Guns of the Patriots: Vaguely Referencing the Now
Posted by deckard47 on April 22, 2009
To reiterate what I said, if you’re done thinking about this game, don’t want to think about it, or love it to death, this may not be for you. Anyway: I was kind of digging things (gameplay-wise), until and after a few things happened:
The intermittent adds were super weird, and didn’t make me think about the commodification of various aspects of life, mass production, or anything like that. Mostly because the level at which their discourse works could be trumped by the kitten I don’t have but desperately want. Seriously, just have a flashing sign that says “Rapidly expanding capitalism and privitization = bad, Snakes and their solidity + life affirming message = good. Or something like that.I guess I get that the adds make a point with their peculiar opulence and excessive consumption, and their delight in war and violence as tools for social betterment, but without actual discussion of these topics to back up the ads, the ads are just that: flashy ways to seem smart. Does the dialogue back it all up then? Look below!
Back to things that bugged me. The controls are silly. Not RE 5 silly (which I thought made sense, from a certain point of view), but just silly. The menu scheme and in game weapon switching makes me long for Fable 2‘s 10 minute potion drinking ordeals. The aiming and shooting are slow, floaty, and feel detached from the action. Or maybe it’s just not fun to control. Ooooooh, maybe that makes you feel more detached from death, or war, and by that I mean War.
Next up: The fact that the frog things were cool, and then they pooped green stuff for no reason. Maybe that will be explained later?
Finally (and most annoyingly), the writing reaches a new level of bad. Characters darkly inform me that they’ve received new “Intelligence” (or even better, “Intel”), pointing to Liquid Snake being in “a warzone” in “the Middle East.” Which is like, in the middle. Of a place. Maybe the East? It’s in the the middle, and there’s fighting. Because War is there. In the Zone. I can’t think up of any more hackneyed ways to say these things.
Also, “organizations” want “things” so that they can continue changing things (like War). Making War Change and No Longer be the Same. I think Snake’s narration told me 5 times over that War Had Changed. I know, guy. Thanks. I understand that they’re trying to say something about the future of war, privatization, capitalism, and other interesting topics, but they’re using a hammer (no, maybe a Death Star) where they should be using a scalpel. It’s annoying and dumb and in your face all the time.
I am interested in the gameplay they seem poised to offer me, but I find myself losing consciousness for the tiniest cutscenes. It’s obvious to me that the writer and designers have a very precise, exacting vision. The scene where Snake is chased by frog-robots, and then checks to see if a stolen gun has been ident-locked, are both impressive in their attention to detail and the directness of their production. These people knew what they wanted to say and show, and they did it. I just don’t know if I care, what with the way they’ve decided to “communicate” with me. I know that MGS4 is something you “get” or you don’t. I don’t see how I could ever get it though.
Movies like Three Kings and The Hurt Locker seem damn visionary (and insightful and open-minded) compared to this game (and I liked both of those movies, so I’m not trying to make too much fun of them). I’ll give it a bit more time to explain itself, but if it continues to spew these worn down, vague narrative and stylistic tropes, I’m done. I’m not sure how grown ups put up with this kind of grasping, incoherent narrative: the notion that “the government” and “corporations” are “up to something” and “mass producing” war or soldiers can be addressed in a less vague way. It’s as if they’re gesturing at something, far off in the distance, and that something is hidden behind a cloaking device, covered in vaseline, inside a black hole. I can’t think of language less decisive, descriptive, or comprehensible. More news from “The Front” later today, I guess.
Again, sorry if you hate me now, or were bored. But I’m not really that sorry. Only if you’re a nice person. Snake should be sorry though.
This entry was posted on April 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm and is filed under Impressions. Tagged: Metal gear Solid 4. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.