Review by Cremdogz
"They don't make games like they used to. This is one exception."
Snake gives us his final game for the series, and he delivers. It's quite hard to imagine any recent game that can even hope to be better than this game. Hollywood music, Hollywood style cutscenes, this is a blockbuster.
It's been 5 years since the events at the Plant from MGS2. War has changed, and Snake along with it. Snake has grown old for unknown reasons, and his body is starting to decay. Meanwhile, Liquid is planning to launch an insurrection against the USA. This game takes Snake through many countries and environments as he pursues his goals.
It's very hard to give you much else, as you're much better experiencing this game for yourself, but the climate of the cutscenes, and the overall storytelling, earns it a gold star in the Hollywood Hall of Fame.
While a game should never be defined by it's graphics, if it has them, it's an added bonus. The characters are so detailed, but the most amazing is the environment. You'll never see such a detailed environment, as well as a more stunning one in any game. The sky, debris, Kojima has really outdone himself on this one.
Harry Gregson-Williams has produced a masterpiece of a soundtrack. The moment you hear the in-game music, right at the title screen, you are already hooked. The music given to every room, every alert, every environment, it's stunning. Look in Snake's items and find an iPod, make a new game, and just listen to the music, the music is incredible, beautiful, dramatic and stunning, you'll have to hear for yourself just how stunning.
Here it is, the core of the review the gameplay. The gameplay sticks to it's roots with the stealth action experience, but added some new tweaks into the midst, making the game not only detailed graphically, but also the gameplay too. Snake's normal moves all return, all doing the same thing, running, sneaking, crawling, crouching, hiding behind walls, the usual is all there. A new over-the-shoulder view has been added, making third person shooting much easier..
The game has 5 difficulties, but most should start with one of the normal difficulties, as easy is pathetically easy. As mentioned earlier, the game takes place across many countries and environments, and you must adapt to each environment. The new Octocamo automatically changes camo for you, depending on the situation, which is much easier than using a menu from MGS3. Also the new Solid Eye gives players the usual binoculars, radar showing enemies (not directions, use the start menu for directions) and Infrared Scanning all in one. The final major addition is the Mk. II, a tiny Metal Gear made by Otacon, used for scouting. While it may seem insignificant to just looking behind walls, don't ever forget this little baby, it gets you out of a lot of tight spots. And another extra, is Drebin's shop, where you can buy ammo and weapons for the points that you accumulate on the battlefield. While you can easily go through the storymode without visiting the shop once for ammo and weapons, you may spend lots of money getting extra parts, like Suppressors, dot sight, laser sight, scope, and many other customizable items.
For people new to the series, let me explain. the game is based on stealth, so instead of battling as many enemies as you can, you need to take them out without making attention. Stalking is a great way to take out someone, and the Octocamo can hide your whereabouts quite well too, make good use of those items. If you're seen by the enemy, it's best to hide rather than fight everyone off, or you may find yourself at a gameover screen very quickly. If you feel there are too many enemies, try distracting them. There are hundreds of ways to take out an enemy as well as distracting them, so find the one you're most suited with.
Boss battles are epic, I personally never thought The End's boss battle in MGS3 could be beat, but it shows how much of a great game this is. Boss battles are incredibly thought out. The B&B corps, or the Beauty and the Beast Corps make it their objective to hunt down Snake and kill him. From the first time you see them, you know you're in for one hell of a battle.
Fans may be a little disappointed with the new controls, as Kojima must've realized that he is aiming at a massive audience, but while they may be different, it doesn't take long to get used to them, then you won't know how to play without them. You will however, get some control over the controls, so you can suit them to your liking. Fans however, will praise camera control, very easy to use, so you don't constantly have to look in first person to see where you are going.
This games replayability is a little scarce, as Story mode is the only mode, apart from online mode, which has flaws of its own. While it's great playing through story mode again on harder difficulties, as well as trying to unlock everything, fans who have played Substance or Subsistence (2nd version of MGS2 and MGS3) may complain that the content in those games far outnumber the amount in MGS4. This game however, is a blast to speedrun through if you're into it, but otherwise, you may play it once and put it down for the dust.
Unfortunately, this game does have it's flaws, though very little of them. First would be the controls as stated earlier, it's quite difficult to catch on to, especially if you're a fan of the other games. While virtual range makes up for that and allows you to learn the controls, it's a bit daunting to learn the controls, then play the game.
While the AI has had a drastic improvement when it comes to searching you out, whether in or out of alert mode, it doesn't seem to like to shoot you. While accurate while shooting. They will usually just stare at you for a couple of seconds, giving you time to put lead in their brain.
Another con will upset some MGS fans, the lack of Codec conversations. There is a very minimal amount of them compared to other games, and some people did like the various conversations, some may praise it for the little amount of them. One other disappointing thing, is that while others may call you on the codec, you can only call 2 people for a conversation, which is very little to the amount of people you could choose from in other games.
The final con is one that fans of the series won't mind or just like altogether. Some people may not like the lengthy cutscenes, as these can be even longer than those of previous games, some scenes lasting even up to an hour before you start playing again. While it's their way of telling the story to it's fullest, some may not like it, but most others won't mind.
One thing that will not be covered here is the complaint of FPS fans, saying that it's crap to have it based on stealth. Well, don't buy it then, you buy this game knowing it's not an FPS. While you can play it like one, unlike Halo, I seriously recommend against it.
So, rent or buy? Heck, if you don't have a PS3, you should get one just for this game. While it's hard to say just how good this game is without giving away major spoilers, so many 10/10s on the reviews can't be wrong. This is the most entertaining game you will ever play. The depth of emotion, anger, sadness, pleasure is staggering. It's hard to believe that a video game can make you take a character to heart, and really feel for them during the situations. They don't make games like they used to. This is one exception.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/24/08
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3 Bundle) (AU, 06/12/08)
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