What would it take to convince you that some video games, in many ways give a more compelling experience than many Hollywood films? I hope you’re not easily convinced; after all, some of the most enthralling experiences of our time came courtesy of the big screen. Think Titanic, The Count Of Monte Cristo, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, Lord of The Rings and more recently Kirk Cameron’s Avatar.
You’d face a barrage of push back if you dare conclude the video games industry was on the same level, and be stoned to death if you implied the former’s better than the latter. Thing is, I too would disagree with you on both fronts. The video game industry is still far off when compared to Hollywood in terms of entertainment and widespread appeal, and I’d definitely have to say no to your assertion that it’s doing better than Hollywood. I would agree though, if you said sometimes.
Because sometimes, the work that’s produced from game developers, small and big, put some of Hollywood’s best to shame. Sometimes, the art derived from the gaming industry is just hard to ignore. It’ll take me only seconds to conjure up the fond memories on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, or Mass Effect 2. It takes me less than a second for my eyes to close and open up again, and even less time to think of stellar work such as Final Fantasy VII or even X.
Many more titles stand in line waiting to do battle with Hollywood for “work of the year”, but there’s one game that has set a standard, a standard set so high that, in many ways, it’s the Titanic of the gaming industry.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots is that game. Warning: Spoilers Incoming.
“War has changed” is what Snake, the game’s lead character says in the opening movie, and indeed it has. From the first MGS title on PSone to what was thought to be the last, war has changed. No longer does a soldier control himself, instead he’s controlled by a system that conditions him on how to think, act, and feel. PMCs rage war for no reasons, or reasons they’re not even sure of. It’s all part of the war economy, and an endless series of proxy battles which, by the way, has become the main source of income for young men, women (mercenaries), and to feel as if they “belong”, and so war, although it has changed, wages on.
In MGS4, Snake is in the fight of his life to finally stop Liquid Snake, his brother who’s taken over Revolver Ocelot’s body, from taking over the entire world and sending it into a new era of subduegation. He starts off haunting down Liquid from the middle east all the way back to Alaska, only to find out in the process that his enemies were more than just liquid and his squad, but the patriots themselves.
In this title, Hideo Kojima, creator and director of the legendary franchise, sought to tighten all the loose bolts and finally bring the Metal Gear Solid story to a complete end and understanding, even to those who hadn’t played any of the prior titles.
This is more than a game though, the dialogue is crafted masterfully, and the cutscenes and set pieces are some of the most intriguing and properly executed ever. Kojima Productions went the extra mile, and then some to make sure that gamers, old and new would thoroughly enjoy the MGS4, and in doing so extreme details were placed into every cutscene making sure no one got lost. Even while cutscenes are happening, the game prompts you to hit the X button, when you do, images of the past, from prior titles is displayed in a blurry manner on your screen, helping tie-in in the story even more.
Like in all other works from Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots is one of the best stealth action titles anywhere. The game brings back all the gameplay elements of past titles, while adding new tactics that enhances your experience. Most notable is the camouflage that Solid Snake is outfitted with which allows him to look like his surroundings, hence making him somewhat invisible to the naked eye. If you’re in the jungle where the grass is green, just lay down on the green grass and hit the triangle button, Snake turns green also. This goes for all environments.
CQC is back, but this time with more moves that makes Snake one of the best fighters anywhere. You have to master it, though, which might take some time, but once you do, sneaking up on enemies and taking them out quietly, or going hand to hand with a soldier becomes a breeze, and is quite fun. Snake can walk, run, crouch, sneak, but he can’t jump. This won’t be a problem, however, since jumping was never part of one of the things you could do in the franchise, it’s not even an issue. Overall, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots gameplay is perfect, as expected from Kojima Productions.
Hideo Kojima placed a lot of effort into the engine of this title, and the visuals prove it. MGS4 is the best looking title in the franchise, and although some might argue that’s only natural because the game’s on Sony’s PS3 unlike prior installments, I think it goes beyond that. The people at Kojima productions are the best at what they do, and even today, MGS4 looks better than many titles that have been released recently. You’ll like the stages taking place in the forests, Eastern Europe will be a pleasure to view, the opening stage in the Middle East looks excellent, and for those who’ve played the first game, going back to Alaska will be a pleasant feeling. The game simply is one of the best looking this, the seventh generation of consoles.
Honestly, there’s nothing to complain about here. The controls work perfect. Nothing you won’t get used to in no time, really. Once you’ve learned how everything works, (which will definitely happen quickly for newcomers and longtime fans alike) it’ll be a none issue moving forward. You won’t even notice it.
What Quenched My Thirst /
I bought Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots early on when it was released. The only reason I’m reviewing it now is because I own a website, and I feel like the game is the best PS3 has to offer, one that every owner of the venerable console should own. In every way, MGS4 is a winner. From the boss fights, (the most epic battles in video games) to watching Raiden, the once childish soldier in MGS: Sons of Liberty, take on Vamp with Hollywood stumping cinematics.
Everything meshed correctly, proving once more the genius of Hideo Kojima. The game will enthrall you. It’ll haul you in with a grip so tight that you’ll find it difficult to put down the control (although you must because it’s so long). This is not your 10hr, thrill-a-minute title. Guns of The Patriots is the longest and most compelling in the franchise. The game also keeps you at the edge of your seat, because just when you think ‘that’s it’, the story grows. Be prepared to learn about the history of the franchise in this game.
What Left A Bitter Taste /
The only issue I had with MGS4 was that some of the cutscenes were just too long. Way too long. Especially the mission briefings. I totally applaud those times when a nice, long, cutscene would be seamlessly integrated after a long period of play, (my favorite was in Eastern Europe, when Meryl and her gang tried to stop Liquid Snake. Epic). But why the mission briefings were so long is beyond me. One thing’s for sure: it demonstrates Hideo’s raw talent, but most times, those missions were more boring than entertaining – especially the parts where Sunny fry eggs. Other than that, it’s all good.
My Moment /
Literally, I cried when Naomi died. She was there from the game’s inception. The one who developed the nano machines that has caused so much destruction, and even greater good. Ironic you see, because it was those same nano machines that kept her alive throughout the years, as it would fend off the cancer she suffered with. Although many of her actions were unacceptable, in the end, everything came together for good, and it was revealed why she did what she did, ( I won’t giveaway the whole thing). Otacon, Snake’s right hand man loved her, he too was distraught. To me, that scene is one of the saddest and most emotional in gaming history.
I think if you own a PS3, and there are about 37 million units globally, you must own Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots. If you don’t, you’re truly missing out on the biggest, most epic title to ever land on any console. Kojima Productions proved once again why they’re the most reveared in the gaming industry, and I suspect the tradition of perfection will continue with MGS: Rising and that “Taboo” project.
Now, you could buy the game through here for dirt cheap, but remember, what you’re getting is high on the scale, the best of the best. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots is my game of the decade.