Review by osirisbunnyfoo
"Snake makes his grand exit in MGS4, and it lives up to the rest of the series."
After seeing that 4/10 review, I had to make my own review that was actually accurate. ("My verdict is the only one that counts"? Bull crap.) I have been a fan of the series for a few years now and bought this game at midnight. Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. This took MGS1 out for best in the series, in my opinion.
First of all, we have the story, a very important part of the game portrayed through many cutscenes. Usually cutscenes suck, but Kojima is such a great director that (almost) all of the long cutscenes hold your attention. I admit that every now and then the dialogue starts to drag on and on, but most of the time it is thoroughly entertaining. Be sure you know the full stories of MGS1 and 2, however, or else you will have absolutely no idea what's going on, and that takes a considerable amount of the enjoyment away. The voice acting is mostly top-notch, but corny at times, like in all the games. The story itself is good. It ties up all the loose ends and effectively ends Snake's story, but I don't believe it ends up in a huge mess like others do. Throughout the game (particularly due to how real the people look), you will genuinely feel sorrow for characters like Old Snake, a former super soldier now a shell of what he once was whose physical condition deteriorates for unknown reasons throughout the game. Even still, the brave soldier goes into combat and faces impossible odds. (Don't worry, it doesn't feel like you're playing as a senile old man. He's still as awesome combat-wise as he ever was.) This game definitely kicks the epic factor up a notch. Remember Raiden, the whiny little kid who couldn't do anything himself in MGS2? Now he's a super cool and strong cyborg ninja, similar to Grey Fox. (And it's much cooler than I just made it sound.) Raiden also makes sacrifices to protect his loved ones, and it almost made me cry. The characters seem very real and the story and action are good, especially for fans of the series. ( Act 4 is simply epic, but especially to MGS1 fans... it's possibly the best single player level in a game ever, but nostalgia plays a big role in that.)
These are the best graphics of any game ever, no contest. Some of the people look positively real. (Anyone who thinks that the faces look like "wax models" doesn't have enough judgment to review this game.) And it's not just the cutscenes, either. Many times you will watch a beautiful cutscene for it to go directly into a battle sequence with the same quality of graphics, with no black screen in between or anything. The sky, the people, the fighting, the environments... everything looks unbelievably great except for the blood, which kind of blandly dissolves into the air, but that's really nitpicking. No other game on the market matches these graphics.
It's not the same MGS. You are still encouraged to sneak through levels, but there is a much bigger emphasis on combat. The sneaking is much easier to perform this time around, with new gadgets and techniques to help you. The OctoCamo (Snake's default suit) allows the camo system from MGS 3 to stay, but gets rid of the need to go through menus every time you change camo. Now, you just hold still for a second and the OctoCamo suit instantly blends in with whatever you are touching. You all know the stealth from previous games, but what about the new combat? I'm glad to report it works like a charm. The fighting is similar to Gears of War, Uncharted, and other such games. Snake has dozens of different weapons this time through, and can now fight multiple enemies with a mere pistol, unlike in the others where if you are caught, it is best to always seek cover and lose the enemie's detection of you. That's still a good way to deal with it, but fighting will no longer almost guarantee death. You also have allies to help you at times. Just like the other games, you will at times have to think outside the box to defeat enemies. Snake has all sorts of things to use in both battle and stealth, from a rolling barrel to a Playboy to an iPod. You can at anytime buy ammo or guns from the pause screen, making combat often a safe route. (And as for enemies taking "abnormal amounts of bullets to kill? Many die in 1 pistol head shot. Maybe you're just not accurate, kid.) But just remember, fighting isn't always the answer. The AI is pretty good. They have a very realistic range of vision, unlike the previous games. Just one minor gripe, which has been a problem since MGS1: the controls can kill you at times. For example, pressing R1 behind an enemy without using the analog stick grabs him, then you can slit his throat. But pressing R1 WITH the stick throws an enemy to the ground in the pressed direction, but leaves him fully conscious. If you accidentally throw instead of grab, the guard may get up before you can kill him and set off the alarm. If not for that and a few other control issues, the gameplay would literally be perfect.
I will admit that I'm a little bit of a fanboy, and fans of MGS will definitely like this better that newbies. But either way this is a gaming experience that is unmatched, especially by any game on the PS3. This is literally a serious contender for best game of all time, and that's not the fanboy in me talking. After playing this, all other games seem outdated and mediocre. An easy perfect score.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/16/08
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (US, 06/12/08)
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