Alright guys, here we go with my review of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
Let me just start off by saying that this is probably one of the best games I have ever played. I have always been a fan of the franchise ever since the original Metal Gear Solid was released on the Playstation 1 system. Ever since then, I have followed the series through every iteration and have found myself to be emotionally attached to the characters. The fourth iteration in the series takes place in the not to far future of 2014 where there is a war going on between the Militia and the PMC. I believe that Snake says it best in that "war has changed". The soldiers are controlled by nanomachines that have been implemented in their bodies. All of the guns have ID locks on them so that only the soldier assigned to that gun can use it. In classic Metal Gear fashion, some stuff goes down and its up to Solid Snake or "Old Snake" as he is known in this game to save the day.
Also in classic Metal Gear fashion, the story is completely crazy and filled with imaginative boss fights and very over the top cinematic cutscenes that will probably take up half of your total play time through the game. As for the parts of the game that you actually control Old Snake, the controls are very good and crisp, a welcome addition since the controls in previous games; while playable have not been the greatest. The shooting mechanics in this game greatly oust the previous titles. The new over the shoulder camera works wonderful and really helps to make the shooting a little easier and accessable. The first person mode is the same as its previous iterations so not much to say there. Lets not kid ourselves though, this is Metal Gear. Its still all about the stealth. Sneaking up on unsuspecting troops and slicing their throat is still as satisfying as ever and is a necessity because just running around guns blazing will get you killed real quick, especially on the higher difficulties.
Given the legacy the the Metal Gear franchise has had over the years as a technically impressive and complex plotted story of intrigue but not a deeply satisfying action game, it was a great suprise to me to discover that MGS 4 is not only the most playable game in the series but possibly the most graphically intensive and downright thrilling action game ever made. In terms of visuals, this is with out a doubt in my mind one of the best looking games I've ever seen. It rivals the Killzone 2 trailer from a couple of years ago at E3. The cutscenes use the ingame engine and the transitions from cutscene to gameplay are so seamless that I found myself a couple of times just stareing at Old Snake waiting for him to move not even realizing that the cutscene has ended and that I am actually playing the game. One particular part in the game that I can remember this happening was a motorcycle scene through the streets of Europe.
The new camo system "Octocamo" is a brilliant addition to the series and is a pretty amazing technical feat for it to pick up what type of texture you are pressed up against mimic it perfectly. There are a couple of other new toys to play with like the Metal Gear Mk. II which is a small robot that you can control. You can activate its cloak feature, sneak up on a troop and give him a good electric shock knocking him unconscious. There is literally and endless amount of positive things that I can say about this game but there are a couple of negatives that I feel I must touch on for just a second.
The first is the Online mode. While in concept the thought of being to play Metal Gear online sneaking around with other human players and stealthfully taking out you opponent sounds good, when it is put into practice, it just doesn't fulfill the expectations that I had for it, plus the sign up process is needlessly bizantine requiring you to create two, count them two ID's just to log in. The only other downer I can think of is the load times. It stops a little to frequently to load and it suffers from an initial 8 minute install and subsequent 3 minute installs before each act. Even with these minor blemishes, they still do not detract from the overall enjoyment and perfection that is Metal Gear Solid 4.
Overall, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns and the Patriots is a fantastic action game, that has a fantastic story and fantastic characters to create an atmosphere that few games have been able to match. This is definately the best game in the series and the best reason to own a PS3. You owe it to yourself to play this game.
- Graphics - 10/10
- Sound - 10/10
- Gameplay - 10/10
Overall - 10/10, 5/5, Smiley Face, Gold Star, Two thumbs Up, However else you can say perfect.