Review by TheLastAvatar05

"An Excellent MGS game that wraps up the series ."

Metal Gear Solid 4 had been one of the most anticipated games when the PS3 was released. It was to bring closure of the entire saga and wrap up any loose questions that fans might have had since the beginning. Despite some flaws, this is perhaps one of the best Metal Gear Solid games ever to come out that I have played.

Gameplay (9/10): For whatever reason, the entire game is divided into, "Acts" that moves you around from one location to another in location. The problem with this is that each act feels extremely short and it follows basically the same premise of what you have to do. Head to this destination undetected. Battle a few enemy PMC soldiers. Watch a few cut scenes. Head to another location. Watch another cut scene. Battle a boss and than save. End of Act. This type of premise for gameplay feels extremely limited and linear compared to previous Metal Gear Solid games, namely, Snake Eater. The unique thing about Snake Eater was it's overall setting and that it didn't have to move around in different locations around the world to tell it's story. Guns of The Patriots forces you to move around in different locations with very limited time to actually enjoy each one, while trying to complete a similar repetitive gameplay feature in all Five Acts. For whatever reason, Old Snake feels more like a tank when you first start out in the game. The controls of movement seem sluggish due to the constant "Rumble Vibration " that the game implements due to the PS3 controller not having a rumble feature at all. However, the aiming for each weapon is nicely revamped in which you can hold the L2 to ready the weapon and use the R1 to aim freely. There is also a feature that allows you to view most of the game as a "First Person Shooter", which, contradicts everything that the Metal Gear Solid series has been about. Konami has decided to still use the "fixed" camera angle while moving Snake around in his environment. I could only wonder why he didn't have a option to allow "free movement of the camera" that was found in Snake Eater: Subsistence.

Watching enemies battle each other on the street is a refreshing sight in which Old Snake can take part of with certain benefits. Killing the local PMC's within each region can allow the Rebel's to view you as a friend and even allow you to help them out during a fight. In a sense, they can mop up any of the usual PMC's that are littered around instead of yourself. However, killing Rebels and PMc's will cause both to attack you on sight because they view you as an enemy, which, makes your current mission more difficult. The ability to customize weapons is a nice touch though when you obtain the same type, you can sell them for points that are used to buy additional weapon parts or ammo. Point accumulation is also determined of how well you do within each act. For example, not being spotted by the enemy or using and recovery items. However, points can be rather easy to gather if your an experienced player and know how to beat the entire game without any alerts or injuries on the hardest difficulty level. My favorite feature within Guns of The Patriots is the "OctoCamo:. Unlike the repetitive idea of changing and swapping costumes to help blend into the environment like in Snake Eater, the OctoCamo does all of this by default. If you move Old Snake near a building for a seconds, the OctoCamo automatically blends with it allowing your camo to raise and avoid being spotted by the enemy. This makes it easy to hide from the enemy when needed in seconds compared to Snake Eater's camo feature. Due to Snake's old age, they decided to add a new interesting feature other than just his stamina and health features. The Psyche bar can affect Snake in how he handles his weapons during a battle as well as doing other type of abilities or movement, due to Stress. The higher the amount of stress, (Usually due to constant alerts, being in the sun too long, back pains, ect), causes the Psyche to go up. Snake can relive this by looking at some arousing Playboy magazines, avoid being in alert modes, or resting in the shade. Old Snake's CQQ returns with a few new tricks to help the aging Snake. For example, you could now lob grenades with an overhead throw while laying on your back. Also, you can fire while laying on your back as well as "Search" for items on an enemy during a hold up. Finally, the action button allows you to perform various "actions' depending on the situation. Example being that you could climb ladders, hide in dumpsters, shimmer across ledges or walls, or perform a special move on a boss, which, is pretty cool. I felt that the features was an impressive leap from the previous titles (including Snake Eater), though my dislike was the "Act" separations that cut the game into pieces with some limited ability to enjoy each one.

Story (8/10): Generally, Guns of The Patriots follows the same premise of the previous titles with certain additions. Old Snake is taken out of retirement to complete one final mission to end Liquid Ocelot's massive insurrection while battling various old enemies (such as the Beauty and The Beast Corp) and meeting up on old allies in a world torn era of constant war. Without spoiling the entire storyline, I'll keep this short. Each Act feels somewhat mushed into a very complex and confusing story that would leave even the most experienced veterans scratching their heads. I could only advise you to refresh your Metal Gear Solid series knowledge by playing the entire series over before playing Guns of The Patriots. The cut scenes within each Act are nicely delivered though somewhat long to actually watch. It feels like you're watching a movie than playing a game, though, you can actually skip each scene by choice. My displeasure of the storyline was mostly the final climax and who the Patriots really were. It just felt that Konami finally ran out of ideas and decided to use other characters that barely had any development as the main antagonists. It is interesting to note that, David Hayter, was actually unhappy of how Guns of The Patriots ended with it's epilogue than anything else. Regardless, there were a few interesting points within the story that made it enjoyable. Seeing familiar faces updated in this game brought more than a single smile on my face. Overall, the storyline was decent though could have been a lot better in the development department.

Graphics (10/10): Guns of The Patriots has a high level of detail compared to the standards of Snake Eater, which, is saying a lot considering how Snake Eater was perhaps one of the most graphically detailed games on the PS2. Guns of The Patriots pushes the PS3 to it's limits with gorgeous areas of environment. Buildings seems to shimmer and shine due to the constant weather changes that was also found in Snake Eater. Bullets eject realistically and slam into enemy flesh and skin when Old Snake fires his weapons on the battlefield. It's amazing to see how realistic an enemy solider falls to the ground when you shoot them in the head with a gush of blood to add effect. The sense of constant battles with bullets whizzing around you within a war zone is amazing to stop and look around for one brief second. Moving in various weather conditions allows literally jaw dropping detail. For example, in a snow environment, rotating the camera 360 degrees around Snake as he's laying on the ground or in a kneeling position, you could actually see EVERY single snow flake that is on him and his gear while just idling there You could see the frost and ice covering his camo and weaponry, and it absolutely gorgeous to gaze upon for just a few seconds. My only compliant is that some of the areas is difficult to view due to the lack of lighting. For example, in Act 3, the entire area is pitch black, forcing you to seriously squint your eyes while viewing anything near you. Otherwise, everything looks top notch.

Sound (9/10): Everything from hearing enemy soldiers engaged in battle against the rebels, or when you fire off your trusty weapon from afar, is extremely pleasant to hear. Guns sound like their realistic counterpart in real life. Bullets slam into the pavement or into buildings when they're fired from a gun. Snake grunts and groans when he takes hits from the enemy. Everything sounds extremely realistic including the nice structure of the cut scenes that are included within the game. The voice actors and actresses within this game is extremely enjoyable to listen to. Some of them add a sense of humorous lines that doesn't really ruin the scene. My only issue is that some of the enemies can sound generic and repetitive after hearing them for the 20th time already. For example, one of them appeared to have said, "Cover me", twice even after I did and took out the enemies that were visually infront of us. It took a few seconds before he finally said, "Thanks, I owe you one", which, seemed a bit late on delivery. Guns of The Patriots has an excellent use of sound within a game for the PS3 and it should definitely be praised.

Replay Value (8/10): There is an Online feature that allows you to fight against everyone else as either rebel or enemy PMC soldiers along with usage of the main characters. I haven't really tapped into the online mode much though it has spawned off another spin off title that takes place entirely online with up to 16 players at once. Completing the game once allows you to actually carry anything collected (Weapons, Outfits, and Ammo), onto another round with any difficultly choice at your leisure. Additional weapons can be unlocked along with various emblem titles depending on the condition that is required to complete them. (Not dying, killing a certain amount of enemies, remaining stealthy in the entire game, hold ups, ects). You can also download new cameos for the OctoCamo or song for your IPod to listen ingame. The replay value is somewhat high compared to the standards of previous titles, perhaps, due to the online mode.

Closing Comments: Guns of The Patriots is not a perfect game that I would have expected. It has it's flaws though so does any other game in today's era. If they expanded the acts to make the game longer with a better executed storyline, this would have been an easy 10/10. But it falls a bit short of that and not of the scale of Snake Eater's solid story line and execution. Guns of The Patriots is a game that everyone needs to play if their a fan of the series. New comers might have a kick out of it due to the ability to either blast your way through with loads of guns though the storyline might cause them to become entirely confused and lost midway. Overall, it's an excellent game that the fans will enjoy enormously, I felt that it lived up to my expectations in a lot of ways with a few minor tiny issues at hand.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 11/05/08, Updated 12/23/08

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

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