Review by gtr06

"Metal Gear Solid IV is the final chapter for Snake and his crew."

Metal Gear Solid IV is the final chapter for Snake and his crew. The game had a incredible launch and came in a variety of flavors. In NYC, Hideo Kojima himself appeared in person to give autographs and handshakes earning the hearts of all those who lined up for the midnight release. The release itself came in 2 flavors, the regular game and the LE (which also came with the LE edition of the gunmetal Playstation 3). more info . Although Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 did not have Snake at the focus of their story, they play integral chapters in understand Snake's roles in both MGS 1 and 2.

Before one can play the game they must wait 3 minutes for the “act” to install and after every act, the last act is overwritten by the new one which also takes 3 minutes. This isn't a big hassle, but I would have willingly sacrificed 15 minutes to have it all installed at once. Afterward, the game starts of in the middle of a Middle Eastern battlefield with the events summarized by Solid Snake. He believes that “war has changed” and that everyone participating in these wars are “tagged” from top to bottom with nanomachines.

Metal Gear Solid IV starts out with stunning and highly detailed visuals that it may seriously distracts from the story. Everything is detailed to the very last strand, from vehicles right down to facial hairs. This may be the most stunning visuals ever released on a console to date. Whenever a cinematic cuts straight into game play it does so seamlessly that if stat bars weren't displayed the player may not know when to take over the controls. This happens quite frequently early on as cut scenes dominate over game play, and will continue throughout every act. Some may find the cut scenes to be boring due to their lengths, but regardless they are impressive and well done to the last detail. Many times you will get multiple angles to a shot, and in order to avoid boredom, in mission briefings one will get full control of the MK II mobile unit to explore or find items, which may help during missions. As the game progresses the visuals continually get better and vehicles get larger and more detailed that the initial Gekko's you will encounter will look tiny in comparison by the time you finish the game.

The audio may be the only aspect that can surpass the visuals in this game. Since the original Metal Gear Solid, sound has always been vital to this series and is probably the only thing that takes more media space than game play . The game has always been fully voices since the day of the original Playstation when it was only starting to be common to have voices in games, but still a fully voiced game was a rare find, but Kojima and co. decided to make fully voiced games a regular thing throughout his series. The audio in Metal Gear Solid is fully uncompressed and is what takes up a lot of space on this dual layer blu-ray disc. With a excellent surround system the audio matches and surpasses any game to date. The sound is comparable to a high budget war movie and although music is scarce throughout a lot of areas the iPOD and bgm that one will hear throughout the game are memorable and match the setting very well. The audio tracks start to pick up in quality towards the end of the game as things get more intense and emotional.

The controls themselves are improved drastically as they are made to more resemble a fps genre game by having the top buttons as aim and fire. The item select and weapon select are still the same, as is jumping and answering the codec, but the change of the action button I feel makes the game a lot more easy to control and gives you the option to play the game as a stealth game and a action game. The only problems I encountered was the difficulty of sticking and unsticking to weapons and walls, but with some training that can be mastered. It would have been nice to have a blind fire method like in GTA IV and other fps, but this game is suppose to be stealth and randomly firing and making noise is a no-no. The free camera mode is also an improvement on the older games, before they were released with a free camera mode which allows you to easily look around from character level rather than a angled top down view.

Metal Gear Solid IV is definitely a game worth replaying, at the cost of skipping a few cut scenes, which unfortunately sometimes does get in the way of an exciting battle. While I was playing, I felt that I really wanted to do that awesome battle again or have a rematch with a few bosses and/or try a different technique. The game despite it being longer than several movies combined, is quite short as one can complete it in less than 20 hours and easily less than 10 without the cut scenes. However, Metal Gear Online is a big bonus that I did not expect (well I should have since it was announced earlier) it would come packaged together. This extra game gives the final chapter to Metal Gear Solid an even greater replay value, and although there are some flaws, it is very entertaining. Overall, Metal Gear Solid IV is a must for fans of the series and something every gamer should check out (although it is preferable they have played at least one previous game) if not for the deep story, then for the incredible visual and audio.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/25/08

Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (Limited Edition) (US, 06/12/08)

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