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 My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review
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My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 06:05
Well, here it is. Is very long, but I hope those that those here that are still in the fence (anyone on this forum?) or those who haven' t had the chance to try it find it useful.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Release Date: June 12, 2008
Platform: PlayStation 3
Score: 10

+ An excellent story that successfully raps up one of the best game series of all time
+ Outstanding gameplay mechanics
+ Well implemented store system
+ Big sized worlds, giving the player plenty of freedom as to how they want to traverse them
+ Unrivaled visuals and incredible direction
+ Outstanding sound design
+ Good sized campaign and well realized multiplayer component

- While excellent, the story can be preachy and redundant at times
- Sadly, the game ends

Twenty long years. For Hideo Kojima, it has taken him twenty years to tell the story of Solid Snake, a gruff, war hardened stealth operative, and for many gamers out there, a true video game hero. For twenty years, players have been entering the battlefield alongside Snake, living some of the best adventures to ever grace the video game medium. Always ahead of their time, Snake’s war chronicles started as a simple, yet different take on the action genre and as time went on, evolved into epic storylines filled with psychological, ethical and philosophical themes, tackling from current world affairs, to more personal dilemmas. Twenty years. After such a long time, Snake’s tale finally comes to an end. And what an end it is, for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the best entry in the long running tactical espionage series and possibly the greatest game ever made.

Suffering of an unexplained accelerated aging disorder, the now grayed hair and wrinkled Snake must once again don the sneaking suit and embark himself on a globe trotting quest in search of his brother Liquid Snake, who now inhabits the body of former antagonist Revolver Ocelot, with the sole mission of killing him. Along the way, Snake will be aided by old time friend and partner Hal “Otacon” Emmerich, as well as some new and returning allies alike. However, this will be unlike any mission Snake has ever faced, facing the most powerful foes he has ever encountered, as well as being hindered by a man’s worst and unavoidable enemy, age.

That’s as far as I will get into the story, for I would be doing a disservice to gamers if I say anything more. It really is outstanding and every player should experience it for themselves. What I can say is, that Kojima has made what is possibly the best representation of storytelling using the video game medium. Metal Gear Solid 4 plays very much like a theatrical tragedy, one that grips you with its twist and turns, and by the end of the game, most players will fill fulfilled. What’s even more impressive is that all of the question raised by its predecessors (even the most farfetched ones) get answered. And the entire story is full of nostalgia, evoking memories of old, memories that more than likely will bring a smile to fans faces, maybe even a tear or two. That said, the story in Metal Gear Solid 4 is not perfect. As hooked as I was (and still am) the story can fell preachy on its moral themes and more than often redundant, due to all the wordiness and explanations coming from all the different character, sometimes on the dealing with same concepts that were touched upon by another character an hour ago. This is also a story for the fans, and while it is a self-contained chapter in the saga, only those who have been keeping up with Snake since the beginning will understand all of the intricate sub-plots going on and the story almost starts to walk into fan-fiction territory towards the end of the game. These flaws however, are diminutive when measured against all the good (and superb) qualities from Snake’s latest melodrama.

Along with the story, Metal Gear’s gameplay has also evolved, raising the bar for all stealth-action games to come. Snake has always been up to the task when it comes to infiltrating heavily guarded compounds, but now, he must infiltrate full-blown battlefields, where rebels fight Private Military Companies in order to regain control of their lands. Facing this new backdrop, Snake will have to rely on his entire stealth prowess in order to survive. Or, if the player so desires, he can also go commando on them, blowing everything in sight. The beauty about Metal Gear Solid 4 is that you can tackle the huge areas you are presented in any way you want. If you are a classic Metal Gear player, Snake has got all of his old maneuvers, as well as some great new ones such a crouch walking, side rolling and laying on his back to play death, amongst other. In order to enhance his infiltration tactics, Snake has got three indispensable gadgets, his OctoCamo suit, the Solid-Eye and the Mk.II. Developed by Otacon, the OctoCamo is an all-purpose sneaking suit that enhances Snake’s abilities, as well as providing an impressive blending system. By flatting against a surface or lying on the ground, the OctoCamo will automatically blend, matching the pattern of the surface and rendering him completely invisible to enemy eyes. Players can also manually select the camouflage patterns, as well as selecting different costumes. Players need to be aware of Snake’s surroundings in order to make the best use of the OctoCamo. Light, the position Snake is in, movement, all of these affect the camouflage percentage and only by creating a balance between the three will the OctoCamo be used to its maximum capacity. Coupled with the Solid-Eye, and all-purpose goggle in the form of an eye patch, Snake has more support for sneaking than ever before.

The other tool in Snake’s sneaking arsenal is the Mk.II. The Mk.II is an invaluable recognizance tool that will allow Snake to scout the areas ahead, and even knock out enemies if the need arises. The Mk.II can also pick up weapons and items scattered on the battlefield, saving Snake the trip of going himself, and possibly getting discovered by the enemy. With these tools, Snake is more than ready to face the odds, suffice players make good use of them. Snake also has a bevy of support items as well, such as his trusty and legendary cardboard box, a drum-can, an iPod and many more. If nothing works, players can still rely on Snake’s CQC and electric knife for silent takedowns.

If things get hairy however, Snake is more of a one-man-army than ever before. Carrying more than 60 weapons, ranging from pistols to rocket launchers, players can play the game as a shooter if they so desire. The shooting mechanics have been redesigned, ditching the old, clunky system and adopting an over the shoulder, aiming perspective, allowing Snake to make precise shots. From this view, players can transition into a first-person view and played the game that way as well. Most weapons are customizable and CQC compatible as well, making Snake more deadly in combat than ever before. In order to use all of these weapons however, Snake must first get rid of their ID’s. That’s where Drebin comes in. A self-proclaimed gun launderer, Drebin (along with pet monkey Little Grey) are there to back Snake up in all of his battles. Every weapon Snake picks up on the battlefield will automatically be turned into Drebin points, which in turn will allow Snake to purchase any weapon, munitions and support items that Drebin may have in stock. The system is very well implemented and a welcome addition to the Metal Gear world. Drebin’s store also works in real-time, giving 20% discounts on Sundays and Wednesday’s, as well as dropping in prices if battles begin to die down in the game. Snake can also make friends with the militia members, gaining even more support and opportunities to increase your arsenal. Of course, players can choose to be anti-social and avoid them altogether or even antagonize both sides if they so desire. For a linear game, Metal Gear Solid 4 offers incredible freedom. The game also features some incredible chase sequences that rival those seen in movies. They are both, awesome looking and a blast to play. And of course, Kojima follows his tradition of pitting Snake against powerful bosses, each offering a unique encounter. They are fun to play and incredible in their conception.

Along with the impressive campaign, the game comes packed with Metal Gear Online. Taking the combat part of the game, the mode allows you to play on different areas from the game and duke it out against other players. The game is more akin to something like SOCOM rather than Call of Duty 4 when passing its concerned. What makes it different than other shooters out there is that Metal Gear conventions still apply. You can knock out enemies, put them to sleep, entertain them with porn magazines and more. It also comes pack with a variety of modes, the most interesting being Sneaking, where one player takes control of Snake and another of the Mk.II and together must obtain dog-tags in order to win the game. Konami has said that this is only the starter pack, so downloadable content will more than likely come to fruition at some point.

Visually speaking, no console game can measure against Metal Gear Solid 4. The characters are superbly designed, displaying a wide range of animations, ranging from body to facial, all rendered with incredible fluidity. The backdrops are also incredibly detailed and players will be forced to go out of their way in order to spot blurry textures and clipping issues. What’s more impressive is that the frame rate barely drops at all, and we are talking about huge battlefields filled with explosions, battles and crumbling structures. The OctoCamo also changes in real-time in front of players’ eyes, which is a pretty cool effect.

The sound design goes above the visuals, bringing a score and sound effects above anything else heard in a video game. The soundtrack perfectly captures the tragic, war-ridden reality of the game and each scene, from drama to action is perfectly accompanied and enhanced by the soundtrack. Explosions, guns, flying bullets, the distinctive sounds made by Mk.II and OctoCamo, all sound effects are top-notch and immerse players into the game. The game also features the best voice acting ever made in a video game, their performances always matching any given scene.

Is hard to find any significant flaw within Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Kojima strived for perfection and he pretty much achieved it with this final chapter of his long lasting saga. The game is possibly the greatest game ever made and it certainly is a fitting conclusion to the story of one of the most endearing video game characters to ever grace the medium. Perhaps more Metal Gears will come in the future, but as far as Solid Snake, no video game character could ask for a more powerful send-off than this. I say this again, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is possibly the best game ever made.

< Message edited by chimura -- 24 Jun 08 22:16:55 >

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 06:24
Not bad. I' ll have to write up my review tonight. I agree with a lot of what you said but there are at least a few things I disagree on. No doubt it was an amazing game and as you said possibly the best game ever made (it' s right up there), but perfection it' s not, imo.

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 06:27
I don' t think is perfect either. But as far as video game goes, I think its pretty much the closest thing to perfection. I did mention flaws, but I don' t think they are noticeable enough to detract from the overall game.

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 06:28

perfection and he pretty much achieved it

That just stuck out at the end.

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 06:30

That just stuck out at the end.

Haha, maybe my English got in the way. Doesn' t that phrase mean that its almost 100%? Cause what I meant was that MGS4 is more perfect than it is flawed. Or was I wrong in its use?

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 06:36
Meh, it' s close enough. All depends on how it' s taken. I would have gone with " just shy of perfection" or " just about achieved it" . " Pretty much" is basically full confirmation with a hint of possible error (but not likely), or at least that' s how I take it.

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 07:26
Act 3 and the amount of retconning stop it from being a 10 in my book.

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 07:59

- While excellent, the story can be preachy and redundant at times

" ...War, has changed...."

If I have to hear those words ever again, Im going to start a war.

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 08:20

" ...War, has changed...."
" more advanced the war has become....therefore, war has changed....and because war has changed, it is more advanced.....war has changed.." epic lulz.
Vx Chemical

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 15:32

Act 3 and the amount of retconning stop it from being a 10 in my book.

Act 3 didnt bother me, i did get confused when i smacked up the disguised rebel soldier, and then couldnt find the mán i was stalking.

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RE: My Metal Gear Solid 4 Review - Jun 25, 2008 16:14
When played correctly, Act 3 is no longer than 15 minutes (the stalking part) and while it certainly isn' t the strongest point in the game, at least Kojima tried variety.

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