Review by HEATH_the_JOKER
"A tragedy that rivals Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet"
MGS4 as you know, is the claimed-to-be finale of the highly popular stealth epic. Having played MGS2, 1 and 3 and saw a masterpiece of the series, my faith didn't subside that MGS4 was to be the best game of the PS3 and possibly on this console generation. But that was not to be. As I played MGS4 and endured through the end with its clunky gameplay, controls and the torture of the never-ending cutscenes, I knew that the wait wasn't worth it.
Gameplay- Gone are the thrills of hiding, sneaking and distracting for what shooter game contains such antiques. That's right, shooter. Why because with the new over-the-shoulder view complimented with a crosshair, what's the use of the much-revered close quarters combat unless like some of us, prefer to preserve our chivalrous code to use bare hands? Also with it, sneaking is almost second nature as you can just easily shoot baddie coming your way. I appreciate the new addition to crouch-walk though as the knightly players can now have easier access into getting close enough to feel the enemy's breath. The Octo-Camo is also an excellent implementation as it's very original and a technical marvel. Unfortunately, the good cannot defeat the bad over gameplay.
Graphics- Now this is where MGS4 truly shines besides sound. The environments are believable and photorealistic particularly in the Middle East where the effects of sunlight can truly make you feel the blistering heat at the comfort of your living room. The water effects are also quite nice as well as the frostbiting blizzards. The facial animations are definetely most welcome especially as some female characters like Naomi Hunter have that deeply-detailed look on their face that can get any gamer to develop a romantic feeling over pixels.
Controls-What a disappointment. Although you have to blame the gameplay for the cause of its downfall as the new combat system simply can't get along with the original controls. Where pressing the square button to shoot created more challenge and thrill to go Rambo forcing you to stealth on most parts, this game renders that useless and makes it into another Call of Duty. What's worse is that Westernizing the controls truly alienates most fans that this game should be clinging into.
Sound-The second and last good thing about MGS4. Indeed it rivals that of Hollywood. I find it hard to believe that Konami managed to implement a sound so well unlike GTA IV's cutscenes in which the voice is so hard to hear. Hopefully, the other developers will adopt to this built-in hi-def sound system to their games as it's pretty much unrivaled.
Story-The center of the game's tragic and catastrophic downfall.Never before in the history of gaming have I experienced such an abysmally convulted plot which in this case, is a bad thing. MGS4 heavily relies on the use of nanotechnology to explain many unanswered questions and where the story of Private Military contractors added interesting points, it was only a sideplot. The heavy use of cutscenes was a stab to the heart even for the lower-than-average gameplay. More than 70% of this game involves watching Snake move rather than controlling him. Also, the characters are bland particularly the addition of Sunny whose role and actions in MGS4 made the series some kind of work that Disney creates. Not only that but the plot twists do not bring much impact like its predecessors. MGS4's overuse of technology killed the emotional impact of the story as well as some characters.
If you are an MGS fan who expects high standards, do not play MGS4 unless you really had to know how it concludes. For those of you who cherish shooters then this game is for you unless you can't endure 30 minute cutscene torture sessions.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 08/12/09
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3 Bundle) (AU, 06/12/08)
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