Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is the latest installment to the Metal Gear Solid series. As a fan of MGS, this game was a must own. The cliffhanger left in MGS2 was the main reason I was anticipating this game. I wanted to know the answer. How will Kojima pull it off? I didn’t care for the reviews; I ignored the spoilers and kept counting the days until the game’s release. Now the game is on my hands. Did Kojima deliver with his latest game?
Let’s get this out of the way. The boxart is terrible. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put Snake’s old face on the box with in-game graphics needs to be fired on the spot. I pop in my game into the PS3 only to be greeted by an install. The install process was about less than 10 minutes. It was pretty entertaining watching Snake smoke and reading what was on the screen when the install was going on. After that, I start the game. The title screen was well done. Definitely great filled with an amazing song. Alright, after that, the game starts out with some commercials. These are pointless, and you can’t skip them.
After those dumb commercials, the game begins. You are Old Snake or Solid Snake if you like, located in the Middle East looking for the one and only, Liquid Ocelot. Your mission is to infiltrate the warzone, where the PMCs and rebels are fighting. The opening cutscene was shown were Snake, in an Altair costume, riding in a convoy filled with terrible, repetitive dialogue. Snake repeats the same thing like 3 times in that same cutscene . After that, you are able to play the game. Of course it is short since Otacon yells at you to go under the truck. It takes about less than a minute to do that. After that, another cutscene. The game feels too scripted. After the cutscene, you are able to control Snake again, but only for a minute or two. You are greeted to yet another cutscene. The Geckos, which are like bipedal Metal Gears, crash the party. With no great weapons, the only choice you have is to run away. The game takes off from there. The game is divided in five acts. Between the acts is an install. It gets annoying after a while.
What I first noticed is some changes they made from previous installments. The controls were changed, and they work really well. It is easy to use, and it’s more user-friendly. The game got a western-make over. Whether you like them or not is up to you. The gameplay is more action-oriented compared to the previous installments. Another thing was the Octocamo. This is a dumb idea and takes away the fun of stealthing. It requires no skill at all to blend to your environment opposed to Snake Eater in which you had to choose your face paint and camo. Besides that, the AI is pretty dumb. The MGS series had some great AI, but this one was lacking. They were dumb as rocks. Their vision is also terrible. I’m right in front of them, and they can’t see me. You can also take sides in the war that is going on. If you do, it makes the game very easy to stealth in. When they see you, they just ignore you. No need to fight or stealth your way. Another thing is that the game is too linear. You press start and the map tells you where to go. Pretty pointless. It takes away the fun from exploring the environment. In the past series, you need to find your way to the destination. Another addition they did with the game is drebin points. Terrible, terrible idea. The game will not force you to conserve or wisely use your ammo. You run out of ammo, no problem. Call Drebin, who offers gun laundering services, and buy some ammo for your weapons. Ran out of ammo during a boss fight? No problem. It takes away the challenge of the game.
The graphics are amazing. Definitely the best I’ve seen this generation. The character models are amazing. While it might not have amazing textures like Gears of War or something, it is still pretty amazing to watch. The environments are well built. I’ll only talk about the well-known Middle East environment since I don’t want to spoil it for the others who haven’t beaten the game. The details on stuff are amazing: falling rocks or rubbles from the ceilings, movable pots, etc. The cutscenes are amazing to watch. Some of the best I’ve seen. In some cutscenes are little flashbacks you can watch. It is a brilliant thing, and just brings a smile when you remember those past events.
The music is pretty great. Fits very well in the type of situation it is at. While it may be the weakest from the series, it will definitely make you turn up your TV volume. The sound effects are top-notch. The gun effects, the explosions, etc. are very well done. It definitely feels like you are in the warzone. The voice acting are some of the best this gen. My only complaint is Old Snake’s voice actor, David Hayter. He sounds very awful. You can barely understand what he says. All he does is mumble throughout the whole game.
The game includes many returning characters from previous installments and new characters. I won’t tell you who they are since I don’t like spoiling the game, but you’ll notice those familiar faces. The new characters are awful. Drebin has no point being there. He has no personality, and he is accompanied by a stupid monkey who likes smoking. The B&B Corps, who are the new boss groups, are a total joke. They have no personality. After you fought them, Drebin calls you and tells you their life story. Who cares? I killed them already. Do I need to feel sympathy for them? They pale in comparison to the Cobra Unit, Dead Cell and Foxhound. The boss fights are pretty good, but they feel they’ve been done before from the previous games. The final boss battle is an epic battle. It’ll bring so many memories. Also, I won’t tell you who hooks up with whom, but two familiar faces get married. It is terrible. They hurt the characters, and it is one of the worst ideas to ever emerge on the Metal Gear Solid series.
The story is terrible. I enjoyed the previous stories since it was well written and definitely made you replay the game to understand the story. Newcomers most likely won’t understand the story in MGS4. As a fan, the story didn’t hook me until the second half of the game. Either way, the solutions or answers to many unanswered questions were terrible. They were just an insult to people playing the game. I'll say this, one certain thing is pretty much the answer to everything. Once you find out what that is, you'll just feel disgusted or disappointed. The dialogue is awful. The same thing is repeated again and again. The game is too cutscene heavy, and that’s not a great thing especially since the story is terrible. The storytelling is awful. Someone should tell Kojima that there are other ways to tell a story other than 30 minute cutscenes. The drama, for the most part, is funny and pathetic. This was only one part that I almost felt like crying. The amazing plot twists were lacking. There was a huge shocker at the end that it made me cry because it was just stupid. The game also tells you what Outer Heaven is. Once I found out, I died a little inside.
The game also has online. The max number of players supported is 16. The online is region-locked which is a bummer. Quite frankly, it’s either a hate or love it thing. First of all, you have to sign up for a Konami and game ID. It’s a pretty stupid process. Why couldn’t they let us use our PSN? You can customize your characters and guns. You can only have one character. If you want more, you have to buy them at the Konami store. That’s right, there are not on the PSN store. The same thing goes for other stuff such as expansions. The game modes include team deathmatch, deathmatch, capturing, sneaking, team sneaking, base and rescue. There are a nice amount of game modes that surely you’ll find one that you’ll like. The game has five maps at start. There is only one that stands out and that is Gronznyi Grad. The others are terrible. Map designs are the most important thing in a multiplayer game, and this one disappoints. They are lacking in design. The body damage is terrible. It takes a lot of shots with the shotgun to kill someone. The game is filled with glitches and lag that it kills the experience.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is a huge disappointment. Metal Gear Solid games are legendary, but this one was lacking in the brilliant story, gameplay and dialogue. The game clocked in around 14 hours. I only played 5 hours of the game and spend the other 9 hours watching a mediocre movie. There are emblems you can get, but the game is pretty boring that I just can't find the motivation for it. The online is a mess. Kojima turned something so brilliant to something broken. Metal Gear Solid 4 is a troubled war game.