Aug 30, 2011More than a comic, less than a game.
First off: if you're thinking of getting this to fill a narrative gap in the MGS series, don't. The PSone classic itself is only $10.00 on the PSN, so for two dollars more, you can actually replay the best PS1 game ever, in lieu of reading the comic. If you're here because you adore Metal Gear, here's what you need to know: Presentation: TheMore than a comic, less than a game.
First off: if you're thinking of getting this to fill a narrative gap in the MGS series, don't. The PSone classic itself is only $10.00 on the PSN, so for two dollars more, you can actually replay the best PS1 game ever, in lieu of reading the comic.
If you're here because you adore Metal Gear, here's what you need to know:
The beautiful Ashley Wood artwork has been fully animated. This means character's limbs move, weapons fire, snow falls, etc. You can hop to any page at any time, and the "Memory Building" mode allows you to zoom in and reveal new and hidden images. It's more than just a comic.
Beyond animation, the neat difference between this and the printed version is all the new and hidden images. Pressing  lets you move around a comic panel, zooming in and out of layers to uncover and identify new images and elements. A simple example: zooming into Vulcan Raven's tank reveals the interior: Snake's grenade bearing down on two enemy soldiers. Even cooler: when "Deepthroat" first calls, zooming past Snake reveals a stealth-camo'd Gray Fox hiding behind him.
The MGS sound effects are here, but inexplicably most of the music is not. It might have to do with recent plagiarism accusations, but either way it's a disappointment. No voice acting either.
There's a surprising amount of "game" in here, if you're interested. There are ~400 hidden "memory elements" to acquire through the aforementioned pan-and-scan method. Because much of this exposes hidden comic panels and new perspectives, it's definitely a fun mode to explore. The additional memory-cube is overwhelming at first, but as a connect-the-dots puzzle can be quite compelling. The cube is unlocked piece by piece, and - thankfully - if you've hit a roadblock, the game tells you what element to look for next. It's usually not too difficult to then guess where it might be found. (i.e. look for "Katana" during the Gray Fox battle, or "Save the Hostages" during the opening briefing.)
All told, watching the comic takes a couple hours, then searching out all elements and building memory cube sans guide probably 6 or so more. [Minor spoilers] It IS worth it to seek out all elements, because as you get closer to the end, you'll uncover some pretty interesting revelations.
For fans only, a great adaptation of the comic, with plenty of new and hidden material to be found.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
Play MagazineThere are subtle, impressive touches to the presentation and dialogue that evoke a feel of game-like adventure, making up for the labored plotting. [July 2006, p.72]
While it isn't exactly a game, it's not exactly a movie either thanks to the interactive elements and the memory matrix. It's probably not for everyone either; if you're a hardcore fan, you'll really like this experience, but otherwise, you may only casually watch the disc once or twice before you put it down.