This demo has been sitting downloaded on my 3DS for quite some time and I finally got around to trying it. I’ve heard so much good word of mouth about this series but I’m not much of an action type of gamer, so I’ve mostly passed over trying it, but I thought, free demo, why not.

The first thing I noticed when playing was the camera. It does not like to cooperate. I found myself accidentally going back to previous areas because I kept being disoriented by the camera. Then when it came time to sneak past guards, I always got caught because the camera failed to warn me about a guard being in plain sight; or while I was adjusting the camera to make sure no one was there, I would get spotted. Perhaps it would have made the game too easy, but having the guards appear on the map would have helped tremendously in preventing me from making stupid mistakes like being seen in plain sight because the camera angle didn’t tell me there was a guard coming from my back. Speaking of the camera, one thing I kept wishing I could do was auto-realigning the camera. It would have helped a lot with the disorientation and during alert phase when I was frantically trying to hide/get away.

Also worth noting was that, while the game was pretty tough in the sense of not being seen, it was very lenient in terms of death. There was one point where I was frantically trying to get away from loads of enemy soldiers ganging up on me during alert phase and even though they kept pelting me with bullets, it took a lot to get Snake down to zero. Even with a game over, you don’t start at the beginning, but rather the beginning of that particular challenge, so the game is really forgiving of mistakes.

While you can see this guard, there may be one coming right in front of Snake and he doesn't even know it because of the camera!

That said, the huge focus on stealth over confrontation was really an interesting gameplay idea. This is my first taste of such gameplay and I really liked it. It’s definitely a lot tougher because you can’t just kill whatever is in your path and again, the camera is no friend, but there is something really fun about sneaking past guards and crawling on your belly to attract as little attention as possible. The camouflage is a neat idea too. The tranquilizer shots add another strategic aspect to the game and retrospectively, I probably should have used them more often than I did to gain the advantage. The other strategic ability was the ability to knock on something to draw attention there. I didn’t use this at all, but I can see it being useful for tightly packed places with multiple paths. I also liked the shooting set up for this game. It felt very natural to use R to aim and L to shoot.

Presentation-wise, it wasn’t as good as Revelations, but I don’t think it looked bad either. The voice acting was nice as well. Although Snake sounds kind of villainous. I don’t know if that was intentional, but he doesn’t sound like someone I would trust. The way he hold his weapons while walking was also kind of weird, but that’s just a minor thing I noticed that I thought was odd. In the end, it doesn’t really effect one’s enjoyment of the game.

That said, I don’t see myself picking up the 3DS version of this game. I have a sneaking suspicion that the game plays better on the PS2/PS3 with the two analog sticks and more buttons allowing for things like auto-centring the camera. So if I ever do get the game, it will be for one of those two systems.

Has anyone else tried the demo? What do you think of it? Fan of the series? What do you like best about it and to who would you recommend the game?