“Metal Gear Solid 4” PS3 Review
Never before have I been so completely gripped and astounded by a video game. This is quite simply the shining achievement in video game story telling and the number one argument for the “games as art” debate.
Anybody who knows or has played the Metal Gear Solid series knows that it has always been highly story driven. This trend continues in Guns of the Patriots as the game weaves an intricate and enticing story that (for lack of a better expression) sucks you in. You’ll find yourself playing the game wondering when the next cutscene will come and what will happen. The story follows Snake in areas around the world sneaking and shooting his way through a variety of environments from middle eastern deserts to European city streets. The plot feels like it picks up exactly where the first three games left off and the reason for the third game being a flashback is quite apparent. At the same time, though, the story doesn’t seem predictable or that they have already set everything up conveniently in the series’ past. It feels fresh and new which is astounding for a game in a series. Yes, the cutscenes are long; but they are so well done and free of talking green heads (the previous method of storytelling in the series) that you will look forward to them.
MGS4 trashes the old top-down aiming system that has been one of my biggest complaints throughout the series. The game is now played like many of the third person shooters out there although I personally think that it plays better than titles like Gears of War. You hold L1 to aim your gun and press R1 to fire. L2 manages your items and R2 manages your weapons, making it easy to equip a weapon or use an item on the fly. Snake controls like you’ve always wanted him to control. You can now move while crouching or hold the X button to go prone and crawl on the ground. The OctoCamo suit is a stroke of genius and makes for many strategic possibilities when entering a firefight. The areas are well balanced and varied, calling for a wide range of different tactics to be put into effect. You’ll play the game looking forward to the cutscenes and watch the cutscenes looking forward to getting back to the shooting and stealth mechanics of the game.
This may very well be the best looking video game I have ever seen. The characters are detailed, realistic, and believable. The atmosphere is perfectly created to draw you into the game. The game will install somewhere around 5 GB by its conclusion (a 10 min. starting install time and a 2-3 min. install time between acts). Unless you have the 20 GB model of the PS3 this should not be a problem, although even if you do it is worth deleting some demos or videos just to be able to play this masterpiece. While playing the game you will truly appreciate the installation as it runs at a flawless clip without a skip or a stutter through cutscenes or massive firefights; all while being one of the technologically best looking games out there. The art design is also top-notch, with deeply designed and varied environments throughout.
This is simply a game that must be experienced to be fully understood. The story will easily last you 20-25 hours plus the online play perfectly translates the gameplay of the single-player story for countless hours more. Go out and buy this game right now. You must. If you don’t have a PS3, now is the perfect time to buy one. Everybody who passes this up is missing out on a truly amazing entertainment experience.
Final Score: 10 out of 10