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Metal Gear Solid 4 (MGS4): Guns of the Patriots Review (PS3)

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Old Snake Face Shot

Old Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

© Konami

The Bottom Line

There is no way to write about this game without providing spoilers at this point, so if you don't like that sort of thing, turn away now. Still here? Good, now I can openly gush about the game that reminded me how much fun this hobby can be. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a game that deserves applause. Not only were the expectations high, but it had a huge convoluted story to tie together. It not only took care of what it needed to, but it was innovative, funny, at times genuinely sad, and always fun. MGS4 is an achievement in gaming that every PS3 gamer should own.
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Pros

  • If you were looking for a reason to buy a PS3, this is it
  • Perhaps one of the most clever games in recent years
  • Takes everything you loved about the series to the next level
  • Brilliant level design allows for stealth or gun play
  • Easily as moving as many films out there

Cons

  • Story might be over the top for folks new to the series
  • First person mode feels tacked on, only seems useful for sniping
  • Some may find the Big Boss Mode too easy
  • Cutscenes do run a bit long at times (especially in the end)
  • If you are going to have this much kissing in a game, shouldn't it look less "robotic?"

Description

  • Graphics: 4.5 MGS4 is gorgeous, but it's color palette is overly dominated by one tone on many levels
  • Sound: 5 A game that sounds better than many films? Buy the MGS4 Special Edition so you can have a copy of the soundtrack
  • Control: 4 The over the shoulder Resident Evil 4 control may not be everyone's favorite, but I found it to be very useful
  • Difficulty: 3.5 Play it at the highest level, the difficulty is not in beating the game, but in doing it without being seen
  • Gameplay: 5 Though it does get interrupted by cutscenes this is one helluva hard game to put down
  • Multiplayer: 4 Metal Gear Online may be hard to get setup, but once you have set up your IDs (uber painful) it is a hoot
  • Online: 3 Aside from online multiplayer there is also a place to download new iPod and other content... though it seems bare
  • Documentation: 5 One of the more clever manuals out there, I usually skip the instructions but the MGS4 ones are worth a read
  • All scores are out of 5; final score is not an average of the individual score
  • Rated: Mature If this were a movie, however, MGS4 would most certainly be PG13 and not R

Guide Review - Metal Gear Solid 4 (MGS4): Guns of the Patriots Review (PS3)

How does one review such a varied game? I think you have to go about it in a manner similar to how film reviews do, and really, that seems fair as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a game of such scope that it is fair to compare it to a movie, a very good one at that.

So let's talk about our leads then. Snake is old, so much so that he is referred to as "Old Snake" not only does he look and sound the part, but moves it as well. Western gamers may miss the subtle cues that would indicate "old" to Japanese gamers. But having lived there I'll verify that elderly Japanese men are always punching their lower backs and there's a strange fascination with heating and menthol pads that Snake seems to have picked up on. The amount of work put into making Snake believably old was phenomenal. And really, that type of attention to detail is what made the game.

It was everything you wanted from a Metal Gear game, only further along. To show you how much further along the game is referential in a post modern way. You get to see Old Snake compared to Solid Snake, Metal Gear Rex against a new sleek Metal Gear, you even get to play a level from Metal Gear Solid to compare how far along the game has come.

And it has. From the graphics to the combat every aspect of the game has been improved on, even, oddly enough, the story telling. MGS4's story is sufficiently bizarre, but it is told in a way that is easy to follow, and it even makes sense of the other games, no small feat there.

MGS4 is full of surprises, from the embedded iPod to finding a hidden camera during a cut scene (hint use it on the BBs), the game has secrets, but they seem less arbitrary than most games. To be brief, MGS4 is the most fun I've had in years playing a videogame. If I had one complaint it was that the 20 hours felt too short. It broke my heart to finish this game.

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