I spent pretty much all of today on my couch playing the original Metal Gear Solid on my PS2. Like I said before, I\’ve only played part of it before (on PC) with generally positive impressions, so I was wondering how the rest of the game held up. And my answer so far is \”somewhat unevenly.\”

First off, the game makes you engage in firefights with what are probably the most clunky shooting controls ever. The game has you press square to shoot, but your handgun has an auto-targeting mode engaged by holding square, which prevents you from firing off shots quickly. Manual aiming is really a crapshoot. On the other hand, your rifle fires in full automatic mode when you hold down square, and you can fire it while running if you hold down X while shooting. Keeping in mind that X is normally the button assigned to crouch, this is a rather unintuitive setup, and that the game expects you to enter gunfights with it is somewhat ridiculous.

The second problem I have is less important, but it\’s somewhat detrimental to the game\’s atmosphere. MGS goes to great lengths to make you feel that your actions are taking place in a realistic, believable world. The attention to detail is incredible. Given that, it really spoils the atmosphere of the game when Revolver Ocelot says something like \”Press Circle to regain your strength!\” It only serves to kill the atmosphere built up to that point.

I have a few more issues with the game (I think the dialogue repeats itself way too much, the cutscenes are about 50% too long, and the plot\’s way of trying to make us empathise with the villains by having them spout their entire backstory as they die is just terrible characterization) but honestly, I would be lying if I said that I hadn\’t gotten anything out of the game. The boss battles are suitably epic and challenging, and the sneaking areas are pretty well-designed for the most part.

I\’m at the start of disc 2, so I assume I\’m about halfway through the game at this point. I will say the good has outweighed the bad so far, but I suppose I\’ll see if that trend continues.

7 thoughts on “Metal Gear?!”
  1. I can see why some people don’t like Kojima’s constant breaking of the 4th wall, and while I’m not that big a fan of it either, it’s a pretty sustained, deliberate attempt by him, as opposed to just a “Oops that was awkward I messed up” design decision. It gets even worse in MGS2, so grit your teeth for it 😛

  2. Oh and by the way – yes the shooting controls are clunky for MGS, but for the most part, stick with the laser sighted pistol like I said. Although there are a few bullshite sequences where you automatically trigger an alert, for the most part the silenced pistol is the way to go. This holds true for MGS 2 and 3 as well – the tranq pistol in those games is the only weapon you ever need, really 😛

    1. …so when I’m climbing a tower with approximately ten billion soldiers running after me (and a few more blocking my way) I’m not supposed to use my weapons?

      1. Except for that part :v

        And still, the auto-aiming does all the job. Not big complications there :v

        It’s not like MGS’ gameplay was that innovate and new. Plays very similar to 8 bit MG games :v Still works, though.

        1. While this is partially true I do think the shooting mechanics were one of the game’s flaws back then. However I also think that, since the first MGS, these mechanics were developed and refined quite neatly. The team put plenty of effort into them and I believe they were able to remedy this issue in later installments, specially by adding the first person aim/view.

          The breaking of the fourth wall may seem a little out of place some times but it also allows for interesting interactions, although I *think* these happen later on and I wouldn’t want to spoil it. You’ll have to get used to them regardless SS :p


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