Title: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Release Date: 12th June 2008
Genre: Action Adventure, Stealth
Developer: Kojima Productions
– Stellar voice acting
– Cinematic and exciting shooting and sneaking
– Outstanding amount of detail
– Complex and compelling plot
– Unique and memorable characters
– Cutscenes and codecs are sometimes too long
– The game is quite easy
Multiplayer not Reviewed
Reviewed by FrontalSpy
The Metal Gear franchise is one of the most iconic and popular in the game industry and has propelled Kojima to superstar status. The iconic sounds of the alerted soldier, the cardboard box and even the eye patch are what make Metal Gear so memorable. Not only that but story, setting and characters shine through the Metal Gear Solid series as well. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the first next gen game but the last to tell the brave story of Solid Snake, a genetically modified man bred for war. Guns of the Patriots is the pinnacle of the series and one of Kojima’s greatest designs, harbouring some of the best voice acting, a cinematic experience, detail in every pixel and a compelling plot. Let’s sneak into Snake’s final mission.
5 years after the incident of Metal Gear Solid 2, Snake has begun to age rapidly and now is in his senior years. Snake gets sent on his possible final mission in the Middle East to confront Liquid Ocelot, who may be planning a insurrection. With some new gadgets and the help of Otacon, Snake traverses through the battlefield between the PMCs (Private military company) and the rebels. Along the way he meets Drebin, a gun launderer who explains how the war has changed. With a AI system taking control of the entire war economy, weapons and such are all locked to non-owners. This is where Drebin comes in. Snake is to meet up with the informant- Meryl who joins in the fray to stop Liquid. With Liquid in his sights, Snake moves in but not before Liquid activates a switch and all hell breaks loose. Liquid escapes but the surprise visit of Naomi rescues Snake. Now Snake has to venture around the world to stop what Liquid is after for his insurrection.
Broken up into 5 acts, the world of the future is ruled by the AI system SOP (Sons Of the Patriots) and the mega war economy is the main premise of the game. Guns of the Patriots has a really complex plot that would attract only the fans and veterans of the series. Because the game thrives on fan service many newcomers won’t get most of the jokes or old time references to earlier games. Still the story is quite complex and mature, and enough to astound everyone. Most of the story is told in Cutscenes- great cinematic Cutscenes. Filled with action, interesting plot twisting information or just some fun the Cutscenes are great and done with the highest standard. But to tell a massive story requires some massive Cutscenes- about 20 minutes each. Sitting through Cutscenes in most games are fine, since they’re about 5 minutes long but here, its 3 or 4 15 minute cutscenes jammed together. But since the cutscenes are cool, it isn’t too bad. The other proportion of story is through the codecs- essentially just dialogue. Codecs move the story along a little, but they’re just here to explain your next objective or remind you of the old times.
Right of the bat, Metal Gear Solid is packed with heaps of little features. Form the random TV spoofs at the beginning of the game to the clever and cheeky dialogue codecs, Metal Gear Solid 4 is more than just fan service. The game is filled with gooey Easter eggs and some really nice realistic facts and information that surround the game. It can be seen that the game has been worked on for almost ages and the finish product is beyond crazy. There are hundreds of lines of hidden codecs to listen to, heaps of little posters and collectables all for the player’s sake. This here is an outstanding amount of detail done into a game.
With the control of Old Snake, Guns of the Patriots stick to the controls and camera of Snake Eater. The camouflage index, sonar and CQC are all featured to a greater degree and is very much welcome when using Old Snake. When you’re busy crawling around or silently taking down the soldiers your camouflage is very important. Out of 100%, the higher the percentage the more invisible you become to them. Even if it is only just inches away. A new concept is the psyche bar- which is just the stamina bar but undergone some surgery. Psyche is your basic indication on how well Snake will perform , lower psyche may have Snake enduring some rather painful back issues on the battlefield.
The Octocamo serves as Old Snake’s sneaking suit. When laying down still the suit changes to its surroundings making a better camouflage. The solid eye is the new sonar radar but with some major improvements such as an ability to zoom in and a night vision mode. One new major gadget is the Mk. II, a little robot than can stun enemies, collect weapons and ammo and scout. Did I mention the robot can turn invisible? With all these gadgets stealth is much easier and more rewarding. CQC is fun but not as good as Peace Walker. Despite the lesser CQC, Snake does a good job sneaking, playing dead or leading a massacre in his age.
Control wise the game feels quite solid. Holding X to lie down and using the bumper buttons to switch items and weapons are seamless and with ease, though general movement is a bit slow to react. MGS 4 introduces a few new characters while keeping a ton of the old to keep veterans happy. The character’s development and history are done very well and you might find yourself being attached to a few of them. The relationship of Sunny is one prime example, a small girl whose parents were killed by the Patriots. She cooks eggs for Otacon and Snake as a way to tell their fortune but ultimately helps them with her technological skills. Otacon himself is a great character, filling in as the narrator- sort of. He gives you funny remarks, useful tips or just in your face attitude.
The enemies of Guns of the Patriots are funny and annoying as hell. Soldiers are keen as ever while some have some witty one liners to say. Later on in the game, unman machines are the main pawns and are annoying to get pass. Unlike humans they have nothing to say, but moo like cows. The bosses in the games are from the B&B (Beauty and Beast) Corps. They are previous female characters from the previous Metal Gears, but have returned and transformed into mechanical beasts. These fights are a blast to play, each boss has their own unique technique and ability and each one is found in different environments. Usually previous lines of Codecs or new found items will aid you in the battles, but most of the times you must rely on your memory on the given items or online forums.
Guns of the Patriots sound hands down amazing. The voice acting is stellar and done beautifully. The music is suspenseful and has that Hollywood shine to it. But why not? The game is a massive cinematic experience from start to end. Visual wise the game looks amazing- but comparing it to modern games now- it still is. While not an entire shift up in the visual department the game has great visual works on the looks of enemies, environments, Snake and some jiggle action.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of the Patriots is one amazing game. While I liked Peace Walker slightly better, there is no doubt it is one of the best games on the PS3 and history. It is the peak of the franchise’s popularity and acclaim. The game is roughly 20 hours long and with the online (not tested due to connectivity problems) and the fact that the game offers a more open map and paths to achieve the final goal, Metal Gear 4 offers a lot of replayability. Guns of the Patriots concludes Solid’s story in the best possible way, an awesome freaking cinematic experience.