Review by hyruledood64
"Fans will rejoice, but newcomers to the series will have trouble."
Upon the release of the first Metal Gear Solid 4 Trailer, a few years back, the hype for a heavily anticipated game skyrocketed. The previous three Metal Gear Solid games had all been commercial successes and fan favorites...Clearly, Metal Gear Solid 4 was going to be incredible, tying together all of the loose ends of the complex story. Fans awaited the ending of the legacy of their favorite cardboard box wielding hero, Solid Snake. Metal Gear Solid 4 lived up to its hype, with an excellent story with several plot twists, incredible gameplay, wonderful music, and intense visuals.
The simple truth is that Metal Gear Solid has an amazing story. However, the complex tale spans four games and playing the final entry first will leave anybody confused. It is essential to have played the previous three games before even trying to understand Metal Gear Solid 4.
Sure, those who haven't played the first three will still enjoy the story, but they will not understand a majority of it and will not retain any of the emotion from the epic finale of this game.
To those who do know the story, Hideo Kojima does an excellent job of answering most, if not all, of our questions while making an exciting tale that may be Snake's largest mission yet. The story is long, but not boring. Many of the cutscenes are a little on the long side, but our prayers are answered by the ability to pause and skip cutscenes.
The story is compelling and like a great book...you'll be addicted.
Remember that tedious camoflague system from Metal Gear Solid 3? Y'know, that one with all of the menus...Well, it is thankfully gone. There is camoflague called "Octocamo", where Snake will blend in with his surroundings upon leaning against any surface. While this sounds game breaking and cheap, it is a major component of the game and works very well.
The game is a little less linear and allows the player to play the game how they wish. If they choose, they can run through the levels with a powerful gun and kill everyone...Or they can play Metal Gear Solid the classic way, trying not to be seen. Despite the different playstyles available, the game rewards stealth.
Each area in the game is distinctly different, and there are different ways to get through each area.
The bosses are quite varied as well. From the slow and tense sniping battle with Crying Wolf to the fast paced, heavy action, battle with Raging Raven, each boss requires you to think in a different way from the previous. They are not too easy, but they are not impossibly hard either. Overall, it is greatly balanced.
The weapon variety is much larger than the three previous games. Snake can now use any gun he picks up. Sometimes, however, a lock must be removed by a certain character. This is at least 30 more types of weapons than the previous games.
The new control scheme adds to the gameplay, not detracts from it. It takes some getting used to, but overall it is a good change.
The graphics are stunning and lifelike. The detail of the characters and environments are breathtaking. I play this game on a normal TV, I don't even have an HDTV, and this is one of the greatest looking games I've ever seen. No complaints.
The main theme is unfortunately gone, but the rest of the music makes up for it. From the intro of the game in which Snake chants his speech to the dramatic ending, the music fits the mood to whatever is on screen and is beautiful.
There are many extras to unlock, and most of them will require additional playthroughs. There are several different difficulties as well. This game will last a long time and will last several playthroughs.
This game redefines perfection and will go down in gaming history as a classic. Newcomers may want to play the previous games beforehand, but fans will rejoice and marvel at this masterpiece.
FINAL SCORE: 10/10
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/24/08
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (US, 06/12/08)
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