Review by akizzle83
"Metal gear Awesome!"
From the very beginning this game is all around awesome. It pulls you in and doesn't let go. If you have heard a ton of great things about this game and think that it's not as great as people claim, you are wrong, just like I was. I wasn't expecting it to one of the best games ever, but it was. I came in with pretty high expectations, but boy, it completely blew my expectations out of the park. From the opening scene, when you witness all the time that went into crafting these amazing graphics that are just about as high quality as a Pixar movie, if not better, the cutscenes look like a full fledged CG movie, and what cutscenes they are. These are almost impossible to match, the direction is superb as is the always excellent voice work. Sure, some people may dislike the story since there are times when, if you say, play for an hour, you'll watch more than you play in certain areas, especially after the second act. Once the second act draws to an epic conclusion the story really kicks in, which is no problem with me, these cutscenes are all so finely crafted and so beautiful, definitely the most powerful in gaming history. But the story is expected to be top notch in a true MGS game, now the real surprises as to why this game is so great is in the gameplay.
The gameplay has received huge improvements from previous entries to the series, finally the controls, for the most part, are excellent, however I must state that the new additions are in no way original. The development team were unambiguously influenced by titles like Gears of War, Resident Evil 4, and Splinter Cell, just to name a few. But the changes made were desperately needed in order to draw the MGS series to an epic conclusion on the PS3. There are, of course, still some problems with the controls, such as crawling, it still feels sluggish and very, very little improved from MGS2. Fortunately, it's still solid and doesn't really get annoying. The CQC system sadly hasn't improved really in any since MGS3, if anything it may have gotten a little less polished, it's not to the point that you'll never want to use it, for it, like the crawling, is still pretty solid, just a little clunky. What makes up for that are the excellent minigames, just in case you haven't played the game, I won't spoil it, but they are great, very polished. I will say that two bosses you fight in these minigames and both boss fights are A+.
The graphics really pull things together, if you look at the sky and mountains in the second act almost makes you question whether or not you are looking at comptuer generated textures or a photographics images. And there is a few moments where you can almost swear that what you're seeing is live action, most notably one part at the very end of the game, you'll know it when you see it. The facial expressions, mouth movements, action scenes, are all so great. A huge problem with the stories in past MGSs' is that even though the developers obviously spent so much time on the story scenes, for some reason, they had terrible mouth movements for about 90% of the time. But that is definitely fixed here.
The length of the game is a little surprising. Typcially such high quality games such as this are like 6 to 10 hours at best, but this is more around, 15 to 23 hours or so, depending how you play and on what difficulty. The AI is also much more improved, there will occassionally be a time when it falters but nothing too serious. Probably the biggest enhancement other than the camera system, and moving around, are the shooting mechanics. Pulling out a gun and blasting enemies has never been this smooth or exhilarting in a MGS game, not even close. The main reason for this is the fact that you no longer have to obnoxiously go into first person view to aim and shoot, you do have the option to, which is nice, but frankly it just makes the game feel sluggish. Stick with the third person aiming system though and you'll have a blast shooting the bad guys and/or environments.
Something really surprising to me though is the fact that the codec is extremely limited. Hardly ever can you really talk to your buddies on the codec, a rarity for MGS since the reinvention on the PS1. And over the course of the game there's only two people you can actually call yourself and speak to. I was expecting hours and hours of these exchanges between Snake and his friends, so I must admit that I was surprised to find that, everything combined, might be under an hour and that's including the tutorials.
It's an awesome game that will surpass your expectations no matter how high they are, a must buy if you have a ps3, or, a huge reason to get a PS3 over a 360 if you only want to choose one. Once you start playing, you won't want to stop until you get to the end. I was meaning to savor this game slowly, an hour here and there, you know, but I found myself playing it much more and lusting to get to the end to know of Solid Snake's fate.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/23/09
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (US, 06/12/08)
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