Review by D-Camo

Reviewed: 07/12/08

Awe Inspiring. Ecstatic. Orgasmic. Beatiful. Hardcore. Astounding. All In One.

After the first trailer for this game was released way back in 2005, fans and casual gamers were drawn in by the crisp visual and audio quality in the trailer. Even though the trailer was a rough presentation of what would lead to the multiplatinum selling game that surfaced in June, it became a hot topic, especially on video game forums.

As this game is a PlayStation 3 exclusive game, gamers had to get themselves a PS3 to be able to play this godsend game, including myself, which burned a hole through my pocket or in other words, gave me first degree burns.

Metal Gear Solid 4 lives up to the hype it generated within the last 3 years. Every aspect of this game has been developed from top to bottom by those that brought us the entire Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid franchise.

The Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid franchise have revolved around the central character of the series, Solid Snake, an exception would be Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Solid Snake faces off against Metal Gear variants in all of the MG and MGS series. Metal Gears a way huge robots that are equipped with nuclear warheads. Solid Snake being a veteran of war and former member of a special units division, is often sent in solo by the government and later on by himself to take out the Metal Gears and its occupants.

In Metal Gear Solid 4 however, players are given control of an old and disillusioned Snake, now given the codename Old Snake. A point to note, Snake is not in fact old. He is suffering from accelerated aging, a side effect due to him being a clone of his father. In the last MGS game according to the timeline, MGS2 (MGS3 is a prequel to all the games and the main character being Big Boss, Snake’s father) which takes place 5 years before MGS4, Snake is only in his 30’s, but he appears in MGS4 to be well over 60.

Metal Gear Solid 4 sees Snake chasing his twin brother, Liquid, all over the world in order to kill Liquid, as he is a deemed a threat to the US Government. Followers of the series will see familiar and new faces as they make their way to the final confrontation between Snake and Liquid.

Hideo Kojima, the director of all past MG and MGS games, set a high standard amongst individuals within the video game developing community with this game.

Let’s get to the mechanics of the game. Metal Gear Solid 4 is created on a Dual Layer Blu-Ray Disc, and this is done because Kojima wanted a visually astounding game. I’m happy to say that it worked, and not only that, Kojima managed to squeeze every pixel and fully utilise the Cell Processor of the PS3. The graphical quality is so vivid and crisp that you are able to see small details on the faces of character within the game, such as syringe marks, wounds, cuts, and even during certain cutscenes, we can see the sweat drying up from, Old Snake, the main character’s face. Whenever an explosion occurs, if Snake is within the immediate vicinity, we can see the screen literally getting covered in dust and smoke. It even slowly slides off the screen.

The audio quality has also been refined so that now we have a more crisp sound generated with every action. Whenever Snake crawls, crouch walks or even walks upright, there is a different sound emanated from it. If players listen closely when they fire a weapon, there is a different sound produced for every weapon in the game. Even when each rounds fired by different guns and the type of bullets fall to the ground, the sound generated is different.

The cutscenes have gone through a major change as the game engine now utilises the Cell Processor. Character models have been refined and characters which have never had a feature breakthrough in the previous games have surfaced with better appearances, such as Naomi Hunter, Mei Ling and a few others. The voice acting is superb as each voice actor’s voice connects and is interpreted perfectly by the facial expressions of the in-game characters. There have been complaints that the cutscenes to gameplay ratio is 3:1.

Players can control Snake in three different camera modes; Third-Person, Over-the-Shoulder and First-Person view. Utilising all three camera modes will help players in traversing through the games various scenarios. Veterans of MGS games know that there are two ways to play a MGS, either by sneaking throughout game without being detected by enemy soldier or running and gunning their way throughout the game, setting off every alarm and bell along the way. MGS4 have refined the gameplay situations as well. Each area has been increased tenfold and gives various routes to take to satisfy gamer’s needs. MGS games have also been popular with the unique way player face off against the various bosses from each game, MGS4 being no different. From dodging grenades to hiding from an enemy and sniping them, MGS4 holds a wide array of ingenious boss battles.

New features to the game are the OctoCamo and weapons customization mode. Replacing the traditional camouflage system that was extensively used in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Snake is now equipped with a muscle suit which incorporates the OctoCamo technology which is based on the mimicry technique of an octopus. To break it down, the OctoCamo gives Snake the ability to camouflage himself instantly into his surrounding. If Snake goes prone or even hugs a wall for a mere second, his suit changes colour and texture to mimic whatever surface he is against, fooling both the naked eye and infrared sensors. The weapon customization feature is to help player create even more efficient and battle oriented weapons to suit their need on the battlefield, and this feature become available at an early stage in the game.

Also incorporated with the MGS4 games that players have, is Metal Gear Online. This game is a refined version of the game that was previously released with MGS3: Subsistence. MGO allows player with a PlayStation Network account to engage with other player around the world for a slice of tactical shooter games. A stand alone version of MGO will be also be released.

Metal Gear Solid 4 has seen an extremely high number of sales since its release date. In the first four days of sale in Japan, MGS4 sold 476,334 copies in Japan itself. As of June 26, 2008, MGS4 has shipped 3 million copies worldwide. Not only that, as MGS4 is a PS3 exclusive game, MGS4 helped increase the sale of PS3’s, by 77,208 units in MGS4’s debut week.

All in all, MGS4 is a truly satisfying game that is definitely worth buying a PlayStation 3 for. Even though this is obviously not the last game by Hideo Kojima, whom has said he would not direct the next game, but would rather oversee and supervise its development, veterans will be waiting for the next Metal Gear game to hit their shores, I know I am.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Product Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (Welcome Box Clear Black) (JP, 06/12/08)

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