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Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

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Metal Gear Solid has been one of the most popular franchises throughout gaming history and with the release of Guns Of The Patriots many Playstation 3 owners are hoping this is the exclusive title to finally put their console firmly on the map. Has creator Hideo Kojima succeeded?

Before i continue, due to restrictions from Konami there will be certain aspects of the game I can’t discuss, however as many of these are game spoilers I wouldn’t have approached them anyway, I never do. But being a regular Gaming Heaven reader, you already know this, right?

Unusually for a MGS game, it initially sets a slow pace after the impressive  opening cinematic. Once again we are treated to the awesome voice of David Hayter as Solid Snake and the first time I heard it, I had chills up my spin, ah the memories!

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Graphically, the game is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous Playstation 2 versions with detailed textures and a feeling that the game is firmly footed in the present, rather than the past.

Cleverly, the storyline recaps right from the start of the series, so it does a good job of catering for people new to the series, with information on the Patriots, Solid Snake, his brothers and all the characters and groups. The telling of the story is epic and one of the best I can remember, it is dramatic, entertaining and will have you on the end of your seat throughout. For those of you waiting for this game and hoping it will live up to past endeavours, worry no more, because the cut scenes are almost in a class of their own. The fact you can manually skip them is almost criminal.

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At the core of MGS was always the stealth aspects and reassuringly these have been tweaked and polished, bringing it to the next level. There is a new improved control system as well as new equipment and the power of the PS3 certainly helps to enhance the combat system. Of special note is the new “OctoCamo” camouflage system which kills the annoying need to mess around in menus. Additionally the Solid Eye has options for thermal goggles, night vision and binoculars which also is a refinement on prior development.
You can survey the battlefield  with Otacon’s new Metal Gear Mk II and salvage with the new Dreben Points System which lets you trade for ammo, items and new weapons. One of my favourite new game mechanics is the Stealth Ring System which lets you keep track of enemies. I really don’t want to detail these as part of the joy of experiencing Metal Gear Solid 4 is to find your own feet … trust me there are many “wow” moments when you start playing.

Unlike previous titles in the series, this time around there is a certain scope for playing the game in a more gung ho action oriented way. You can now toggle to a first person view mode and play like a conventional FPS as well as gaining enhanced weapons from the previously mentioned Dreben Points system, previous weapons can be upgraded also via this system. Would you like to bolt on a grenade launcher? Then the new system caters for this. The game is exciting to play and will get your heart pumping … Solid Snake finds these equally exciting and part of your job is to monitor his stress gauge – if he is stressed out, then he heals slower and his actions will be less assured. I am not sure all fans of the series will love this new facet, but in operation is does work very well.

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V4 is just as fantastically designed as before and the variety is broad in scope and will ensure no boredom over extended periods of play. This is actually one of the games strongest points, the sheer variety of level design and tasks you have to perform to progress. If you combine this diversity with the wonderfully creative boss design then we have a winning formula for fans of the series as well as new players, bored with the same old same old.

Kojima’s personality is apparent throughout with moments of genius we have grown accustomed to in prior MGS games. I would love to detail certain things I noticed, but that would ruin my spoiler free review of one of this years greatest games. One thing I will say, is that if you pay close attention to the cut scenes, you will see Solid Snake actually getting older as the game progresses. This attention to detail is prevalent throughout. The cut scenes tie everything together and account for around 40% of the total game time, that is how engrained they are into the whole experience.

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Much has been said about Kojima in the past with doubters claiming his vision is over the top, too pompous and pretentious, however I argue that surely this is a positive aspect in creating a fun gaming experience! The stylish and witty twists within many levels just add to the whole epic feeling of the game, especially when many modern day and relevant themes are tackled, such as global warming. Clearly he has a tongue in cheek sense of humour, and those of you who remember Meryl from the original MGS and her continued undressing will be pleased to hear that the same sense of silly sexiness carries on into this game (with much higher quality graphics of course).

The game is in fact a masterpiece of modern day overblown story telling and is sure to appeal to the millions of MGS fans patiently waiting for the current version to hit the high definition Sony console.

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Metal Gear Solid 4 is finally the game to sell the Playstation 3 console, it is exclusive, dramatic and looks absolutely gorgeous. It is an uplifting experience and is totally polished and more importantly, engrossing and fun, one of the few masterpieces of 2008 and surely a good contender for game of the year. Make no mistake, if you are already a fan of the series, this is going to sate your appetite and then some. If you don’t already have a Playstation 3 then this is a good time to make an investment. Just kiss goodbye to several months of your life.

A modern day masterpiece with some wonderful class leading game mechanics.
As good as I have seen on the Playstation 3, and sure to halt the bitching of Xbox 360 owners.
Incredible ambient sounds in surround and you can choose your own songs.
A lot of replay ability and the cut scenes are worthy of a rendered movie. You can unlock a lot of exotic weapons and items.
(Not an Average)
One of the greatest games I have ever played, right up there with Grand Theft Auto 4.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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