I think this is a very controversial topic and it is impossible to discuss on reddit or the wider metal gear community. MGS’s incosistencies and plot holes are often treated in a way that everything makes perfect sense in the end. The story is also often told, not shown through exposition.
I tried checking the internet for different discussions about plot holes, retcons and such. For what I could tell the biggest issues were timeline inconsistencies and what really happend with ocelot’s ghost arm. But I think there are huge problems with the plot which are rarely discussed. And often the narrative goes that the games suffered a drop in plot quality after MGS3.
The biggest gripe I probably have with the series comes from MGS1. And it is this plot detail that is often glossed over: why are foxhound trying to kill snake if they need him to activate the nuke? The best explanation I got for this was that snake would realize it is all a ruse if foxhound wouldn’t attack him. But foxhound gets themselves killed over it. And they all try their very best to kill snake, which would in a worst case scenario mean no nuke launch. Liquid reminds foxhound many times during the incident not to kill snake. It makes no sense.
And I think this style of plot is often repeated in the later games. In MGS3 snake is needed to prevent a nuclear war and ocelot, the boss and the cobra unit all try to kill snake. In MGS4 Ocelot needs snake to destroy the AI with foxalive, Ocelot helps snake by trying to kill him. It seems as if the plot is written with another needless twist in mind that contradicts what happened before.
In MGS2 the solid snake simulation makes perfect sense when Solidus announces it to Raiden. The Big shell representing shadow moses makes sense if Raiden were to be molded in to the next snake. But what happens after that is the real meaning of the S3 plan, selection for societal sanity. The shadow moses incident was chosen for it’s extreme circumstances according to AI colonel. But why couldn’t it have been a different game scenario all together if they only needed an ‘‘extreme circumstance’’. It seems like the game was made with the direction of making it an actual solid snake simulation, but yet again another twist was added. I like the selection for societal sanity part, but why it has to be shadow moses again makes no sense.
About the actual dialogue, it often doesn’t feel natural when characters just talk at each other.
I saw this video recently of all the dialogue Raiden has with solidus. I think it is a good example of the exposition in these games.
What do you think of the writing in MGS? Is it good, bad or somewhere in the middle? Too much exposition or is it just fine as it is? Do you think there are any other gaping plot holes that undermine the story? When I was younger and played these games I hardly gave any though to this.
Edit: I still like MGS regardless of this criticism. But I think the critique and problems with the games are worth of discussing.