GOONL!NE Review: Metal Gear Online
Developer: Kojima Productions
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Also on: N/A (PlayStation 3 exclusive)
Console Played On: PlayStation 3
Release Date: Thursday June 12th 2008 [Released along side with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots]
Rating: BBFC 15, PEGI 18
2 years ago, Friday October 7th 2006, Konami released Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence for the PlayStation 2. Subsistence was a re-release of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater which was only released a year and a half after Snake Eater itself in March 2005 in Europe.
Part of the re-release was a new 3D camera for MGS3 which was tested in the game for MGS4 but also the original Metal Gear games from the late 80’s and early 90’s respectfully along with a 3 hour movie verison of Snake Eater and a Secret Theatre containing humorous videos including Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eraser where Raiden attempts to be the main character of MGS4 (You quite frankly need to see for yourself, its quite humorous, check YouTube)
But the biggest addition to Subsistence was, for the first ever in a Metal Gear game, online play. Metal Gear Online was shipped with the 2nd disc of Subsistence (3 discs were part of the package in total) when it was released in Japan in December 2005, in America in March 2006 and, like I said, in Europe in October 2006.
But soon after the release in all 3 regions, after a year, the servers closed. In December 06 for Japan, March 07 in America and on Halloween night in Europe. Of course, there was Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops for the PSP and its online mode but it wasn’t until late April where we finally got our hands on Metal Gear Online 2 in an open beta which closed in early May and despite the updates and things that clogged up the few days of the beta, surfice to say, public opinion of the beta was very well recieved.
Now, with Metal Gear Online released inside a fantastic storywise game with Metal Gear Solid 4 [It was very impressive hailed as one of the best games ever as you'll find out in our review], how does MGO2 fair up?
It’s 8v8 16 player balls to the walls full out MGO with 6 types of gameplay and 5 new maps added for good measure in this starter pack (It’s called Starter Pack because you start with what you got but there will be DLC to expand on it). For the gametypes, you get Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture, Rescue, Base and Sneaking where it’s simply put one person as Snake going about collecting at least 3 Dog Tags from knocked out soldiers in the battlefield. Everybody else are soldiers who not only have to fight Snake but also fight the other side (If too many join the game, one will also be Metal Gear Mk. II).
But your hardly going to play in a big massive dark square now are you? Nooooooo, that’s why, like I said, there are 5 new maps for the game with new maps added as DLC over time. You get Urban Ultimatum, a done-up urban verison of City Under Siege from the original MGO in MGS3: Subsistence, Groznyi Grad from MGS3, Ambush Alley, Midtown Maelstrom and Blood Bath.
Out of the lot it seems that, just like before in MGO1, City Under Siege (Or Urban Ultimatum under its new name) seems to be the most popular map of the lot but now thanks to the good times of DLC, new maps could surpass Urban Ultimatum with maps developed could be such as a part of Shadow Moses or the Big Shell. Quite frankly, I’d like to see Big Shell as a new map.
Anyways, you get to customise your weapons in MGO like you do in MGS4 but unlike MGS4 where you can add multiple parts to your weapon, you can only add one part at a time which keeps it nice and even as it’d make it unfair by adding a grenade launcher and scope onto your M4 custom. And how does that work? Drebin Points. Like in the game, Drebin Points gives you the chance to buy parts for your gun and here on MGO, its no different. Only instead of how many weapons you collect in the battlefield like in MGS4, it’s how many kills you do.
Be warned though, more kills means more Drebin Points but be killed more and it means you can only get weapons which are either free or under 1,000DP. But if you are hosting a match on MGO, you do have the option to have it on or off, the choice is always up to you.
Unlike MGO1, where you got unique teams and characters (Ocelot, Snake, Raikov etc), its PMC vs PMC with no unique characters except Snake for Sneaking but that could very well change in a DLC update sooner or later down the line so look out for that should it happen.
Unlike MGO1, you can custom make your character to the way you like. Appearence and all the way down to the voice, it’s pretty impressive. And as well as that, you can also assign your character a name (Mine is JohnnyCullen) so your Konami ID or your Game ID wont come up (Thank god luckyjohnny or johnny_the_tourist wont come up as my name in the game)
But as well as that be aware that unlike MGO1, you cant make a new profile for yourself and get a new character free of charge. As such, if you want a completely different character for MGO2, you have to pay for it. As well as characters, there is a range of stuff you have to buy for from the shop which isnt even in-game, it is running the internet browser from the PlayStation 3 itself.
Quite frankly, this could be a controversial move from Konami as this is similar to the situation EA faced with Battlefield: Bad Company and it’s Micro-transactions over the open beta of its MP on Xbox Live Marketplace but unlike EA which removed this right away, I dont think Konami can fix this mistake so it may cost them but if they can, they best do it sooner then later.
You also get a new features but in MGO as such including gathering info on your enemies by injecting them and passing it onto your teammates by SOP, a catapult within a couple of the maps to catipult yourself from one half of the map to the other side, proven as such in Urban Ultimatum and Groznyi Grad and as seen on N4G over the past couple of the days, you can take photos from the game via the camera by either putting in a USB keyboard or a 2nd SIXAXIS and take the photo. The best part of it is that this can be either uploaded to Konami’s community page for MGO or to be posted on the XMB of your PS3.
Plus, the communication problems that plagued MGO1 seem now to be gone. There is little to no lag whatsoever in it, comms in the game (Which can be used by the select button, press for keyboard and hold it for voice chat) aren’t laggy anymore which means that, unlike MGO1, the game runs absoutely fine as such.
Graphics and Sound wise, it pretty much is like MGS4. Graphics are run off the same engine that is used for the graphics for Metal Gear Solid 4 and that means they look absoutely fantastic. They just look amazing like they do in MGS4 as well as the character models done by the player and enviroment designs are well done as well, especially Urban Ultimatum.
And as for how sound works in MGO2, you do get a fantastic choice of music to listen to from past Metal Gear games ranging all the way from Metal Gear in 1987 to Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2008 including the original music done for Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops but Metal Gear Online does have 2 brand new pieces of work done just for it which is pretty good. And if you are in a Sneaking match, only Snake can pick what is the choice of music so the player playing as Snake could very much pick the original score for Metal Gear Solid or if he’s nostallgic, the MSX music of Metal Gear.
Both graphics and sound work very well and is indeed something that the guys at Kojima Productions should very well be proud of whatsoever.
Final Thoughts: Metal Gear Online aint just a part of Metal Gear Solid 4, it’s an entire new game altogether. If I’m quite honest, they could have packed off as a game altogether instead of putting it in the Blu-Ray with MGS4. However still, Metal Gear Online is very enjoyable alot and should be given alot of praise. I have a feeling that like Gears of War and Team Fortress 2 last year, Metal Gear Online will be played alot by me this year.
Gameplay: 9.8 – MGO’s gameplay works very well indeed and it is a contender in my mind to be the best online game of 2008 withour a doubt.
Graphics: 10.0 – Again, like MGS4, they look absoutely spectacular without a doubt. Everything from the character models, the enviroments all the way down to the last detail is absoutely brillant.
Sound: 9.7 – No lag whatsoever in voice chat plus a great array of music from past Metal Gear games to play to when your trying to pull off headshots.
Longtivity: 9.5 – With DLC being more important then ever, MGO’s lifespan will be increasing time after time with new maps, new gametypes and new charatcers to play as (Raiden possibly?)
Overall: – 9.4 – Metal Gear Online is back with a bang after it’s 8 month break from the servers of MGO from Subsistence. And unlike the MGO before it, this will be staying for a long time indeed. This is the ultimate online package for any Metal Gear fan. Of course, you need to get MGS4 first to play it but MGS4 is brillant anyways so you should get it anyways but none the less, Metal Gear Online is yet another glorious reason to buy Metal Gear Solid 4 and a PlayStation 3 if you indeed dont own one.