robinhoodie I find this especially interesting thinking about Peace Walker—one reason I don’t like it so much is because I find it difficult to square it with my feelings about MGS3, whose themes and resolution I see in some ways as running counter to PW. I don’t want to get to into it since you may play it, so I hope that isn’t saying too much!
I gather that say 2 and 4 don’t leave that kind of room for the audience.
I might not say that, honestly. There’s a ton of stuff which happens in the gaps between 1, 2, and 4 which feels jarring even if you’ve played them all. I think you could similarly craft your own narrative just playing one of those; I’d be interested to hear from anyone who’s experienced 2 or 4 in that vacuum. In 2’s case in particular I think it is unambiguously stronger when viewed as a complement to 1, but I’m biased toward that reading since that’s how I played 2. The fact that @tomjonjon and I were able to play and (I am presuming) enjoy MGS4 without having gone through 2 or 3 first indicates there’s something to be had there aside from narrative connections between games (though 4 certainly relies strongly on those, you’re right).
Excellent point about the audio logs in V and PW, there’s a lot of work the player has to do to fill in those gaps.