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New York Times review thinks Metal Gear Solid 4 isn't a game

Alan Tsang

Seth Schiesel of the New York Times declared twice in his review of Metal Gear Solid 4 that it "isn't really my kind of game." He started off by stating his prejudices early; blatantly telling the reader that his "favorite games provide a sort of social framework within which the players set their own storylines" and that he favors one-player games like SimCity that deliver open-ended gameplay. Surprisingly though, he still claimed MGS4 is very much enjoyable.

Schiesel saw MGS4's production values and attention to detail as quasi-negatives, which lead him to "pretty much stopped caring about playing the game." He then gave a backhanded compliment to the game by saying the "combat scenes ... are just as good, if not better in their intensity, than anything I have ever seen in a film. No lie." Because ultimately, Schiesel thought it is too much like watching an interactive film. According to him, the player lacked control over the storyline. He though it's "Mr. Kojima's world, and you are just passing through for the moment." He ended the review on fully negative note, with an implication that MGS4 isn't even game: "By the time those credits did roll, I was ready for the MGS4 experience to be over ... I was ready to play a game."

Schiesel also thought MGS4 as-it-is would not be possible on the Xbox 360 and that "the PS3 has more pure silicon horsepower under the hood" which will eventually result in "Microsoft ... playing catch-up." Perhaps by lavishing praise on the hardware, Schiesel thinks he will sound neutral. We can't help but think his view on MGS4 is from a guy who walked into a restaurant ordering Omakase from a world-renowned chef whose specialty is an ingredient he is mildly allergic to.

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