Metal Gear Online

We played several levels and were impressed with the graphics, but not blown away. It's typical Metal Gear, really - the same style of character clothing and skin texture, the same tight animation routines, the solid, well-constructed environments. Of course we were playing unfinished code and we appreciate onlineplay in titles like CoD4 needsa slight graphical compromise to maintain game speed, but it is slightly unspectacular at present. Far from ugly, though.

The gameplay is very tactical, but there's no faffing around with team tactics in preparation screens. You can wade in with your gun blazing, or adopt a more cerebral approach - it's your choice while you play. Push select at any time to bring up communication options to talk to your team-mates with preset phrases, or by type in your own message. This works well and, thanks to a voice pitch slider bar when designingyour character, there are plenty of funny momentswhena butch character shouts 'sorry' to his teammates in a girly, high-pitched voice.

The game rewards experimentation with the various weapon/skill combinations. Players carry a main weapon, a secondary weapon/item (including claymores, jazz mags and various grenades) and a pistol. Reloading takes several seconds, so switching to your pistol after a rifle burst in a one-on-one encounter is a smart move. Pistols do lots of damage close-up, and you can see your enemy's energy bar when you lock onto them. Aiming can be set to auto-lock or free at the touch of a button, and you can also hold down triangle while aiming to get a down-the-sights view (or look through the sniper scope). Switching weapons without bringing up the full menu is just a case of tapping the right trigger to cycle through your three options. Easy.

Above: Shocking.

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.