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What’s cooler than the cryogenic freezing chamber they’re going to put Stan Lee in after he dies? Stumbling upon the Konami booth and seeing that the NYC Comic Con gets the US premier of Metal Gear Online. That’s what!

Holy Revolver Ocelot, Batman!

So how did it play Zungre?

Pretty Cool Right from the Get Go.

You begin each round, as well as every time you respawn, with choosing your primary, secondary weapons and explosive items. There are multiple types of grenades and claymores, but you can also choose a magazine in this category. Strange right? I was like, “No I will not choose an issue of Cosmopolitan over 2 grenades, Kojima!” But from what I hear from Patrick is that it’s actually a dirty mag that you can use to distract other players. That’s something you won’t see unlocked when your rank up in Call of Duty 4 multiplayer.

The animation is silky smooth. I especially noticed when I was running up stairs. Very slick. I’m pretty sure his feet touched every step. And the ragdoll physics are well implemented too. Check it out.

[youtube width="480" height="378"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-wVYYPruRw[/youtube]

Japanese Trickery! Based Gameplay

I should probably call it stealth based game play, but so much has to do with it being tricky. And yes, you can hide in a box! Which I did for a while, but then felt really lame and stopped. There were people watching and I only got to play for a few minutes!

The multiplayer is built on a lot of the same stealth concepts that the Metal Gear Solid franchise stands on. So why would walking around in a box fool anyone? Because there are freaking boxes littered everywhere throughout the multiplayer stages. So every time you approach one you don’t know if it contains a moustached stealth agent or not.

I spent a few clips shooting into a box, wondering, “Why is no one dying?” Because that’s just one of the random environment boxes, you idiot! That’s when Kojima ran up to me and gave me a DDT for being such a moron.

Check out this quick clip of box time.

[youtube width="480" height="378"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fN-nUGCsyM[/youtube]

You can also lie on your stomach, back or slump against a wall and play dead. I didn’t see anybody trying this technique, which is a shame, because I wonder how convincing it looks. I also wonder how long these tricks will be effective. I mean how many times can I fool someone with the dead possum thing? How long before players just start double tapping corpses for safety? And if the tricks only work early on in the multiplayer, how well is a game that is largely based on them going to work?

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Controls

There’s an unusual auto-aim mechanic that locks on to your opponents if you see them and press the R1 button. The Konami rep told me that the auto aim is for new players and you can switch to manual if you want. Personally, I found the auto-aim kind of cumbersome and think I would have done better with the traditional target sites.

But you know, I always have a hard time controlling a Metal Gear Solid game at first, especially with Snake Eater. So, of course, there were times where I was trying to reload my gun, and I accidentally disarmed myself, or put myself in the box and it was pretty frustrating. I can’t help but wonder if the inventory bar that pops up that worked so well in MGS single player games, may not work so well in multiplayer. Too many things to keep track of during too many split second decisions.

Lastly, I was KO’d by an opponent’s stun knife, with stars swirling around my head and everything. I was surprised with how long it takes to regain consciousness by moving the left analogue stick back and forth. It felt much longer than regaining your shields in Halo 3 or recovering from a stun grenade in CoD4. It felt like I was out forever, and I got capped before I could regain my bearings. Yikes! That stun knife’s enough to make Dan Landis quiver (Landis doesn’t quiver easily).

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The Future

The Konami Rep told me that you will be able to build a character to use in online matches. You determine what he looks like as well as what his battleground specialities are. He also talked about a mode where you can play 1 guy vs. fifteen. This must be the return of the Sneaking Mission we talked about at the begining of the month, a task only old Snake could tackle right?

All in all, it felt like a promising experience and I can’t wait to try out the different stealth tactics I didn’t have an opportunity to try, like hanging down from ledges. I bet popping out of the box to cap someone who’s run past you is a pretty satisfying experience, too. The Beta’s up tonight guys! Go grab your new patch, v1.02, to make sure you’ll be ready to stealth in time.