By Sam Coles:
Metal Gear Solid is my number 1 game series that I love because the fact it can blend goofy humour with serious subject matters with super natural elements with realistic military elements. It’s something that shouldn’t work, but it does somehow. I’m going to talk about one of my favourite games of all time, Metal Gear Solid 4 – Guns of the Patriots. Now before you all sigh at me I know this game is verbose with its cutscenes and I for one don’t care about that because it was tying up all the loose ends in the series because it was meant to be the conclusion to the series.
Metal Gear Solid 4 takes place 9 years after the Shadow Moses incident and we see Solid Snake in a grave yard saluting, however he looks old. It’s not long that we learn that he is aging rapidly and Snake seems to think that it has something to do with the Fox Die virus that Naomi Hunter injected in him in the first game. Snake is taken out of retirement one more time to stop Liquid who has merged his personality with Revolver Ocelot. Snake is then sent to the Middle East which at the start of the game he delivers a fantastic monologue about how war has changed and how that it has become a well-oiled machine and keeps the economy stable.
This story has a lot of twists and turns and it can get really dark in places especially with the Beauty and the Best Corps with their back stories. As you go through each chapter you slowly see Snake get weaker and weaker where he almost gives up and if you were me during the Microwave hallway sequence you were shouting “Get up Snake”! The ending especially where you see Big Boss and Snake finally resolve their differences, it looks as if he is there to fight but then disarms Snake and embraces him. Big Boss finally passes on before that though him and Snake have one last cigar together with the final line “This is good… isn’t it”? That ending gets me every time.
Gameplay is great when you get into it, it still has the classic menu system from the older MGS games it takes what MGS 3 Subsistence did and tweaked it with things such as being able to walk while crouched. The camo system is still there, however it doesn’t work the same as MGS 3’s because you no longer have to pick a specific uniform for the environment because you have the Octocamo suit which will automatically adjust to the surface you’re on.
Weapons work a bit differently in this game because instead of being able to use them instantly they will be locked. This is linked to the story where all military outfits are monitored so there weapons are ID controlled where there nano machines and DNA have been linked to that weapon. You meet a gun launder later in the story who will unlock them for you for a price of course, how you gain points is that you can sell weapons or they will turn into points automatically if you pick up duplicate weapons. This system is great because it will react to what day it is in real life so if it is a Sunday weapons will be cheaper the same if it is a holiday, this is a really fun and subtle detail.
Visually the game still looks pretty good and I can’t really say that for many games that came out in 2008, it really shows that Hideo Kojima took full advantage of the PS3; the game takes up 30GB of the hard drive. The facial animations and lips syncing still look really good. There are a few drab and plain looking textures here and there but overall the visuals are still a marvel to look at.
Sound design is fantastic with different weapon noises that shake the room coupled with the explosions with the first chapter set in the Middle East. Voice acting is brilliant David Hayter did a fantastic job of portraying Solid Snake as an old man who is at breaking point.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is a game that I can keep going back to again and again and again. This is one of my favourite games of all time which still holds up today. If you haven’t played this game go out and get a PS3 and this game it is super cheap so there is no excuse.