MGS4 is this generation's most important game
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Metal Gear Solid. A series often associated with words like: amazing cutscenes, cinematic story, and revolutionary gameplay. Metal Gear Solid 4 is no exception to the series and delivers on all fronts. The hours of cinematics are enthralling and touching, Snake and Otacons journey is full of emotional happenings and is sure to keep anyone hooked. The gameplay is of course, exceptional and often times had my mouth hanging open in surprise to the brilliant sequences of action doled out through each act of the game. Also, the sheer amount of weaponry in the game is mind boggling and intimidating at first. It’s quite uncommon for a Third Person action game to have this many weapons to choose from, and not to mention customize. Adding scopes, laser sights and grips is an awesome addition to this game and makes you feel like you share Snakes fascination and intimacy with guns. Another nod to this games excellent production is the out of this world voice acting, especially David Hayter’s performance of Snake. Every character was right and felt real, which really pulled me into the emotional aspect of each characters journey in the game. All of the included characters from the series like Meryl, Ocelot, Naomi and Sunny were fantastic.
Before I get into the criticisms of this game I have to mention again the cutscenes. The experience Hideo Kojima has created is a one of a kind experience, and the reason I say that is because some people have said “I don’t want to watch cinematics I just want to play the game”. I agree in one respect that maybe some of the scenes could have been interactive, but Metal Gear Solid 4 and its predecessors are the only games that offer this much cinematic material that you have to watch (which I loved by the way) If you want to just play a game and not watch too many cinematics (I actually wanted more by the end) then I suggest that you go and play any other game out there (except RPG’s). There are hundreds of shooters out there that lack story and have minimal cutscenes, so I think it’s okay that 1 out of those hundreds of shooters actually brings us an over the top, awesome, lengthy (that’s a good thing, I paid for a long game) experience.
Now that’s off my chest, let us get to the shortcomings of this game. First let me say that these shortcomings don’t amount to anything too serious but do keep the game from being a true masterpiece in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. 1) The Acts were inconsistent gameplay wise, and the last two acts felt rushed. Act 1 and 2 implemented the two factions and how you could help either one or the other but i don’t think the game was long enough for that to be implemented well enough, you can only help the rebels so much before the game switches gears to Act 3. And Act 4 could probably be beaten without the use of a gun at all. 2) The Beauty and the Beast Unit were amazing fights for sure (Sniper Wolf beast was perfect) but compared to the other bosses in the series like the Cobra Unit or MGS1’s Foxhound, these seem too disconnected from the realistic storyline as if Snake was having delusions a grandeur, and they didn’t have those amusing James Bond villain-esque quirks which made those boss fights especially memorable. And 3) This may seem odd to some but I thought the Old Snake idea came way too early in the series. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved the story and idea that you are playing as a vulnerable man on the brink of suicide, but it presents a problem for the series for me. Seeing as there has only been 1 3D game in which Solid Snake was playable the whole way through (MGS1) it seemed strange that all of a sudden we play him as an old man. MGS2 was Raiden, MGS3 was Big Boss and not very many fans have played Metal Gear or Metal Gear 2. I just don’t see how Solid Snake is a tired idea at this point when most fans have barely even played as him. I do however see Mr. Kojimas rationale, seeing as he’s been involved in all the games so far but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have handed the younger Solid Snake down to someone else.
Pros: Excellent voice acting – Superb gameplay – Movie like cinematics (3 movies worth!) – around 70 weapons to choose from
Cons: Questionable pacing – Old Snake is cool but too soon for the series – final Acts are too easy and too short.