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One of the Best in the Series

  • Mar 6, 2009
  • by
After three and a half long years of waiting, Metal Gear Solid 4 finally drops down on the Playstation 3. With a lot of questions to answer and some mighty big shoes to fill, Metal Gear Solid 4 is easily one of the most anticipated video games ever made. For the Metal Gear fan, the game is absolutely fantastic. Continuing an already mesmerizing story, Metal Gear Solid 4 proves to be one of this generations greatest games.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is the conclusion to Snake's story. The game is told through some gorgeous cutscenes. There's a lot of detail to the characters faces, their actions and it has some fantastic voice acting to boot. You'll want to grab some popcorn, though, because there are definitely a lot of cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 4, and some of them are really long. This is easily the biggest problem with Metal Gear Solid 4 and it's one that has often plagued the series. While the cutscenes are very dramatic and well written, and while they even shed some humor, some of them are just too long, some of them seeming almost useless. If a cutscene is getting a little long, though, it would be a grave mistake to skip it as you might miss some important parts of the story. And if there's any Metal Gear Solid game one should be playing for its story, it's this one. The other big problem with the cutscenes is how they come at you, even early on. There are moments where you'll play for a matter of seconds only to be sit through a cutscene that's several minutes long. At the very least, you can pause the game during the cutscenes. However, it's hard to get over the fact that some of them really drag on. When you get to play the game, though, Metal Gear Solid 4 is amazing.

Metal Gear Solid has always been about stealth. The same is true of Guns of the Patriots. The difference being that you're also in the middle of a war and there are two sides fighting against one another, the PMCs and Militia. You're able to help the militia and doing so can have its rewards, such as characters being willing to give you items or being able to go through certain areas more easily. Although, you can also turn the Militia against you.

There have been some improvements to sneaking around, though. The camouflage system has returned but it's much better. Rather than having to go into the menu constantly, Snake's camo will change automatically to blend in with the environment and help him evade enemies. You can also hold up enemies just like before, only this time you can perform body searches while holding them up rather than having to shake them down. You can also restrain them to the ground to knock them out. If you really need to get by an enemy and you're running out of options, you can always play dead. This also works when you get spotted and knocked down by an enemy.

There's also the implementation of the Solid Eye. This is more vital to sneaking around than anything. It works very similar to the radar in Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops, showing you how much noise you or your enemy is making. Also new to here is the threat ring. The threat ring surrounds Snake at all times and will begin to act up depending on how close an enemy is to him. All of these seem like they'll take forever to get used to, but you'll quickly adapt. Just like previous games in the series, if you're spotted, you'll have to escape from the enemy and hide.

There are also moments where you can take control of a Metal Gear Mk II, a very small version of Metal Gear that is controlled by Snake. This little guy allows Snake to scout out the area ahead. You can also use the Metal Gear Mk II to stun certain enemies.

Lastly, Snake has a psyche gauge. This is very similar to the stamina gauge in Metal Gear Solid 3. The gauge depletes depending on how stressed or exhausted Snake is. You can refill this by eating certain snacks like Rations or Noodles, but you can also refill it by resting for a while. But there are plenty of factors that affect Psyche. For example, if Snake has been in the sun too long, you'll have to move him into the shade. If he's been in cold water, you'll have to get him out of it. As his psyche gauge gets lower it becomes harder for him to perform certain actions, such as being able to aim properly. In other words, from time to time Snake will need to rest. Though there are also certain points in the game where his psyche gauge is restocked automatically.

You won't always be in stealth mode forever, though. There will be times when you have to fight, and the shooting mechanic works much better in Metal Gear Solid 4. When you're thrust into combat, the game plays very similar to a third person shooter. Allowing for more precise aiming and no longer forcing you to go into first person view to land a well placed shot. There's also a weapon shop where you can purchase, upgrade or customize weapons to your liking, another element that works to your liking and gives Metal Gear a lot of customization.

All this variation in gameplay means that Metal Gear Solid 4 has several different ways to approach it. Combine it's various gameplay elements with a selection of difficulty levels to up the challenge, and Metal Gear Solid 4, like the three before it, becomes a game you'll want to replay again and again. Sometimes it's just fun to mess around with your enemies or just to see how else you can go about a certain area.

Visually, Metal Gear Solid 4 is incredible to look at. There's a ton of detail in the environment, and the atmosphere is also a good one. You're very much immersed in the world of Metal Gear Solid 4. There are a couple of load times that can be annoying, especially the installation. The camera, while it's great, can sometimes be a pain. It's easy to control, but sometimes you'll find yourself fighting with it.

Music wise, there's a memorable score to Metal Gear Solid 4. There's a lot of voice work as well. Much of it is great, although at times you will get the feeling that some of the voice actors and over-acting. On the whole, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a beautiful looking, (and sounding) game.

Metal Gear Solid 4 is an amazing experience. If you can handle lengthy cutscenes you'll be satisfied with the final results. If you can handle a couple of annoying load times, you'll be satisfied. The amount of gameplay here is incredible, and the fact that there are so many ways to go about each area is also a lot of fun. For Metal Gear fans, Metal Gear Solid 4 is easily the reason to own a Playstation 3.


+Very satisfying story
+Incredible voice work
+Incredible cinematics
+Eagle eye attention to detail
+A lot of gameplay elements
+Memorable Music Soundtrack


-Long cutscenes. To the point where you feel more like you're watching than playing. This goes a long way as you'll play for five seconds to be treated to cutscenes several minutes long
-Some load times are really annoying
-The Camera can sometimes be a pain

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February 22, 2010
sadly I've only played this series up to the first sequel. I need to get back to this franchise. The first game truly revolutionized and displayed what PSOne was capable of. Nice review!
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About the reviewer
Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #7
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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About this video game


Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, is a next-gen experience complete with top-of-the-line graphics and surround sound designed for theSony PlayStation 3. Featuring the most revealing display of Kojima Production's premier title,MSG4details the world where Snake must under go his final mission. In a world overrun by private military companies (PMCs), wars are no longer fought over nations or ideologies. Instead, the wars of the future are micro-managed by overarching PMCs, right down to the bullet. New gadgets and abilities fuel Snake's journey deep into the enemy domains of the Middle East, South America, and beyond. New gear includes "Metal Gear Mk. II," the ultimate reconnaissance tool, and "Solid Eye," which gives Snake real-time information on enemies and his surroundings. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Old timer Snake returns for what is slated as the final installment in the Metal Gear series. View larger. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

New and old characters abound in MGS4. View larger. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

PMCs have run amok and the world is at war. View larger. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Octacamo will help Snake blend into surroundings. View larger. Joined by a familiar cast of characters, Snake must once again return to the battlefield to confront his lifelong rival, Liquid Ocelot, who is manipulating the world's wars from the one world where soldiers will always have a place. But Liquid Ocelot is not the only one who will be able to manipulate the world's wars--Snake can destabilize opposing forces by working behind the ...
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ESRB: M - (Mature)
Number of Players: Single-player
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Kojima Productions
Console: PlayStation 3
Genre: Action Adventure
Release Date: June 12, 2008
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