It's impossible to like both Splinter Cell AND Metal Gear Solid at the same time, says Toby.
By Toby McCasker on August 21, 2013 at 3:54 pm
Recently I got a chance to check out Ubi’s new Splinter Cell. It’s cool and fun and you kill things so that’s good. But Sam is just not my jam. Never has been. No matter what funky new plan they lay out for the Fisher Man – and there have been some great ‘uns – I just can’t get hip to this hip-shootin’ VIP. Nothing rhymes with orange, incidentally. I will not accept ‘sporange,’ either, that is COMPLETE jackassery. Don’t you even.
Anyway, this whole new Splinter Cell thing has reminded me of something I realised long, long ago, in a land fat with soda cans and party LANs: You are either into Splinter Cell, or you are into Metal Gear Solid.
“But I’m into both!” some will immediately cry and look smugly around the room like the fact they enjoy a myriad of video games is some kind of amazing feat. To those people I say: You are the equivalent of someone who has no deeply held personal opinion of what should be on the radio in the car. Everything is whatever, la-di-da, I am so zen, look at me having a good time all the time, I’m a butt. So you can just go outside and play with the other kids for whom automatic doors do not open.
Metal Gear and Splinter Cell are definitive choices for long-haul gamers. If there was a gamer-centric dating website, this would be an either/or choice on your public profile’s questionnaire. You can tell a lot by a gamer who covets the abject lunacy of Kojima’s favourite, and likewise one who goes fishing for human lives with Sam Fisher. Topically, think of them like the Labor and Liberal of gaming. That’s a terrible example because both those parties are awful (FEEL FREE TO ARGUE ENDLESSLY AND USELESSLY ABOUT POLITICS IN THE COMMENTS EVERYONE), but you know what I’m getting at: Metal Gear = Maladjusted, Splinter Cell = Too well-adjusted.
I’m a Metal Gear guy. So is my best buddy. We both twitch visibly and have short life expectancies. Another guy I work with is all about Splinter Cell. Doesn’t understand a sharting word of Metal Gear, or even what its appeal is. He’s a straighty-180 with a white picket fence and a Range Rover in his future. He doesn’t understand it at all even though both franchises offer fundamentally similar experiences and you would think, quite rightly, that it’d be easy for anyone who appreciates ‘stealth’ to get a lot out of both by virtue of the mechanics alone. Bum-bow.
Snake or Splinter is a personal micro-gravitation that suggests as much as whether someone’s into CoD or BF, or whether someone’s into Microsoft or Sony (PC people need not contend, the stairs do not go to the cellar). If someone is very happily into everything, then a) They have no soul as previously stipulated, and b) That in itself is indicative of who dey is. It might not be unlikely that we’re looking at an easygoing someone who rolls at the pace of whiskey and cigars.
Speaking of cigars and the rotund felines who love them, we often see stats upon stats of how many peeps are playing what, but we almost never get a clear picture of who is playing what. It’s fascinating to see how pure personality informs gaming decisions, because a great percentage of dedicated gamers will instinctively choose sides like this. There is never a cosy half-way house. If there was, gaming websites would’ve run out of linkbait precisely 100 years ago. It is not collectively ‘gamers’ who play games, but ‘individuals who play games.’ That is the point, and a vanishing point the industry and – worse – industries that report on the industry love to lose sight of for oft sensationalist convenience. Don’t let them. You are all beautiful and unique snowflakes.