I've kind of changed my POV when it comes to combat games, I'm really looking forward to see what blackfoot will give us in ground branch, but one of the best games I've played in my entire life was call of duty 4, I've never been so close to a playable action movie, great scripting, good story, perfect execution.
To me, those elements are more important than the fact that the gameplay involves ever spawning enemies and a really unrealistic combat model.
It was fun, it sucked me right in and when you see the final show off at the bridge I was in awe, the visuals, the music, everything made COD 4 an extremely well done game.
When it comes to MGS I'm biased from the getgo, i can't STAND the japanese style, it's too many "my enemy is actually my long lost/unknown brother" kind of things, they like way too many stupid things and "wierded out" art direction for my taste, some of the more darker scifi animes can be watchable, but in average, the japanese cant design their way out of a paper bag.
Even when the game takes on a more dramatic cue the japanese quirks break out, in one of the later MGS trailers it starts with a extremely beautiful scientist that with an open shirt to reveal cleavage and a camera shot that pans from her breasts up to her face, in what way are the titties important in that context?
Western des have their own fascination with big tits, but seldom as flaunting as this.
One thing that separates japanese vs western devs are IMO that westerners have ONE design arch, if the game is dramatic, keep the funny stuff out, not so with Hideo, the entire world is on the brink of collapse and renegade PMC's are ruling the world and what kind of mechanics do we see in MGS4? You can take out guards by rolling in an oil drum which in turn makes you throw up, why not occupy a guard by throwing a porn mag out?, just make sure the cow sound robots dont see you, or the wailing flying octopuses.
Yes I KNOW that that is how mgs is, but I dont like that kind of design philosophy, that's why I preder SC over MGS, less comic relief, and a darker but still consistent story arch, realism be damned.