I got MGS4 when it came out and of course, I liked the single player game a fair bit for what I played, which was the first chapter. However when I went online I just felt as if it was such a missed oportunity and paled in comparison in so many ways to the main story.
When the first DLC pack came out I bought it, from the konami store because they for some reason couldn’t make it onto playstation network. I really don’t know what the deal was with not being on PSN but I think it was some decision of konami because they felt they were better off with their own service, which clearly wasn’t the case.
While you could say that there’s nothing wrong with the game, I would say contrary to that, that there are many small issues that could have been avoided, had konami bothered to put more effort in. I think in terms of shooters, these days everything will be compared to Call of Duty 4. It is the most simple and easy to play game while offering a fast and streamlined approach to matchmaking and gameplay. Also, if you’re new to CoD, you don’t really get excluded from the fun, and while you may get killed a lot at first, you will still have a fun expeirence overall, barring rude people online, which is always a possibility, but it’s out of the hands of the developers. Plus you can always mute people.
With MGO, the matchmaking clearly is poor. It takes forever to find a game, and then once you get into a game, like I did earlier today, basically everyone in the game wanted to kick me because I was a low level. I ended up having to leave because they wouldn’t press start to begin the game. The experience left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. Especially seeing as in CoD you don’t have to press start and people can’t kick you, but I felt as if I was being told I couldn’t even play a game online, when I’ve bought the DLC maps to play plus the original game.
What call of duty nails is the speed of matchmaking and the overall ease of use. It’s so fast to jump into a game and have fun. The gameplay itself is also almost unquestionably the best of any console shooter, and I would say the best including PC games, but I’ve never been a fan of mouse and keyboard control.
Another thing CoD4 gets right is DLC. They’ve only done 1 pack, the variety pack, but it’s fantastic and certainly lives up to its name. The maps in this pack are definitely worth the purchase price, and are in my opinion, some of the best maps in the game, especially broadcast and chinatown. The other two are passable but these are the absolute best including the maps that come on the disc in my opinion.
MGO DLC in contrast in my opinion is a waste of money. For one thing, I found it hard to even get into games with the new maps, which is not a problem in CoD. When the map pack first came out you could select to play a playlist with only those new maps. No such option in MGO. The maps also didn’t really grab me that much, and I just felt like I had wasted my money. One of the main advantages of MGO’s DLC packs is the addition of new playable characters from the main MGS4 story, like Meryl, Johnny, Raiden and Vamp. This is cool in theory, but I still have yet to figure out how to actually play as these in a game. I think possibly you have to host a game to do it. But either way, it’s not made easy enough in my opinion.
So in conclusion, I feel as if I’ve been cheated out of my money by MGO, but that CoD4 DLC is absolutely worth the money. Obviously MGO is probably one of the most hardcore games on PS3 and definitely not noob friendly, if you want to use that term so a lot of my unhappy feeling towards that game may come from that, but I think CoD does a great job of appealing to a much broader audience.
I think DLC in general has a place in gaming, but I think increasingly developers are using it as a way to be lazy, and exclude features from discs and then charge for them later. But thankfully that doesn’t happen too much, and usually when it does, it’s stuff which isn’t really worth buying most of the time anyway. For example, RE5’s versus mode which was essentially a modified version of mercenaries mode was included on the disc but had to be unlocked for a fee. That content ended up being pretty poor anyway, so it’s interesting how things work out that way.
Obviously Resistance 2 and Killzone are high profile shooters on PS3 with DLC and while I’m not very impressed with the R2 maps, I’ve yet to get the Killzone one, so I don’t know how I feel about that yet. If I do pick it up soon, I’ll make my thoughts known here. I would still put the online components of both those games way ahead of MGO regardless. They are much faster, much more casual friendly (to an extent) and have better gameplay mechanics in my opinion, although killzone’s aiming controls are pretty difficult, but I hope they patch them soon.
For one last example of how a great community and great DLC (for the most part) can help a game’s longevity, check out burnout paradise. Developer Criterion Games have done a great job of prividing free DLC for a while, and have recently released a slew of paid content. Some of the paid content could be considered a bit overpriced, but I’ve had fun with most of it (legendary cars, toy cars, boost specials and the recently released cops and robbers game mode and updated cop cars. The upcoming island pack promises to be among the best so far too.) The only content I wouldn’t reccomend, except for trophy hunters and 100% completionists is the party pack. It’s ok for a bit of fun with some friends but it’s not really challenging enough or fun enough to make it worth the price tag.
This post ended up being a mashup of a lot of my thoughts recently about gaming, and it goes far beyond these particular games. There’s still a lot more to cover that I haven’t talked about on the blog. And I have a lot to say so I’m looking forward to getting some more of my thoughts out there soon.