Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)
Developed by Kojima Productions
Published by Konami
By Miles Baker
You can’t tell right now, but the theme to Metal Gear Solid is playing in my head and I’m tearing up.
It’s so fucking beautiful.
If you’ve been around the site long enough, you’ll know that I love MGS series. I like everything about it: I like the cinematic quality of the games, I like the ridiculous character names, I love the postmodern conspiracy/philosophy theories and I love sneaking. This game has everything I love about the series and then turns it to MEGA ULTRA METAL GEAR.
If you hate the series, you will find plenty to hate on. If you love it, like I do, it will make you happier than anything ever could. If you’re in the middle, or are one of those who have a Playstation 3 and have never played a Metal Gear Solid game, and are wondering if this game is worth buying for the hype? It is.
First of all, I think MGS4 is probably the best-looking console title, maybe even videogame, ever. There are short periods of time while watching this game where you will forget that you are watching computer-generated people. The skin textures, the animations, the weight of the people — every detail is fanatically rendered and makes you wonder how much better graphics can get. Same goes for the environments; it’s a game that will make you happy that you own a PS3.
Second, the gameplay is fun and very exciting, for the most part. Apart from a low-key mission where you follow a secret agent back to his base, each level is really intense with Snake essentially trying to sneak through active war zones. Bullets fly overhead while soldiers fall dead to the ground, and grenades go off next to you. All the while, you try to go unnoticed by either side. Like all the other games in the series, you are rewarded for sneaking through levels, rather than blasting your way through them. Though, to be fair, there are a lot of new gameplay mechanics in MGS4 that make it a lot easier to run through the zones, by blasting your enemies, rather then sneaking around them.
However, there isn’t a lot of gameplay. Metal Gear is a game you literally watch for as much time as you play. My calculations took me to 9.5 hours of gameplay, including continues, and 8 hours of watching cinematics. The story is convoluted and talks more about nano-machines than do advanced courses in nano-technology. Exposition flows thicker than the blood of your enemies. And the hero has a bit of a mullet. At least his mustache is a non-ironic one though.
This game is a masterpiece. Not everyone is going to like it, but there it is — it’s one of the most ambitious, pretty, political, and postmodern action games you’ll ever play/watch. It’s a carefully crafted and interesting game that I will replay a few times.