Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Review
I never beat games this fast, I usually never even beat games to begin with. The Metal Gear series has always been a different beast to me however. Ever since I played Metal Gear Solid back in the day I was hooked on the story of Solid Snake. When MGS4 came out I wanted nothing more than to beat it as fast as I could just so I could know the story, and have some sort of closure to this adventure I've been playing since 1998. That's just what I did, I bought the game when it came out on Thursday, after sinking 21 hours into it and having a Metal Gear fueled weekend, I'm done. The Metal Gear series has always been one of my favorites in video games, from the gameplay and stealth mechanics, to the characters and story, these are the games that rank at the top of my list.
Even though I love this series, I can't help but feel that during most of the game I'm tasked with running through tight corridors trying to disarm bombs, change key card colors, or locate certain weapons. With the exception of MGS3 most of the games have taken on this style. While it may be rewarding in the end, I sometimes got frustrated with back tracking, or being in the same type of environment over and over again. MGS4 changes this drastically. You start out in the middle east in the center of a conflict between privatized military groups and the local forces. The main difference about MGS4 that sets it apart from the other games in the series is that you are not the enemy. There is a battle going on around you, but neither side concerns you. You have a specific goal in mind and it is entirely up to you if you want to get involved in the fight. There is a perceived enemy (the PMC's) but you do not have to fight them. However, if you chose to fight them, the local rebels will notice you and come to your aide, helping you progress through each area more efficiently. There are four other areas that this story will take you to, I won't get into any details but let's just say that by the fourth act (out of five, plus an epilogue, and debriefing), I knew this game was masterpiece.
This game brought back so much nostalgia for me, seeing these characters interact again, and being back in the story that I started ten years ago really felt amazing. I don't want to give anything away but you really get a sense of closure at the end of this game. As much as everyone touts the Metal Gear series for having one of the most convoluted stories out there, this game really does a fantastic job of tying everything together and making you understand almost every aspect of the story line with ease. Unlike the previous games, I don't have any questions after finishing the game, Kojima (the creator) really explained every question and detail that he created in this world.
Metal Gear Solid 4 also sets itself apart from the other games in the series by allowing you to take a more action oriented approach to each mission. You start out with a ton of weapons and can upgrade or purchase more at any time once you meet a certain character named Drebin and his little pet monkey. This adds a lot to the game allowing you to shoot your way through if you'd like to. I found myself sneaking around, taking out people silently if they were in my way, but if got caught I would take out my shotgun and start blasting people. Kojima may be the father of stealth games, but the action and shooting in this game are phenomenal. I would go about some parts almost begging to get caught (which sure enough would happen as I'm not that good) and would have tons of fun using all of the weapons and explosives in my arsenal. No longer is the series tied to the stealth genre, it can run and gun with the best of the action games.
I'm almost at a loss for words. There is so much that I want to talk about, but I do not want to give anything away. There are tons of twists and throw backs to earlier games, plenty of nostalgia to go around. The environments and characters that you meet up with are fantastic and all do a great job of flushing out the story. I don't have to say it, but the graphics look amazing as well, as other reviewers have stated Kojima is really pushing every pixel on the PS3. I think it'll be hard finding a better looking game for a really long time.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots: 5/5
This series is legendary, and this game is a masterpiece. It feels weird to finally have closure to a series I've been playing for ten years. I have no more questions, I have all of the information I wanted, yet I still want to walk around as Solid Snake for just a little longer. He is one of the few video game characters that felt truly human and this game shows it more than ever. Kojima has stated that this is not the end of the Metal Gear series, just the end of the Solid Snake chapter. I'm not sure if there can be a metal gear game with out a snake character. I have no doubt's in Kojima, I'm just not sure if anything else can live up to Solid Snake's legacy.