I told my self at the beginning of the year that I wanted to make a bigger dent into my back catalog of games and a I’ve found that a good way for me to accomplish that is to set hard deadlines for finishing games, and I started with the Metal Gear Solid series. I am happy to say that I met the deadline of the release of the new game so it seems that this might be an effective strategy in getting through the hundred some odd games I own that I have not played. I already posted my thoughts on the first couple games I played but I have since finished MGS4 and Peace Walker.
As expected Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots is probably my favorite game of the series but only because it is the most modern of the bunch. MGS4 was different to me than the rest in that I didn’t play stealthy at all. The game introduces a points system to buy better guns and upgrade parts which makes the game more open but it also made me actively want to kill enemies to get their weapons easier to make more points. I might have just been tired of stealth having played the first 2 games almost completely stealthy but in any case I’m glad the game made each option a completely viable way to play..
The game is structured the same as the previous games but the areas are much larger and there seems to be multiple ways to get though most of them. There was always the run straight down the middle and murder every thing in your way option but then if you looked a little harder there was almost always a way to get around everyone without them even knowing you were there. These options and extremely better controls made the game much more enjoyable to actually play. The older games weren't bad by any means they weren't as fluid. Watching footage of Rising: Revengeance seems like the it is taking a step forward in that sense.
While watching the cut scene in 4 where Jack is introduced and destroys all of those gekko’s saving snake, Knowing that the next game was gonna be filled with more of that cut scene I got pretty excited. Not only did 4 play better than the rest it also had a ridiculously crazy story with set piece moments and tons of call backs to the older games, it also filled in most of the plot that the other games left open. One could argue that Kojima wrapped everything up too neatly but that didn't bother me that much. The game even though it is 5 years old which is almost old enough to be considered classic with how fast things move nowadays is still great and doesn't show its age where I could tell that 2 and 3 were from another generation.
Having said that Guns of the Patriots is my favorite of the series the one that surprised me the most was Peace Walker. With it being originally on a portable system there was some key changes to the structure that I really enjoyed. Its not linear like the rest there is a hub menu and each mission can be replayed as much as possible, in fact it is encouraged to play things over again because the meta game around the game itself centers on recruiting soldiers to work for you and the stronger your soldiers are the more weapons you can research and better missions you can send the soldiers on. If you know the main points of the series you know that Big Boss was a part of the PMC revolution that plagues the world of Metal Gear now and this game has you creating his PMC from the ground up.
Overall I liked Peace Walker better than MGS3 as a prequel because I felt liked it fit more into the story than 3 did while I was playing it. When I played 3 I thought it didn't connect to the rest of the series very much they were connected later on but I like that I immediately understood the connections Peace Walker was making to its predecessor in 3 and the games it was also a prequel to in the games taking place in “modern day”.
The story is significantly less fantastical than the rest of the series. I mean there is high tech mecs that were definitely not possible in the 70’s but there wasn't a guy who was immortal or a guy who was filled with electricity. Along with the main story there is a whole lot of side missions to do that give the game serious depth. I haven’t even come close to finishing the side missions and there is more variety and some more of that not completely based in reality stuff in those side missions that I have yet to get to. I intend to go back to peace walker at some point because of the side things I wasn't able to get to. In order to recruit more soldiers I found this game easier to play stealthy the game controlled fine on the PS3 adding the second analog stick although I don’t think I’d like it at all without it.
All in all I really enjoyed the series and all the hype it has gotten is definitely warranted and if you haven't played any of the series yet the games hold up fairly well and are all still worth playing. My next deadline is the God of War: Ascension release. I just played God of War last weekend and I want to go through the other 4 games before mid march which should be fun.
P.S. You might notice a trend because my next series to get through after God of War is Uncharted although I’ll probably try to finish that before The Last of Us just for continuity sake although if I am going to be that way about it I never did play Jak 2 or 3 hmm...