A very familiar cast of characters will make their appearances throughout the game. If you played the previous ones, you’ll be happy to see a lot of them make their return. Raiden makes up for what he did to us in Sons of Liberty and becomes a true bad-ass in this game. Others such as Meryl, the Colonel, Eva, Otacon, and Vamp comeback for another round just to name a few. And if you don’t remember, various flashback sequences in the same style as they appeared in the previous game will help jog your memory. You’ll even get to play a small sequence of Metal Gear Sold in the old PlayStation style graphics evoking some great memories. Kojima did well in throwing in many faces from the past into Solid Snake’s final (?) adventure.
Having played such graphical heavy hitters as Killzone 2, I have to say for a year old game Metal Gear Solid 4 still looked incredible. In fact, I think I liked the graphics of Metal Gear Solid 4 over Killzone 2. For one thing, it doesn’t suffer from a monotonous color and architecture pattern of environmental settings. You’ll be fighting through deserts, jungles, snow, and cities so it was great to see a variety of areas. The motion capture is top notch and features some really smooth animation. Some of the cut scenes are just incredible to watch such as the battle between Raiden and Vamp as well as the sequence with Johnny and Meryl taking their last stand at some of Liquid’s female troops. The textures are very detailed and the character models, especially the Beauty and the Beast corps, are incredibly well done. Each of the Beauties is unique and shows off some great design work by the Kojima team. While I know a lot of people say Killzone 2 is the best looking game out there, I think Metal Gear Solid 4 really ranks up there and gives the FPS a run for its money in some aspects.
There were a few things I did find annoying about the game. For starters, there’s an install process after each act and there are five acts. Yeah, you have to sit through a few minutes of installs each time you finish a part of the game. Why they didn’t just do a full install of everything on the first pass I don’t know but it is a tiny bit annoying. Some of the cut scenes are wicked long and you’ll actually get to points of the game where it’s cut scene after cut scene after cut scene. There were a few times where I wondered if I was going to be playing the game again but just expect to sit through a great deal of material. You can skip them though but first time players will probably want to watch the story unfold. You can do some controlling of some cut scenes and watching flashbacks when prompted will earn you a few Drebin bucks to buy things with. You’ll also fight the camera on a few occasions as you try and get the best view possible. That seems to be something in every third person game though and here it’s not any different. At least there was really only one boss battle this time where I had no idea on how to kill him. Vamp’s battle was the only one I really looked up on how to defeat him but I guess there were enough clues provided to let you know what you need to do now that I look back at it.
For added value, Metal Gear Online lets you play against up to 15 other people. Various gameplay options are available and Konami’s don’t a good job at putting out updates that enhance the game. The game has persistence stats so you can build up your character with added abilities and items. With the online component, you get some additional value with the game after finishing the story mode.
Out of the three I played, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was a blast (when I wasn’t sitting through a cut scene) and probably my most favorite. I know a lot of people liked 3 a lot so I’m going to make a point to try that out in the near future although I do know the “twist” after having finished 4. Also, the end battle was quite epic and one that I will remember for a long time. The game really plays well and it’s one of the games you’ll use to show off the power of the PlayStation 3. While Kojima announced that he’s going to continue to produce some new Metal Gear games, Metal Gear Solid 4 was a very solid title and one that I am very happy to have played since missing out on it when it was first released.
It's definitely one of the premier titles right now on the PlayStation 3. The story is confusing though but the game, when you do play, is fun. Metal Gear Solid 4 also looks really great and Kojima's done a good job at tying all the previous games together in this one.
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