Hey, we didn't notice before, but if you haven't already signed up to play Metal Gear Online yet, now's the time.

As GameSpy reports, Konami has announced a "Welcome Rookie Campaign" for their online tactical shooter, and it gives users who sign up between December 24, 2008 and February 16, 2009 a special codec pack that features new voice content and 5,000 in-game reward points. The points can be used to pick up goodies for your character, but remember, this is only available to new members. If you want to try it out before registering, feel free to download the demo on the PlayStation Network; it will be there until January 29. Here's part of the press release concerning the Welcome Rookie Campaign:

The exclusive Welcome Rookie Campaign is only open to players who have not previously installed and registered the retail version of Metal Gear Online on their PLAYSTATION 3 entertainment system. Some of the game items that can be purchased from the MGO shop are only available to those who have purchased the Metal Gear Online Expansion Packs. For more information please visit: http://www.konami.jp/metal/mgo/.

Fans who have never played Metal Gear Online have the opportunity to download a free version now thru January 29th. The free demo, along with a free Metal Gear Solid 4 demo, are available on the PlayStation Network."

Most hardcore fans of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and the franchise in general have probably already signed up, but there are a great many of you who haven't just yet. If you're wondering how Metal Gear works online, you should definitely take advantage of the opportunity and nab that free demo. If you like it, you've got over a month to get your greedy hands on that "Welcome Rookie Campaign." So head online and give it a shot!

Related Game(s): Metal Gear Online