Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Review
June 12, 2008
-Jovan St. Lawrence
One of gaming’s most legendary heroes gets a legendary ending. In 1987, the NES was introduced to a hero who throughout two decades, fought alone against impossible odds to save the world time and time again. That hero is Solid Snake. For more than two decades the Metal Gear series has not only started but redefined the stealth action genre with each new installment. Although this is Snake’s final mission, it is also his greatest fight yet. Metal Gear Solid 4 shatters the bar as it is a huge advancement in graphics & gameplay that future action titles and stealth games will be judged by. Seriously, it took so much money to make this game, you could donate the funds to any charity and that charity could whisk away their affected demographic to the Bahamas for a three month vacation before the first crate of rice is even dropped. Series creator and lead designer, Hideo Kojima truly has created a masterpiece and a perfect ending to Solid Snake’s story and legacy.
The world of Metal Gear Solid 4 is a bleak one to say the least. War and conflict are no longer a sporadic occurrence around the world. Six years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, war has engulfed the globe in constant battle. War has become its own self-sustaining industry, replacing the overall global economy with the contracts of PMCs (Private Military Company) whom sell their services to the highest bidder. These mercenaries constantly prove their worth on the battlefield to gain even more contracts, which is turn cause more destruction in cities, in buildings and on the streets. Nano-machines enhances the senses of these mercenaries to continue on with the vicious cycle of war.
This is the setting that Solid Snake has been called out of retirement for, one final mission issued by his long time friend, former Col. Campbell to save the world from one last threat. Snake is inserted in the Middle East as a UN inspector to assess the PMC threat in the region. However, he has a more direct task, to assassinate Liquid Ocelot, who has become leader of five of the biggest PMC groups in the world. These PMCs include the Beauty and the Beast Corps, four deadly females who appear to be half-woman, half-machine due to traumatizing events of war. They have the sole purpose of killing Solid Snake. Or should we say Old Snake? Yes, because Snake is a clone of the legendary Big Boss (Naked Snake from MGS3), he is suffering from accelerated aging due to cellular degeneration. This make him physically older than his years and hampers his movements every now and then. Kojima even compared this decision to make Snake older to himself and his time and dedication to the franchise.
The gameplay behind Metal Gear Solid 4 is getting Snake from Point A to Point B in multiple ways. Whether you decide to go in guns blazing or utilizing your gadgets, like you OctoCamo suit, FaceCamo, and Solid Eye while in stealth, there are different ways to approach your objectives in the game which is always good. A mysterious character that is a gun launderer and also seems to everywhere at once, Drebin will remove all firearm safeguards and supply you with new weapons and ammo whenever, wherever. He also sells attachments such as grenade launchers, shotgun add-ons, flashlights for CQC techniques, laser scopes, & foregrips so Snake’s arsenal is the bigger than in any Metal Gear game. Since this is the finale of Solid Snake, returning characters from previous Metal Gear installments such as Meryl Silverburgh, Otacon, Naomi Hunter, Big Mama (EVA from MGS3), Mei Ling, Col. Roy Campbell, Raiden, Rosemary, & Vamp all come back with vital roles.
The cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 4 are at controversial length. The Mission Briefings and story cinematics are informative to your next objective and character development in the cutscenes are always a great addition. However, they do drag on for a bit much and you tend to lose chunks of the story from occasional boredom in hopes to just play the game. That being said, some of the lengthy cutscenes can be ignored due to the players drooling over the amazing visuals, music, and detail in various aspects in the environments.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is a fitting ending for a soldier who gave us 20 years of great experiences. If you have a PlayStation 3, buy this game. It is one of the best reasons to own a PS3, regardless if you haven’t played any of the previous games, if you didn’t grasp the overall story, if the cutscenes are too long, or if the gameplay from previous titles didn’t appeal to you. It sums up the entire Metal Gear franchise (at least until Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is released), it has incredible depth and complexity, matched with its technical prowess, makes it one of the greatest games if this generation. The emotion, beautiful, deep, & powerful experience that Metal Gear Solid 4 offers can’t be matched so easily. Get some well earned rest Snake, you deserve it.
- Story worthy of a feature length film
- Brilliant presentation
- Visually breathtaking & detailed
- Amazing soundtrack with familiar tunes
- New & evolved gameplay mechanics that blend in seamlessly
- Dozens of secrets collectibles and easter eggs
- Tons of ways to approach objectives
- Satisfying gunplay
- Top notch voice acting
- Lengthy cutscenes may not be appealing to newcomers of the franchise
What do you guys think? Is MGS4 the culmination of 20+ years of the Metal Gear franchise?