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I've been playing through the Metal Gear series in release order, starting the MSX games, currently on Peace Walker.

It took me until 3 to actually think Kojima was decent at storytelling, and then 4 got me onboard the "Kojima is a genius" train. Metal Gear's backdrop is a fever dream about the military industrial complex, but the storytelling is always much more focused on exploring themes and ideals than it is dedication to realism.

FWIW, there has been a significant increase in the quality of his work. Solid 1 was kind of puerile and hamfisted in its approach to its themes, in a kind of "terrible shounen anime" kind of way. Solid 2 was a really amazing prediction of the way surveillance works in a modern society, but was needlessly obtuse. Solid 3 was way easier to digest, and Solid 4 was sublime. But neither really work in isolation from the first two, and slogging through them definitely takes a lot of patience, so I see where you're coming from.

I guess the way I'd summarize is: a lot of people talk about abandoning setting details for other motives (e.g. there are monsters in the witcher, so why can't there be a sizeable black population), but Kojima is one of the few I'd trust to actually pull it off - I just need it to not be ~1999 Kojima.

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