Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – (PS3)

Solid Snake returns, again.
Does he sneak past undetected or did the alarums of greatness go off?
Find out in my review over at Fidget.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

4/5
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

It’s finally here, the PS3 exclusive game that fans have been salivating over, and built on a pedigree and history that most games can’t even imagine. Dating back to 1987 on the NES, and covering six main games and a dozen spin-offs, the final installment is here, to give an end to the story once and for all.

The Metal Gear series follows the adventures of undercover agent Solid Snake, a retired secret agent type, who specialises in covert infiltration. To delve much deeper into the labyrinthine history of plot would take a website of its own. Which is probably why Sony has released a free downloadable encyclopaedia of the series on Playstation Store. Suffice to say, this instalment sees a prematurely aged Snake in a futuristic Middle-eastern war zone working as a Mercenary, where he finds himself pitted against series bad-guy Liquid Snake. Cue the regular mixture of hiding, sneaking and backstabs as you slowly move him through a variety of locations across the world, taking the action from places as ranging as Afghanistan to an abandoned US warship, weaving about it a plot as thick as an elephant’s hide.

Given that there is a wealth of backstory the amount of plot-driving video isn’t surprising. But you have to wonder if legendary game-maker Hideo Kojima wants to be making movies instead of games. While a well rendered and acted cut scene is welcome in a game, too many slows down the narrative, and when all you want to do is make Snake hide under a box and sneak about, it’s frustrating as hell to have to watch ten minutes of cut scenes every time you get to the end of each area. It’s something that fans of the series will be used to, but newcomers will definitely find it distracting and irritating as they frequently have control taken from them for lengthy, and unfortunately, often unnecessarily long moments of plot.

That aside, the game is stunningly gorgeous and plays like a dream. Whether you are sneaking under a steel drum or in a stand-up fire fight against attacking assassins, the controls are well thought out and damn fun to use. With an over-abundance of changeable weapons to suit any occasion, you’re free to take the stealth route or to try shooting your way through many of the situations, with the right tools in place in almost every occasion.

A lot has been expected from MGS4 and while it never manages to address all of the series’ complaints along the way, and is horribly self-indulgent at times; this really is the exclusive title that will save the Sony’s latest system from the languishing mediocrity it’s been in since it came out.  So if you’re a PS3 owner, go get it, you owe it to yourself as a gamer to have this, you won’t be disappointed.

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