Metal Gear Solid V’s embargo has finally been lifted and the game is receiving astonishing high acclaim including perfect 10/10 scores. However, evidence disclosed by GamesRadar provides an insight into the review process which imposed a number of clear restrictions. The journalist assigned to Metal Gear Solid V said:
“For fear of spoilers, Konami invited journalists to review the game at five-day ‘boot camps’ tied to strict NDAs (non-disclosure agreements). We played between 9am to 5pm, with no unsupervised play outside these hours.”
“That’s a maximum play time of 40 hours, assuming no stoppages for eating, drinking, stretching… or reality. So you’re trying to complete a 35-50 hour game (or longer, depending on your play style and the nature of your ‘completion’… I can’t say more), that you’ve been anticipating for five years, in a realistic window of 30-35 hours.”
“On one hand, you’re finally immersed in one of the deepest, most experimental, open-worlds in history – overwhelmed by side-missions, upgrades and secrets – on the other, haunted by a tick-tock race to reach the ‘end’ without knowing when that is.”
Honestly, I don’t feel very comfortable about only allowing reviews to occur under close watch. While, I’m sympathetic toward Konami’s position and acknowledge they are trying to protect the game’s story, you cannot conduct reviews in such a closed manner. Gaming journalists are extremely distrusted by consumers and events like this will do little to alleviate people’s perceptions.
In a similar vein to QA testing, the experience of playing a game watched by its creators, means you are less inclined to express criticism. I do believe Metal Gear Solid V will be a classic, but the reviews could be quite hyperbolic in nature due to the “boot camp” setup.
Do you feel slightly misled by the Metal Gear V review strategy?
Thank you GamesRadar for providing us with this information.