Metal Gear Solid 4

We're less angry today but we spent yesterday evening watching cutscenes from Metal Gear Solid 4 which made us angry again. Let me explain. Back when I wrote this post I did a lot of research into the top rated games for each platform. Obviously for two of the consoles this was a bit of a task. For the PS3 it was much easier due to the paucity of quality exclusive games on the platform but I kept seeing Metal Gear Solid 4 come up again and again. I was concious that we might get some backlash from people arguing that MGS 4 should have been on the PS3 list but then remembered that Duffin and Richie haven't played it. So that accounts for 100% of our readership. My relationship with Metal Gear Solid began at the PlayStation one and ended with watching my brother play through 2. So I decided last night to ruin a game I was unlikely to play by watching a couple of cutscenes. At the time MGS4 came out I looked at it and thought it was pretty much going to be more of the same but I'm always interested by the bosses of MGS4 and the four bosses that make up the Beauty and the Beast Unit looked to be interesting. SPOILERS YONDER CAUTIOUS READER.

Black Raven, Laughing Octopus, Screaming Mantis and Crying Wolf make up the unit and I watched the cutscenes before and after each battle*. The idea behind the unit is that each one has become demented through tragic events in their past leading them to be recruited and manipulated into the ultimate killing machines. Whilst the bosses themselves echo back to the four bosses from the PlayStation Metal Gear Solid I was genuinely surprised at the general awfulness of the direction of the cutscenes and the general writing. This is a highly acclaimed game with the writing on a par with average fanfiction and with cinematography from a teenagers wet dream.

Cutscenes dwell on moist and dripping breasts, buttocks and gussets with the voyeuristic vigour that would make even Capcom coders cringe not to mention repelling the downright awkward affections of Laughing Octopus. Don't get me wrong, I'm no prude but this isn't titillating or erotic it is just pervy. Even Old Snake seems to blush as each of the beauties writhe around on the floor and moan.

As for the writing, after each battle the histories of the beauties is delicately explained to you by a man telling you their story. So much for subtlety or any kind of innovation in storytelling through the medium of games. A guy literally phones you up and tells you their story. Snake occasionally apathetically grunts during these stories which follow the same pattern:

Beauty X lived in a village in roughly defined but non specific region of the world (Scandinavia, Africa). As a young girl she ends up in a generic war zone environment and is subject to horrors on a par with Brownie's campfire stories. Then she has visions and hallucinations and goes mad. She then ends up in the B&B unit.

I wish this was exaggeration but it really is that formulaic and unimaginative. Also, despite these psychologically damaged characters being over-sexualised and physically attractive, rape is never mentioned when their traumatic abuse at the hands of others is recounted. It may be hinted for one or two of the characters but it feels that the punches have been pulled. Murder is fine. The imprisonment, butchering and suffocation of children, no worries. R...r...ra. No. That crosses a line.

Pathetic really. Critically acclaimed.

*Watched it, didn't play it. Tell me that any of the above was made un-pathetic when viewed in context and I'll show you a moron.


  1. Anonymous15:51

    I think this reaction of yours proves the genius of this part of the game. You see, the images are SUPPOSED to unsettle you. That is why snake is reacting shocked himself.


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