There seems to be two discussions going on about Metal Gear Solid 4. One is about the game's actual reviews, and the other is about actually reviewing the game. Rumours swirled that reviewers weren't able to talk about MGS4 cutscenes and installs — rumours that were later confirmed in IGN UK's MGS4 review and by EGM's decision not to review the game. Konami and Kojima Productions were taken to task for this highly unusual NDA. But what was in this NDA? Kojima Productions' Assistant Producer Ryan Payton contacted Kotaku in hopes of setting the record straight and coming clean.
About those review limitations, Payton says the NDA covered: Install times, length of cutscenes (the ending in particular), number of environments, opening "movie", product placement and a half dozen story-specific items. Payton gets down to specifics, stating, "The game requires an eight minute install, as well as a number of two to three-minute installs between acts." But what about the cutscenes? The rationale, according to Payton, was that they wanted reviewers to refrain from describing which cutscenes were long as it would "ruin" the experience if players knew when a cutscene was unfolding. What's more, Payton adds, "I want to make it clear that, from today, reviewers are welcome to discuss the length of the cutscenes and install times, but we ask that they not get too specific about the cinematic times and what happens in later install sequences..." Hit the jump for Payton's email in full.