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

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots'.
Sat 14/06/08 at 15:05
Regular
Posts: 2,781
Following years of hype, a wealth of trailers, and more than a fair share of fake spoilers, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is finally with us! Everyone has their theory on how Snake’s final chapter is going to end, and now, Hideo Kojima has brought his ultimate vision to conclusive fruition.

Plot
Avid fans of the series will need to know little – series regular (although we have only played one full MGS game as him!) Solid Snake returns, now renamed “Old Snake”, with cellular degeneration taking its toll on his body. Moreover, he is enlisted by UN envoy and former co-worker (Colonel) Roy Campbell to terminate old adversary Liquid Ocelot, whose plan for world domination is nearing its completion. Spanning five locations, Solid chases Ocelot over the glove in an attempt to thwart his plan.

The setup certainly builds the anticipation further, and throughout, the game’s plot throws more than its fair share of plot twists at you – people change sides, figures emerge from the shadows, and more that simply cannot be mentioned without spoiling the game. The storyline is also riddled with a plethora of amusing moments of comic relief, namely stemming from a gun launderer’s nicotine-addicted monkey, as well as the return of bumbling soldier Johnny Sasaki.

The plot is the ultimate in fan-service; there is plenty here to please long-time players of the series, no less than the star-studded final hours of the game. It must be mentioned that the ending will sharply divide gamers, and personally, it does feel somewhat overwrought whilst simultaneously undeveloped in some places. That said, given the sheer scale of Kojima’s vision, concessions can willingly be made.

9/10.

Gameplay
The game’s strongest suit is without doubt its refined gameplay mechanics – gone are the awkward and sometimes frustrating controls of the previous titles, and instead, gamers are rewarded with an action-orientated engine which allows you to choose between stealth and run-and-gun tactics. The controls have indeed been “westernized”, yet this is hardly a complaint: the controls may require some adjustment, yet the greater ease of use of the aiming system is the most welcome addition to the series by far.

Kojima adds several other never-before-seen elements to the series: there are several “on-rails” shooting sections, a smattering of split-screen action, and a set piece that challenges the bounds of interactive gaming that cannot be revealed so as not to spoil the surprise. All in all, Kojima has created an innovation of not only his own series, but of gaming – this game provides arguably some of the most inviting and impressive gameplay sequences in the history of gaming, and reflects Kojima’s mastery and perfection of his own creation.

Perhaps the only criticism is that the game is rather easy: having received my own copy of the game on Thursday morning, I had completed it by Friday afternoon with little-to-no problems whatsoever, with a completion time of 17 hours. Reviews had promised up to 30 hours of play, yet evidently, this is not the case. Moreover, the bosses, whilst incredibly unique and arguably the best of the series, are a cakewalk, and once their sometimes esoteric solutions are uncovered, repeat playthroughs will certainly offer few challenges.

10/10.

Graphics
Visually, MGS4 is stunning, and the best-looking title on the PS3. Whilst not capturing the sense of scale that GTAIV did, MGS4 is still an epic endeavour throughout, and the cut-scenes are frequently jaw-dropping (literally). Texture detail is fantastic throughout, and in crafting the final chapter to his epic series, Kojima could not ask for a better or more beautiful canvas on which to paint his work. The sense of chaos, in particular in the opening Middle East section, is amplified by the disorientating shrapnel particle effects, the smoke, and even the mild blur as one rotates the camera.

10/10

Sound
Aurally, the game again surpasses itself: Harry Gregson Williams returns to provide soundtrack work, and crafts a wonderful score that all too much befits the somber tone of the game. Voice acting has occasional patches of corniness, but by and large, it again is to be highly commended. Weapon noises and explosions are appropriately loud, and add to the chaotic nature of the game’s battlefield.

9/10

Overall
All in all, Metal Gear Solid 4 reflects a refinement of everything that fans love about the series – the unique, often strange boss fights, the epic scale, the personable characters, Kojima’s idiosyncratic sense of humour, the mind-blowing plot twists, and so much more. Those new to the series will walk away from MGS4 confused, and so it would not be advisable to begin here, yet for those reared on the series, this is a fitting, albeit not 100% satisfying conclusion to Snake’s story. From a gameplay and presentation perspective, however, Kojima has outdone himself many times over: MGS4 is the best of the series, even if it is both too short and too easy. However, the game cannot be condemned on a value-for-money front, given that it comes packed with Metal Gear Online (a game, which, has significantly improved since its contentious BETA testing stages). Rest up, Kojima, Snake, you’ve both earned your rest.

10/10 (not an average)

Thanks for reading,
Reefer.
Fri 20/06/08 at 22:56
Regular
Posts: 791
I never mentioned this originally, so can I just add that this is a great review of a great game? Well done Reefer.
Fri 20/06/08 at 18:00
Regular
Posts: 791
Yeah. Think they're referred to in-game as both Scarabs and Dwarf Geckos.
Fri 20/06/08 at 16:01
Regular
Posts: 2,781
When you say "dwarf gekkos", are you talking about the Scarabs?

Anyway, the last act of the game is pretty easy. I just ran through the first bit with a machine gun and managed to open the door quite easily.
Fri 20/06/08 at 09:28
Regular
Posts: 791
Yeah the dwarf geckos are the little balls with arms. So damn annoying, and pretty tough to get past.

I think I killed about 40 of them before giving up and just legging it. Forward rolling the whole way seemed to work for me, otherwise they just grab you, but maybe I was just lucky?

If you look at some of the unlockables for the game, there's some cool stuff to get. I won't reveal much apart from the Altair (Assassin's Creed) cloak you can unlock by completing the game with 50+ knife kills, 50+ CQC holds, and 25 alerts or less. Tempted to try this when I get a chance.

I'll definitely try the wii remote with SSBB, but Melee just worked really well with the GC controller, so I reckon that might be the best way. We'll see...
Fri 20/06/08 at 08:40
Regular
"THFC"
Posts: 4,488
Yeah i think they are dwarf ones - i was loving Act 4, my favourite so far just for two of the boss battles (the last two in it) they were good fun!

I probably wont play much at the weekend, so ill try complete it early next week, then Friday is going to be busy, Smash Bros and Battlefield, i will try the wii remote, if i am useless i will switch, but like with Mario Kart i always used the wheel cos its most interactive and fun!
Fri 20/06/08 at 08:03
Regular
Posts: 791
The Reaper wrote:
> McLong wrote:
> Smash Bros is a must-buy surely?
>
> Indeed, who's up for an online four-way on Friday?

I'm there.

Tempted to get a gamecube controller for it though... hmmm.
Fri 20/06/08 at 08:02
Regular
Posts: 791
I don't really remember there being much gameplay in Act 5, apart from some nice boss fights.

And I don't actually remember any geckos... do you mean those damn dwarf geckos?
Fri 20/06/08 at 07:57
Regular
"THFC"
Posts: 4,488
i have purchased from Amazon - ready for a Smash Battle!

But got to link it in with Battlefield as these are two of the hottest release titles of the year in my opinion

Oh and reached Act 5 in MGS4 - that first bit is really annoying, keep getting killed by geeckos (think i need to be more patient) this game really does get better and better!
Thu 19/06/08 at 20:12
Regular
"Mooching around"
Posts: 4,248
McLong wrote:
> Smash Bros is a must-buy surely?

Indeed, who's up for an online four-way on Friday?
Thu 19/06/08 at 14:28
Regular
"THFC"
Posts: 4,488
well if you have got the dedication and patience then it would be an achievement, i personally would get bored and frustrated lol

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