The New York Times tackles MGS 4 in brief — discussing both the story ('What does it mean?') and people's reactions to the game, including a couple of choice quotes from our very own Leigh Alexander. Several other game writers weigh in on MGS 4's story and execution:
Even as gamers ponder what this symbolism means (an allegory of war in the era of Blackwater Worldwide and stateless enemy combatants?), they are also debating whether the story of Metal Gear Solid 4 is a satisfying one, and if its storytelling techniques are used effectively.
"You get so caught up in just figuring out, Does this story need to be here?" said Stephen Totilo, an MTV News reporter who covers video games. "That's not a question you wind up asking yourself when you're reading a novel. Of course the story needs to be there! Otherwise you don't have a novel."
Players like Shawn Elliott, the senior executive editor of the gaming Web site 1up.com, have criticized the game for its preachiness, and for its reliance on lengthy cinematic interludes that can run 30 minutes or longer.
"It can basically become a movie for long stretches," Mr. Elliott said. "It's not necessarily a game catching up with movies, but a game kind of cheating and using a language that isn't native to its own medium."
Leigh is even described as an "unrepentant fan." Since the article is mostly taken up with quotes from people who know what they're talking about, it's not as eye rollingly bad as many NYT gaming-related articles can be ...