Game Review: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Release Date: June 12, 2008
Genre: Third-Person Stealth-Action
Developer: Kojima Productions
The long awaited sequel by Hideo Kojima and his crew at Kojima Productions has finally come out. After working on the title for almost four years, did Kojima and Konami deliver the hype that was behind this game? The answer to that question is undoubtedly—yes. With fans of the Metal Gear Series spread across the globe, there was a certain expectation and this game goes off without a hitch. The stealth is there, the action is there, and the deep story that has driven the universe and lore is most certainly there. Is this game only for fans of the series? No. Anyone who is curious about this game or those who dabbled a little with the previous three games can also find much amusement and satisfaction for this PS3 exclusive.
The visuals of Metal Gear Solid 4 are very refined and keep the feel of the series. The next-gen feel of graphics is there, complete with highly detailed character models, environments, and machinery. The effects of flying debris, fire, water, and other variations of war are all here and have been pulled off nicely. I did not notice any jagged corners or seams and texture-popping is void in MGS 4.
All stops are pulled as everything you could possibly need in a game are here. The music by Harry Gregson-Williams is fitting and the sound effects really bring out the war going on all around you. The voice acting is done nicely for the genre, with top performers being the antagonist’s voice (Patric Zimmerman) and the protagonist (David Hayter). A couple of the character’s voices are a bit underdone, but the cast overall did a brilliant job.
If you have played Metal Gear Solid before and enjoyed the gameplay, you will find only more of it to love, but with greater features. The camera is completely controllable in free form, not a top-down view that the series was known for in Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, and 3. If the top-down view was a deterrent, then you no longer have to worry about that. There are more enemies on the screen for you to kill—or sneak past, however your playing suits best. The boss battles have been legendary for this series and every boss battle in this game would easily move to the top of the list for all-time MGS fights. Also, a nice addition to the game is the addition of various missions. Not all missions have your feet tied to the ground, as you now have missions aboard vehicles—and that is all I will say about that.
The addition of Metal Gear Online is a nice welcome, as well. Although the game allows you to customize your character’s appearance, I wish there were more apparel and items for you to choose from. The ‘perk’ system of MGO makes the game more of a choice for gamers to appeal to their stronger suits and the abundant weapons catalog also makes its way online.
The controls stay true to the Metal Gear Solid series, but this time they are more friendly to those gamers who are not accustom to the old titles. Crouching and lying down are easier to pull off and the over-the-shoulder aiming is greatly welcomed. If that was not enough, Kojima Productions added a first person aiming mode for those looking for their FPS fix or a bit more finesse when bringing down that PMC from a few yards out.
And if you already did not know, the top-down camera only view is gone, giving the gamer complete control over the camera angles.
The story is immense. The gameplay is immense. This game will be one you will want to play through more than once. There are many items and weapons to collect and unlock, some taking more than one session to obtain. Drebin Points are addictive and with some of the really good and interesting items being one million points or more, you will need to play this game two or three times to get these amounts. Also, the Title system with prestigious ranks is another worthy task to get Metal Gear players to finely tune the game (one example being: Beat the game on the hardest difficulty in under five hours, use no rations, zero kills, and zero alerts—gaining you the title of Big Boss).
Metal Gear Online (MGO) is also another reason to keep going back to this universe. With more maps and features coming to this portion of the game in the future, it will only fuel the fire for getting involved in the multiplayer. The matches are diverse in game types and the variety of weapons and skills will keep one busy for a good while.
This is the must-have game for the Playstation 3, if not just a must-have game for anyone. If you own a PS3, I highly recommend this game. You will not be disappointed.
ETERNAL’S BOTTOM LINE:
Even if you have the mildest interest in Metal Gear or never played a previous title in the series, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a good place to start. The stakes have been raised in the third-person action/stealth genre. Bravo to Kojima and his team for making this game. The wait was certainly worth it. Long live Snake.