An amazing achievement. One of the best games ever made.
Amazing graphics and sound
New and innovative gameplay
One of the best stories ever created in video games
Unique boss fights
LONG cutscenes (can be a good thing depending on the player)
Scattered install and load times
FaceCamo does not disappear during cutscenes
For over ten years, the Metal Gear Solid series has told a compelling story with interesting characters. Metal Gear Solid 4 concludes the events of the first three games in such a magnificent way. It's an incredible game that you won't want to end, but will be satisfied by its conclusion. Metal Gear Solid 4 is the best game released this generation, and one of the best games ever made.
The story is the best part of MGS4. Without giving too much away, Snake is dealing with rapid aging, and he has called to take down a foe. It's so much more complicated than that, being a Metal Gear game, but saying any more could possibly ruin the experience. Metal Gear Solid 4 has possibly the greatest story ever created in the video game medium.
The graphics are absolutely incredible. Even after about a year and a half, Metal Gear Solid 4 is still one of the best looking games around. The cutscenes are all rendered in real time with the game engine. It looks better than any pre-rendered cutscene that preceded the game's release, and those cutscenes transition in to gameplay seamlessly.
One of the bad things is that there are scattered install times. Before the beginning of every act, with the exception of the epilogue, there are install times. To be short, there are five of them, totaling at about twenty minutes all together. And during a long cutscene, there can be a time where it ends and a loading screen pops up. These are little nuances that don't really spoil the experience of this epic tale.
During gameplay, everything is detailed just like the cutscenes due to it all being in real time. It's a wonder that the water, the sand, the trees, everything, look so good, but on top of that, there are little details that are the big things to appreciate. For example, when Snake is near a grenade and it blows up, you see his face change in to a growl as he's on the ground. Blood, water, and even sand, can end up on the camera throughout gameplay. It's amazing.
The sound is just as incredible. The audio soundtrack feels just right with whatever is going on in either a cutscene or during gameplay. The voice acting is terrific. Every person does a great job, and the script is written well enough so the great voice actors don't sound stupid.
Great graphics and sound help make the cutscenes great, but the content of each cutscene makes them all incredible. There is an issue that might turn some people off from the game all together. The cutscenes are very long, some strung together which last up to an hour. The cutscenes, however, are interesting enough so that players aren't bored waiting for the cutscenes to end. They can be skipped, but the experience would be ruined that way.
The gameplay is now more customisable and better than ever. There are so many different things that can be done to get around. The other Metal Gear games were based mainly on sneaking, and this game is no different. Snake can crawl, squat, jump to the side, hug walls, etc. And there are other items that make the sneaking experience much easier.
First, there's the OctoCamo suit. This suit automatically blends with the environment so that Snake can sneak around without being seen. Later, an add-on called the FaceCamo will help Snake further, but the FaceCamo won't disappear during cutscnes, so Snake's facial expressions can't be seen unless you take off the FaceCamo mask prior to the cutscene. The OctoCamo can be returned to a normal color during gameplay or cutscene simply by shaking the SIXAXIS controller.
Second, the Metal Gear Mk II is a robot that can turn invisible. This robot can be used to sneak up and shock enemies so they faint. It's very effective for sneaking.
But sneaking isn't exactly the greatest way to get around. Sometimes it's better just to shoot every enemy in sight, and there are many options. Early in the game, you meet a gun launderer named Drebin. He can sell guns for a price. The currency is a point system. You get Drebin Points if you find weapons you already have and they are automatically sold to Drebin for points. You get the ammo; he gets the gun. These points can be used to buy new guns, ammo, and parts to customise the gun like a laser sight or a stock.
The enemy AI is really intelligent. Hiding in boxes, drum cans, or even lockers, won't work in this game because the AI are smart enough to check them. And you will be uncovered. It's always best, if caught, to run away and hide using the OctoCamo.
The best thing would be the boss fights. What is discouraging is that the boss fights are very long, so if you die near the end of it, you have to start all over again. The great things is that they are very unique. Just putting a few bullets in to the bosses won't do much at all. And usually there are more than just the boss to deal with. There are only five bosses in the game, but each is unique in their own special ways.
For those people who just like to run and gun and don't care to sit down and enjoy an amazing story, Metal Gear Solid 4 won't appeal to you, but if you're one of those people who enjoy an amazing story, loves long cutscenes, and love innovative gameplay and unique bosses, Metal Gear Solid 4 will be a great game for you. Metal Gear Solid 4 is still the best game released this generation and at $30 now, it's a complete steal.