Konami Lifts Review Veil of Secrecy...Mostly
A ban by Konami on certain elements appearing in reviews of the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 4 had raised concerns about the legitimacy of reviews that accepted the ban. To dispell the swirling fog of consipiracy, Konami has lifted the ban. Sort of.
The news arrives from a letter sent to Kotaku from Kojima Productions assistant producer Ryan Payton. Reviewers are still asked to refrain from discussing specific plot points and not disclose certain product placements (i.e. Apple’s iPod).
“As a former writer, I’m proud of the discussion this topic has sparked,” he said. “I hope Adam [Sessler], [Stephen Totilo], and everybody else who covered this issue continue to be diligent about restrictions placed on media outlets.”
That said, Payton said the restrictions were for the fans. “I do, however, hope gamers can appreciate the efforts we go through to keep them protected from reviewers that could spoil some of the “MGS4″ experience,” he concluded.
Hey look, I can appreciate Konami not wanting to have the game spoiled by an over-zealous review but, please, riddle me this: how does the discussion of cutscene length (not its content) or the inclusion of product placement spoil the game for fans? Is that spoiling or discussing relevant topics in the review of any game? My only conclusion is that the continuing ban on such things can only be to put off any sort of bad press on those aspects of the game until after the game comes out and after that first few days of massive sales. After that, if someone wants to howl at the moon over 45 minute cutscenes or Snake's newfound addiction to Tab (mmm, Tab), it will be too late: we'll all be complaining about something we already bought, ripped the plastic off of, and thus voided any ability to return the game for full price. A stealth-kill of the informed purchase decision. Am I over-reacting? Probably. But there has to be some reason Konami are so bent on keeping secrets. Is that Snake over there decking into iTunes? No, it's just a box.