Hey guys, I'm an avid gamer and have played alot of games with great stories, I've heard really great things about MGS4 and am trying to decide weather to pick it up or not. My main question is that since most of the game is cut scenes is the story easy enough to follow for a gamer who hasn't played any other Metal Gear Solid titles?
To be honest anything after MGS1 was pretty tough to follow. Being a huge MG fan, I'd have to say that if you did not play any of the other ones a great deal may be lost story wise. Having said that, they gameplay is still great as well as the graphics and sound. If you still have a ps2 (or ps2 compatible ps3) I would recommending picking up the earlier installments. There are many engaging movements and just general satisfaction of certain events that may be lost on those unaware of the events preceding them. Despite all this, it was the first ps3 game I bought and would highly recommend it.
p.s. to clarify on the question you had asked. the story is understandable but I feel you will lose some of the emotion and significance of certain events
The significance of what is happening in almost all sequences I can recall will be greatly reduced or even completely nullified by not being familiar with the previous installments. There are almost certainly full synopsis videos available on YouTube that sum up the events of the previous games. Watching these are HIGHLY recommended. Secondly, there is an interactive encyclopedia called the Metal Gear Database, which is a free download from PSN to your PS3. It's amazing. Download that also and only read it AFTER beating the game, as it addresses the entire storyline and will contain spoilers.
I've played the series since MGS1, and it's definitely not a game you can just jump into and understand what's going on. If you just play MGS4 and none of the other installments, the storyline goes to waste here.
The gameplay is great. If you are in it for the story, play 2 and 3 first. I thought the game held up very well for the first ps3 installment. I also think the game is good enough to play through and skip all the cut scenes if you aren't into them. People posting negative comments here are probably just Xbox fan boys and don't know good gaming anyway.