Top positive review
34 people found this helpful
The end of an era
on 29 June 2008
Metal Gear Solid 4 marks the series 21st year; it's promised to be Solid Snakes last mission, and Hideo Kojimas last in charge. In interviews leading to MGS4s release, Kojima has stated that he'd like the franchise to continue in some form, so the big question is does Snake die?
That's not to be spoiled, in fact this review is mostly spoiler free, as much of MGS4 is better experienced first hand. The gag order put in place by Konami is proof that MGS4 has a remarkably epic plot, and some amazing twists.
There are some nicely done references to past games, like the Gekko trampling a cardboard box, enforcing the "games nowhere to hide" approach. There's a beautifully done dream sequence that's a tribute to the PSOne classic. Snake still smokes. In fact there aren't many games that have its history woven so deeply. Snakes inclusion in the new Smash Bros brawl on Nintendo's Wii is proof this is a franchise as rich as any.
With so many loose ends to tie up, cut scenes are plentiful and long. Quite a few top 90 minutes. They are near perfect, and as good as anything I've ever seen. Not just in games, but any other media. They are just flawless.
The only drawback is that on the first play-through, more time is spent watching cut scenes than actually playing the game. The opening is a typical example of the stop start gameplay. There are nice touches to offer some interaction, like controlling the MK2 during mission briefings and obtaining characters face camo. Or triggering flashback images when certain characters are mentioned, or offering first person viewpoints during certain moments. However, these can all be skipped for that second play-through, as the games clock doesn't pause. Essential for achieving higher emblems and unlocking special items. Like stealth camo and Altairs disguise from Assassins Creed.
Almost everything is a unique experience. Graphics are fairly impressive; Snakes Octacamo suit provides some fancy graphical effects. The gameplay is more open than ever; encouraging experimental approaches and improvisation. For once, an aggressive approach is fun to play, with an over the shoulder perspective for aiming and shooting. Stealth remains just as challenging yet rewarding when done right. In terms of plot, it's safe to say that every fan will find closure from this. Every character is accounted for and nothing has been watered down or removed. Almost unnecessary plot details are included relentlessly. But surely necessary for Kojima to make a Metal Gear to please every fan. Even more impressive is that the game could be played and actually enjoyed by someone with no prior knowledge.
An incredible game, one of the finest in a very long time. PS3s first system seller.