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War for Profit in MGS4

Illustration for article titled War for Profit in MGS4

Plenty of high praise has flowed to Metal Gear Solid 4, but N'Gai Croal offers a different take in his latest posting over on Level Up. The game, like others, makes timely use of Private Military Corporations (read: mercenaries) to create an environment players want to explore and a story they want to advance. But MGS4's true point lies in its "war economy," which governs or responds to the choices made by players.


Any game must "radically simplify complex systems," and MGS4's gun-launderer character, and fluctuating price of unlockable weapons and equipment does just that as a representation of a mercenary economy. And that, N'Gai reasons, makes a statement about the inherent amorality of war fought for profit just as much as cutscene dialogue, no matter how well written, where gamers are most conditioned to look for what was on the game creator's mind.

That's not to say MGS4 now goes into a pantheon of great allegorical commentaries on war and greed. It's a video game, so whatever message comes out is necessarily refracted through your experience of playing it. And it is a hell of a lot of fun. But N'Gai's point is that the "war economy" with which you, as Snake, must do business make it thought provoking, in addition to being an entertaining game at the top of its genre.


I Need a Hero, for Hire [Level Up]

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@Hatchetforce: Thanks dude, pretty cool of you to share your expiriences, very enlightening.

I was going to comment on the whole discussion between witzbold and Iamsolidsnake, but you made one hell of a point that can't be topped.

Still I wish to put something out, life is not so black and white as to be able to sat with complete certainity what is moral or not, one can only say that by disregarding completely one side of the issue, as karateka said it's never so simply as good guys vs bad guys. its best to remeber that there are people we are talking about, try and say they are evil after you have talked to them an looked them in the eye.

Now onto other topics, You may like or not N'gai Croal, or even MGS but they brought forth this very interesting discussion (which one brought it more to light is up to you), but that is their victory and importance.