While reporting MTV Multiplayer's week-long series about game reviews I've heard from members of the gaming press about restrictions publishers place on game reviews. I'm familiar with some of these. It's common for a publisher to specify plot details that they don't want revealed in reviews.
What I heard about print reviews for "Metal Gear Solid 4" was different.
I've been told by two gaming media sources who asked to remain anonymous that Konami representatives had been asking print reviewers to keep some technical details out of their reviews, namely the length of the game's cut-scenes and the size of the game's installation on the PlayStation 3.
Such details wouldn't have been plot spoilers, but perhaps the publisher was concerned that they would be viewed as negatives?
Konami representatives declined to comment to me about any of this, as did editors of a few major video game magazines.
A couple of weeks ago, gaming blog Kotaku posted back-to-back links about the two supposedly off-limits topics. The size of the game's installation was spotted on the "MGS4" box. The other was a disputed report about the length of the cut-scenes.
So that technical information -- accurate or not, I don't know -- is getting out there. And that information about the game has been acknowledged by Eurogamer, which ran an "MGS4" review that mentions both things.
Whether Konami really has put these limits on reviewers and if such limits are tolerable to game reviewers is something I can't answer. It's something worth keeping an eye on as print reviews of "MGS4" start trickling out.