Joh Zeitler reports:
'' Since 1998's revival of the series, the title "Metal Gear" has been synonymous with three things: stealth, story, and confusion. Stretching even further back to its MSX debut, Metal Gear's tale of conspiracy, science fiction, and espionage action has only become more convoluted and all-encompassing in the intervening ten years. With the release of the fourth chapter, the curtain closes on the hero close to many gamers' hearts, but the culmination of over twenty years of gaming history and fifty years of real-life history brings with it a bittersweet victory.
The game opens five years after the end of the Big Shell incident, as portrayed in Metal Gear Solid 2. Snake - rapidly aging for an initially unrevealed reason - continues his fight to end the horrific proliferation of the Metal Gear mobile weaponry platform. The battlefield, he muses, has changed: standing armies are now the exception in combat, rather than the primary actors. The majority of modern warfare by the game's alternate-future 2014 is done by private military contractors (PMCs), mercenary corporations fighting proxy wars for the highest bidder. The five most highly decorated of these PMCs are covertly under the control of a single backer, named Outer Heaven-- the same organization that Big Boss' heir apparent "Liquid Ocelot", would use to attempt (seeming) global domination. What's worse, non-nuclear, autonomous versions of the Metal Gear-- named GEKKO-- roam the battlefields with impunity. With time running out for the world and himself, Snake's final mission takes him from the war zones to the streets, and from the past to the future. ''