Review by cbt711
"The legend, The epic, The spoiler free review"
Chances are you already own this game. If you are asking yourself if you should buy this game you have most likely never played a previous installment of a Metal Gear game, or you don't own a PlayStation 3 system, and you are browsing reviews to see if it is worth not only the 60 bucks for the game, but possibly the 400 plus dollars for the system as well. This review will fill you in on just how much this game could be worth to you, and will answer all your basic questions without a single spoiler.
This has been advertised as the end of the Metal Gear epic saga, and is in fact just that. Here's the rundown of the Metal Gear series to date. Unfortunately, it is hard to research the story now without spoiling MGS4, so I will break it down for you spoiler free. You play as Solid Snake in the first two 8 bit games that were top down Zelda style action games. Your commanding officer in the first game turns out not only to be a bad guy, but also the man from which you were cloned. His name is Big Boss, and in Metal Gear Solid, the 32 bit PS1 game, you find out you aren't the only clone - and have to fight off your brother, Liquid Snake. They didn't quite get it right cloning the two of you, so in Metal Gear Solid 2 on PS2, enter the third clone: Solidius Snake, and his former child soldier trainee, Raiden - now all grown up of course. Metal Gear Solid 3 on PS2, goes back to the origin of Big Boss in the 60's, and completes the time line. A group called the Patriots is ever present in these games, pulling the strings, and controlling the world. In Metal Gear Solid 4, you play as Solid Snake once again, now known as Old Snake, and your main enemy is once again Liquid Snake. Liquid has died before (MGS1) but has since taken over the body and mind of a Russian special ops gun slinger known as Revolver Ocelot. The game takes place about a decade from now in several war zones. The US military, a gun runner, and an untold number of familiar faces from the past help you as you chase Liquid around the globe. The biggest complaint is that the cut scenes which support this epic story can become long and drawn out - but it answers every question you could ever have about the series, and could not be more satisfying to play through. Rest assured, you will fight for friends, for love of country, and for the fate of the world - and no loose ends are left by the time the credits roll, very satisfactorily concluding the epic saga. The story gets a 9/10 for casual gamers, but to any fan of the series it deserves an 11/10. Story - (10/10)
MGS4 goes above and beyond in this aspect of the game. The North American style, as developers are calling it, will make the shooting aspect seem as natural to you as it gets. You can chose which shoulder to look over with a gun drawn in third person, you can tap TRIANGLE to bring the game to first person. The camera is more fluid and 'first person shooter' like than any previous MGS game. The cover system has been the strength of this series, and this game is no exception. You never have to kill or be seen if you don't want. The sneaking is flawless, and doesn't feel like a last ditch effort to stick a cover and sneak system into a shooter game. In the same respect, you can run around custom M4 in hand, and kill everything in sight just as easily. The truly amazing aspect, is that for the first time in Metal Gear Solid games, it doesn't feel like a last ditch effort to stick a shooting system into a cover and sneak game. There will be intriguing scenes where snake will be driven around a map, guns a blazing. The bosses are both a match of wits, and skills. Use your friends over the radio (or codec) for the edge in fights you are having trouble with. There is an unbelievable satisfaction you get when you beat these bosses. The close quarters combat can be as simple as mashing R1 when near an enemy, or as masterful as dodge rolling into an uppercut, followed by a pressure sensitive TRIANGLE kick to the face or knife across the throat. The guns are plentiful and completely customizable, and the camo system this time around is automatic. Just lay down and you will take on the color and pattern of your surroundings. The casual to the hard core will all love playing through this game. In order to answer all the questions addressed in the previous games, and to progress through this game, there are LENGTHY cut scenes. If you don't mind missing out on plot elements and want to get back to the fighting and sneaking, these can be skipped easily, so it's hard to hold that against the developers since they let you decide how much you play, and how much you watch. Game Play - (10/10)
Graphics and Sounds
High Definition and High Fidelity. Never has a game looked this good. You can press up on the direction pad and look around in cut scenes. Even zoomed in like this you will not find any flaws. Think Final Fantasy: Spirits Within, yes the Computer Generated movie. That's how good this game looks. The flawless integration of scene to game play, will at times leave you in such awe you will forget there is a bi pedal unmanned tank shooting at your face. The cut scenes are all in game engine generated - not one is computer generated video. The sound could not be better. Literally! It is completely uncompressed, accounting for an unprecedented portion of the 54 gig Blu Ray disc. Available in 5.1 surround which it promptly shows off while loading the game from the cross media bar, you will notice droplets of water flying past your head and splashing behind you. The voice acting is top notch, and the facial expressions, motion captures, and visual effects are unparalleled in the gaming industry to date. Graphics and Sounds - (10/10)
Of course you get a harder difficulty after playing through it, that is just a given these days. On top of that you get lots of toys, can keep your guns and gun runner credit to buy more the second time around. You also earn a badge of sorts for your style of game play. For example rack up the head shots and you will get the Eagle badge. There are DOZENs to attain, and some come with great unlockables when you earn them. Metal Gear Online has the endless hours of mind numbing multi player you would see from Call of Duty 4, with the attention to detail and customization you get from the single player campaign. I won't go into much detail on the online, since it has it's own section on gamefaqs, and is basically it's own game. I have just finished the single player game today, and I am already starting it over. You can literally go through the game as a sneaking game, then replay it as a third person shooter. I don't see many people, if any, only playing this game once. Replay Value - (10/10)
An epic conclusion to gaming's most elaborate saga. If this is the end of Solid Snake, it could not be more fitting to the worthy hero. Metal Gear Solid 4, plays like 5 complete games. For 60 bucks, it feels like you are ripping off the developers, and for 460 to 500 bucks for the first time PlayStation 3 owners, you will feel better about owning this system than any other first time PS3 owners to date since this is the best game available - on any platform. In the end, you may have found yourself crying at times, jumping as you are flanked and the surround sound scares the lights out of you, or standing up on your toes, leaning into the TV just hoping the game never ends. This is the last of the Metal Gear Solid games, but this is the start of next generation gaming.
Overall - (10/10)
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/17/08
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (US, 06/12/08)
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