Metal Gear Online Review
- Posted June 24th, 2008 at 07:37 EDT by Eric Blattberg
- 45 Comments
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While Metal Gear Online doesn’t push the boundaries of what can be done in an online game, it does offer a suitable experience for Metal Gear's transition into an online environment.
- Versatile conflicts and gun selection
- Sneaking Mission mode
- Beautiful graphics
- Near-broken log in system
- One free character per console
- CQC and cover systems don’t work nearly as well as in MGS4
War has changed. It's not about nations, or ideologies. It's not even about profit, resources, or ethnicity. It's an endless series of proxy battles fought by mercenaries and machines. War, and its vast consumption of human life, has become a rational, well-oiled business transaction. War has changed.
But that’s a tale for another time. It is now that I attempt to forget Metal Gear Solid 4’s chilling dialogue and venture into MGS4’s oft-forgotten sibling, Metal Gear Online. Does this title live up to the supreme standards of MGS4? Read on to find out.
Metal Gear Online isn’t the same game as MGS4. It has a separate rating with different descriptors, thus I’m treating it as a standalone product. Just to clarify, the price (or lack thereof) has no bearing on MGO’s score. I’m basing this solely on the game itself.
And what a confusing game it is. To begin, you’re asked to set up a Konami ID via a frustrating, convoluted web application. Once you’ve completed your Konami ID, you must then set up a separate Game ID. I won’t go into specifics, but just think of how Resistance: Fall of Man dealt with the PlayStation Network at launch (ex. non-integrated friend list). Nearly two years later, MGO ups the ante by providing an even worse experience. Funnily enough, the one feature that Fall of Man had right at launch, the clan feature, is also present and operational in MGO.
Once you finish struggling with all the riff-raff of the near-broken log in system, things change for the better. You’re walked through the competent character creation system, though admittedly the limitation of only one free character allowed per console is rather disappointing. All aspects except the name, face and voice of a character are adjustable though, so it’s unbeknownst to me why anyone would spring for an additional one, especially when it adds nothing to the gameplay of the title.
Speaking of gameplay, MGO translates most elements of MGS4 to the online arena quite well. Shooting, stealth, and, unless you’re playing Deathmatch, teamwork are all essential aspects that must be integrated into your play style in order to succeed. The one gripe I have with the overall system is the implementation of CQC. Although masters may be able to make use of it, close quarters combat in MGO just isn’t as effective as it is in MGS4. Shooting, whether it’s stealthy sniping or rambunctious run and gunning, is the preferred method of death dealing. Additionally, the “Drebin Points” system works brilliantly, offering a plethora of guns, add-ons, grenades and more as rewards for good play.
And if you can't shoot? In that case you’re most likely controlling the robotic Metal Gear MK II during a Sneaking Mission (…or your controller is broken). Sneaking Mission is MGO’s stab at uniqueness, with its captivating three-sided battles. Snake, sometimes assisted by the electrifying MK II, must knock out other combatants and steal their dog tags. Meanwhile, a red and blue team clash whilst both attempt to decimate the octo-cam equipped Snake. While the tides seem a bit stacked against Snake, the mode stands out amidst the generic Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Base Capture and Rescue Mission (Capture the Flag).
The “starter pack” contained on the Metal Gear Solid 4 disc does lack an appropriate amount of maps, but that’s just it; it’s a starter pack. More will be available for download -- though surely at a price -- in the future. As for now, the maps are acceptable. While they look brilliant (as do the character models and essentially everything else within the game), no area particularly screams “amazing layout.” Don’t get me wrong, they play just fine, but it would have been nice to see a bit more Metal Gear flair in them.
For those that partook in the pre-release beta and are worried about game pacing, the average running speed has been increased, promoting more diverse conflicts. Still though, know that MGO is far slower than what you’re likely accustomed to. With scrolling weapon menus and an emphasis on stealth (plus a painfully slow cover system that should be avoided at all costs), your Call of Duty 4 skills won’t translate to MGO.
So, should you buy Metal Gear Online? Well, you won’t have to. You’ve already bought MGS4 (and if you haven’t, our review will convince you to), so you’ve got this game whether you like it or not. Here’s the better question – should you spend your valuable time playing it? Although it has some regrettable issues, the execution of Metal Gear gameplay in an online setting makes for an enjoyable experience that is, at the very least, worth sinking a few hours into.
- 2:48am EDT - June 24th, 2008
Its a solid online game and i am enjoying
- 2:51am EDT - June 24th, 2008
rock on...looking forward to this being expanded...
- 2:52am EDT - June 24th, 2008
I have the completed the game but haven't tried the online but I would have assumed that most people only really care about the main game as I wouldn't have expected something great about the online
- 3:06am EDT - June 24th, 2008
Despite some of the games flaws, the flaws actually related to playing aren't so bad. I'd give MGO a 9 based just on the gameplay, and rated it as such above.
However, the cons brought up are extremely valid. It is extrememly frustrating to have a need for all of the different sign in IDs when we already have our PSN IDs. One free character, I thought this was per each PSN account. Also, if you delete a character you can create a new one in the same slot. And most other online games only allow you to have one customizible character (Halo, SOCOM, [insert game here]).
And the CQC does work, you need to have the correct skills/perks equipped and they also need to be at a high enough level to perform certain maneuvers.
Yes, there is a steep learning curve for MGO, but it's not as steep as it was for Warhawk imo.
- 3:48am EDT - June 24th, 2008
Great game. Definetly a learning curve as mentioned above, a major curve. But as I play the game more I am really starting to enjoy it a lot as my kills usually average a little more then my deaths. It just takes some getting used to.
- 4:05am EDT - June 24th, 2008
MGO is a great game all in itself, it does get frustrating but thats wat competition is all about
psycho_mantis | uncut_raw187
- 4:39am EDT - June 24th, 2008
7.5 ??? r u crazy? this is a perfect 10
- 4:40am EDT - June 24th, 2008
Didn't waste my time with this game. Thought about getting into it, but after I tried that beta demo, I deleted that crap right away. SOCOM ftw!!!
- 4:40am EDT - June 24th, 2008
I am certainly enjoying this third person online shooter it is quite different from the run of the mill online shooters like the duck and cover system or run and gun. The gadgets are cool and there are a nice amount of skills to level up as you progress your character.
- 4:52am EDT - June 24th, 2008
im not blown away with mgo im enjoying gta iv, team fort 2 online currently and the next big online game will be socom confrontation woopwoop
- 4:54am EDT - June 24th, 2008
7.5 my a**. Why do people think the online is bad?? I love it when I am chosen as snake on sneak missions! I love just running around shooting everyone! And I don't mean run and gun *cough* COD4 & HALO *cough* i mean this game is far more realistic than COD4 where you don't run out and shoot everyone with Juggernaut. You ACTUALY take cover and you ACTUALY die in a few bullet hits not 2,000 bullet hits+Juggernaut! 9.5 out of 10
- 5:13am EDT - June 24th, 2008
I give it a 8.5 or a 9 there are framerate issues and the cqc sucks for beginners, but other than that its a great online and who cares about 1 character thats really all you need.
- 5:32am EDT - June 24th, 2008
7.5 is a joke this is easily an 8.5 or a 9. what the heII is wrong with the rating system? is this the same site that gave gta a 9.5 instead of a 10? wtf!! and futher more... all you need is one character not like these little kiddies who still play rfom who are still creating new accounts so that they can try to get the infamous 2.0 kill/death ratio or better.. if you suck then u suck.... one is enough lol
- 5:49am EDT - June 24th, 2008
I have been a Metal Gear fan since the start, and all I ahve to say is I will not suck up to this title. MGO is the worst excuse for an online game, I was so excited about it and when I beat MGS4 and tried it I couldnt believe it, I have to take 20 min to log in and then I can only make one char which you cant edit? Come onb guys boycot it and demand they use your PSN id and allow as many chars and edits as we want. Dont take this just cause its a metal gear game we all deserve better, P.S MGS4 is the most amazing game ever
- 6:15am EDT - June 24th, 2008
I love Metal Gear Solid 4 but can't say the same about MGO.
The gameplay from the singleplayer doesn't apply that well to the online mode so i don't really get the feeling i am playing Metal Gear Solid (for various reasons such as the implementation of the cover system). It's by far not a bad game, but there are many other games i prefer playing online.
7.5 isn't a bad score and IMO(!) it's a justified rating.
- 6:21am EDT - June 24th, 2008
I agree, until they get more maps, I'll be playing Warhawk :P
- 6:27am EDT - June 24th, 2008
This game is perfect for sniper lovers, just like me !
- 7:02am EDT - June 24th, 2008
It's ok. Idk... it's just lacking.... something. Can't quite put my finger on it.
- 7:29am EDT - June 24th, 2008
those screen shots dont look like the same MGO im playin ??? look next to the scoreboard there is something next to the score. does anyone recognise it?????????and theres no suc thing as CQC mastery or enemy exposure in the skills list? wat is this?????
- 7:45am EDT - June 24th, 2008
A reason why someone may want to have access to more than one free character per system is if mutliple users play on that one ps3. I want to be able to play mgo on my own konami account with my own character with the knowledge that my brother can also play too.
having to pay for an additional character just complicates things as i currently have no way to pay for another character yet so its not even an option of "i play first, you can play when i can buy another character". As a result mgo hasnt even been played by my brothers or I, lol.
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