Piggyback Interactive doesn't release a lot of guides within the United States, but when they do, it's a treat. Their guides are far more detailed and organized than BradyGAMES or Prima. In the past I've described Piggyback Interactive guides as being a companion rather than just another guidebook. The same is true of the Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Strategy Guide. Developed on site at Konami studios, this is easily the best Metal Gear Solid 4 resource you can find, and it ensures the game is still fun to play.
The guide begins with a heartfelt foreward from Kojima himself, ensuring that the guide will help any gamer to understand the game better and to make sure the gamer enjoys the game for himself. The collaborative effort you get in the end shows that Kojima and Piggyback Interactive, kept their word.
After the foreward there's an exhaustive "How to Play" section which will showcase some of the tactics you can perform. Not only that, but it gives you a complete overhaul of the game basics. Complete with clear screenshots, diagrams and some fantastic explanations. Whether you're a Metal Gear Solid veteran or a newcomer, this guide will help you adjust to Metal Gear Solid 4.
After that, the guide wastes no time jumping into the walkthrough and this is where the guide becomes your best friend. It's very well organized and easy to use. The walkthrough is divided into the five acts of the game. When you dive in there's a distinct format used for the guide. On the even pages (the left handed pages) you'll see the map with call outs and captions. This is all the basic stuff that's needed for those who want to go through the game with as little interruption as possible. This doesn't hold your hand, but it's also meant to be used with the lower difficulty setting. On the odd numbered pages (the right hand side), however, is a step by step process of everything you need to do, but much more in depth. The odd numbered pages are meant to be used on higher difficulty levels, as it details how to go through the game without killing anyone and will even give you strategies for bosses that will help you get the best rankings. You can, of course, use the odd pages if you decide those strategies will work better for you.
The odd numbered pages also utilize the "A, B, C" method found in a few other guides. That is to say that you look on the map for the letter "A" and then find section "A" in the text and see what you have to do there. It makes for a well organized guide that lets you consult it when you need it rather than page flipping and trying to find your place all the time. Another great aspect about the guide is that it doesn't just cover one difficulty level. It covers ALL of them.
The maps are also very detailed. Showing the traps, where your enemies will hang out and just how severe the population of an area is. Another good aspect of the walkthrough is how detailed and crystal clear the screenshots are. But there are also other goodies found within the walkthrough such as alternative strategies where they are needed. Mission briefings that spoil absolutely nothing, as well as flashback moments that will remind you of the significance of other games in the series. Again, while it may seem like it, there are no spoilers. The Flashbacks just serve as a helpful reminder. After all, Metal Gear Solid 4 has a lot to swallow. All this is done without spoiling any of the game. Any spoilers found within the walkthrough are things that have already been touched upon in previous games in the series
After the walkthrough we get into the Inventory. This is where the guide begins to warn you of possible spoilers. While there's nothing big spoiled here, there are a few surprises that may end up being not so surprising to curious eyes. There's a lot of detail here just as well.
Metal Gear Online is also a very good section. Just as detailed. Giving you tips for all the different types of matches and for whether you're playing single or multiplayer. While most guides usually just have a mention of what you get from an online mode, Piggyback really digs into Metal Gear Online. No stone is left unturned.
Once we get into the extras this is where that SPOILER warning comes in handy, and yes, Piggyback warns you. Several times. The only thing I will mention here for anyone who wants to know is that it'll tell you all you need to do the obtain all the different rankings (with subsequent tips for The Boss Extreme mode). I'll mention nothing more to those still trumping through Metal Gear Solid 4. I'll only tell you its an exhaustive section that spans more than fifty pages.
Lastly, and this is a big spoiler, but a nice little bonus that the guide showcases. In past Metal Gear Solid guides, Piggyback has always summed up the story and helped the player understand it better if they feel a little confused. It's never anything the player has the view and here they even warn you that you are NOT to read this section before you complete Metal Gear Solid 4. So if you do read it, you were warned. Not once. Not twice. But three times. And just like other Metal Gear Solid guides produced by piggyback, they give their own interpretation. Once you complete Metal Gear Solid 4 the first time, you might want to check out this little extra as it opens the door for discussion over Metal Gear Solid 4's incredible story.
The last tidbit is simple. With so much detailed packed into one book, there's bound to be a lot of page flipping right? Wrong. The very last page is an index that helps you pin-point whatever it is you need. And for the fourth time, the guide warns you of any possible spoilers.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is amazing game and it's given an amazing guide! Everything you ever wanted to learn about Metal Gear Solid 4 is here. Not just everything you wanted to learn about Metal Gear Solid 4 is here, but also everything you ever wanted to know about the Metal Gear Solid series. It not only gets you through the game, but will help you understand the story better if need be. This is the perfect example of a perfect guide.