Monday, May 12, 2008

Metal Gear Online Beta concludes

Alright! One-hundred posts and counting.

Now that that's out of the way, I'll let you know Echo is a sad panda.

Last night, at midnight, the Metal Gear Online Beta concluded after a mere two weeks of teasing testers with gorgeous graphics and inventive gameplay only to snatch it away for a month's wait until the final release.

For those who didn't get to take part in the beta, I'm sure you've got plenty of questions. Let's see if I can answer some of those.

First of all, if the graphics in the online portion speak for the enhanced single player experience, your peepers are in for a real treat with Metal Gear Solid 4 proper. The game is flat out beautiful.

As for how it plays, along with the ability to link-up with teammates, hack opponents and use other creative game mechanics like the cardboard box and CQC, MGO has a lot to offer fans of third and first-person shooters alike. If you don't go in looking for the next Call of Duty 4 or Halo, but rather a tactical, slower paced, more team-oriented experience, everything here should leave you in a state of utter delight.

From the three maps and five or so game modes available in the Beta, I can safely say MGO will offer something new- perhaps its best selling point of all.

Weapons are varied and work well except for a few flaws which can hopefully be fixed by the time the final game hits shelves. For one, aiming is not as precise as it should be. While auto-aim offers a nice alternative for newer players or close-quarters confrontations, the over the shoulder and first person views aren't quite right. I line up the site perfectly with an opponents head and, quite often, the shots land mid-body. Many have learned tricks around this inaccuracy, landing headshots in rapid succession, but I'd take proper aiming over easy kills any day.

Aside from that, I can't really fault MGO in the beta form for much. Some complain movement is too slow, but it feels right for a more realistic shooter. Also, if you up the "run" ability and switch to a lighter weapon, your character will move at a pace plenty fast for any shooter.

The now famous man cannon is a cool way of getting from point A to point B with a quickness and the varied skills not only encourage working as a unit, but add an RPG-esque degree of customization where every soldier is truly unique.

Of course there will be at least one run-and-gunner for every tactical player wishing to experience the game the way it's meant to be played, but it shouldn't take long to find and recruit like-minded friends willing to compete with sneaky-sneaky in mind.

Overall, I can't wait for June to get here. I'll play the storyline first, obviously, but I expect MGO to take up months of my life following.

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