Review by slyfox124
"This game deserves more than a 4/10."
Seriously, there are not that many problems with the game.
The story is sometimes hard to follow, but the issues with the story stem from the fact that they are trying to wrap up the series in one game, which cannot be done without sacrificing the great story-telling that previous MGS games have had. So, the story feels a little rushed and complex due to this. They should've just made another game, with it's own story that mingles with the others instead of trying to handle the stories from the previous games. This would've made it more like MGS2 or 3 - a separate game with ties to the original.
Admittedly, the textures are poor at some parts of the game. When I say some, I literally mean some. There are parts where the textures are completely awesome, but then there are horrible, horrible parts where the textures look like they are from MGS2 or even MGS1. Raiden's body (you will understand if you see the end) near the end of the game looks... very plastic.
Besides this, everything else seems fine. The models and lighting are great, and the locations are represented nicely.
First, to denounce some myths:
The AI has vastly improved since MGS2 (but perhaps not MGS3).
It doesn't take that many bullets to kill an enemy, especially if you hit them in the head with a 7.62 (M14 all the way baby).
Camera angle? There is no camera angle. You can adjust the camera to suit your own needs, which you will probably do often. Over the shoulder works great, as well. Not to mention you can control the sensitivity and invert the camera for every single mode (FPS, OTS, 3rd).
You only stand up when crawling if you hit an object, which in that case, is your fault. When I say hit, I mean crawl into it with some force. Unlike past games where this issue was more prevalent, in MGS4 you rarely run into this (ha, like the pun?). Seriously, it's hard to describe, but as long as you don't intentionally run into walls and objects you won't stand up. The only except to this is when you crawl on a soldiers body, and then you will crouch. This is true even if the body disappears. Now, that is really annoying, but you can easily get around it by doing what this series is known for: not killing so many people. If you do kill someone, do it properly.
Snake behaves the same way he does in every game, and the back pain thing is a rare "idle" animation (at least it was for me). Seriously, I only saw it happen three times. Maybe this is because I didn't let my psyche gauge get low. Oh, and they tell you not to let it get low, like, constantly.
With those myths out of the way... I do admit the gameplay is cut up horribly by the cutscenes, and there are not enough codec calls, or even people to call. The codec is one of the biggest letdowns of the game considering it's importance in the previous games. The cutscenes just make gameplay sporadic, and you play less towards the end of the game. However, if you play through a second time and skip the cutscenes entirely, it's just pure gameplay baby.
Unfortunately, just like the story, the game is paced a little fast. Not literally as in a time limit, but you just get pushed along fast due to the wars going on. So, you don't get as much time to slow down and look around. This is especially true for the first few acts as they are the most engaging, but if you follow the story (as in: "I need to hurry up and save the world!") then they don't last very long.
Also, the Mission Briefing and Act screens are lame.
Besides these downsides (which may seem big, but they aren't in comparison to everything else), the gameplay is spectacular. I really enjoyed seeing my statistics as I progressed through the game. I was told how much time I spent crawling, crouch-walking, how many people I killed, etc. It really gives some perspective on how you play. This also ties in with the titles you earn at the end of each playthrough.
The combat is a lot of fun (but it does get annoying when the troops keep respawning. Hint: Move up!), and I could just sneak around and snipe enemies all day, or do some close-quarters combat, which is a real high-point of this game, but it isn't really advertised as such when playing.
I really don't know what else to say about the gameplay. It's a sneaking game, and you can sneak. The Octocamo is sweet and the boss fights are engaging. I didn't use the little robot a lot though; he runs down the battery!
The gun effects are fine. It's supposedly the best sound and music quality in any game. Since I don't have a good sound system, I can't really vouch for this. I did feel drawn in by the ambient noises, however.
Overall, great game. I believe it deserves 96/100, which may seem like a lot due to some of the faults I noted, but it does NOT deserve a 40/100, as those faults mentioned in another review are either exaggerated or even fabricated! "Not enough Substance"? I think this guy was expecting another MGS2.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/16/08
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (Limited Edition) (US, 06/12/08)
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