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The MGS4 Challenge: Is There Really More Watching Than Playing?

Okay, that's it. We're throwing down the gauntlet, because as we had anticipated, this would be an issue that may give some consumers pause when deciding whether or not to purchase Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. In fact, I remember writing this editorial because I was convinced the controversy would arrive.

As another editorial at Gaming Today proves, the psychological phenomenon that says people can't seem to accurately judge cut-scene length in video games is alive and well. However, perhaps we're wrong. MGS4 really could be the very first video game on earth where you actually watch more than you play; that is very possible, if Kojima really went all-out and got nutty. But while we are very well aware of those lengthy cut-scenes, we never actually timed them, and we certainly didn't do the compare and contrast that would lay the entire debate to rest: is MGS4 really more movie than game? This says, very plainly, that we spend more time watching than actually interacting with the game, and...well, we find that incredibly difficult to believe. We've heard the game takes approximately 30 hours to complete, which means that more than 15 of those hours must be non-interactive.

Every time a game comes out with a lot of cut-scenes, we hear the same old thing: "it's more a movie than a game." It's inevitable. But it hasn't happened yet; not a single title has ever come even remotely close to proving this statement true. Will MGS4 be the first? We're asking anybody who is willing to simply give us the exact numbers: the time you spent watching (down to the minute), and the time you spent playing (again, down to the very last minute). Go ahead. Let's find out. Let's settle this once and for all. Who's game?

Related Game(s): Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

6/29/2008 Ben Dutka

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Comments (25 posts)

ArnoldK PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, June 29, 2008 @ 10:48:52 PM
Reply

Hate to say this, but...there is no doubting that the game is more cutscenes than gameplay. My playthrough lasted 21 hours, and I lost my way a few times, not knowing exactly what to do. The second run, skipping all cut-scenes took me...6 hours.

Last edited by ArnoldK PSXE on 6/29/2008 10:49:38 PM

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Deleted User [Administrator]
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 7:03:06 AM

Took 20 hours first time to complete. Kojima production officially announced just over 8 hours of movies/cutscenes.

So that's 12 hours of gameplay and 8 hours of movies for me.

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ceedot
Sunday, June 29, 2008 @ 10:50:10 PM
Reply

I think that's actually pretty cool. Half movie, half game. Sure, you have to watch the game and all that, but the story is (apparently) really good. I really want to get this game.

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The_Vandelizer
Sunday, June 29, 2008 @ 10:51:47 PM
Reply

i liked the game i finished in 14hrs

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shindelion
Sunday, June 29, 2008 @ 10:54:04 PM
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i'm still playing and stuck. but i love it

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karneli lll
Sunday, June 29, 2008 @ 11:12:02 PM
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I wonder why no one comments on those lousy games that have a cool intro but a random one minute (or slightly more) cutscene before each stage.99.9% gameplay, 0.1% cutscenes

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Daedusian
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 3:53:04 PM

lol true.

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fatchad420
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 12:11:03 AM
Reply

My first play through was 14 hours, there is 7 hours of cut scenes. Second play was 6 hours with skipping most of the cut scenes. Third play through on the Boss Extreme was 4 hours and 52 minutes (yes i have the big boss mask and patriot) fourth play through was 3 hours and 12 minutes on solid normal with all items used. This game can be played in so many ways there really is no definite "action" time. You can savor the game and sneak the whole way taking time to avoid enemy's and utilize CQC, or you can run and gun it. That's why this game is so great.

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Akuma07
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 12:21:23 AM
Reply

okay.

well

this is my OFFICIAL times.


1st play through.
didnt skip a single scene, watched every minute. and finished the game without any major setbacks.
play time - 16 hours.

2nd play through.
skipped every single cut scene, with some minor set backs (was unlocking stealth camo and bandana)
play time - approx. 7 hours.



i know i can get it down to 5 hours easily.
BUT i am a skilled MGS player. so this game wasnt hard for me even on the boss extreme.


a close friend of mine took 27 hours to finish on 1st play through.


i agree with fatchad420. this game can take anywhere between 30 and 3 hours to complete, depending on your skill, how you play, weapons used, etc.

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orangpelupa
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 1:52:08 AM
Reply

MGS4 "cutscene" TOTAL DURATION is
approx 580Minutes long. or about 9.6 Hours
its from Act1 to act5

act 1 = 1:24:56
act 2 = 1:53:60
act 3 = 1:58:58
act 4 = 1:34:46
act 5 = 2:48:31

this is according the torrent someone posted on 4ch, containing recording all MGS4 cutscene

here the screenshot of the files
http://img367.imageshack.us/img367/1093/mgs4durationpk0.png

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Zapix
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 2:29:13 AM
Reply

I'm pretty sure the amount of cutscenes outweighs the actual game time. I would simply be willing to gamble between the briefings and debriefings (which I can gather the time together) plus the incredibly long ending, that it would be longer than the 3 hours and 49 minutes it just too me to go through the game for a third time. Also pretty sure it counts the time for credits and all that which are unskippable. Just to help ya out with this question, I'll go time them in a moment, and see they tally up to.

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orangpelupa
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 2:58:22 AM
Reply

on my pending comment for aproval, i already posted the

cutscene time, its about 9.6hours total.

btw how long a comment will be approved? O_o

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Zapix
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 5:40:17 AM
Reply

Ben, Arnold, here's a bit of a breakdown, although not a complete breakdown of all the cutscenes.
Note: I used a stop watch to time these.

Mission Briefings and Epilogue

Act 01 - 14:10
Act 02 - 11:56
Act 03 - 25:05
Act 04 - 21:26
Act 05 - 11:10
Ending - 1:08:45

Looking at about a total of just over 2 and 1/2 hours right there.

Last edited by Zapix on 6/30/2008 5:41:43 AM

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ThePoetRazel
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 6:29:57 AM
Reply

Took me about 15 hours to complete first time, and that's with a lot of cautious playing.
The making of documentary says that there's about 8 hours of cutscenes. Achieving the Big Boss Emblem requires, among other things, to complete the game in under 5 hours.
So yes, there is more watching than playing technically.

However, this is by no means a bad thing. The story is so enthralling that no one with the mental capacity to understand the story would complain.
This is a story driven game. MGS's story is an epic tale that is told through an interactive medium which, unlike other forms of story telling, draws you in through participation.

Nothing compares to this amazing game. And to question it on something like this is the work of nitpicking minds who simply want to find fault with everything.

Last edited by ThePoetRazel on 6/30/2008 6:31:12 AM

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LegioN
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 7:15:19 AM
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There is not more cutscene than gameplay in this game, this game took me 13 hours to complete, i did not watch more than 13 hours of cutscene -.-

It's the 90 minute cut scene all over again where people are blowing it out of proportion.

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LegioN
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 7:15:19 AM
Reply

There is not more cutscene than gameplay in this game, this game took me 13 hours to complete, i did not watch more than 13 hours of cutscene -.-

It's the 90 minute cut scene all over again where people are blowing it out of proportion.

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LegioN
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 7:15:19 AM
Reply

There is not more cutscene than gameplay in this game, this game took me 13 hours to complete, i did not watch more than 13 hours of cutscene -.-

It's the 90 minute cut scene all over again where people are blowing it out of proportion.

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Bugzbunny109
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 7:43:01 AM
Reply

It depends on who playing it, some people get stuck so they usually take a long time to figure it out. This increases the game lenght. All the times and hours you guys are giving does not make sense, because I know that none of you got stuck or something like that during gameplay.

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Zapix
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 8:07:43 AM

If you're talking about time to complete the game, without the cutscenes and all, the times can vary quite alot.

My time that was 10 minutes short of 4 hours was using Stealth Camo, and basically rushing, ignoring gun fire, alerts, etc. Basically to see how fast one can really get through it. Only 31 alerts though, no continues or health items were used.

Completing it the first time took me 26 and 1/2 hours, which included mass genocide of PMCs, weapons collecting, exploring around, watching every cutscene.

A no alerts no kill run took me 9 hours skipping all cutscenes.

Depends entirely on how you play.

Without doubt though, there is definately MORE cutscene time than gameplay, however this does not take away from the game, but rather adds incredible depth to the telling the story.

Last edited by Zapix on 6/30/2008 8:11:28 AM

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orangpelupa
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 8:17:04 AM
Reply

A no alerts no kill run took me 9 hours skipping all cutscenes.

---

so basically its 50:50

9 Hours gameplay
9.6 hours scene.

if my coment above approved, you can see the duration for "scenes" for each act

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Zapix
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 10:37:54 AM
Reply

Posted on the forum since the main pages were down.

http://www.psxextremeforums.com/110818-post67.html

8-9 hours is definately about right. Also, keep in mind, the game's biggest challenge is to beat the extra difficulty setting in less than 5 hours, no alerts, no kills, no items used, no continues used, no special items used.

With that in mind, you're looking at no more than 35% game time, 65% cutscenes.

Does that make the game bad? No, not at all. Infact, it makes the first time experience and story an amazing game with a great in depth story. Then multiple play throughs within a reasonable time, and the ability to skip all those cutscenes we already saw.

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vulcaroth13
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 4:38:46 PM
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ok aronoldk the timer at the end of the game only counts gameplay it does not count cutscenes into that mix. there isn't over 6 hours of cutscenes in that game there is really no doubt about it in my mind and of course we cant forget the second play through is always faster than the first. so the 21 hours that the counter showed was indeed 21 hours of you playing no cutscenes were calculated in that.

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ThePoetRazel
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 5:43:30 PM

Well, since Kojima Productions announced that there is about 8 hours of cutscenes, i think you need a little doubt in your mind.

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LCF
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 6:14:40 PM
Reply

MGS4 is a story based game.Like Soul Reaver and even more Soul Reaver 2 and Final Fantasy.These type of story based games are far and few between only cuz a select few can execute them well enough.I feel it just wrong to break a game down like this.Enjoy it for what it is as a whole.This is the best interactive movie I ever played/watched.

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Zapix
Monday, June 30, 2008 @ 7:37:00 PM

Well said, I've noted to myself multiple times that I would not be able to review MGS4 even if I wanted to, because words really can't speak for it, you just have to experience it for yourself. People who want seriously judge it by the length of the cutscenes are foolish. I would sooner sit through 8-9 hours of MGS4 cutscenes than 8-9 hours of Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, or some other movie trilogy... Kojima did not what only few game developers do well, but did what Hollywood can barely do... Have a good story.

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