Monday, June 16, 2008

Snake's Final Mission.

Before I even start with this review I'm going to state this clearly. Metal Gear Solid 4 is easily one of if not the best game of all time. Metal Gear Solid 4 is everything Kojima-san promised it would be and proves to be a fantastic ending to one of the most memorable saga's in gaming history.

There is no hiding that Metal Gear Solid 4 is the best looking game of all time. The graphics really must be seen to be believed. There are many times throughout the game in both game play and in cut scenes where the game looks photo realistic. In fact there are many occasions in which the HUD pops up as a cut scene is coming to an end and looks out of place because it looks like you are watching a CGI movie.

MGS4's game play while similar to older MGS games has evolved and allows for alot more freedom in how you do things. In the past you would really need to sneak around or face certain death. However Snakes new arsenal of CQC moves, Octocamo, a new Weapon customization system and far more freedom of movement makes fighting a far more viable option. Another option for FPS fans allows the game to be played almost entirely like a FPS although I found this is not as fun or engaging as playing the game normally.

No longer are you limited to cramped hallways when sneaking as this mission takes place in a many war zones across the world. While previously you may take on 4-5 enemies at once you will now find yourself up against much more enemies and fighting in full scale wars between PMC groups and the Rebels that are trying to stop them. These battles aren't merely superficial either. Helping one of the factions will align you with that faction and they will not attack you and may help in your mission by attacking the enemy and distracting them so you can get where you need to go.

Also no longer will you be limited to finding your weapons on the battle field as early into the game you meet up with Drebin a gun launderer that allows you to purchase guns, ammo and custom parts for your weapons. When finding a gun on the battlefield you won't be able to use it right away in most cases as they are ID locked. Drebin can unlock these ID's for a price and allow you to use them. You get "Drebin Points" by selling weapons that you already have found. For example when you pick up a AK-102 it will go into your inventory but every one you pick up from then on will be sold to Drebin for points allowing you to purchase things to help you on your mission. While this is a great addition to the game and the weapon customization is very fun I found that being able to purchase ammo whenever you need it makes the game a bit to easy. But that is a minor complaint.

Throughout the game there are also many event's that are played very differently then the rest. Such as riding on the back of a motorcycle while being attack in a city at war or trying to escape a ton of gecko with the help of a armored carrier. All of these control very well and are extremely fun and a spectacle to behold visually. There are more game play variations later in the game but I won't spoil them as they are very fun to see as they take place and one of them is kind of a spoiler.

Now I'm not gonna get to deep into the story as I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. Many faces from the past appear in the game such as Naomi, Meryl and Mei Ling among others. There is also alot of fan service in many forms such as jokes and whatnot from the MGS series that only fans of the MGS games will see and find funny. Such as Otacon calling you via Codec and telling you it's time to switch to Disc 2 before realizing that MGS4 is on Blu-ray. You will also see flashbacks as well. Many times during cut scenes there will be a prompt to press the X button doing so will trigger flash back like imagines showing many things from the past, the significance of the events going on or showing something you may not find a link to just by watch what is going on. It's a very cool way to get refreshed on certain events from the MGS universe. I will also say that the cut scenes are 90 minutes long rumor is not true. While some of the cut scenes are quite long especially the mission briefings between acts none are 90 minutes long. The ending however may be close to the 90 minute mark but I didn't care to time it as I was to enthralled with the ending to one of the greatest saga's in all of gaming history to care about something so trivial.

On the bad side there really isn't much to say. There are a few animations in the game that look a bit odd or out of place but that's a very minor complaint as for the most part the motion capture is excellent. Some will say the installs between acts is a negative however they are very short only taking about 2-3 minutes to complete and they only occur every few hours of game play so you can use them as an excuse to get up and have a break or make a snack or something. The main install isn't anything to complain about either it takes about 8 minutes to install which is about the same that other games requiring a install take.

All said Metal Gear Solid 4 is easily the best game on the PS3 if not the best game of this generation or all time. If you own a PS3 you owe it to yourself to own Metal Gear Solid 4. It would be a shame to miss the ending to one of the best Saga's in all of gaming history.

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