a "backdrop" or "skybox". Skyboxes always appear very far away from the playfield, so there is no ambiguity about whether or not they can be interacted with.

I'll admit, it wasn't exactly a superb example, but it was the first one I could think of. Basically, what I was trying to say is that you could say something like "the doors don't blow off via rocket fire" to dozens of other linear games, so it seems unfair to direct that as a criticism towards MGS4.

Those comments make it sound as if the reviewer is expecting an experience akin to Grand Theft Auto, rather than a linear stealth-action game.

Quote:

On the other hand, it sounds like Brad is talking about actual geometric pieces in close proximity to the player - boxes, crates, slightly sloped terrain, etc. I think it's fair to say that players should expect to interact with these items. After all, if Solid Snake can crouch down and hide inside a cardboard box or a metal barrel, hang on ledges and do other acrobatic maneuvers, it is reasonable to expect him to be able to mantle over other such storage containers and walk up gently sloped hills, provided these items are right up next to the player and don't appear to be miles off in the distance. It is especially reasonable given the fact that other games have already set the standard to where the player can mantle over low obstacles and walk up slopes. So it doesn't sound like your analogy holds.

I appreciate what you're saying, and fully accept that certain obstacles in MGS4 should be viable for realistic interaction. For example, there are a few ledges in MGS4 that could easily be climbed over by Snake considering the amount of moves he otherwise can perform easily. There's no denying that some more work could have been done in areas like that, but for ledges/obstacles that are clearly out of the main-objective field, I think it's fair that the developers shouldn't have to make them interactive just to keep curious players happy. I mean, why put in the animation to climb a ledge that leads absolutely nowhere?

Also, actually not being able to interact with things that "seem" interactive surely confirms that you're heading in the wrong direction anyway?

I dunno, wasting development time adding animations for things like climbing sloped hills and leaping over containers that add absolutely nothing to the game (from a progress standpoint) doesn't seem appropriate from my perspective. But that's my opinion.

Quote:

Brad's point is that MGS4 doesn't give the player interesting choices. Instead, it forces the player to make certain choices, as evidenced by his example of an endless stream of enemies because he didn't trip the right trigger.

I don't think I can agree with that: I think MGS4 offers plenty of variation within the confines of its linear nature. I don't think Splinter Cell offers such large play areas that support different play styles, does it? If you want to criticise a game for being too linear, then Splinter Cell should be it, not MGS.

MGS allows you to kill enemies by force; kill them by stealth; stun them; sneak past them; aid either PMCs or militia to further your own ends; multiple choices for getting past areas (e.g. crawling through a vent, or over a roof via ladders) and much more. That's more than enough interesting choices for the player, surely?

Obviously you're forced to make certain choices sometimes, but again, this isn't Knights of the Old Republic, it's a stealth action game!

Quote:

The ultimate in not giving the player interesting choices are non-interactive cutscenes. When the time spent being non-interactive dwarfs the time spent being interactive, the "game" ceases to actually be a game.

This can be put down purely to how long you play the game, but for me, and general play-times I've seen going around, the average gametime is roughly 20 hours. That's 7 hours cut-scenes and 13 hours of gameplay, which pretty much says the exact opposite to what you just said.

Again, I'm not trying to gloss over some potential issues MGS4 has; I'll agree that some more interactive elements would have been nice (even some VR Missions would have sufficed), but otherwise MGS4 offers enough gameplay to keep it from being an actual film, or even a hybrid of film/game.

MGS4 Response

Ok Brad I know you like to rag on games a lot, and sometimes I agree with you, but some of your complaints about Metal Gear are foolish.

I could name any game in every genre and say, Why can't I go there? Even the biggest games have boundaries. I can go to the edge of the map on Oblivion and see everthying just past me but for some reason I can't go there.

Not to mention the biggest point this is a linear game if you don't like linear games, why are you chosen to give the second opinion? To stir up the pot would be my guess.

Again you diss the non-interactive cutscenes. Did you expect something different from Metal Gear? I fail to see what your expectations for this game are.

I guess the answer would be have a play space the size of Oblivion have the amount of cutscenes Half-Life does in other words you don't want this to be a Metal Gear game and for this I'm glad you are only reviewing and not making games.

My expectations for Metal Gear were the completion of the story with long sometimes over done cutscenes(cool nontheless). A game that would improve the core gameplay elements of both stealth and shooting which this game did even more than I expected. The ability to shoot in this game is as good as almost any shooting game. I can play it like Gears, Call of Duty or use the tried and true stealth gameplay of Metal Gear.

The freedom of this game is amazing in the almost infinite ways that you can play it. I'm sorry you don't like the Metal Gear games, but the way you completely skip over the great parts of this game, which is the vast majority and harp on the negatives which to me seem to be your dislike of the genre are silly, you sir should not be reviewing this game.

What makes MGS4 stand out?

Quote:

This can be put down purely to how long you play the game, but for me, and general play-times I've seen going around, the average gametime is roughly 20 hours. That's 7 hours cut-scenes and 13 hours of gameplay, which pretty much says the exact opposite to what you just said.

Again, I'm not trying to gloss over some potential issues MGS4 has; I'll agree that some more interactive elements would have been nice (even some VR Missions would have sufficed), but otherwise MGS4 offers enough gameplay to keep it from being an actual film, or even a hybrid of film/game.

That's fair. I admit I haven't played the game, so I don't know what the play time to game time ratio is. I was just taking the cutscene scenario to the extreme to make a point. However, I did play all the other MGS games, and even though I know the time spent playing the game was more than the time spent watching cutscenes, I often the cutscenes felt unbearably long.

Moreover, despite the high production values of the cutscenes, they are quite often utter crap when compared to even an average movie. The dialogue was often just atrocious (e.g. "Snake, do you think love can bloom on the battlefield?"). Every point was illustrated through a long dialogue, followed by a long flashback, and then more dialogue, so nothing was subtle. More often than not, I felt like I was being lectured to instead of watching characters make interesting choices and observing the consequences, and being allowed to interpret meaning on my own. Yes, the boss fights were really cool most of the time (definitely some awesome ones in MGS3), but seriously, does every boss *have* to tell me his life story when I defeat him? Realistically, no one would do that. I'd love to see a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 that did the MGS cutscenes, cause they are that laughable.

For all the totally sweet gameplay moments I had in previous MGSs, I often felt exactly what Brad describes in this latest edition: several elements of the games are very outdated. The most obvious example is the 2D overhead cameras, which were extremely frustrating, especially since many N64 and PS1 games had friendly 3D cameras (and yes, Splinter Cell had way better camera control).

I have to question whether or not MGS games are *that* great, when many gameplay elements seem like they are just catching up with games that are already out. The camera *finally* is fully 3D now? Fine. I can aim and shoot similar to every other shooter out there? Fine. I can upgrade my weapons by purchasing them from a dealer, just like many last generation games? Fine. How do any of these elements push the envelope? What makes MGS4 stand out?

Hi everyone, thanks for your

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments.

i'm not going to say too much, but i would like to clarify a few things.

1> when i wrote about the level of interactivity, Odofakyodo had it right in saying that i was talking about Snake's immediate surroundings-- it wasn't some sort of complaint that i couldn't walk into the horizon or somesuch. i'm not knocking the game because it's not a sandbox like GTA... it just seems to me that in a "tactical espionage action" game, Snake should be able to climb over *all* boxes in the room, not just the ones that lead into the next section.

in another example, what about applying physics to objects in his immediate area? if a grenade goes off, why doesn't the stack of boxes it detonated next to fall over? we're at a stage in game development where games (linear or not) are able to integrate different elements for a more convincing, engaging experience. MGS4 ignores practically all of the advances made since the PS2, and as a result, the quality of the gameplay feels decidedly last-gen.

i mean, it's obvious Kojima pumped up the graphics, but i'd like someone to show me where else in the game any real advances were made. if you dropped down the graphic quality, this could have easily ran on the PS2.

2> talking about gameplay variation... it's in there, but only in the same sense that it is for Splinter Cell. to me, choosing whether to shoot an enemy or to knock him out isn't really that significant. it's not really a point i'm going to spend a lot of time on since it's quite clear that MGS4 is a focused, directed experience which is fine in some situations, but the philosophy is somewhat misapplied here. my review covers it pretty well but in a nutshell, it (again) hews too closely to last-gen design concepts.

3> i finished the game in about 16 hours, though i didn't exactly have a stopwatch next to me. if the cutscenes come in at around 7 hours, that leaves 9-ish of gameplay... that's a pretty unhealthy ratio, IMO.

and finally, i would just like to again state that i actually am a fan of both Kojima and the series, it's just that MGS4 whiffed on so many levels that it's hard for me to really take it seriously. IMO, ending the series with Snake Eater would have been perfect... the emotion and gravity of Snake at the end when he realizes what he's done to the Boss and what's been done to him is a powerful, emotional high point in characterization and direction. the only scene that comes even close in MGS4 comepletly drops the ball, and the rest of the game is so wonky and off, it's like watching Phantom Menace and comparing it to Empire Strikes Back.

sorry for the lazy SW reference, but i'm tired and it's been a long day. ; )

6.5, this reviewer needs some respect

6.5 for this game is a joke. Okay, it could have the worst gameplay and lack of innovation ever, but just based on it's graphics and sound alone it starts with a 7. If it was only about innovation and new gameplay structures all the time then we would see very simple very low budget games getting 10/10 across the board.

Face it, we all love good graphics, sound and production, on this level this game is a leader and a bench mark for cinematic experiences in games. It is like a summer blockbuster, no one is going to hail Independence Day in the hall of fame but it was a fu**ing fun ride at the time that 99/100 people enjoyed.

6.5/10 is disgraceful, shouldn't be allowed from a critic as personal opinion is a major factor in that score as it would get higher than this baed on my reasons in the first paragraph.

Pathetic

stevo wrote: it could have

stevo wrote:

it could have the worst gameplay and lack of innovation ever, but just based on it's graphics and sound alone it starts with a 7. If it was only about innovation and new gameplay structures all the time then we would see very simple very low budget games getting 10/10 across the board.

you must not have any real idea of what site you're at, or what my preferences are a reviewer.

BTW, if you have some of those low-budget games with innovation and new gameplay structures handy, please send them my way.

I'm relatively new to this

I'm relatively new to this site. I've only read the reviews of a couple of games, GTA IV and Metal Gear. While the critiques put forth by the writers are fantastic and incredibly well thought out, ultimately we are talking about video games. As an artistic medium, video games lack the sophistication of film, literature, and fine art. Which seems like a paradox considering that it is comprised of all those elements. Ultimately, video games are comprised of images and sensory elements that form a reified "experience" of something.

At least for me, playing video games is about achieving a certain amount of self-gratification, akin to watching pornography. As long as these mediums achieve their purpose peripheral details, lighting, acting, plot, etc. make no difference. So before we take these games, and consequently the reviews too seriously, lets take into account that ultimately its about satisfaction. If jenna jameson blurts out the wrong name, the make up guy forgets to blush away a pimple, or if the story of an rapidly aging super-spy clone has a couple of plot holes, take it with the grain of salt inherent to the self-gratfying somewhat ridiculous medium you are consuming.

Re: 6.5, this reviewer needs some respect

stevo wrote:

6.5 for this game is a joke. Okay, it could have the worst gameplay and lack of innovation ever, but just based on it's graphics and sound alone it starts with a 7. If it was only about innovation and new gameplay structures all the time then we would see very simple very low budget games getting 10/10 across the board.

Logically, doesn't this mean that everything else in a game - design, gameplay, ai, controls and ui, etc - make up only 30% of what the score should be based on? That seems a bit skewed to me. Shouldn't graphics and sound be more like 30% of the judgement, maybe 50% at most?

The point Brad was making about MGS4 is that not only does it lack innovation, in several respects it doesn't even catch up with current-gen games, and he provided multiple examples of this. Personally, I saw a similar pattern with previous MGS games.

stevo wrote:

it, we all love good graphics, sound and production, on this level this game is a leader and a bench mark for cinematic experiences in games. It is like a summer blockbuster, no one is going to hail Independence Day in the hall of fame but it was a fu**ing fun ride at the time that 99/100 people enjoyed.

You're not making a great case here. ID4 averages a 6.4/10 on IMDB and 62% on Rotten Tomatoes. Transformers, another summer blockbuster special effects extravaganza, averages 7.5/10 on IMDB and 57% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Review scores aside, I personally stand by my previous statements that despite the really high production values and immense care that Kojima puts in the cinematics, their quality pales in comparison to average movies. Thus, I think we should think about what we really want to put up on pedastals: C-rate movies or engaging, player-configurable experiences that take advantage of what the gaming medium has to offer that movies do not.

stevo wrote:

6.5/10 is disgraceful, shouldn't be allowed from a critic as personal opinion is a major factor in that score as it would get higher than this baed on my reasons in the first paragraph.

Pathetic

First of all, every review score is based on personal opinion (unless the reviewer was paid off! :P). Secondly, there's nothing wrong with having an opinion, as long as you can back it up with evidence and observations that support it, which Brad did.

jesus wrote: I'm relatively

jesus wrote:

I'm relatively new to this site. I've only read the reviews of a couple of games, GTA IV and Metal Gear. While the critiques put forth by the writers are fantastic and incredibly well thought out, ultimately we are talking about video games. As an artistic medium, video games lack the sophistication of film, literature, and fine art. Which seems like a paradox considering that it is comprised of all those elements. Ultimately, video games are comprised of images and sensory elements that form a reified "experience" of something.

This is just not true. I wrote an article for teens, "Are Videogames Art?" dated in 2003, that compared great works of art to videogames.

jesus wrote:

At least for me, playing video games is about achieving a certain amount of self-gratification, akin to watching pornography. As long as these mediums achieve their purpose peripheral details, lighting, acting, plot, etc. make no difference. So before we take these games, and consequently the reviews too seriously, lets take into account that ultimately its about satisfaction. If jenna jameson blurts out the wrong name, the make up guy forgets to blush away a pimple, or if the story of an rapidly aging super-spy clone has a couple of plot holes, take it with the grain of salt inherent to the self-gratfying somewhat ridiculous medium you are consuming.

So you don't watch movies to be gratified? All forms of art provide some degree of gratification, which is why we are drawn to them.

Saying things that needed saying

A game with cinematic allusions...but full of plot holes and bad dialogue.

Marketed as next-gen...but an archaic game design premise.

Bizarre, confusing, esoteric...but that's ok cos he's an auteur?

Many contradictions in the MGS universe and it was good of you to raise them, Brad.

Kojima appreciation has almost become a badge of honour among game journalists. I'm glad someone finally has the guts to point out that he's good but not that good.

funny to see these

funny to see these critics... I don't play mgs4 yet, but i can say that IT IS NOT ANOTHER FPS games... time ago fps where only on pc (and in majority, believe me or not, for the usa market) then if you want to go around and waste your time with all these game (they are all the same thing) nobody tell you nothing... it's a shame to read all these critics on to this game... lot of people is happy to see ALL THESE FANTASTIC GAMES coming out (FPS) ... i'm not... games like mgs4 are good games... could be also gears of war, but not gewo 2 that is the same thing with more weapons new maps and,, oh yes new finishing moves... amazing.. every game that is for both system (ps3 and 360) looking more and more worse and i'm very sick to see these games.. hope to see big games like mgs4, and hope to return to play good games and not only fps,

p.s. 360 is made for fps... play your game(s)

p.s.2 sorry for my language,,, I don't speak a good english

idiot

you are really an asshole dude.

Simple statement: isn't

Simple statement: isn't Hideo Kojima a fan of irony?

(Hint - Ending)

LOL

Odofakyodo says...

(Quote)
The point Brad was making about MGS4 is that not only does it lack innovation, in several respects it doesn't even catch up with current-gen games, and he provided multiple examples of this. Personally, I saw a similar pattern with previous MGS games.

Games are for entertainment, if you are going to mock a game for its chosen genre then why play that game in the first place? If you don't like cut scenes and cinematic games then you shouldn't even play this game as you are slating the game for its own boundaries it has created, not because of lack of innovation but because of the developers choice. They decided to spend there time on the aspects of the game that they felt were priority, and I agree with them. MGS4 is not a game that is trying to wow new gamers to the series with new gameplay innovations, it wants to concentrate on the amazing things it is good at and 'reward' fans of the game with all the things they expect and even more in this case. On this level the game is a huge success.

You know what you are playing before you put this game in the system. It is like cooking some eggs for your self and then complaining that they taste like eggs, why cook them in the first place if you don't like them!!! Gran Turismo doesn't get slated for sticking to the same formula, GT doesn't want to go down the Burnout route or whatever 'next'gen' racing game is heading as it sticks with what it is good at. Same as MGS4.

Also 'next-gen' is a load of crap, it is a phrase for expectations with the new consoles basically. On this basis how can you tell me that MGS4 lacks behing other games? I will be open for examples of games in a similiar genre.

I think the first review of this game demonstrates my point with knowing what to expect with the game. The reviewer gave the game an 8 even though he personally thinks it's a 9. He didn't let his opiniion of personal like give it a 9 but Brad lets his personal opinion give it 6.5. Nuff said!

Chi Kong Lui wrote: . This

Chi Kong Lui wrote:

. This is just not true. I wrote an article for teens, "Are Videogames Art?" dated in 2003, that compared great works of art to videogames.

I read your article its very intersting, I'm not saying video games are incapable of being works of art, I said as an artistic medium it lacks the sophistication of other types of art. In your comparison, where is the video game Guernica, where is the Anna Karerina? Simply put, there are no video game equivalents.

Chi Kong Lui wrote:

So you don't watch movies to be gratified? All forms of art provide some degree of gratification, which is why we are drawn to them.

You are right, all forms of art do provide a degree of gratification, but not all that gratifies is art. My comparison to pornography highlights this point, b/c like porno films, video games have all the elements to become complex works, but instead they seek to emphasize the gratification aspect. Just by reading your article I know you will continue to argue your point, but the reality is that as an art from video games leave much to be desired. Can they get better as art? Sure. Will they? Probably not.

Video Games Will Never Be Sophisticated?

If I get this straight, Jesus, your argument is this:

Video games will never be as sophisticated as other art forms because they appeal primarily to self-gratification.

I agree with you that video games are generally not as sophisticated as other art forms. You may even be correct as to your reason. However, even if that is true, you have provided no evidence to support the claim that this will always be the case. Other art forms--drawing, painting, writing, etc--have existed for thousands of years of human history. In constrast, video games have only been around for about 50 years or so. They are still in their infancy. In fact, Chi suggested this in his article (last two paragraphs). He even proposed two things that had to happen in order for video games to mature as a medium.

To say that video games as a whole will never be as sophisticated as other art forms seems quite a monstrous assumption, given that 1) They could be around for thousands of years, if not forever; and 2) There are already popular video games out there that contain deep and complex use of gameplay. Chi mentioned several in his article. There are many others. Sim City, for example, has quite a deep and elegant rule set that allows the user to build complex creations, each of which can have its own unique personality. For all their faults, even MGS games have some great artistic use of gameplay. Take "The Sorrow" boss fight in MGS3, for example, which really made me reflect about the way I was playing the game (nearly all the ghosts had had their throat slit). Heck even Tetris has its own simple, abstract elegance. Simple creations can be great works of art. Why should Tetris be any less valid than many Cubist paintings?

employer opera

Stevo wrote:

Games are for entertainment, if you are going to mock a game for its chosen genre then why play that game in the first place?

The problem here is that your premise is the wrong one. i don't think David or myself would be comfortable working from a position believing solely that "games are for entertainment."

it's true that entertainment is a large part of it, but like any other art form or medium, they can be more than simple pastimes or sources of gratification. Kojima himself has done more than most to prove this concept, which is a large part of why i found MGS4 so disappointing.

Quote:

If you don't like cut scenes and cinematic games then you shouldn't even play this game as you are slating the game for its own boundaries it has created, not because of lack of innovation but because of the developers choice. They decided to spend there time on the aspects of the game that they felt were priority, and I agree with them.

If i can be perfectly frank, you don't seem to grasp what it is we're critiquing in these reviews. we're not criticizing the fact that cutscenes exist, or that the devs felt the story was important -- rather, we're discussing the quality and craft, the choices in direction and writing.

if you liked what they did, more power to you -- that's your opinion, i can respect that. however, disagreeing with choices and raising points of criticism is the very basis for reviewing. if you're going to accept whats presented without really examining and considering what's been done, then why bother reading reviews in the first place?

Quote:

I think the first review of this game demonstrates my point with knowing what to expect with the game. The reviewer gave the game an 8 even though he personally thinks it's a 9. He didn't let his opiniion of personal like give it a 9 but Brad lets his personal opinion give it 6.5. Nuff said!

all reviews are a personal opinion. that's just a core truth central to all reviews. when you find a review without any personal opinion, please let me know-- i'd love to read it.

Stevo wrote: if you are

Stevo wrote:

if you are going to mock a game for its chosen genre then why play that game in the first place? If you don't like cut scenes and cinematic games then you shouldn't even play this game as you are slating the game for its own boundaries it has created, not because of lack of innovation but because of the developers choice.

Steve, there's a point Brad alludes to, and I agree with it, that the game's cinematics fall short even within the boundaries it set for itself. While technically impressive, there are too many ham-fisted moments to be simply explained away under the rubic of irony.

Auteurs don't just do weird stuff, they are in true control of their craft. Sometimes I feel MGS has taken on a life of its own, that even Kojima struggles to make sense of it all.

Throwing paint at a wall and calling it postmodern...does not qualify as makes me hesitate to call it art!

This is what I love about

This is what I love about reading reviews on this site and the comments subsequently; there are a lot of reasoned arguments going on that almost always make me think about elements of the game experience in a way I hadn't before. While I often find the reviews to be on the pessimistic side, I don't know if I can say I've ever read a point raised that didn't have merit, they're usually just something I didn't see as a big problem myself.

Indeed there seems to always be someone saying to stop taking videogames so seriously and just enjoy them as a low form of art, but I commend the GameCritics staff for always having high standards and pushing for them. No harm can come of this, and if there are any developers out there who read a GameCritics review they'll probably get a lot more out of it than the majority of other reviews (GTA4 for example). Kudos for encouraging the movement towards deeper, more artful games, rather than being part of the "games are just dumb fun" problem (sure, some can be, but let's not dismiss the whole medium like that). That sort of thinking is in large part why games aren't taken seriously by the mainstream political public who seem to just look at the needlessy violent mass-commercialism games and draw the conclusion that videogames are nothing more than dangerous "murder simulators" and why we still have those types of games and a market for them.

Also the staff is always polite in addressing often harsh criticism and at the same time manages not to come off as acting superior. A tough tightrope to balance!

Brad Gallaway wrote: Hi

Brad Gallaway wrote:

Hi everyone, thanks for your comments.

and finally, i would just like to again state that i actually am a fan of both Kojima and the series, it's just that MGS4 whiffed on so many levels that it's hard for me to really take it seriously. IMO, ending the series with Snake Eater would have been perfect... the emotion and gravity of Snake at the end when he realizes what he's done to the Boss and what's been done to him is a powerful, emotional high point in characterization and direction. the only scene that comes even close in MGS4 comepletly drops the ball, and the rest of the game is so wonky and off, it's like watching Phantom Menace and comparing it to Empire Strikes Back.

I don't agree with score at all. But of course that is my opinion. I'm here to tell others that this review doesn't do the game justice at all. Especially if you are a "fan" of the MG/MGS universe. Brad here says he's a fan of the series. I really do wonder that.

As a fan, what did you seriously expect from this game?

I'm sure the mass majority of fans expected closure for the MGS universe as there was so many questions that needed to be answered. And you know what, MGS4 answered pretty much everything.

You say that ending the series with MGS3 would have been perfect. Are you completely nuts?!?! This is the proof that you shouldn't be reviewing it as a "fan". Instead you should be reviewing this as a regular gamer who enjoys MGS. As a fan, meaning you enjoy the game more then a person who just likes it per say, you would know about the storylines in MG/MGS. If you do know the storyline then how on earth could the ending of MGS3 end the series? MGS3 talked about who Big Boss was and how he came to be. But it did not provide any closure for Solid Snake, nor did it tell us what happened after MGS2. MGS2 left so many people wondering what is going to happen. I agree that MGS3 is very emotional and amazingly done at the end. But MGS4 has very emotional moments as well. Crawling through the microwave tunnel, boss fight with Liquid Ocelet (this fight alone was so amazing and emotional - one of the best boss fights ever, if not THE BEST), Solid Snake shown about to shoot himself, Octacon and Sunny have a conversation about where is Snake, Big Boss appearing and telling Solid Snake it's time to rest, Big Boss saluting The Boss again. I mean there is a crap load of emotional moments in MGS4 if you are a fan of the series. They might not compare to that one peak moment in MGS3, but there are more.

Also, the story of MGS4 is very hard to get at first and there are forums out there dedicated just talking about it. But if you read through the MGS database which you can download off the PSN, that helps sum up a lot of the questions that MGS fans have about the story. If you truly GET the entire story in MGS4, it is just as good and emotional as MGS3.

Anyway, this is my opinion that Brad here is MGS bandwagon follower. Once he fails to understand the story he jumps off it, shoots it down, and thus dislikes it.

For those out there who are fans, I'm sure you've already played the game and love it. Solid Snake got an awesome send off, which was the whole point of this game. He spent his entire life fighting and the ending couldn't have been more fitting. Rest well David, you've earned it.

Odofakyodo wrote: To say

Odofakyodo wrote:

To say that video games as a whole will never be as sophisticated as other art forms seems quite a monstrous assumption, given that 1) They could be around for thousands of years, if not forever; and 2) There are already popular video games out there that contain deep and complex use of gameplay. Chi mentioned several in his article. There are many others. Sim City, for example, has quite a deep and elegant rule set that allows the user to build complex creations, each of which can have its own unique personality. For all their faults, even MGS games have some great artistic use of gameplay. Take "The Sorrow" boss fight in MGS3, for example, which really made me reflect about the way I was playing the game (nearly all the ghosts had had their throat slit). Heck even Tetris has its own simple, abstract elegance. Simple creations can be great works of art. Why should Tetris be any less valid than many Cubist paintings?

I think you're missing the point here. I agree that it is presumptive of me to say "never" will a game be as sophisticated, i guess you can call me a pessimist. I can't draw for shit, but i make a stick figure sitting by a crappily drawn tree. Now we can argue about what "art" is or is not, and you can say what you want about my crappy drawing but it is art in a most simplistic form. However, to call myself an artist on par to Picasso or Rembrant would be ridiculous.

That's my point with regards to video games, I'm not saying it's not art I'm just saying as art it leaves much to be desired. I love playing Metal Gear games, I love how close to an interactive film it can be at times (Despite the disconnect from "immersion" Brad mentioned). But if i'm judging it as i would a film, well, anyone who's ever played knows how weak the dialogue is in all games. I love RPGs for the deep immersion and the sythesis of story, and gameplay but I can tell you the plot of most of these games' stories are cliches: One-dimisional characters, troubled past, flimsly love story, save the world, etc.

I know when judging different art forms you have to take different elements into account. When judging video games it comes down to one element: Gameplay. Ultimately, its about having fun while playing a game. You don't sit down with a game and say "Man, this story about a Space Marine fighting religious aliens, is deep. I wonder what the developer is saying about our society?". I'm not dissing games, I love them, nor am i dissing gamers, I am one. I'm just saying as art games are a very simplistic, low form of it.

More games as art

As a departure point for this LONG reply (I apologize, I got on a roll), it is encouraging to me to hear you say that gameplay is the most important element when judging a game. I think with any piece of art we need to judge it on its own terms. When you say "if i'm judging it as i would a film", then it doesn't meet your expectations of great art, my response is "Why would it?" You are judging it by the criteria that you judge a film, when it is not a film. It is a game. I do not judge a book by the same criteria as a painting, so why would I judge a game by the same criteria as a film?

I don't mean any offense, but I don't think you being completely consistent in your application of criteria by which to judge games as works of art. Your analogy with drawing the stick figure doesn't hold because you are comparing a drawing to other drawings, whereas when you judge games you seem to judge them by the same or very similar criteria that you use for film. To further illustrate the point, you state that games lack complex character development and have poor dialogue, and are therefore simplistic and low. Yet, you consider the works of Picasso and Rembrandt high, sophisticated art, and yet they do not contain complex character development or great dialogue. Judging video games, Picasso, or Rembrandt by the same criteria you would a film does them all a disservice because it ignores the strengths of the media in question.

Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't compare and contrast the strengths and weaknesses of different media. Obviously books, film, photography, painting, etc all have their strengths and weaknesses. And so it is with games. The questions that gamers and game critics have to answer are "What are the strengths and weaknesses of games?" and "What criteria should we be judging them by?" Only to a certain extent do I think it's valid to judge them by the same criteria as many other media because, as you suggested earlier, video games use film, text, sound, etc as tools. But these tools are a means to an end - they are a way to convey information about the true strength of video games, what people commonly refer to as "interactivity". Instead of just observing and interpreting the content of the medium, the user actually gets to configure what the generated content actually is.

That is a POWERFULLY different thing than pretty much all media that have come before. With all older media, there was only one author of content or story: The maker (writer, sculptor, director, composer, etc). Video games have not one but TWO other authors: The user and the machine itself. The maker can enable the user to make choices and influence the resulting content, and the machine can use rules set up by the maker to modify input from the user to create content that neither the maker nor the user intended (I would call this the "emergent" gameplay that is often spoke of).

So your question "I wonder what the developer is saying about our society?" makes a valid point about Halo. I don't think the developers were intending to make too many deep observations about our world. Whatever observations there are, they certainly were not worried about making them very sophisticated. However, none of this means that games won't end up making extremely powerful observations about all kinds of things, intended and unintended by the developers and users. I think it's more likely that, given the extreme newness of the medium, we have much to look forward to, as developers learn what can actually be done and how people respond to it. We just need to train our minds to accept games for what they are good at doing and what only they can do.

Why do you seem to dismiss the ability of games to generate fun as not being great art? Doesn't great art have a strong aesthetic appeal? Wouldn't the sensation of fun be considered a strong aesthetic appeal? Why is the enjoyment one gets from having fun less valid than the feeling one gets from looking at, say, the statue of David?

deeptroath wrote: you are

deeptroath wrote:

you are really an asshole dude.

and you are really a "figlio di puttana sucaminchie impalato bastardo con quella zoccola di tua madre succhiacazzi incuneata di una madonna stronza malata di cancro al culo" DUDE

now go to translate this... pezzo di merda...

thanks mr deepthroath,,,, do you call deeptroath because you like dix?

Aoki wrote: A game with

Aoki wrote:

A game with cinematic allusions...but full of plot holes and bad dialogue.

Marketed as next-gen...but an archaic game design premise.

Bizarre, confusing, esoteric...but that's ok cos he's an auteur?

Many contradictions in the MGS universe and it was good of you to raise them, Brad.

Kojima appreciation has almost become a badge of honour among game journalists. I'm glad someone finally has the guts to point out that he's good but not that good.

First off, the game is not full of plot holes. If you feel it is, it is because you gave up trying to understand it. The games ties up so many loose ends and answers many questions people had.

Tell me all those plot holes you have found and I bet I can answer them all. You should really try to download the MGS database and READ it before making accusations that a game is full of plot holes.

Like most people who rant, get your facts straight.

And do you ever wonder why people appreciate Kojima's work so much? Maybe because people really do like his stuff??? You seem to like pointing out bad things just for the sake of it since so much people give him praise. Kojima isn't like many other arrogants creators who praise themselves. He is always humble and honest and that is a quality that many people admire him for.

I want you and Brad to list all the condictions in the MGS universe. I want to see every single one myself and see how LEGIT they are.

I am not offended, although

I am not offended, although i must point out that you are proving my point

Quote:

,to a certain extent I do think it's valid to judge them by the same criteria as many other media because, as you suggested earlier, video games use film, text, sound etc as tools. But these tools are a means to an end - they are a way to convey information about the true strength of video games, what people commonly refer to as "interactivity".

The true strength of video games is interactivity, not art. User generated material is as much art as tracing a picture or using pre-fabricated stencils to make drawings. The means you described are what forms art, and games in general are deficient in most of them (minus sound perhaps). So if you say game developers use art as a tool to make games fun, i would agree whole heartedly. But the end, as you say, is interactivity not art.

Before you try and call it interactive art, realize you are subjecting it to stricter analysis. I don't want to know if its only fun now, i want to see how good the story is, how good the voice acting is, how good the cinematography is, etc. Within the context of judging video games we can use these aspects and say a game is great and unrivaled. Within the context of actual art, we see deficiencies or cliches in most of these artistic aspects. If games have certain artistic elements then when judging it as art we must take those elements into account. I'm not judging games on one artistic aspect, story or dialogue, i'm taking everything into account. Obviously its most comparable to film, so i take cinematography, story, sound, acting into account. The unique element to videogames is interactivity, who's artistic value is completely dependant on how well the other artistic elements are executed.

You can take me to task for saying "never will a game be as sophisticated as art..." but the fact remains that at the moment there is only simple artistic value in video games.

Okay

Thanks Brad for your reasoning. I am thankful for you offering very analytical and detailed reasoning to your review and that is why people like me come onto this site for.

I still feel though that technical and supported arguments aside that games need to be judged on the overall package and experience and not dismantled and dissectted into pieces, which is how I feel the negative criticism of this game comes across.

Personally I think 6.5 is a low score as although MGS4 may not be perfect it offers more and has a lot more going for itself than the majority of 'next-gen' games released on the 'experience' it provides us with. If nothing else it is a very memorable game, that can not be said of many in the last couple of years.

I'll admit my post was

I'll admit my post was fairly vague and you were right to call me out.

Plot holes was the wrong word. How about farfetched or ridiculous? But that's a matter of taste. I doubt a database will change that.

Interactivity and Art

FYI: This is a good discussion.

By saying "User generated material is as much art as tracing a picture or using pre-fabricated stencils to make drawings," I think you are drastically shortchanging the potential of the medium. In terms of both complexity and how many choices the user has at his disposal, there is very little comparison between, say, a city built in SimCity and a stencil drawing. The former has been constructed based on a vast array of parameters and decisions and the structures of the results can give fairly deep insights into the person who played the game. For example, the trade-offs that a person has made in building his SimCity city reflect certain values that a person holds. The person may have chosen to have a dominant industry at a cost of less housing, fewer parks, and increasing pollution. Or a person could choose to keep his city as small as possible, artfully crafting every building. These are reflections of real values that translate directly into "real" life. The created product--the city--is fairly sophisticated art, in my view.

When you say that "the true strength of video games is interactivity, not art" and "But the end, as you say, is interactivity not art", my immediate question is "Are the two mutually exclusive?" That is, cannot interactivity in and of itself be a form of art? Must art be something tangible or produced? If so, cannot the game itself--meaning the content and rule set created by the developers, and not just the results produced from one instance of playing it--be considered a piece of art?

I think so, and I think Chi made a good case for it in his article. He names specific characteristics of art and shows how a variety of games meet them:

-Art is a means of self-expression. Video games are expressions of the developers, and can be used by players as a tool for self expression.
-Art has the ability to change the way we look at the world. Video games do this, although some are better than others.
-Art is sometimes pure visual form and beauty. Clearly many games do this. I would argue that there is not only a visual beauty, but beauty in the way many games have rule sets that work quite elegantly together.

What I meant in my earlier post about judging games on their own terms is that we need to judge the rule set itself as something that is valid art. Just as things like foreground, background, color, shape, and texture make up the different elements of a painting, so the different rules that make up a game's logic make up the most important elements of a game. Essentially, it takes an "artist" to create and implement the game elements, using many different instances of play to refine those elements.

Jesus is talking about how

Jesus is talking about how games currently are and Odofakyodo is talking about the potential of medium of videogames.

Jesus doesn't believe that games can elevate themselves, but if everyone thought like that, we'd all be watching 3-D movies and jumping out of chairs and there would be no Citizen Kane and Godfather.

Chi's right i am being

Chi's right i am being closed minded on the subject of its futre developement. The film comparison is a bit off though. Motion pictures began exclusively as a new form of visual art, akin to photography. Later we saw the advent of newsreels and during the spanish-american war, there were shots of maritime battle that were actually staged in a tub. Soon afterwards it evolved to the point of containing narrative stories. But i digress, videogames may in fact have the a simlar impact artisically. Only later in its developement did film become synonymous with mass entertainement, unlike videogames. Again, i repeat, i am not saying that games are strictly speaking not art. What i am saying is that as an artistic medium it is weak.

Games are not art!

Can I just make my point on this subject. A few of you have referred to games as 'art'. This is a load of utter bull****. Yes games can be very artistic in nature but to consider them art is taking your self to serious.

Entertainment over powers any ideals of art ten fold with games. I don't subscribe to the idea that many gamers play games to admire it as 'art'. Games are interactive in nature so are different to all other mediums. Nearly every gamer buys and plays a game for sheer enjoyment and 'entertainment' not to add to his 'art' collection.

Seriously I agree that many games can be very artistic and creative, but the fact is that new graphics will always make old games look dated very quick. I don't think any one looks back at Mario 64 and thinks of its artistic nature nor for FFVII. People look back at these games and think wow they were bloody good games I enjoyed playing them.

the same thing has been said

the same thing has been said about every form of media humanity's ever created, yet it hasn't stopped people's creativity and ideas from being expressed in ways that are later considered with greater respect than they were at the outset.

Are games art now? i'd say yes, but in a very early, formative stage. it's literally happening before our eyes.

will they be widely considered as art later? undoubtedly. any other attitude is just shortsighted and ignorant of the patterns repeated over and over throughout history.

I'm not saying they have no

I'm not saying they have no art representations at all, all I am pointing out is that they are a form of past-time and entertainment before all else. 99% of why games are bought are to play and not admire.

This is the very soul of what 'games' are and this will never be changed unless computer generated content is used for art only then this will eb a seperate concept, but as long as we are 'playing' them on consoles etc they will always be games and therefore always be entertainment.

It is not short sighted, as I said maybe computer driven art will thrive more in the future but not on a console my friend.

Why cannot something that entertains be art?

Stevo, your argument is just plain flawed. You are saying "Most games are purchased for entertainment, so therefore they are not art". By that same logic, you would have to claim "Most books are purchased for entertainment, and therefore are not art" and "Most movies are for purchased for entertainment, and therefore are not art." Hell, I could even say "Most paintings are purchased for entertainment, and therefore are not art" because let's face it, people enjoy looking at paintings and appreciate them for the visual form and beauty, giving them pleasure--and that is entertainment. So, you have failed to explain how something that entertains cannot still be art. I would say that most, if not all, art entertains to one degree or another.

Odofakyodo says: "Most books

Odofakyodo says:
"Most books are purchased for entertainment, and therefore are not art" and "Most movies are for purchased for entertainment"

Well done you are correct I am saying that movies and books are not art. You have hit it on the nail, they are both for enetrtainment or to kill time.

Anyway, forgetting the 'art' or not art argument, my main point is that even if they contain many artistic attributes they are bought for entertainment, full stop. Don't start comparing them against books or movies to prove your point because art has very wide criteria and can be labelled upon many things. Lets just talk about games shall we? As I said entertainment first before anything, probably over 90% of the reason for why games are played. Therefore the art arguments are inmaterial.

So going back to the review, lets base our opinions on this criteria. If you care so much about art then knock your self out and buy a painting. I know I will get a response saying I am short sighted blah blah blah, but the FACT is that games have always and will always be played for fun/entertainment etc. Hence the label 'games'.

Just to clarify, I may of

Just to clarify, I may of said that games are not art, but this does not mean that I don't appreciate that there are many artistic attributes to them. I am just saying that as a whole a game is an entertainment product and the art part is just a small proportion of what makes it what it is.

Of course 'art' entertains in some form but you are going off in the wrong direction with this. No one wants a definition of art as we are all capable of picking up a dictionary. Art is art and games are games if you look at it in black and white. If I say to someone, 'Do you want to see my art collection?', I think they will expect paintings or objects not a copy of Halo 3 and MGS4.

When we start sitting back and admiring games as a work of art instead of recognising the quality of a game based on the enjoyment it has provided (and yes art can be enjoying...), that will be a sad state of affairs and I with probably millions of other 'gamers' will no longer be hanging around. As I mentioned in a previous point, if the art idead expands, it will be as a seperate genre or media type to games as we know.

Riddle me this: What is art?

Stevo wrote:

"Most books are purchased for entertainment, and therefore are not art" and "Most movies are for purchased for entertainment"

Well done you are correct I am saying that movies and books are not art. You have hit it on the nail, they are both for enetrtainment or to kill time.

Most people would disagree with you here, and that doesn’t even include the many people who make professional livings breaking down the artistic elements in movies and books.

Furthermore, you conveniently ignored my statement, “Most paintings are purchased for entertainment, and therefore are not art,” which is the logical conclusion of the argument you are making. You also ignored my question: Why is something whose primary purpose is entertainment not eligible to be considered art?

Quote:

Anyway, forgetting the 'art' or not art argument, my main point is that even if they contain many artistic attributes they are bought for entertainment, full stop. Don't start comparing them against books or movies to prove your point because art has very wide criteria and can be labelled upon many things. Lets just talk about games shall we? As I said entertainment first before anything, probably over 90% of the reason for why games are played. Therefore the art arguments are inmaterial.

How so? Once again, you fail to answer my question and explain your position: Why is something whose primary purpose is entertainment not eligible to be considered art?

Quote:

So going back to the review, lets base our opinions on this criteria. If you care so much about art then knock your self out and buy a painting. I know I will get a response saying I am short sighted blah blah blah, but the FACT is that games have always and will always be played for fun/entertainment etc. Hence the label 'games'.

Again, you imply that something whose value is mostly seen as entertainment cannot be considered art, but you haven’t answered the question as to why this is so.

Quote:

Just to clarify, I may of said that games are not art, but this does not mean that I don't appreciate that there are many artistic attributes to them. I am just saying that as a whole a game is an entertainment product and the art part is just a small proportion of what makes it what it is.

Of course 'art' entertains in some form but you are going off in the wrong direction with this. No one wants a definition of art as we are all capable of picking up a dictionary. Art is art and games are games if you look at it in black and white. If I say to someone, 'Do you want to see my art collection?', I think they will expect paintings or objects not a copy of Halo 3 and MGS4.

OK, at one point you say “art has very wide criteria and can be labelled upon many things” and then you say “Art is art and games are games if you look at it in black and white”. On the one hand, you give art a broad umbrella under which many things fall, and on the other you restrict games from residing under that umbrella. But you give no explanation as to why that is the case, other than the idea that “games are for entertainment, not art”.

Pretend I am a complete idiot for a minute, and humor me: What is the definition of art? Then, please explain how it applies to paintings but not to video games.

Quote:

When we start sitting back and admiring games as a work of art instead of recognising the quality of a game based on the enjoyment it has provided (and yes art can be enjoying...), that will be a sad state of affairs and I with probably millions of other 'gamers' will no longer be hanging around. As I mentioned in a previous point, if the art idead expands, it will be as a seperate genre or media type to games as we know.

These sentiments are in line with your earlier statement that “the art arguments are inmaterial”. I completely disagree, and I would venture to say so do most game and interactive media theorists like Gonzalo Frasca, Espen Aarseth, and Celia Pearce. The purpose of the “games as art” discussion is to give games enough respect with academia and the general populace so that genuine theories can be formed about them. They can be deconstructed into more basic elements, and the knowledge gained from such efforts would be tremendously useful in building better games. This has happened with nearly every other “entertainment media” or art form, so as Brad alluded to, you are ignoring "the patterns repeated over and over throughout history."

As an example, you have likened games to movies in calling them both entertainment and not art. But if you know film history, then you know that after movies gained acceptance as a legitimate art form and film theory developed, they were incorporated into programs of study at major universities. The result was a monstrous evolution in the medium to the extraordinarily sophisticated films we see today. The major players during this period were Spielberg, Lucas, Coppola, and Scorsese, guys you just might have heard of. After this happened, films got better and more people started seeing them.

I feel like I’m talking to a wall because the points I’m making are not being responded to. So far in this discussion no one has addressed any of the historical evidence that’s been presented. No one has addressed any of the points Chi made in his article. And you have ignored the obvious flaws that can be seen by extrapolating your own “entertainment cannot be art” logic.

So I ask again: What is art? How does your definition of art apply to paintings but not to games? Why can’t the primary purpose of a piece of art be to entertain?

Lets add a bit of context to

Lets add a bit of context to this argument, an architect can build the most beautiful building in the world. We would not call the building art, we would call it a fine work of architecture. Video games can be impressive and breathtaking in their own way, but when trying to judge games as art we may be going outside of the proper context.

Challenge!

A challenge, then! :D Give me a definition of art that encompasses drawing, painting, and sculpture (or whatever you would consider art) that does not apply to architecture. I believe this would clarify much.

Odofakyodo wrote: A

Odofakyodo wrote:

A challenge, then! :D Give me a definition of art that encompasses drawing, painting, and sculpture (or whatever you would consider art) that does not apply to architecture. I believe this would clarify much.

Are you saying that b/c Architecture involves drawing, painting, and sculpture this means it is art?

I really hope you're not making such a simplistic argument.

Guitar hero has music, an instrument, and requires skill to perform well. So by your simplistic (not to be offensive, just pointing out a major flaw) reasoning b/c i play guitar hero i am a musician? Please tell me i misunderstood your point.

I also hope you're not thinking that i can possibly give an "objective" definition of art. Many much smarter than me have tried and not been successful in giving a truly "objective" definition of a complex idea that encompasses not just separate aspects. Such as drawing, painting, sculpting or whatever you would consider art but the the amalgamation of all these aspects with their expressive meaning both to artist and observer. when taking a truly wholistic look at video games as art, at least right now, there is little artistic significance.

My intent was not to make

My intent was not to make the argument that because one form is composed of another it must be art (although I think that is not a terrible line of reasoning, it is not one which I wish to pursue at the present time). My intent is to get a definition of art, "objective" or otherwise. And yes, people have come up with definitions of art that are successful. I don't care if it's from the dictionary or elsewhere, but there must be some definition of art that you accept in order to label something as art or not. You can't call something "X" and something else "not X" without having an idea of what "X" is. I think if we have said definition then we will be able to identify these "aspects" of art in things such as drawing, painting, etc. (and yes I have a definition of art that I find acceptable, but I prefer to hear your own unfluenced by mine).

Odofakyodo, you are really

Odofakyodo, you are really boring me with your 'art' definitions and what be. It seems like you would rather talk about art rather than video games my friend?

Maybe you are a frustrated painter and therfore in the wrong site? I have not met your detailed arguments about what is art, and art can be enjoying blah blah blah because as I said you are going in the wrong direction with this. You can simply mince your words with the art arguments to make everything sound contradictionary by going off point and using all sort of examples.

To summarise, games contain art implications as do movies and books, but games are always going to be considerably more entertainment orientated. I would suspect that the vast majority of games designers and developers see there games as this (bar some exceptions).

DO YOU NOT AGREE THAT ART IS A VERY SMALL PROPORTION OF THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE OF A GAME?

Stevo wrote: DO YOU NOT

Stevo wrote:

DO YOU NOT AGREE THAT ART IS A VERY SMALL PROPORTION OF THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE OF A GAME?

Art is the very experience of the game. Entertainment is one aspect of the art. Analyzing the art of a game is to breakdown the whole experience and not just whether it is fun or not. If you think that Kojima is simply trying to entertain you and nothing else, than you've completely missed out on why so many people consider his work genius.

There are many other ways to look at the games we play that can be enriching to us. I talk a little about this in my review of Dynasty Warriors 6.

Stevo wrote: Odofakyodo,

Stevo wrote:

Odofakyodo, you are really boring me with your 'art' definitions and what be. It seems like you would rather talk about art rather than video games my friend?

Wow. Just Wow. Did you even read what I wrote in my last response to you? Do you even understand what it is we are arguing about here? I explained exactly why I thought it was important for games to be considered art.

Quote:

Maybe you are a frustrated painter and therfore in the wrong site? I have not met your detailed arguments about what is art, and art can be enjoying blah blah blah because as I said you are going in the wrong direction with this. You can simply mince your words with the art arguments to make everything sound contradictionary by going off point and using all sort of examples.

Thanks for dismissing my arguments off-hand as being “in the wrong direction”. Again, did you even read what I wrote? Heaven forbid I make a coherent argument and support it with pesky examples! For the record, I’m actually a programmer for a game company.

Quote:

To summarise, games contain art implications as do movies and books, but games are always going to be considerably more entertainment orientated. I would suspect that the vast majority of games designers and developers see there games as this (bar some exceptions).

DO YOU NOT AGREE THAT ART IS A VERY SMALL PROPORTION OF THE OVERALL EXPERIENCE OF A GAME?

No, I do not agree. I have explained my position pretty well, I think. I have directly addressed the points you’ve made. You, on the other hand, have pretty much ignored all of my points. I have asked you very specific questions and you have not responded to them, so unless you actually go back and read what I wrote and answer the questions, you should consider this conversation over, because frankly, it’s not a conversation when you don’t answer my questions or address my points.

As Jesus said earlier on, by

As Jesus said earlier on, by judging games as art we are going out of context. This is how I feel and where my argument is based.

If you feel that the art side of games is the most important part of a game then congrats to you, because I and virtually every other gamer out there does not.

You have missed my point a little trying to get me to justify why games are not art, because I am not stating that. As Jesus said, juding them as art primary is judging them out of context.

Of course anything that one can express himself through can be seen as art, this is the case with games. But a game consists of many elements that blend together to form an interactive game. A game is a game first and foremost, it is then everythong else you want to label it, a book, a movie, art and so on.

But if you feel that the art side of things is so important, I have no problems with this, I am just pointing out that you are in the minority.

If video games were not art...

I admit that I may have misinterpreted your overall thesis, and I accept that you do consider videogames as art.

The place that we differ on, though, is the relative importance of the "artistic" qualities of videogames. I believe they are of paramount importance, while you do not.

I accept the fact that I am in the minority in my view. That does not prove me wrong. In fact, I’ve alluded to the need to convince more people of hopping the fence to my side, as the saying goes. Chi also mentioned this need in his article, and I referred to this part of his article much earlier in the discussion, so really this is not news to me.

The purpose of me asking you to spell out what you think art is was to further the discussion and potentially point out the artistic characteristics of video games.

Let me take a different approach, and define art myself. I draw somewhat from Wikipedia in this definition, mainly because feel that this is a good definition of art, and many people I have spoken to incorporate some or all of the ideas in their conception of art.

Art is an action or an object, or a combination thereof, made with the intention of stimulating the senses or the mind, or transmitting emotions or ideas.

By this definition, painting, sculpture, music, and dancing are all art forms. Movies and books, which may have stronger entertainment or educational value than those former items (I would guess primarily because they are able to convey words and language to a much greater degree), are art. Video games are also art by this definition.

If you accept this definition of art, or even one remotely similar to it, then you have to ask yourself: If video games did not appeal favorably to the senses, mind, and did not cause people to feel emotions, then they would not be fun and people would not buy them and play them! Put another way, if videogames were not art, then they would have drastically less entertainment value. This is the conclusion that I personally reach that contradicts the notions you have stated previously.

That's an excellent

That's an excellent definition. However, when dealing with society and culture, we must put any defnition describing a cultural or societal phenomena within an appropriate context.

By this definition pornography is as much art as shakespeare, not that i disagree, but i think we can see a sharp difference between the two types of art. One is a purely, self-gratifying medium that speaks only to the senses, while the other though gratifying transmits a myriad of emotions, expressions, and observations of the world in which it exists.

We must add context folks, the world does not exist within webster's black and white definitions. Film is a great example of this, it is a medium where pornography as well as truly awful films (Bio-dome anyone?) can exist side by side with great works. I am not saying video games are not art, all i ask is where are thier great works of art? Not just b-movie plots, great graphics, and great gameplay. Where is the video game 100 years of solitude, or Milton's Paradise? Where is the Guernica and the Starry Night? Where is the video game that we can honestly say adds something to the word Art? Maybe we will see it in the future, but right now it is appears far off.

I have to agree with Jesus

I have to agree with Jesus and Stevo. Many debates are rarely black and white. And I have enjoyed reading the arguments about "Art" and "Games". The problem with "Art" is that it can be used in practically everything. The programming code written to launch a Nasa shuttle into space is just a work of art in the way the alogrithms are condensed and put together. Hard core programmers would "get off" looking at code like that.

The point here is when "Games" were first derived, they were meant to be a past-time people can interact and have fun. That's it. There was no "art" intention to begin with.

As Stevo pointed out, "Hey want to see my art collection?"

You pull out Halo 3, Gears of War, Metal Gear Solid 4, maybe even Monopoly the board game.

The mass majority will respond, "What the F?"

Plain and simple. Black and white.

When people look at video game reviews, the majority want to know how the game plays, is it worth playing, are the graphics good, then comes is the story good?

I think the problems lies within this site, I'm sorry. This site GameCritics.com should really have a mission statement or something indicating that our reviews are more heavily based on how games have progressed to become an art form. If that's the case, then 6.5 go ahead and no one would argue as much.

The reason for all the arguments is because a 6.5 is really absurb under "usually" gaming reviews. If the score were broken down into categories I'd really like to see the 6.5. That's when there is a category called "Artistic Value" and this game gets a 1/10 or something which would bring down the graphics score of 10/10 or a gameplay score of 8/10 at least. Anyway I'm just throwing numbers as a example.

Point is. If you are reviewing this game in such an artistic fashion, say so! Else people will get confused and start flaming.

How about GamingArtCritics.com instead guys? Or just make an About Us section indiciting the criteria you use to break down a games score. With heavy emphasis on the "art" aspect.

Problem solved. Arguments closed.

You all make good points. I do personally agree with Jesus and Stevo. And I love that Halo 3 analogy Stevo, it is just too true, and definitely in our lifetime it will not change at all.

Anonymous wrote: You say

Anonymous wrote:

You say that ending the series with MGS3 would have been perfect. Are you completely nuts?!?! This is the proof that you shouldn't be reviewing it as a "fan". Instead you should be reviewing this as a regular gamer who enjoys MGS. As a fan, meaning you enjoy the game more then a person who just likes it per say, you would know about the storylines in MG/MGS. If you do know the storyline then how on earth could the ending of MGS3 end the series? MGS3 talked about who Big Boss was and how he came to be. But it did not provide any closure for Solid Snake, nor did it tell us what happened after MGS2. MGS2 left so many people wondering what is going to happen. I agree that MGS3 is very emotional and amazingly done at the end. But MGS4 has very emotional moments as well. Crawling through the microwave tunnel, boss fight with Liquid Ocelet (this fight alone was so amazing and emotional - one of the best boss fights ever, if not THE BEST), Solid Snake shown about to shoot himself, Octacon and Sunny have a conversation about where is Snake, Big Boss appearing and telling Solid Snake it's time to rest, Big Boss saluting The Boss again. I mean there is a crap load of emotional moments in MGS4 if you are a fan of the series. They might not compare to that one peak moment in MGS3, but there are more.

Completely agree. I think Brad has Snake from MGS3 and Solid Snake from MG1/MG2/MGS1/MGS2/MGS4 confused. At least that's how it sounds. Ending at MGS3 would leave too many questions unanswered in the series. Especially when they ended with such a climax at the end of MGS2 by revealing The Patriots.

To appreciate the story of MGS4 you really have to revisit it again and definitely reading the MGS4 database will help. Many parts leave your head scratching but given the time, they all come together.

Brad Gallaway wrote:

So, where does all this leave Guns of the Patriots? The gameplay (what precious little of it there is) is still stuck in PS2-era levels of sophistication.

Hmmm. I would really like Brad to elaborate on this. Reading this sounds like the gameplay gets a 5/10 or less. Is it stuck in the PS2 era because the controls are pretty much the same? And if so, why is that bad? But foremost, MGS4 gameplay used the previous gameplay mechanics and enhanced them. Don't fix what is not broken, but make it better.

You make it sound like it was broken to begin with. Please tell us how you would do the gameplay to make it better?

They added the addition of first person view for shooting as well as over-the-shoulder view. You say it lacks sophistication. How is that even possible??? I am really confused by that statement. What part lacks sophistication, please elaborate. This is why I think this review is bad because you don't give informative examples. You state something and don't back it up with solid points.

Let me try to elaborate for everyone. The gameplay is more sophisticated then most games out there. First you can play the game anyway you want. Granted it is linear in fashion, go from point A to point B. No "sandbox" type gaming here. But the way to get from A to B can be done in many way. You can get there by solely sneaking through without being spotted or alerted. You can go through the game without killing a soul or you can go rambo styles and take everyone and everything out. The controls are just as sophisticated, every button is utilized on the controller. Switching views is very easy. For the beginner, the controls will take some time to master because of how "sophisticated" it is. For example, once you use CQC to grab an enemy, you are open to a variety of choices, from:

- choking the enemy out
- using the enemy as a meat shield
- dragging the enemy around
- bringing the enemy down to ground while still choking the enemy (reason for this so that it will be less noticeable to be spotted)
- inject the enemy with a syringe that will cause abnormal behavior from laughing to madness

Also if you play Metal Gear Online (which the review completely fails to mention that comes with the game) you can do all these to your online opponents as well. And the entire things works extremely well. It is no CoD4 (fast-paced), but it is in a more unique category of gameplay.

The more I look at the review the more I see big holes.

I guess this review should be taken artistically since that is what everyone is debating about. I'm sorry this review really fails for me and from what I've read from others, the majority.

Oops forgot to add

Oops forgot to add something.

Brad I would like to know those "plot holes" that you mentionned as well. You said "full of plot holes".

Shoot them at me, I'm quite sure I can answer them as long it is reasonable. Not something like, "How is it possible to keep Big Boss alive?"

As one of the commenters said earlier, it isn't full of plot holes. If it is, it is your lack of understanding of the actual plot and story.

Selfless Pride wrote: When

Selfless Pride wrote:

When people look at video game reviews, the majority want to know how the game plays, is it worth playing, are the graphics good, then comes is the story good?

I think the problems lies within this site, I'm sorry. This site GameCritics.com should really have a mission statement or something indicating that our reviews are more heavily based on how games have progressed to become an art form. If that's the case, then 6.5 go ahead and no one would argue as much.

Hey S.P.

Thanks for your comments, and i definitely see your point. it may not be a bad idea to amend the mission statement, but i would like to clarify that my review and score aren't based on an "is this game art" scale, it's based on an "is it any good" scale.

i made my arguments in the body of the review and i think my reasons for not giving the game a 10 or an A are pretty straightforward.

most people seeing our scores are usually distressed because GC actually sees 5 as AVERAGE and not terrible the way most game sites/mags tend to.

(this is a symptom of the entire game review machine in general... most reviews tend to use 7-9, and ignore the first six numbers.)

following this logic, 6.5 is "above average", yet well below other superior games, which is exactly how i felt about MGS4 as the second reviewer. the game's not terrible, but it has a significant amount of serious problems and graphics alone don't bowl me over.

since game reviews at GC don't start at 8 = average, a lower than expected score was the only outcome. the concept of "art" wasn't really used to knock points off, unless you ant to talk about the terrible writing or horrible directorial choices. = )

Brad Gallaway wrote: since

Brad Gallaway wrote:

since game reviews at GC don't start at 8 = average, a lower than expected score was the only outcome. the concept of "art" wasn't really used to knock points off, unless you ant to talk about the terrible writing or horrible directorial choices. = )

HAHAHA!! Not done with the game yet, but so true. I see your point on the losing of immersion from the game. Once Kojima makes you pay attention to the cut scenes instead of having you involved in the game, you realize two things: Man the cut scences look great, and man this story sucks.

phila earrings

Quote:

Completely agree. I think Brad has Snake from MGS3 and Solid Snake from MG1/MG2/MGS1/MGS2/MGS4 confused. At least that's how it sounds. Ending at MGS3 would leave too many questions unanswered in the series. Especially when they ended with such a climax at the end of MGS2 by revealing The Patriots.

i'm not confused at all, i simply think that MGS3 ended on a fantastically high note in terms of what Kojima achieved, and all MGS4 did was to bring down and sully what he created.

if you're a "fan" and all you care about is X answer to Y question, then of course you'd want "the end of the series" and read the MGS database from start to finish. in terms of writing, craft, and emotional impact, MGS4 is pretty laughable and a low point for Kojima as far as i'm concerned.

i would have much preferred he left the entire series on a high note and honestly, i didn't really lose any sleep wondering about the Patriots. those kind of unresolved endings are better than the answer. now that the veil has been lifted and the mysteries are solved (cue scooby-doo music) it doesn't look to me like it was done with any real heart or spirit-- it felt like he wrote himself into a corner and got out with a "here you go, whatever" to the fans.

Quote:

Hmmm. I would really like Brad to elaborate on this. Reading this sounds like the gameplay gets a 5/10 or less. Is it stuck in the PS2 era because the controls are pretty much the same? And if so, why is that bad? But foremost, MGS4 gameplay used the previous gameplay mechanics and enhanced them. Don't fix what is not broken, but make it better.You make it sound like it was broken to begin with. Please tell us how you would do the gameplay to make it better?

it could exactly be a 5/10 if i broke it out that way.. as in, perfectly average.

i cover all this in the review, but basically all MGS4 did was bring itself up to speed with what any other game does these days and didn't push any envelopes or explore any new territory.

average.

if someone would like to elaborate on exactly what new gameplay ideas or innovations MGS4 brings to the table, i'd like to hear it.

CQC? been done before and it's nothing special to grab an enemy. first-person view? that's not a special feature, it should be standard. camoflage? again, been done before and it doesn't really impact play significantly.

there aren't any real physics, there's very little interaction with the environments that aren't prescripted, most of the game's thrilling moments have no gameplay associated with them, the dramatic elements are a total bust... i mean, what exactly am i supposed to be impressed with here? just the graphics?

not gonna happen.

the things that blew me away on the PS2 fail to impress on the PS3, and with developers everywhere raising the bar, MGS4 finds itself well behind the curve.

Jesus, I am not speaking of

Jesus, I am not speaking of videogames as art out of context. I have not removed them from society or culture. I am simply starting from a fundamental definition and building on that. I believe that we need to recognize what “art” is and what a “game” is and what exactly is the relationship, if any, between the two. We can use societal and cultural observations to do that.

Actually, I think we are in large part in agreement. We both think that art has a broad scope. We both think that videogames are art. And I totally agree with you that most games attempt to appeal to gratification of the senses, in that once they are done and our “high” from playing them goes away, we don’t really ask deep questions afterwards. That’s why I believe Stevo’s observation that people don’t ask about Halo “What are the devs saying about society?” is a valid one. It’s not the point of that particular game. Finally, one thing I think we both agree on, as well, is that some (precious few) games do have a lot of artistic value to them outside of immediate gratification AND they are fun games.

What is implied by many comments on this board—for example

Quote:

When we start sitting back and admiring games as a work of art instead of recognising the quality of a game based on the enjoyment it has provided (and yes art can be enjoying...), that will be a sad state of affairs and I with probably millions of other 'gamers' will no longer be hanging around.

and

Quote:

When people look at video game reviews, the majority want to know how the game plays, is it worth playing, are the graphics good, then comes is the story good?

—is that enjoyment of a game is not in any way related to the artistic qualities of a game, and that is simply not true. Just think about all the visual artists that have to go into making a game: concept artists, modelers, animators, environment artists, and special effects artists. And that’s not even getting into level or gameplay designers, who are creating art (the game rules and hence gameplay), albeit not necessarily “visual” art.

To say that games will always remain the same, only with better graphics, just because that is the way most people view them now is naïve. That view fails to address what has happened to other art forms, film in particular, nor does it explain why the video game would be an exception to what we've seen throughout history. Whether or not most people recognize the artistic merits of games doesn’t prove one way or another whether games are capable of being great art or when that will happen, if at all.

That fact of the matter is that for every other media or art form, the people making the art only made better stuff after they stopped and considered the artistic merits and elements of the form. The result was more people found enjoyment rather than less. Doesn't that mean we should consider the artistic potential of video games? Imagine if there were many that games were hella fun AND made you think about them and how the concepts related to your life long after you've played them. Now that's something worth looking into.

okay, Brad...

Okay, Brad, you are officially my least favorite critic on this site. people like you are the reason why many people accuse critics of being cynical assholes.

you claim to be a fan of the series, but based on what you criticized the game for, i can't believe you. especally in regards to the cut-scenes; the cut-scenes in Guns of the Patriots are no different than the ones in previous games. they're just as long and plentiful. in fact, after i first played through MGS4, i played through Sons of Liberty (that'd be MGS2) again, and the cut-scenes in THAT game were longer than the ones in MGS4. not to mention they're much more likely to be accused of being boring, since much of it is Codec chatter.

honestly, what were you expecting in a Metal Gear Solid game?

also, in stark contrast to your review, i found the cut-scenes in Guns of the Patriots to be one of the best parts of the game. i began to look forward to them. they were masterfully done and much better than most movies i see these days. not only was the voice acting top notch (as it always is in Metal Gear games) but they were fantastically directed. i honestly can't see how anyone could have been bored by them, least of all, someone claiming to be a fan of the series.

i think that the cut-scenes are a big part of what gives the Metal Gear games their charm. not to mention what makes them stand out from other games. and that includes the Codec chatter of the previous games. in fact, the one thing i was disappointed with this game was that there was too little Codec chatter. in previous games, i loved equipping an item or weapon and calling someone to get it's entire history. again, i feel this is a big part of what gives the series it's charm.

your other major complaint, that MGS4 is stuck in 'PS2-era levels of sophistication'. i'm honestly dumbfounded; what game were you playing? Guns of the Patriots is everything that us (real) fans could have hoped a Metal Gear game could have been. i've played through the game three times since getting it, and not once did i get bored, unlike you.

get over yourself, Brad.

Brad Gallaway wrote: i'm

Brad Gallaway wrote:

i'm not confused at all, i simply think that MGS3 ended on a fantastically high note in terms of what Kojima achieved, and all MGS4 did was to bring down and sully what he created.

if you're a "fan" and all you care about is X answer to Y question, then of course you'd want "the end of the series" and read the MGS database from start to finish. in terms of writing, craft, and emotional impact, MGS4 is pretty laughable and a low point for Kojima as far as i'm concerned.

i would have much preferred he left the entire series on a high note and honestly, i didn't really lose any sleep wondering about the Patriots. those kind of unresolved endings are better than the answer. now that the veil has been lifted and the mysteries are solved (cue scooby-doo music) it doesn't look to me like it was done with any real heart or spirit-- it felt like he wrote himself into a corner and got out with a "here you go, whatever" to the fans.

That is why you shouldn't review this game. You could care less about the story. Don't bother replying because it will get no where. Most people have already disagreed with you. I'm sure you are the type who aims at trying to aim for the minority to hopefully become that majority one day.

Anyway, keep trying. No point debating on this as you don't care about the story obviously. It was well done if you understood it all and as another reader pointed it, listed out many emotional moments.

Brad Gallaway wrote:

it could exactly be a 5/10 if i broke it out that way.. as in, perfectly average.

i cover all this in the review, but basically all MGS4 did was bring itself up to speed with what any other game does these days and didn't push any envelopes or explore any new territory.

average.

Actually you don't cover much in your review, so stop using that you covered in your review. Taken IGN for example, mainstream yes, but they COVER it. You are way to vague.

Brad Gallaway wrote:

if someone would like to elaborate on exactly what new gameplay ideas or innovations MGS4 brings to the table, i'd like to hear it.

CQC? been done before and it's nothing special to grab an enemy. first-person view? that's not a special feature, it should be standard. camoflage? again, been done before and it doesn't really impact play significantly.

there aren't any real physics, there's very little interaction with the environments that aren't prescripted, most of the game's thrilling moments have no gameplay associated with them, the dramatic elements are a total bust... i mean, what exactly am i supposed to be impressed with here? just the graphics?

not gonna happen.

the things that blew me away on the PS2 fail to impress on the PS3, and with developers everywhere raising the bar, MGS4 finds itself well behind the curve.

Once again you fail to see the reason to stick with someone when it isn't broken. Why are you so keen on seeing new gameplay mechanics when the old one isn't broken??? Also MGS4 integrated all the GOOD components from not only it's past games but other games such as the first person and over-the-shoulder. Why don't you tell me what NEW gameplay mechanics you were thinking?

You obviously haven't played MGO either. If you have please tell me your Gamer ID so I can show you what gameplay is. But obviously you won't be able to grasp it since you think it's all old.

Saying that the gameplay has been done before and old is so easy to say especially when you don't even offer any insight on how it should be done. As I said, maybe you should leave the reviews for someone else.

Brad I will leave you to your opinion, even though it is not insightful or backed up which you claim. I'm not going to pick apart your review any further. It has already been so to death by others. Any reader reading through your review and these comments will get the idea I'm sure.

Thank you for your reply though, you have been great to respond in such a timely fashion.

Hope your future reviews do a more thorough job.

Take care.

Eric wrote: Okay, Brad, you

Eric wrote:

Okay, Brad, you are officially my least favorite critic on this site. people like you are the reason why many people accuse critics of being cynical assholes.

Haha. I wouldn't go that far to call them assholes. That's too harsh. Brad reviewed it the way he thought. But obviously he failed on many aspects. Simple as that.

Eric wrote:

you claim to be a fan of the series, but based on what you criticized the game for, i can't believe you. especally in regards to the cut-scenes; the cut-scenes in Guns of the Patriots are no different than the ones in previous games. they're just as long and plentiful. in fact, after i first played through MGS4, i played through Sons of Liberty (that'd be MGS2) again, and the cut-scenes in THAT game were longer than the ones in MGS4. not to mention they're much more likely to be accused of being boring, since much of it is Codec chatter.

honestly, what were you expecting in a Metal Gear Solid game?

Yes, please Brad. Tell us. This is METAL GEAR SOLID. Not METAL GEAR BRAD. What on earth were you expecting?

What makes MGS, MGS? The gameplay, the long cutscenes, the over the top drama. Everything that makes MGS, MGS. You decided for some odd reason through out the window.

That is utter failure, espescially when you say you are "fan".

As another reader mentionned you obviously jumped on the MGS bandwagon. You have no true concept of what makes an MGS game.

Eric wrote:

also, in stark contrast to your review, i found the cut-scenes in Guns of the Patriots to be one of the best parts of the game. i began to look forward to them. they were masterfully done and much better than most movies i see these days. not only was the voice acting top notch (as it always is in Metal Gear games) but they were fantastically directed. i honestly can't see how anyone could have been bored by them, least of all, someone claiming to be a fan of the series.

i think that the cut-scenes are a big part of what gives the Metal Gear games their charm. not to mention what makes them stand out from other games. and that includes the Codec chatter of the previous games. in fact, the one thing i was disappointed with this game was that there was too little Codec chatter. in previous games, i loved equipping an item or weapon and calling someone to get it's entire history. again, i feel this is a big part of what gives the series it's charm.

Completely and utterly agree!

Eric wrote:

your other major complaint, that MGS4 is stuck in 'PS2-era levels of sophistication'. i'm honestly dumbfounded; what game were you playing? Guns of the Patriots is everything that us (real) fans could have hoped a Metal Gear game could have been. i've played through the game three times since getting it, and not once did i get bored, unlike you.

get over yourself, Brad.

You and Selfless got it right on the money. I as well am dumbfounded by this poor review. I thought mainstream reviews were bad a lot of the time, but obviously it doesn't matter. Even small time reviews are bad and in this case, much worse.

Hopefully his future reviews learn from his mistakes, or what's worse.... He truly feels this review is good and continues writing the way he does.

Ouch.

Selfless Pride wrote: That

Selfless Pride wrote:

That is why you shouldn't review this game. You could care less about the story. Don't bother replying because it will get no where. Most people have already disagreed with you. I'm sure you are the type who aims at trying to aim for the minority to hopefully become that majority one day.

Anyway, keep trying. No point debating on this as you don't care about the story obviously. It was well done if you understood it all and as another reader pointed it, listed out many emotional moments.

I think Brad cares very deeply about the Metal Gear story, just as I do, and the reason he has a problem with MGS4's is that it is an uninspired resolution of the story. The problem is not the amount or length of cutscenes, it's the narrative substance that they offer, and what they seem to offer is a lot of shameless fan service, a filling in the blank beneath every question about seemingly supernatural stuff in the other games with "nanomachines," and the needless reduction of the series' conspiracies upon conspiracies down to the work of a few characters arbitrarily plucked from the peanut gallery of one of the previous games. It doesn't make it well done if it all fits together, it's well done if it fits together in a way that feels right to people with the capacity to form their own critical thoughts, which you don't seem to have.

Snack Eater

Snack Eater wrote:
Selfless Pride wrote:

That is why you shouldn't review this game. You could care less about the story. Don't bother replying because it will get no where. Most people have already disagreed with you. I'm sure you are the type who aims at trying to aim for the minority to hopefully become that majority one day.

Anyway, keep trying. No point debating on this as you don't care about the story obviously. It was well done if you understood it all and as another reader pointed it, listed out many emotional moments.

I think Brad cares very deeply about the Metal Gear story, just as I do, and the reason he has a problem with MGS4's is that it is an uninspired resolution of the story. The problem is not the amount or length of cutscenes, it's the narrative substance that they offer, and what they seem to offer is a lot of shameless fan service, a filling in the blank beneath every question about seemingly supernatural stuff in the other games with "nanomachines," and the needless reduction of the series' conspiracies upon conspiracies down to the work of a few characters arbitrarily plucked from the peanut gallery of one of the previous games. It doesn't make it well done if it all fits together, it's well done if it fits together in a way that feels right to people with the capacity to form their own critical thoughts, which you don't seem to have.

I don't think you should answer for people. And I don't think you know much about MGS yourself. MGS has alway had almost seemingly "supernatural" stuff about it. Nanomachines is just the best way to describe it instead of short throughing aliens in there or gamma radiation. Heck, look at MGS3 with the Cobra Unit which was before the Nanomachines. What the heck is that? This is MGS for goodness sakes! As MANY readers pointed out, what type of game were you expecting???

You and Brad fail to see what MGS is all about. End of story. You fail to see what it is all about and try to point out your "critical thoughts" which do not hold merit to what you are talking about. It's like critizing a Ferrari for not being more luxurious then a Rolls Royce.

You guys have to put yourself into the context of the game before you are reviewing. How about adding in the review "For the average gamer this game fails to meet certain standards." or something like that. I mean if you were expecting some realism in MGS, you are playing the wrong game.

Sounds like a lot of you

Sounds like a lot of you wanted a review like the ones gamespot and ign gave. Brad said that on this site the average is 5 out of 10 not 8 out of 10 like most sites. The cut scenes are remarkable, but Brad's right, I want to play the game not watch it. If Kojima wanted me to watch, he could have made it a movie ala Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The game scored a 6.5 which within the context of THIS site is good, not great. I'm not finished (on Act IV) but thus far I have enjoyed much of it, but honestly, i've tuned out a lot of the cut scenes. Yea i get it Liquid controls GW, i dont need 3 20 min cut scenes to rehash this after liquid said so in another cut scene. Ok the beauties have f-ed up stories that transformed them, nuff said. Every time i beat one i dont need a long winded cutscene going over what they suffered.

the real issue is...

Of course Brad is free to dislike any game he wants, for any reason he sees fit. The problem is that he claims to be a 'fan' of the Metal Gear series, but criticizes Guns of the Patriots for things that other fans love about the series, and what we feel make the series great.

i would just like to ask Brad what exactly he was a fan of in regard to the past games; they had all the 'issues' he complained about in this review, such as the long cut-scenes. like i eluted too in my previous comment; Brad complained about the cut-scenes lacking good narative, but Sons of Libirty (MGS2) is probably much more guilty of that than Guns of the Patriots is.

i'm not saying Brad (or anyone else) has to think MGS4 is 'revolutionary', but if he was really a fan of the previous games, he should have at least enjoyed playing through it. simply because MGS4 has everything that made the previous games fantastic, and then some.

c'mon, Brad, you didn't even like the Boss battles?

jesus wrote: Sounds like a

jesus wrote:

Sounds like a lot of you wanted a review like the ones gamespot and ign gave. Brad said that on this site the average is 5 out of 10 not 8 out of 10 like most sites. The cut scenes are remarkable, but Brad's right, I want to play the game not watch it. If Kojima wanted me to watch, he could have made it a movie ala Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The game scored a 6.5 which within the context of THIS site is good, not great. I'm not finished (on Act IV) but thus far I have enjoyed much of it, but honestly, i've tuned out a lot of the cut scenes. Yea i get it Liquid controls GW, i dont need 3 20 min cut scenes to rehash this after liquid said so in another cut scene. Ok the beauties have f-ed up stories that transformed them, nuff said. Every time i beat one i dont need a long winded cutscene going over what they suffered.

All MGS games are like this. What MGS game doesn't have long cutscenes and overdone codec moments?

Please please tell everyone who is arguing on this site what you expected this game to be? And why is everyone ignoring the included MGO game? That is part of MGS4 package! If you don't care about cutscenes then go play MGO which is a solid online multiplayer game.

There is no point arguing the cutscenes and codec stuff. This is MGS, nuff said.

Maybe this site should state clearly the scale then. If 5/10 is like IGN, GamePro, GameSpot, etc, etc....'s 8/10, then people should know. A breakdown of how the reviews are done should be noted somewhere in DETAIL, which it is not. If you aren't going to thorough on how your base your score on, then a number is just a number. Basically don't bother with the score on this site because it follows a different norm which is not stated anywhere except in the comments when defending itself.

Here's a better system for you guys:

Horrible
Bad
Average
Good
Great

I think that is what you guys need. Don't bother with your out of 10 crap.

Mathimatically as well, 6.5/10 is the lowest score for MGS4 with only 1 review . Thus being an extreme if put on a graph, any logical person knows that this is thrown out completely/ignored when applying a gaussian curve. My point? Don't bother with this review, as it just points out many bad points without CLEARLY stating why. Reading through all these comments has definitely been fun though. Nothing like controversy to spice things up. :) Maybe that is what Brad intended. If that is the case, you did it!

Oh and seriously, a serious

Oh and seriously, a serious reviewer or critic should take ALL aspects of the game into account. How can you leave out such a big component of the game?

The COMPLETE LACK of not mentionning Metal Gear Online in the review is a huge blind sight on the reviewer's part. A simple note would have even helped. In the mission statement, the VERY FIRST point says:

Provide consumers with insightful, useful, and entertaining content on videogames.

If I was just an average consumer knowing nothing about MGS4, then I would no nothing about MGO after reading this review.

You have NOT provided me, as a consumer, a 'useful' review because I do not have ALL the facts before making a decision. If the mission statement of a company can't be followed, then that is very wrong.

MGO is built right into MGS4 and it is a great multiplayer game for those who are looking for something a bit different then CoD4. The ability to use all the moves in the game on your opponents is well... AWESOME.

Some of you might not like those mainstream reviewers, but seriously... They became mainstream for a reason.

Just like how people hate Microsoft for no reason other then being big. It's human nature to sometimes side with the smaller.

Eric wrote: Of course Brad

Eric wrote:

Of course Brad is free to dislike any game he wants, for any reason he sees fit. The problem is that he claims to be a 'fan' of the Metal Gear series, but criticizes Guns of the Patriots for things that other fans love about the series, and what we feel make the series great.

i would just like to ask Brad what exactly he was a fan of in regard to the past games; they had all the 'issues' he complained about in this review, such as the long cut-scenes. like i eluted too in my previous comment; Brad complained about the cut-scenes lacking good narative, but Sons of Libirty (MGS2) is probably much more guilty of that than Guns of the Patriots is.

i'm not saying Brad (or anyone else) has to think MGS4 is 'revolutionary', but if he was really a fan of the previous games, he should have at least enjoyed playing through it. simply because MGS4 has everything that made the previous games fantastic, and then some.

c'mon, Brad, you didn't even like the Boss battles?

The last boss fight in MGS4. The BEST BOSS FIGHT ever.

Also play it on Boss Extreme Mode, HOLY CRAP is he HARD!!! Died so many times.

For those who have played through it know what I'm talking about. The last Act had all the emotion anyone could want. Going through a certain tunnel with microwaves was insane and I couldn't help feel I was there helping Solid Snake through it. It was intense.

And again, last boss fight. It was F'ing LEGENDARY for any MGS fan.

Waaaaaaaa Gimme my bottle!

Wow. Some of you are taking this review way too personally. Looks like Brad hit a nerve.

1) Just because someone is a "fan" of something doesn't mean that he has to see everything the way you do. It doesn't mean he has to forgive things that he sees as excessive even they "OMFGorz they are MGS, for pete's sake, what did you expect you n00b?? Waaa gimme my bottle I'm gonna cry now!"

2) If you have to read a freaking database to understand a the narrative, then the cutscenes must not have done a very good job at explaining it, did they?

3) A review doesn't have to go over ALL aspects of a game to be useful, so accusing the reviewer of not following the mission statement is totally absurd.

4) For you people accusing Brad of being elitist, why is it that you then say "Oh, you're not a fan. You don't GET MGS the way I do." That's pretty elitist to me.

5) Games SHOULD be reviewed FOR THE AVERAGE GAMER, not for you freaks who dress up as Solid Snake on Halloween and then get off with your little sister pretending that she's Merrill. Expecting the game to be reviewed just for fans of the series is pretty dumb.

6) Brad DID cover the stuff that he didn't like in the review, and he explained why. And there are people who agree with him.

7) Not everyone is a little pimple-faced know-it-all that skips school to go read the MGS database just so they can understand shit they didn't care about in the first place. And why didn't they care about it? Because the answer doesn't matter! It doesn't enrich their lives in any way. Personally, I didn't give a rat's ass who the Patriots were after I finished MGS2. I was like, wow this game was pretty good up until the last 3rd where it got a little weird and had waaaaay too many cutscenes.

First of all, i think it's

First of all, i think it's hilariously absurd that the comment was made that a guy who uses the handle 'Snack Eater' doesn't know what MGS is about.

Secondly...

Quote:

but if he was really a fan of the previous games, he should have at least enjoyed playing through it. simply because MGS4 has everything that made the previous games fantastic, and then some.

So let me get this straight-- if i was a fan of the previous games (which i was, and still am) then i should have at least enjoyed playing through MGS4.

besides the fact that i generally did enjoy parts of MGS4, that logic is a little questionable since it assumes a number of things in comparions to past MGS titles such as: MGS4 having the exact same level of quality relative to the time of its release, the same level of quality creativity in the writing, and the same level of quality in the gameplay.

it might seem intuitively correct to assume that "if fan A likes Game 1, then he/she will also like Game 2" but each game has to be taken on its own merits and in its own context. however, this isn't true. times change, new elements spread throughout the industry, new trends take hold in design. games that stay the same soon fall behind, and giving a game more leeway than another title because i may have liked past games in the series would be the wrong way to go about writing a review.

if anything, being a fan of previous games means that the bar is raised in a critical sense for the series. why should a developer be rewarded for covering the same ground again and again? maybe that's all right for some, but i see little point in praising a sequel if it's not going to bring something new to the table.

in MGS4's case, i was disappointed that more new gameplay ideas weren't implemented, but I was prepared to look past this since the series has placed so much weight on narrative and characterization. however, since that aspect of the game was bitterly disappointing, there was very little left for me to praise... it's as simple as that.

if gamers love what MGS4 did in terms of narrative, that's a taste issue. to each his own.

as for me, i didn't love it. in fact, i disliked it quite a bit.

to me, the quality of MGS4's story elements, direction, and characterization was well below what the previous MGS games accomplished, and simply answering fans' questions and bringing the series to a close serves little purpose if it's done with as little aplomb as it was here.

being a "fan" doesn't mean you have to love a game just because you loved the last one, and it doesn't mean that you can't voice concerns when you feel like the thing you love is going wrong. i've got nothing but the highest respect and admiration for Kojima. in fact, i've even told him so face to face. i love nearly all of his games, and i think he's one of the most brilliant minds in the gaming, period.

that said, even the most brilliant men can make mistakes or errors in judgement, and no amount of past success can earn someone a pass that doesn't meet the standards i set for the games i review. i keep seeing the comment made wondering "what did i expect" from MGS4 in this thread. i was already intimately familiar with Metal Gear, but what I expected was something better than what was delivered; better gameplay, better writing, better design.

simple as that.

am i still a MGS fan? absolutely. am i still a Kojima fan? i always will be. will i be just as strict with his next game when it comes across my desk for review?

yes, i will.

just think of it as tough love.

Padan Fain wrote: Wow. Some

Padan Fain wrote:

Wow. Some of you are taking this review way too personally. Looks like Brad hit a nerve.

1) Just because someone is a "fan" of something doesn't mean that he has to see everything the way you do. It doesn't mean he has to forgive things that he sees as excessive even they "OMFGorz they are MGS, for pete's sake, what did you expect you n00b?? Waaa gimme my bottle I'm gonna cry now!"

2) If you have to read a freaking database to understand a the narrative, then the cutscenes must not have done a very good job at explaining it, did they?

3) A review doesn't have to go over ALL aspects of a game to be useful, so accusing the reviewer of not following the mission statement is totally absurd.

4) For you people accusing Brad of being elitist, why is it that you then say "Oh, you're not a fan. You don't GET MGS the way I do." That's pretty elitist to me.

5) Games SHOULD be reviewed FOR THE AVERAGE GAMER, not for you freaks who dress up as Solid Snake on Halloween and then get off with your little sister pretending that she's Merrill. Expecting the game to be reviewed just for fans of the series is pretty dumb.

6) Brad DID cover the stuff that he didn't like in the review, and he explained why. And there are people who agree with him.

7) Not everyone is a little pimple-faced know-it-all that skips school to go read the MGS database just so they can understand shit they didn't care about in the first place. And why didn't they care about it? Because the answer doesn't matter! It doesn't enrich their lives in any way. Personally, I didn't give a rat's ass who the Patriots were after I finished MGS2. I was like, wow this game was pretty good up until the last 3rd where it got a little weird and had waaaaay too many cutscenes.

Wow, follow your own advice buddy. Waaaaaaaa. What a sap.

To answer this screaming lunatic's reponses:

1. The Ferrari and Rolls Royce analogy Aaron made answers this easily.

2. The database is there for people who didn't follow all the MGS or for those who want to know more about the MGS universe. They did not provide it to clarify MGS4. If you looked at it (which you obviously didn't) it contains everything about MGS.

3. A review should cover core aspects of the game. MGO is a BIG part of the game. It might not be part of the story, but it's the ONLINE component. I am sure an average consumer would want to know about this. Come on. Don't try to disregard something just for the sake of it. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Especially when you talk about fans going Waaa, waaa, waaa. MGO can be for the people who aren't crazy fans.

And by the way, if you work for a company, say as a customer service rep, and you don't follow the mission statement when you provide service. Guess what happens my friend? One complaint from a customer will likely get you canned. A mission statement is a company's obligation. Otherwise, don't bother having one. It is not some guideline that you follow. If it was, it should be called "Guidelines" not "Mission Statement".

4. No one has directly accused Brad of such. We all asked a simple question. What did you expect from MGS4? We all said as a fan, we all know that it will have crazy long cutscenes and codec moments. Over-the-top insane storyline with wierd bosses. To most people who have played past MGS games it is hard to believe that Brad has really played any from what he has said. He is taking off points for something that he should have already known.

It's like saying Oblivion lost points because the world is so open. Or GTA lost points because it isn't linear enough. That is wrong becuase the game was made that way on purpose. If you don't like the way it is made, then I think reviewing it is a bad idea.

5. Wow, you just discriminated a whole bunch of innocents there as well as made assumptions. You are great.

6. He may have explained why in his way, but obviously not enough. For one, he didn't elaborate on the gameplay mechanics until someone else pointed it out. Only then did he talk about it. I'm sure the ones doing the complaining here (myself included) are saying the review has to be thorough.

7. Wow, again with the lowly discriminating insults and assumptions that we are pimple-faced. This whole section you wrote, point 7. Discredits everything you have said. Not only have you insulted MGS4 fans, but any person who plays games, or reads a book, watches a movie, enjoys paintings, etc. When you make such illogical comments like this, you should really say you are speaking for yourself only. This game has many morals and inspiring moments that DO ENRICH peoples lives. Just like watching any inspiring movie or reading any inspiring book.

Please go back to your closed box games. You obviously couldn't care about any game or any form of medium for that matter that has a story because they possibly can't enrich lives.

Aaron wrote:

Aaron wrote:

I don't think you should answer for people. And I don't think you know much about MGS yourself. MGS has alway had almost seemingly "supernatural" stuff about it. Nanomachines is just the best way to describe it instead of short throughing aliens in there or gamma radiation. Heck, look at MGS3 with the Cobra Unit which was before the Nanomachines. What the heck is that? This is MGS for goodness sakes! As MANY readers pointed out, what type of game were you expecting???

You and Brad fail to see what MGS is all about. End of story. You fail to see what it is all about and try to point out your "critical thoughts" which do not hold merit to what you are talking about. It's like critizing a Ferrari for not being more luxurious then a Rolls Royce.

I know it always has supernatural stuff, that isn't my point, my point is that I think it is better off not explaining those things, and I don't think you should be casting aspersions on my knowledge of the series because I could probably recite the entire script of the first game almost verbatim. I am embedded in and passionate enough about the MGS mythos that I am personally aggrieved that Kojima decided to fellate the fans instead of follow his own muse and give us what we deserved instead of what we wanted. I would have been happy leaving the story incomplete with 3, because Kojima clearly didn't want to make 4. A story doesn't need to have answers to every question it poses for it to be meaningful, and I think Kojima understands this, but just when he thought he was out...they pulled him back in, again.

I think I have a much more developed understanding of what MGS is really about than all of these literal-minded fanboys butthurt over Brad's review. It's called Gamecritics, not Gamereviewers. Criticism is the articulation of one's own personal opinion on a work of art (and/or commercial entertainment, so as not to bait the philistines), that is Brad's opinion, he's articulated it nicely, and there's no reason he has to get in lock step with everybody else, especially since one of the things that videogame criticism needs now is more disparity between reviews to help foster a healthy discussion, which many gamers are so unused to having that they resort to the kind of uncomprehending infantility we see here and elsewhere in the wake of something that makes them actually think for a second about their assumptions.

Nick wrote: 4. No one has

Nick wrote:

4. No one has directly accused Brad of such. We all asked a simple question. What did you expect from MGS4? We all said as a fan, we all know that it will have crazy long cutscenes and codec moments. Over-the-top insane storyline with wierd bosses. To most people who have played past MGS games it is hard to believe that Brad has really played any from what he has said. He is taking off points for something that he should have already known.

It's like saying Oblivion lost points because the world is so open. Or GTA lost points because it isn't linear enough. That is wrong becuase the game was made that way on purpose. If you don't like the way it is made, then I think reviewing it is a bad idea.

Crazy long cutscenes, over the top insane storylines, and weird bosses are elements of the formula that can be good or bad in a particular installment. Not all cutscenes, weird twists and characters are created equal. If the game had a three-hour cutscene about how the whole series was orchestrated by hyperintelligent lizards on Jupiter in the leadup to a boss fight against a man wearing armor made out of mozzarella cheese named Whackadoodle Pudding whose backstory involves being kidnapped by the Kool-Aid man when he was a child and forced to watch reruns of Full House, you could defend it on the same terms, but that wouldn't make it less stupid.

Dude, seriously...calm down.

Dude, seriously...calm down. I don't think anyone on here has said the game is bad. Brad said it could have been better, that's all. What do YOU expect from this site? If your're expecting ign, gamsespot, gamepro, bs "Greatest ever!!!" "Perfect 10!" you've come to the wrong site. The game is good, you can breathe easy, I'm sure Brad thinks its good too.
Seems like you came here with that mentallity from other sites, with classy lines like, "MGS4 OWNS!" and "MGS4>HALO3!". Take that crap to ign with the rest of the flamers.

As far as Metal Gear online goes, ANYONE who calls themself a metal gear fan didn't think much about this part. We all wanted the story mode, the online is a nice addition, but hardly as fun or cool as COD4.

LOL

Nick wrote:

Wow, follow your own advice buddy. Waaaaaaaa. What a sap.

To answer this screaming lunatic's reponses:

1. The Ferrari and Rolls Royce analogy Aaron made answers this easily.

2. The database is there for people who didn't follow all the MGS or for those who want to know more about the MGS universe. They did not provide it to clarify MGS4. If you looked at it (which you obviously didn't) it contains everything about MGS.

3. A review should cover core aspects of the game. MGO is a BIG part of the game. It might not be part of the story, but it's the ONLINE component. I am sure an average consumer would want to know about this. Come on. Don't try to disregard something just for the sake of it. THIS IS IMPORTANT. Especially when you talk about fans going Waaa, waaa, waaa. MGO can be for the people who aren't crazy fans.

And by the way, if you work for a company, say as a customer service rep, and you don't follow the mission statement when you provide service. Guess what happens my friend? One complaint from a customer will likely get you canned. A mission statement is a company's obligation. Otherwise, don't bother having one. It is not some guideline that you follow. If it was, it should be called "Guidelines" not "Mission Statement".

4. No one has directly accused Brad of such. We all asked a simple question. What did you expect from MGS4? We all said as a fan, we all know that it will have crazy long cutscenes and codec moments. Over-the-top insane storyline with wierd bosses. To most people who have played past MGS games it is hard to believe that Brad has really played any from what he has said. He is taking off points for something that he should have already known.

It's like saying Oblivion lost points because the world is so open. Or GTA lost points because it isn't linear enough. That is wrong becuase the game was made that way on purpose. If you don't like the way it is made, then I think reviewing it is a bad idea.

5. Wow, you just discriminated a whole bunch of innocents there as well as made assumptions. You are great.

6. He may have explained why in his way, but obviously not enough. For one, he didn't elaborate on the gameplay mechanics until someone else pointed it out. Only then did he talk about it. I'm sure the ones doing the complaining here (myself included) are saying the review has to be thorough.

7. Wow, again with the lowly discriminating insults and assumptions that we are pimple-faced. This whole section you wrote, point 7. Discredits everything you have said. Not only have you insulted MGS4 fans, but any person who plays games, or reads a book, watches a movie, enjoys paintings, etc. When you make such illogical comments like this, you should really say you are speaking for yourself only. This game has many morals and inspiring moments that DO ENRICH peoples lives. Just like watching any inspiring movie or reading any inspiring book.

Please go back to your closed box games. You obviously couldn't care about any game or any form of medium for that matter that has a story because they possibly can't enrich lives.

1. Lol. Nope. It’s a poor analogy as cars are drastically different than video games. Maybe if you see video games as serving the exact same functions as cars, then you might have a point. But then you'd be wrong, and a little crazy. I think Brad just explained how you can be a fan and still a critic. I would say he’s even MORE of a fan than you are because he wants the games to get better, not plod the same ground.

2. The point is that if there are so many people who didn’t follow the story, which there are, and need a database, AS SOMEONE SUGGESTED THEY SHOULD IN AN EARLIER COMMENT, then that supports the idea that the story is extremely convoluted and excessive.

3. I can find TONS of reviews of any game that don’t really cover the online component, simply because the game is primarily a single-player game. Does that make it right? Depends on the game. Most of the other reviews I’ve read on MGS4 don’t really touch on MGO that much. I guess the reviewers should all be fired. But oh wait, they gave MGS4 a 10/10. Hmm…

4. Gimme a break. Go back. Read the comments. It’s there. People accused him of giving a bad review cause he thinks it’s cool to be a snobby critic and told him to get over himself. Guess what guys: He didn’t think it was a perfect game. Get over YOURselves.

5. Yes, I know it was an assumption to say you get off to Merrill. I think your sister looks more like Eva. Oh, and that wasn’t the point anyway. The point was that games should be reviewed for the average gamer. Complaining that someone is coming from the perspective of “outside the context of MGS” is whining.

6. A review doesn’t have to go into painstaking detail on every aspect of a game. He hit the points he felt were relevant to the review. And he did mention specific gameplay mechanics.

7. Yep, that’s what I said. No movies, books, or games can enrich people’s lives. Thanks for extrapolating everything way out of proportion. I am only referring to certain aspects of MGS games that I don’t care about. Do I care how Vamp got his powers or why Psycho Mantis’s dad hated him when he was a kid. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. There are specific unanswered questions in the MGS universe that, quite apart from being “cool”, I think are too overboard and unnecessary. And yes, btw, there are plenty of enriching things in MGS games. It’s just you have to put up with a bunch of total crappola to experience them.

I don't think that defeats

I don't think that defeats the point that MGO should have been mentionned to some degree as it is part of the game regardless. As consumers should know about it.

I've just read through all the comments and it's been fun. From talking about Art to the Review to the Bashing.

One thing's for sure. This is entertaining. :P

I do think everyone has a point to some degree whether it's Brad or the flaming from some of the commenters. Underneath all the comments there lies actual good points which should be carefully looked at. Hopefully these will be carried through to future reviews or accounted for in some degree.

But people should know once you start getting too emotional, it's hard for people to accept it and it's easy for the flame wars to begin. I'm sure Brad is having a hard time taking some comments in.

Brad, if possible, after reading through all these comments, what do you think are some good points that people have made and do you see any room for improvement that you would pass along to future reviews? Anything you would add or say differently?

Kyle ur gay!

Kyle ur gay! Brad=Ownage!

Sorry it had to come to this.

Thanks Gamecritics

Snack Eater wrote:

I think I have a much more developed understanding of what MGS is really about than all of these literal-minded fanboys butthurt over Brad's review. It's called Gamecritics, not Gamereviewers. Criticism is the articulation of one's own personal opinion on a work of art (and/or commercial entertainment, so as not to bait the philistines), that is Brad's opinion, he's articulated it nicely, and there's no reason he has to get in lock step with everybody else, especially since one of the things that videogame criticism needs now is more disparity between reviews to help foster a healthy discussion, which many gamers are so unused to having that they resort to the kind of uncomprehending infantility we see here and elsewhere in the wake of something that makes them actually think for a second about their assumptions.

For what it's worth, I share these sentiments about the reviews on this site wholeheartedly. I come to Gamecritics to get useful comments that I usually don't get from any other reviews. The reviews are always insightful and there are usually at least 1 or 2 very interesting points that I can take home with me that can be found on no other site.

Does every detail about every game get covered? Not always. Do I care? Not usually. I appreciate the reviewers giving me a critique of the game from there own perspective. I like knowing where the reviewer was coming from, what his or her expectations were going in to the game, and whether or not those expectations were met coming out. In this respect I feel like I come to know the reviewers, which would not be the case if they used the more sterile approach of going down a review checklist and making sure to comment on each item.

I think some things he's said in his review were wildly misconstrued. For example, the cutscene issue. He never said long cutscenes in and of themselves were terrible. He explained that his expectations going in to the game were going one direction--more interactive cutscenes, as other developers had shown to be effective at keeping the player engaged, and more of the same or better quality story. He explained that neither expectation was met and why he thinks they were not and should have been met. I clearly understood his positions.

In the case of Brad's MGS4 review, all the major points he made he backed up with an explanation and gave specific examples without spoiling the game. That is not always an easy task to accomplish and I commend him. In the end, I have to say keep up the great work Gamecritics!

Selfless Pride wrote: I

Selfless Pride wrote:

I have to agree with Jesus and Stevo. Many debates are rarely black and white. And I have enjoyed reading the arguments about "Art" and "Games". The problem with "Art" is that it can be used in practically everything. The programming code written to launch a Nasa shuttle into space is just a work of art in the way the alogrithms are condensed and put together. Hard core programmers would "get off" looking at code like that.

The point here is when "Games" were first derived, they were meant to be a past-time people can interact and have fun. That's it. There was no "art" intention to begin with.

As Stevo pointed out, "Hey want to see my art collection?"

You pull out Halo 3, Gears of War, Metal Gear Solid 4, maybe even Monopoly the board game.

The mass majority will respond, "What the F?"

Plain and simple. Black and white.

When people look at video game reviews, the majority want to know how the game plays, is it worth playing, are the graphics good, then comes is the story good?

I think the problems lies within this site, I'm sorry. This site GameCritics.com should really have a mission statement or something indicating that our reviews are more heavily based on how games have progressed to become an art form. If that's the case, then 6.5 go ahead and no one would argue as much.

The reason for all the arguments is because a 6.5 is really absurb under "usually" gaming reviews. If the score were broken down into categories I'd really like to see the 6.5. That's when there is a category called "Artistic Value" and this game gets a 1/10 or something which would bring down the graphics score of 10/10 or a gameplay score of 8/10 at least. Anyway I'm just throwing numbers as a example.

Point is. If you are reviewing this game in such an artistic fashion, say so! Else people will get confused and start flaming.

How about GamingArtCritics.com instead guys? Or just make an About Us section indiciting the criteria you use to break down a games score. With heavy emphasis on the "art" aspect.

Problem solved. Arguments closed.

You all make good points. I do personally agree with Jesus and Stevo. And I love that Halo 3 analogy Stevo, it is just too true, and definitely in our lifetime it will not change at all.

I HAVE TO APPLAUD YOU SELFLESS PRIDE AS YOU HAVE DONE ALL MY DIRTY WORK WITH THIS POST.

This is exactly how I feel about the art concept. Anything can be labelled 'art' with its very wide reaching definitions. But games have been and will always be about 'playing' and 'gameplay'.

I think you have hit it on the nail when you said the reviews say more about this site. And maybe GamingArtCritics.com would be a good name for the site. You shouldn't feel that you need to go against thegeneral consensus when a game is getting very good reviews across the board by giving the game a 6.5 to try and show everyone that you are hard core critics. As a well rounded critic will give credit when credit is due.

Interestingly Brad slates MGS4 for lack of innovation on gameplay and yet gives Mass Effect a 10/10. Although I personally like this game, it is essentially a glorified package of Knights of the Republic with some updates that are expected with the 'next-gen' (as you slated MGS4 for). I think you are a bit contradictory in your beliefs and principals here Brad.

Any ways I need to go as I have some one who has come to view my art collection, being Snakes & Ladders, Monopoly and Halo 3 (LOL).

There are multiple ways of observing art.

Quote:

This is exactly how I feel about the art concept. Anything can be labelled 'art' with its very wide reaching definitions. But games have been and will always be about 'playing' and 'gameplay'.

Quote:

Any ways I need to go as I have some one who has come to view my art collection, being Snakes & Ladders, Monopoly and Halo 3 (LOL).

While the joke is amusing, the assumption implicit in these statements, and much of the rest of your arguments, is that only things that can be "viewed"--that is, observed visually--and whose primary purpose is not to entertain can be considered great art. That is just not true. Great art whose primary purpose is to entertain can be seen (e.g. painting), heard (e.g. music), and yes, acted (e.g. dancing). Occasionally it can be seen and heard (film), so why not seen, heard, and acted, as in the case of videogames?

GameJokers.com

Stevo wrote:

Interestingly Brad slates MGS4 for lack of innovation on gameplay and yet gives Mass Effect a 10/10. Although I personally like this game, it is essentially a glorified package of Knights of the Republic with some updates that are expected with the 'next-gen' (as you slated MGS4 for). I think you are a bit contradictory in your beliefs and principals here Brad.

Wow, he gave mass effect a 10/10? This is the same Brad right? The same Brad that is saying that 5/10 is the REAL average. A 10/10 means that the game is GODLY PERFECT. So GODLY that practically all the areas are repeating themselves over and over in every dungeon.

Now I know he's full of it. Thanks Stevo for pointing that out.

Nothing more needs to be said now. I mean if he said 9.5 I would probably not say anything, but 10/10 from the man that says 5/10 is average?!? I wouldn't have thought a 10/10 would be possible. I mean you are so critical in this review to point out the flaws. But somehow you miss the flaws in Mass Effect.

Just WOW.
RIIIIIIIIIGHT. -.-

Odofakyodo wrote:

Odofakyodo wrote:

Occasionally it can be seen and heard (film), so why not seen, heard, and acted, as in the case of videogames?

Hmm should I? Only b/c its been a long time since we argued Odafakyodo. Are you saying gaming is acting or like acting? If so i would vehemently have to disagree with you.

I don't understand why Mass

I don't understand why Mass effect's score is an issue. What does it matter what he thought of mass effect if we're talking about Metal Gear. Metal gear left much to be desired, the cut scenes took a lot out of the gameplay and the story was so so at best. How are these points invalidated by Mass Effect being rated a 10?

Quote: Hmm should I? Only

Quote:

Hmm should I? Only b/c its been a long time since we argued Odafakyodo. Are you saying gaming is acting or like acting? If so i would vehemently have to disagree with you.

That's not exactly what I meant, but I would say that sometimes, or perhaps often, gaming is like acting (as in, you know, an actor in a movie or a play) because the player is pretending to be her avatar or some fictitious character. It is fundamentally different from acting because the player's path is not pre-scripted.

What I meant was more general "acting" in the sense of doing something - expending some effort and exerting some control over the situation. As in the case of dancing, some activity has to be going on for the art to exist.

Odofakyodo wrote: What I

Odofakyodo wrote:

What I meant was more general "acting" in the sense of doing something - expending some effort and exerting some control over the situation. As in the case of dancing, some activity has to be going on for the art to exist.

I'm sorry activity? Video games, expending effort? I'm not trying to be facetious but come on. Comparing the physical dexterity and endurance required in dancing to the movement of fingers on a control seems a bit off. If you want to say you exert some mental energy that's fine.

When i was a kid i used to play doctor with the girl next door. That does not mean that i was like an actor, or that somehow the game i was playing was like art. I think we need to check ourselves before we try making statements about video game as art.

My point was that someone

My point was that someone has to actually be doing something, making decisions, configuring the events that are going on. Dancing requires that. Video games require that. That is all I'm saying. Yes, the specific skills needed to dance are different than the specific skills needed to play a videogame. So what? Both require effort and energy to be expent in order to exist. Just because one activity is more physical than another doesn't mean the more mental one can't be great art. Each activity requires it's own special skills. Not everyone can play a game very well, not everyone can design a game well, and not everyone can dance well. It's just a different kind of art. Is all dancing "great art"? No. Are all video games "great art"? No. But there can be great art in the form of dancing and great art in the form of videogames. That's all I'm saying.

Well that's all well and

Well that's all well and good, Brad, but you didn't respond to the issue i raised.

you complained in your review that the cut-scenes in Guns of the Patriots were too long and that the cut-scene to gameplay ratio was too skewed to the cut-scenes. i'll admit that's a legitimate complaint, but the problem is that the previous games, which you said you were a fan off, also had cut-scenes that were just as long as the ones in MGS4, and also had a ratio that favored the cut-scenes.

so what i'm basically asking is this; if you were okay with the length and amount of cut-scenes in the previous games, what were wrong with them in Guns of the Patriots?

Jesus, my Mass effect

Jesus, my Mass effect reference is relevant as Brad stated in his review that MGS4 is what is expected of a game with a 'next-gen' overhaul but below the standard of which many other games have acheived so far doing this. And that MGS4 lacks any genuine move forward in innovation.

This was a major flaw of MGS per Brad yet with Mass Effect which is a modern version in effect of KOTOR (i.e. its premise and gameplay mechanics remain the same)he basically ignores this point by giving Mass Effect a 10/10.

That is a very valid argument as it proves his reasoning in giving MGS4 a weak score inconsistent with his criteria for reviewing Mass Effect (as it would not get a 10/10 with its old gameplay mechanics if he used the same principles as his MGS4 review).

Whether Mass Effect should be a 10 or not is a completely different argument but the fact that his own criteria has changed from reviewing one game to another PROVES that his personal opinion is his only croiteria for reviewing rather than informed judgement.

Odofakyodo wrote: My point

Odofakyodo wrote:

My point was that someone has to actually be doing something, making decisions, configuring the events that are going on. Dancing requires that. Video games require that. That is all I'm saying. Yes, the specific skills needed to dance are different than the specific skills needed to play a videogame. So what? Both require effort and energy to be expent in order to exist. Just because one activity is more physical than another doesn't mean the more mental one can't be great art. Each activity requires it's own special skills. Not everyone can play a game very well, not everyone can design a game well, and not everyone can dance well. It's just a different kind of art. Is all dancing "great art"? No. Are all video games "great art"? No. But there can be great art in the form of dancing and great art in the form of videogames. That's all I'm saying.

Point well taken.

Stevo wrote: Whether Mass

Stevo wrote:

Whether Mass Effect should be a 10 or not is a completely different argument but the fact that his own criteria has changed from reviewing one game to another PROVES that his personal opinion is his only croiteria for reviewing rather than informed judgement.

I can see your point. That was one of his critiques of the game.

This thread has gone on way

This thread has gone on way longer than i imagined it would, and (mostly) thanks to everybody for participating.

just a few final comments, and then you guys are free to take this wherever you want to, i've repeated my points over and over again and i need to move on to other things besides defending a technically above-average score for a mediocre game.

before anything else, let me just say that in retrospect i would have added a word or two to the review to clarify that i'm not against cutscenes *as a rule* and that their inclusion in games is not an automatic deduction. i was intent on making my points in reference to MGS4's exceedingly poor use of them, and if it came off like i'm anti-cutscene in general, then that was my fault for not being more specific.

i apologize for any confusion.

next, ALL reviews are personal opinions no matter which way you want to slice it. if you can't handle that, then stop reading reviews.

Finally, i'd like to say that my criteria aren't any different for MGS4 than they were for Mass Effect. MGS4 and ME are *wildly* different games, and their relative levels of success are like night and day. comparing the two and how i weighed each one in my mind would be a long thread on its own, but let me just sum it up like this:

Mass Effect was a hugely entertaining, masterfully crafted, completely engaging experience that succeeded every place it needed to.

MGS4 was not, and did not.

if you'd like to compare both of my reviews, please feel free... my rationales behind both scores are there on the page.

if you agree, great. we'd probably get along.

if you didn't, then chalk it up to having a difference of opinion or simply having different priorities and standards when it comes to games. you can cast aspersions on my virtue, try to impeach my character any way you want, try to 'prove' how i've made obvious mistakes, to or try to bring arguments to bear about how 'biased' i am or how badly i misunderstand the game, but the bottom line remains that i'm a gamer to the core well-versed in pretty much everything that's happened in console games over the last twenty-odd years or so, and the review is how i honestly felt about MGS4, take it or leave it.

and i'm still a Kojima fan.

thanks for reading GameCritics.com, and I hope to see you here again.

Thanks

I would just like to say thanks Brad for taking the time to give responses to the posts on the forum.

I can now see a bit better where you are coming with the review in terms of the 5/10 being average where as average in many other sites/mags starts from 7/10.

Brad Gallaway wrote: This

Brad Gallaway wrote:

This thread has gone on way longer than i imagined it would, and (mostly) thanks to everybody for participating.

just a few final comments, and then you guys are free to take this wherever you want to, i've repeated my points over and over again and i need to move on to other things besides defending a technically above-average score for a mediocre game.

before anything else, let me just say that in retrospect i would have added a word or two to the review to clarify that i'm not against cutscenes *as a rule* and that their inclusion in games is not an automatic deduction. i was intent on making my points in reference to MGS4's exceedingly poor use of them, and if it came off like i'm anti-cutscene in general, then that was my fault for not being more specific.

i apologize for any confusion.

next, ALL reviews are personal opinions no matter which way you want to slice it. if you can't handle that, then stop reading reviews.

Finally, i'd like to say that my criteria aren't any different for MGS4 than they were for Mass Effect. MGS4 and ME are *wildly* different games, and their relative levels of success are like night and day. comparing the two and how i weighed each one in my mind would be a long thread on its own, but let me just sum it up like this:

Mass Effect was a hugely entertaining, masterfully crafted, completely engaging experience that succeeded every place it needed to.

MGS4 was not, and did not.

if you'd like to compare both of my reviews, please feel free... my rationales behind both scores are there on the page.

if you agree, great. we'd probably get along.

if you didn't, then chalk it up to having a difference of opinion or simply having different priorities and standards when it comes to games. you can cast aspersions on my virtue, try to impeach my character any way you want, try to 'prove' how i've made obvious mistakes, to or try to bring arguments to bear about how 'biased' i am or how badly i misunderstand the game, but the bottom line remains that i'm a gamer to the core well-versed in pretty much everything that's happened in console games over the last twenty-odd years or so, and the review is how i honestly felt about MGS4, take it or leave it.

and i'm still a Kojima fan.

thanks for reading GameCritics.com, and I hope to see you here again.

I'm sorry but, are you really telling me that you did not find Metal Gear Solid 4's cinematic's 'absolutely awe-inspiring'? I know it is subjective but, some of the sequences in this game are on par with that of the "Bourne" series of movies. I was left absolutely speechless when watching most of the cutscenes.

Even my dad who didn't play the game was watching me play it, and in the scene when Snake first enters the Church in Act 3 both our jaws dropped when we saw that entire scene.

Kojima is a aspiring director. We know that. And it shows in MGS4 more than any other game he has made in his stunning career as a game director. Heck, it shows here in this game more than any other game I have ever played.

In short, and I know this may sound very, very stupid; but the cinematics in this movie, with the dramatic sections as well as the actions sections, easily made this the best game I had ever played. Which truthfully takes up about 35% of the game.

This is a little late to

This is a little late to comment, but I've been out of the gaming loop:

"the simple fact is that a videogame is not a film."

I guess that makes two of us who believe that, and I appreciate the honest review from your perspective. Even the severe amount of cut-scenes in MGS2 made me want to pull an Elvis on the television... and since then, I still don't think an MGS game has matched the "tactical espionage action" feel of even the first Splinter Cell.

Additionally, I've always been surprised at the low standards gamers have for cut scenes in general. The MGS scenes would barely pass for a one-star movie, much less a 7-hour movie worth watching. I won't be tricked this time, Kojima.

I liked MGS4 a lot more than

I liked MGS4 a lot more than Brad did, but I know raving defensive fanboys when I see them. This comment thread is full of them. Pretty old comments, though. Maybe some of them have grown up a little by now.

All reviews are a personal opinion

All reviews are a personal opinion. That's just a core truth central to all reviews. When you find a review without any personal opinion, please let me know--I'd love to read it.

All right here you go:

http://www.destructoid.com/100-objective-review-final-fantasy-xiii-179178.phtml

I know I'm kind of late to the party...

Plot holes

I know the MGS storyline so well that I could probably narrate it by memory. Instead of plot holes, its more like there are "patches" over obvious holes that might be there. here are some examples:

1. Big Boss's Body and Eva's reaction. Eva said she knew that it wasn't really Big Boss' body...why did she risk her precious life?

2. Why try to preserve Big Boss' body? If liquid gets a hand on it the SOP system will be his.

Besides those, here are some "annoyances" rather than "patch-ups":

1 . Big Boss at the end has a different accent / actor than the protagonist in MGS3.

2. Johnny, that random guard from MGS1? Really? I read somewhere that this was an inside joke...but still it just throws you off.

3. The plot is balancing on a fine thread of nanomachines. Oh the boss from MGS1 died? Lets bring him back with nanomachines. Someone dying too early? lets pump him/her full of nanomachines to keep them alive.

4. Sunny. Not quite a believable character. sorry.

You may not agree with me, thats OK. I'm just giving my opinion. I do ask that if you play or go through the plot once more, please look for the things me and some others have noted on.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Code of Conduct

Comments are subject to approval/deletion based on the following criteria:
1) Treat all users with respect.
2) Post with an open-mind.
3) Do not insult and/or harass users.
4) Do not incite flame wars.
5) Do not troll and/or feed the trolls.
6) No excessive whining and/or complaining.

Please report any offensive posts here.

For more video game discussion with the our online community, become a member of our forum.

Our Game Review Philosophy and Ratings Explanations.

About Us | Privacy Policy | Review Game | Contact Us | Twitter | Facebook |  RSS
Copyright 1999–2010 GameCritics.com. All rights reserved.