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Metal Gear Online

After a few hours with Metal Gear Online, we didn't want to leave. It felt like being 9 years old again - you know, when you're having fun at your mate's house and then your mum turns up to take you home. We wanted to play all day, because Metal Gear Online is ace.

It's an online team-based game (with free-for-all modes if you insist) where you control your character just as you would Solid Snake in any normal Metal Gear title. It uses the MGS4 game engine, and gameplay-wise, it plays like 3D Metal Gear Solid always did, only with more confrontation. And everything you love about Metal Gear is here, from cardboard boxes to first-person aiming - even the gentlemen's magazines make an appearance. There's nothing more MGS than finally making it to a base you need to capture but seeing your character stop and start swooning at the girls in the magazine he's found at his feet. It's hilarious.

When starting the game, you'll get to create your own character. There weren't many types to choose from in the test build we played, but it was fun to switch costume accessories and try on balaclavas and baseball caps. More importantly, the next step sees you selecting four special abilities. These ranged from increased movement speed (a very good idea as running feels quite slow) to improved rifle use and more. After that, there was the option to try some training or go straight into a match, with the usual create/select options found in most online games. We noticed an option to go into the MGS shop to 'buy new maps' so expect plenty of premium content when the game finally arrives.

Above: This screenshot from Konami is marked 'catapult'. Surely not?!

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