Oli Welsh of Eurogamer gives his First impressions of MGS 4. He played a demo consisting of a honeycomb maze of shattered, bombed-out building shells, and their route through takes him sneaking all around its outskirts, looping and circling and doubling back, before finally heading out into the street for a confrontation with an enemy tank.
In terms of features and controls at least, Guns of the Patriots feels more like traditional MGS than Snake Eater or Portable Ops did. Uninterrupted by the heavy menu usage and elaborate gameplay systems of both those games, it's a tense, exacting, crisp and relatively fast-paced stealth thriller, with a stop-start rhythm that harks all the way back to 1998.
The series' traditional bird's-eye view of the action has been replaced with a more contemporary free-look third-person camera. This actually first appeared in the Subsistence version of MGS3, but this is the first time a Metal Gear game has been designed around it, and it shows. The environments are more open but also more complex, detailed and multi-layered.
One thing you needn't worry about: Guns of the Patriots looks stunning. There are far more expansive, varied and showy game environments out there, it's true - the setting is almost drab in its realism - but the characters and their costumes are rendered and animated with an exquisite eye for detail, understated style and perfect, disbelief-suspending finish. Old Snake has the smouldering, craggy dignity of a Connery or Redford, and he's not even real. Metal Gear Solid has always been one of the sexiest game series, and Guns of the Patriots is just dripping with spy-fetish cool.
There's no doubt that it will be a dream come true to MGS fans, and based on Eurogamer demo, it's quite likely to be their favourite since the first.