Review by Zylo the wolf
"Please don't give us a MGS5, this is the perfect ending for the series!"
Konami is one of those few game companies that almost never gives us a bad sequel to a good game. Unlike others that are fast to get even more cash from a popular series, Konami usually gives the game developers the time they need to make the sequel just as good if not even better than the previous game. Sure it has happen sometimes that they released crap but a Konami game is usually one game that you want to play.
The Metal Gear series started all the way back on the almost today unknown home computer MSX2 in 1987 and is considered to be the first "stealth" game where the point is more to avoid enemies than to kill as many as possible. The game later got remade for the more popular Nes, but even if the game had some fans most agree that the Nes version butchered the original in many ways, but that's another story. Both the MSX2 and Nes got a sequel, which are two different games, but only the MSX2 game Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is considered to be canon.
The series was the forgotten for about 9 years, until the popular Metal Gear Solid game got released for the Sony Playstation, and with that game the Metal Gear series was all of a sudden one of the most important series for Sony to keep exclusive for their systems. Three years later, Metal Gear Solid 2 was released on the Sony Playstation 2 and this game was also considered to be one of the best on that system. In 2004 Metal Gear Solid 3 was released on the same system, but this time it was a prequel to the whole series, which didn't solve many of the riddles that the ending of MGS2 brought up and instead you played as the main villain for the first two Metal Gear games. The game also got a sequel on the PSP which is considered to be canon.
The moment Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was announced, Hideo Kojima (The mastermind who created the whole series) explained that this game was supposed to end every riddle from the previous games and once and for all end the series all together. I think now is a good time to mention that Metal Gear Solid 4 almost requires you to have played through Metal Gear Solid 1, 2 and 3 if you want to understand the plot.
One thing that fans like is that in this game you finally get to place as Solid Snake in the whole game. After the first Metal Gear Solid we haven't been able to play so much as him. The main character in MGS2 was Raiden, and we played as a guy named Naked Snake in MGS3, but this time it's just Solid Snake. Except for one thing, he's no longer called Solid Snake, instead the game calls him Old Snake. Snake now looks like he's 40 years older than what he was in MGS2, but to explain why would spoiler the previous games.
Snake might be old, but that doesn't mean that he can rest just yet. Nanomachines that allowed soldiers to become the ultimate warrior has now become something that every soldier use, and the whole world is a big battlefield. The game starts in Middle Eastern, and Snake is just one of a group of soldiers it seems. But Snake got a mission of his own, to stop Liquid's plan to take over the whole world. The game starts in the middle eastern, but you will be in other places all around the world in this game.
In the previous games you have either been in big hangars, buildings or into the really wild jungles. It has always been big bases where you sneak around in. However Metal Gear Solid 4 changes all of this, for the first time in a game Snake has to survive in a big battlefield in a middle of a city, where it's just as important to find different paths to get to your destination as it is to not get spotted by the enemy. If you see two side of armies shooting at each other, then maybe it's smarter to try to find another way than to kill everyone with your gun.
Speaking of guns, you have always only been able to have one kind of each weapon in the Metal Gear Solid series, but now there are a lot of different weapons to choose from. Not only can you pick up the weapons that the enemies used but you can also buy even more. After a little playing you will meet this gun dealer named Dreblin, and after that you can call him at anytime to buy more weapons, grenades or ammo, which means that you won't have any trouble to run out of ammo in this game.
One thing that I really love in this game is how easy it's move and such things. You press X to duck and you can also walk when you do this, but of course you don't walk as fast as when you are standing up. You can also as always crawl. The way you aim your weapon is the best thing about the control. In order to shoot you press L1 and then Snake will aim with his weapon, then if you want to you can press the triangle button to change the view into first person, which makes it even easier to aim. Maybe this doesn't sound to impressive, but you can also walk while you are aiming, which I think makes this even more fun to play than the previous games when you are using your weapons.
One thing that the series get many complaints about is that you spend a third of the game to watch different cut-scenes and some of them are over 30 minutes long. I'm usually one of the guys that says that games are supposed to be played and not watched, but first of all I think that Konami have done a wonderful job to tie the different plots from the games together, and second of all it's possible to skip the cut-scenes if you only want to play through the game as quick as possible.
The only thing I have to say that's bad with Metal Gear Solid 4 is that it almost as must to play through the previous Metal Gear Solid games in order to understand the story at all. You can download the Metal Gear Data Base on the PSN to read everything that has happened in the previous games, but how many actually have time to read text for 4 hours before they can fully enjoy the game they just bought?
Still I don't hesitate to give Metal Gear Solid 4 it's well deserved 10, because it really ties everything together. Everything makes sense. The only thing that worries me is that we might actually get a sequel to this, which wouldn't make sense at all because Metal Gear Solid 4 is the end to everything, and it's a perfect ending. Nothing remains untouched. Any Metal Gear Solid fan owns themselves to play this game.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 05/11/09
Game Release: Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (EU, 06/12/08)
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