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Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Review

This is a discussion on Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Review within the Game Reviews forum, part of the Trophy Guides, Reviews & Articles; Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots by Nagflar Banner by Fox. Basic Information: Developer: Kojima Productions Publisher: Konami ...

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    Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Review

    Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
    by Nagflar


    Banner by Fox.

    Basic Information:
    Developer: Kojima Productions
    Publisher: Konami
    North American Release Date: 06/12/2008
    European Release Date: 06/12/2008
    Trophies: 1 | 5 | 9 | 19


    Overview

    On June 12, 2008, Kojima finished and released one of his most ambitious projects ever: Metal Gear Solid 4. The game was the culmination of years of hard work and a decade-long series that began in 1998 with the release of the original Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation. With the protagonist of the decade-long series, Solid Snake, being on his final days, was Kojima’s effort worth it?

    Gameplay

    The gameplay is hugely based on that of MGS3: Subsistence’s, featuring an over-the-shoulder camera similar to that of Third Person Shooters, letting you scan the area effectively, move and shoot whatever weapons you’re carrying with you without much problems. Additionally, you can always aim on a First Person mode, in case you want to be more accurate because you’re trying to shoot far-away enemies. This control scheme is not only better than that of previous MGS games in the sense that it lets you move while standing, lying down or crouching and easily aim in any of those positions (even after being knocked down), but it’s also simple to remember and very effective.

    Inspired by Snake Eater’s stamina gauge, MGS4 features a Psyche gauge, which will drain depending on different actions performed by Snake, like being chased, being hurt non-lethally (punches or tranquilizing darts), being stuck on a smelly place like a garbage bin for too long, etc. Draining the Psyche gauge too much will lead to Snake to get stressed, which results in a difficulty to aim correctly and to more often back pains. This not only asks the player to be more careful and thoughtful of what he does throughout the game, but also gives Snake an actual reason to smoke for the first time in the series.


    The gameplay's improvement upon that of MGS3: Subsistence makes it one of the best I've played.


    The game, like previous ones, focuses more on stealth than on action, so evading your enemies will once again be your primary objective throughout the different acts, since being discovered will usually lead to an Alert-phase in which the enemies will constantly look out for you and try to kill you. In order to evade them, the game has some new features that’ll help you out.

    Following the success of Snake Eater’s camouflage system, MGS4 followed suit by adding the OctoCamo, which is a sneaking suit used by Snake in order to blend in with his environment. Whenever Snake presses himself against a wall or surface (say, the floor), the OctoCamo will kick in, adapting to the surface and letting Snake blend in with it. How effective the OctoCamo is depends on where Snake is at, if he’s moving and whether he’s standing, crouching or lying down, and how probable it is for the enemies to spot you will depend on a percentage shown on the top-right corner of the screen. OctoCamo will become one of your best friends when playing the game, and it works smoothly when used correctly. It’ll also allow for some easy ways to evade the enemies and even shoot them out without risking an alert.

    Coupled up with the OctoCamo comes another of Otacon’s technological marvels: the Solid Eye, an eye patch covering Snake’s left eye that provides enemy information, as well as singling out items in your screen that you can acquire and/or use.

    Another one of Otacon’s technological aides comes in the form of the Metal Gear Mk.II, a miniature robot with integrated camera that provides Snake with codec functionality and that may be used to explore different areas, plus it can also stun enemies, aiding Snake in his infiltrations even more.

    Unlike previous Metal Gear games where the only way to acquire weapons was by finding them throughout the different areas, MGS4 features a weapon store called the Drebin Store, where you can purchase and unlock new weapons, types of ammo and even upgrades by the use of Drebin Points. Drebin Points are acquired by finding already-acquired weapons throughout the battlefield and destroying un-manned vehicles or weapons, so they aren’t that hard to acquire.

    Singleplayer

    Metal Gear Solid 4 follows the final chapters of Solid Snake’s story. Snake, whom we’ve helped save the world twice, is suffering from accelerated aging, which will lead him to an early grave in a matter of months. It is then that Roy Campbell, who was his commanding officer during the Shadow Moses incident of MGS1, asks him for his help to stop once and for all Liquid Snake, who is planning to take over the world through the use of PMCs (Private Military Companies), who are now the norm of warfare. Snake accepts, being dropped to the Middle East as a disguised militia soldier with his only backup being Otacon through Codec calls.

    The story is one of the most emotional ones ever scripted in gaming, and Kojima made sure to leave no plot hole unchecked, no matter how old or recent, even if it does it through exaggerated events (which are a norm of the series, anyway). Throughout it you’ll struggle to reach the next point because you’re worried about how Snake’s story will end, mainly because the main menu features him on a graveyard, putting a gun in his mouth while the camera moves away.


    "Epic" isn't enough to describe some of the cutscenes, which include the return of some badass characters of previous games.

    All in all, the game offers an excellent way to give an end to the story of one of gaming’s most iconic heroes.

    The level design is also one to be praised. The first two acts feature a very different setting from those of the past games, since you’re not infiltrating a base patrolled by enemy guards but are moving through a battlefield full of militia soldiers battling it out with PMC ones, essentially making you a cover agent in the middle of a warzone.

    This makes the game much more interesting to play on a stealth-perspective, for you most hide not only from one side, but from both, unless you can befriend the militia side, which can be complicated if you’re not aware of how to do it.

    The other three acts are very similar to the previous games, with the third act differing in a few things here and there, and while this might make some people disappointed, it’s not a bad thing at all, for it gives more of the same thing that made the franchise such a success.

    Technical

    Metal Gear Solid 4 is, without a doubt, a technical marvel. Graphically, the game is one of the best-looking ones, holding up even today to some of the most recent releases, showing how much dedication Kojima and his team put into perfecting the game as much as possible.

    The game offers an outstanding soundtrack that, not only features new songs that help build up the setting and the environment of the different locations, but also adds the ability to listen to some of the older songs from the previous games through the use of an iPod carried by Snake. Voice acting is also superb (like in previous MGS games), coupled with great facial animations that look realistic thanks to the motion capture technology used by Kojima, which only makes the game stand out more and be even more amazing.


    How Kojima managed to have something like the OctoCamo work is beyond me, but it's breathtaking.


    The performance is also top-notch, since it featured virtually no frame-rate or game-breaking issues throughout the multiple playthroughs I’ve done, which only demonstrates how worried Kojima is about quality and how he, unlike other developers, actually delivers.

    Trophies

    Metal Gear Solid 4’s trophy list is a force to be reckoned with. Not only will it require multiple playthroughs and huge time-investment, it’s also actually challenging and very skill-related, for you’ll need to finish the game under some very specific requirements that might prove to be too hard for the average, impatient gamer. In the end, whoever gets this trophy shall earn respect.

    Closing Thoughts

    Metal Gear solid 4 is one of the best games released this generation with almost nothing going against it. Even if you’re no fan of the series, it’s a title that you should look at some point or another. Without a doubt, a must-own for PlayStation 3 owners.

    Gameplay: 10/10
    Improves on the already great formula set by its predecessors, featuring some new things that only make the experience better.

    Singleplayer: 9.5/10
    Great new level design, even if by the end you feel you’re back to basics. Touching story that gets rid of the many plot-holes and unanswered questions left by the previous games.

    Technical: 10/10
    Without a doubt it’s pretty much flawless, having virtually no issues, all while sporting great graphics and a killer score.

    Overall: 9.5/10 Superb
    Last edited by Nagflar; 09-18-2012 at 09:13 PM.

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    Very Nice review Nag . Can't wait to play it again for trophies

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    Good review. I don't really like MGS as its too confusing too me but I see why some people like it. I prefer the Splinter Cell game to MGS.

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    Glad to see you doing the MGS4 review Nag, cannot fault your findings either.

    Great game, great review

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    Never played it, but the demo was fun. I may have to invest...


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    Great review from someone who I thought was dead! Seriously though, its great to see you're back to reviewing games again.
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    I thought the hour long cutscenes broke up gameplay too much with some of it being just ridiculous and not adding much to the story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breakpoint View Post
    I thought the hour long cutscenes broke up gameplay too much with some of it being just ridiculous and not adding much to the story.
    Long cutscenes are part of the franchice as a whole, and although some of them are about 30 mintues long, there's always something to do in-between them. Also, some of them might not've been pivotal to the story, but they did add some background information to the characters or to the game mechanics (like the Drebin introduction ctuscenes).

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    Good review and nice work man . Need to take a few lessons from you. +rep for you bro.

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    Great review man, I completely agree with the score and mostly everything else as well

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    Very cool review bud. It's ashame that this series will be 100% third party. (Xbox need a hit title aside from fable) XD
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    Fantastic review Nag! I couldn't agree more on every aspect!






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    Great game and great review,Nag.

    I just started playing this again for the first time since the trophy patch and it's proven to be harder than I remember...or maybe I just need to practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Breakpoint View Post
    I thought the hour long cutscenes broke up gameplay too much with some of it being just ridiculous and not adding much to the story.

    You must be new to Metal Gear.


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    Your score for this game is too low
    Jk, I enjoyed reading this review. It pointed out the key points and gave a fair high score without any hint of gushing or anything like that.

    This game series is like a literary masterpiece, made interactive. The themes, motifs and symbolism about the state of humanity in how we are conditioned to think about what war is, is truly epic. There are just so many things that this game has to say to the world but it takes a trained eye and ear to catch it all. Something as simple as a cutscene about making eggs has enough symbolism to justify writing an entire article about, and that's what makes this game undeniably beautiful. The dialogue I think is even especially refined to have a lot to say in between the lines, to the point where an informed player should always try to view what's being said in a different light, from a different angle. This series, I truly believe, is about reform. It's an extrapolation of what the world will become based on our current trends in technological advancement, the inhumanity in humanity, and an appeal to reason through philosophizing the phenomenon of war - its past, current and future effects. It's target market? People who enjoy playing war games...a genius grassroots appeal to get pre-teens and teens to view war in a different light while they are still young enough to hear its message before becoming soldiers themselves. Of course not everyone clues in, but the message is there for those who choose to hear it.

    That sounded really "out there" but hey, if Hideo and the team can put out something so amazingly genius, I owe them the favor of saying something intelligent about their masterpiece. Shakespeare ain't got nothin' on Hideo Kojima. Seriously. It's that deep.

    I just wanted to say that because the review didn't touch on this side of it, and I think it deserves to be said. (Not to demean the review in any way though; I thought it was great )
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    the game is really fun, but there is one BIG (lol) problem and that is the ease of access to weaponry.... it is very easy to get weapons which makes the game easier, unless you drop all the weapons and keep a couple.

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