Like a Hollywood movie: a lot of hype, pretty to look at but nothing inside.
Remember about 12 years ago there was this amazing 8-bit Nintendo game called Metal Gear? If you read a lot of Marvel comics in those days you'll remember the ads for the game which featured all the gear you'll need to beat the game all over the page. It had this crazy premise of *avoiding* combat! You'd win by using stealth and brains over brute force. Well over a decade later a sequel has arrived. The recent Playstation hit has landed on the PC and its got to be one of the best conversions ever.
The game has great graphics and sound and features some very slick cutscenes. I loved the way the credits pop as you move your character around the docks at the start of the game. It works in a way like you'd expect a movie. As you sneak your way around the base you will trigger cut scenes to propel the plot and a series of level bosses who have a variety of combat methods. The voice acting is pretty good, although, not Oscar worthy, but quite enjoyable. The voices really suit their characters. Your cool as ice character Snake, is quite funny, as he hits on all the girls.
Once you've beat the game, there are the VR missions to tackle. These are in some ways traing excercises but the more difficult missions are more like puzzles as you have to figure out how to reach a point or kill all the guards in limited time spans.
The big problem with this game is that its too darn short. I was amazed at the speed that this game was over. Luckily the VR missions extend the life, poor Playstation owners had to buy them seperatly.
Another problem is that the game's story is really really bad. I guess in Japan they like melodrama and bad sci-fi but in North America things need to be a bit more believable. The plot starts out well enough but soon enough it gets so cornball you'll be hoping for the scene to be over soon. I won't spoil it here but think of the main character relationships of Star Wars, set in our near future, and written by Japanese man who finds the soap opera The Young and the Restless a witty work of fiction.
Minor complaint is how the guards go back to normal after 60 seconds in alert mode. If you just spotted an intruder in a secret base would you go back to sleep after not finding him for a few seconds? I'd have prefered to see the guards get noticable more alert and cautious if you get spotted frequently.
The Bottom Line
The game has graphics and gameplay, and while it is fun to play, the game is so short (and cheesy) that you might wish you had spent your dollars somewhere else.