for Sony PlayStation 3
is no need for me to type up what you will be reading here. You probably already
own a PlayStation 3. You probably have beaten Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.
You probably have formed your own opinion about it. You probably have seen me play
it live two days before release, though I was rushing through it. Even if you haven't
done any of the above, I can easily end this with "well, you should" and leave it
at that. Still, I guess some of you actually give a fuck about my opinion.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is not what everyone says it is, including
all the shit Konami representatives have spewed out of their orifices. If you are
expecting a majority of the game being Snake thrown into a battlefield, then you
will be disappointed. If you are expecting an epic opening that "nobody has ever
done before" then you will be laughing. If you expect the customization options
to be a mindfuck, you will be left with a bunch of guns with lights attached and
a frown. If you are expecting to go to a place you've wanted to go to for twenty
years, you will be raging at how wrong the person who said that was. If you have
a closed mind about the unanswered questions in the series and think that you should
be the one to write the final chapter, than you should just stay away.
if you play with an open mind and ignore the hype and bullshit, the game still delivers.
The gameplay, as predicted by my preview
of the Metal Gear Online Beta, allows one to go through the game any way you'd
like with ease. You can either be really sneaky, run through the game guns a-blazing,
or even both. OctoCamo, which seemed like a gimmick to make the game too easy, actually
is a well-balanced tool in the game that can help you but has to be used correctly.
The amount of weapons in the game is pretty overwhelming and contributes to the
player's ability to play the game as he or she chooses to.
It's still Metal Gear. You're still a lone soldier grabbing all kinds of items and
weapons on-site and avoiding everyone in order to prevent unnecessary conflicts.
The paths Snake takes are still pretty linear, although the areas are bigger than
the ones in Snake Eater so it will seem less linear than previous titles. You can
still fuck around and have fun with the game if you get tired of crawling around
and avoiding people. There are also tons of things you can do that would be considered
"Easter eggs." This game still manages to actually avoid some of the series' staples
and do things its own way though. Despite the similarities between it and previous
titles, Guns of the Patriots is a very different Metal Gear.
weapons launderer will be available to you through the start menu once Snake meets
him. If you remember from Sons of Liberty, weapons are ID locked, and this is not
only true in Guns of the Patriots but it's actually key to it's plot. Luckily, in
this title, locked weapons still are of some use. The weapons launderer will unlock
weapons for you in exchange for Drebin points, which can be acquired by doing a
good job in general, grabbing weapons you already have while keeping the ammunition
for yourself, or a few Easter eggs. The great thing about this is that with the
insane amount of weapons you have, you are able to at least purchase ammunition
for your weapon of choice if you can't find any around. Customization is in here,
but it's not as intense as the hype may have led you to believe. The M4 will offer
a lot of options, but most guns pretty much can only take a silencer which is useful,
but this was possible for some weapons in previous titles, and maybe a light (who
fucking cares). It's a shame though because the XM8 available in the game is hardly
customizable even though XM8s are supposed to be highly customizable.
how many weapons and even different types of ammunition are available at your disposal,
some things in the game are just downright obnoxious. These customizations don't
even save for future playthroughs. So while you will keep all the weapons and parts
you find and collect, you'll end up customizing only the weapons you personally
use every time you decide to run through the game. Some weapons, such as the Operator
and M4 are actually forced into your weapons inventory after certain cutscenes,
often replacing a weapon you chose for that slot instead. While I used my M4 a lot,
I have found better handguns to use than the Operator, so I end up having to replace
it after every other cutscene that depicts Snake holding that fucking gun. As I've
said before, most customizations are limited to lights and silencers. Like in Snake
Eater, silencers will go out on you. Unlike Snake Eater, you can't simply hold R2
and attach or detach silencers--you have to go into the start menu, Weapon menu,
Customization menu, and then handle it. Kind of a step back there, since you often
find yourself wasting silencers because you actually intend to use the gun for a
boss fight or something and don't care about the sound your guns make.
The camouflage system from Snake Eater, though, has greatly improved. The OctoCamo
allows Snake to blend in to his environments in real-time as opposed to the rather
annoying process of using the start menu to change clothes in Snake Eater. One can
still set their camouflage manually and even wear disguises that they find, but
by using the automatic setting, the player can be still while lying down or have
Snake's body against a wall and automatically match up. This may sound like it would
make the game easier than a lot of games targeted towards the younger crowd, but
this is not the case. Since the game uses a good amount of textures Snake often
can move only a little bit and find out that he's not blended-in well enough. Also,
no matter how blended-in you are, you can still do things that will get everyone's
attention. Guns should still be silenced and if you end up accidentally kicking
an empty bottle the enemy will be suspicious. This is especially true in harder
as there are tons of weapons and seemingly infinite amount of camouflage, there
are a good number of new items. The Solid-Eye allows Snake to have a radar, see
what PMC enemies or unmanned vehicles belong to (as well as their health and psyche),
what items are nearby as they don't spin like they did in previous titles, and can
be modded on the go into night vision goggles and binoculars. The thing that sucks,
though, is that it must be equipped in order to use these features even though Snake
always wears it (unless he's wearing a mask, but you can still equip it even then).
Thus, you might find yourself not using items like the iPod too often unless you
don't care about items or the radar. Speaking of the iPod, some of these items seem
ridiculous in a Metal Gear game. Oh, yeah, Solid Snake buys a 30GB iPod and rocks
out. Sell out, much? Somehow, it all works. The iPod songs themselves offer a gameplay
feature to find all of the hidden tracks as well as a healing item for your psyche
meter. The Metal Gear Mk.II is practically your start menu but can also be used
to look around using stealth and even stun people. Of course, to make this feature
not be abused by players, Snake can't control the fucking thing for more than ten
feet or something like that despite Otacon, who is flying miles upon miles away,
being able to.
previous features are back in, most of which have been improved. One thing the game
introduces that's pretty much a rehash of the stamina meter is the psyche meter
I've been talking about. In the end, you'll just be annoyed at how Snake hates the
heat, the cold, and Metal Gears. You can also get advice and check-ups from a character
via Codec (to anybody else who has played the game already, this character is fucking
useless aside from shaking the SIX-AXIS, right?) but in the end, all you need to
know is that it's basically stamina from Snake Eater. However, whereas you hunt
and ate food in Snake Eater, in Guns of the Patriots you relax by lying around,
listening to your iPod (seriously), or using herbs. You could, of course, still
eat some noodles or something but Snake will not eat the rodents and birds that
he comes across because I guess he's not as open to his food choices as Big Boss
is back (with an explanation via a Codec call with Otacon you can make) and, in
my opinion, couldn't have been done any better. Snake Eater's CQC was quite awkward
with the use of the pressure-sensitive CIRCLE button. Aside from the button change
to R1, using CQC is a lot easier than ever to which you will rarely do something
by accident. For starters, instead of having the circle button be used to both choke
and slit one's throat, now throat slitting is done using the action button (TRIANGLE).
You can actually do more CQC moves with ease in Metal Gear Solid 4 as opposed to
Snake Eater. Now the game barely even touches on this, aside from showing off Snake's
moves in cutscenes, but the BRIEFING menu in the Start Menu has a guide for, among
other things, CQC moves. It's pretty handy for some extra moves, but a lot of the
basics are easily learnt by just messing around with the R1 button.
The controls in general have completely changed. After getting used to them in the
Metal Gear Online beta, I found them to be quite comfortable and versatile to the
way you play the game. However, I still think the ability to customize your own
controls would have been a better decision by the developer. Aside from that, the
ability to move around while aiming (although you cannot run while doing this) is
welcome especially during boss battles. First person is still available, though
I personally didn't use it as much unless I was using a weapon with a scope. I did
not use AUTO-AIM at all because the manual-aiming of the over-the-shoulder and first
person views are good enough and, as in previous titles, a headshot means instant
death/stun for your enemy. I feel that most of you will like the control scheme
once you get used to it. The only thing that still bothers me is how awkward placing
magazines, claymore mines, and C4, among other things are, compared to previous
thing veterans may be annoyed at is that this new system takes over everything they
remember. So if you're used to using the L2/R2 buttons to peek... you'll have to
adjust and use the control stick or digital. If you liked to run around and throw
grenades... no dice, you're going to have to slowdown and aim where the grenade
goes. Those who missed the rather quick and simple ability to choke and break necks
will have to continue to miss it and use CQC from here on. The camera is now solely
the "new" one that was available in Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, although at
least you're able to tell which direction you're supposed to go based on the mark
on the top-right corner of the screen. It allows one to see what the hell is going
on around them; the game does lose the rather cinematic views of previous titles.
the gameplay cannot be beat. There are still a few hang-ups but this is the best
game developed for the Metal Gear series. The thing is, halfway through, the game
halts and kind of forces itself onto you. Whereas the game starts by allowing players
to choose the way they want to play it, later parts of the game have you going through
a straight line and, for the most part, following the rules given to you. It's not
as anal as Splinter Cell is, so you still can fuck around as usual, but the battlefields
and the bigger areas start to become sneaking grounds similar to previous games
in smaller more linear areas. It's also a shame that the gameplay time feels shorter
than previous titles. In reality it should take longer to go through Guns of the
Patriots on your first try than Snake Eater, but with the game being cut into acts
that take place in different locations, it feels shorter. A VR-Missions type add-on,
especially Alternative Missions from Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, would be quite
welcome for this title in my opinion.
look of everything is impressive, regardless of wither or not you've upgraded to
an HDTV or still own a SDTV. In fact, for SDTVs, this title is one of the best.
Not only does it look good but you can actually read shit without having to sit
an inch away from your television. Only a few minor things cannot be read on the
standard definition 480i/p screen, but this game has a lot more eligible text for
the SD screen than most HD titles do today. Despite initial doubts, this game is
still one of the best-looking games of today. Once in a while, if you are looking
hard enough, you might find a blurry texture. The cutscenes themselves are mostly
done in real-time (one major one seems to not be, though) as per usual, and you
can even zoom in and look around, almost as if Kojima Productions invited you to
find any bad textures. The game is able to upscale up to 1080p although the game's
actual resolution is less than 720p--and it all still looks great! The lowest the
framerate will ever get will be around 30fps, which is the fastest Snake Eater went,
and I only experienced this when playing the hardest difficulty and was surrounded
by ten, maybe fifteen enemies. So all-in all, it's a great visual experience.
still one thing bothering me that makes the game less of a showcase title than it
looks. Despite what previous trailers implied, there are no destructible environments.
I know, I know, this game is about sneaking, not destroying shit, right? Still,
the most I've been able to do is destroy a bottle and take out a light. Some lights
cannot even be shot. I remember back in 2001 Sons of Liberty offered players the
ability to fucking destroy a tanker's bar and lounge. You'd kind oh hope that, like
a lot of games out there, this game would allow you to do much more damage to the
environment. It's not a big deal, but it's something I couldn't help but notice,
especially considering how unbelievably large my arsenal was. Only in certain parts
the environment can change completely... by everyone but Snake.
The sound, like previous titles, is practically movie-quality. No surprise here.
The music, mostly composed by Harry Gregson-Williams, is impressive and gets you
in the mood of the gameplay and plot. The voice acting was not bad at all and I
actually have no complaints. Even though some characters lose their accents as they
do in The Twin Snakes, they at least don't sound like they're either trying too
hard or just not trying at all. The dialogue, which was well done for Metal Gear
Solid but stank in its sequels, has only a few awkward moments in the script. Cam
Clarke's absence, though sad, is actually forgotten once you hear Ocelot speak as
if Patric Zimmerman was voice acting for Liquid Snake, though losing the stylish
British accent at the same time. The tragedy here is the sound itself is what is
taking up a lot of the Blu-Ray's space. It's not just because there is a lot of
sound in this game, but it's because of the quality. I wish I could say that it
sounds amazing on my 7.1 surround sound system or whatever but I'm not rich and
I think only two out of ten, at best, will notice how amazing the lossless audio
sounds. To most of us, the quality of the sound in this game will be practically
the same as previous 'Solid titles. Which isn't bad, but maybe in a few years we'll
hear how it's supposed to sound for the first time. Haha.
story itself will bring controversy to fans everywhere. I personally thought it was adequate for an uneeded sequel and
while there were a few moments that made me cringe, I think that considering the
fact that Sons of Liberty was supposed to be the end, and how obvious it is that
Kojima is making all of this up as he goes along making sequel after sequel, it's
pretty fair. Some of you will disagree and claim that you had a better idea of some
sort, but from what I've heard so far, none of these ideas are any better. Yes,
a few retcons are implied (and later confirmed by the downloadable Metal Gear Solid
4 Database) but nothing like "OLD SNAKE IS BIG BOSS" or "OTACON IS SOKOLOV WITH
STEMCELLS" or whatever. Even the most feared retcon that I thought would kill this
game was explained logically (by a Metal Gear universe standard) and actually served
a purpose in concluding the series.
of the Patriots is no Sons of Liberty. This may please some of you while upsetting
those who were hoping it would be. Think about it though--this game leaves little
behind in question, whereas Sons of Liberty left a lot left open for interpretation.
How the hell does one make a sequel to something that left a lot of the story up
to the player? The cutscenes remain long, but the codec use has been cut down drastically
(mostly replaced with cutscenes) and, like Snake Eater, a lot of details are left
behind for you to figure out only if you keep on calling the few people you can
even call on the Codec. However, this is also no Snake Eater. Newcomers in particular
will find the story ridiculous and hard to follow. The "flashbacks" that were hyped
up explain absolutely nothing.
In fact, the flashback feature is somewhat disappointing to veterans of the series
and newcomers alike. None of these flashbacks cover the classic games, although
there are several opportunities to do so. How it works is that sometimes something
will be mentioned and you can press "X" a bunch of times to see screenshots or artwork
of that character in a previous game. Does it actually say anything? No. For example,
there's one part where a character says a quote the same character said in a previous
title. The flashback shows the part where the character said it. The issue? If you
didn't catch this exact quote, you'd wonder what the fuck this has anything to do
with what's going on right now. At least you get Drebin points for your button mashing,
Beauty and the Beast Unit who serve as the bosses actually have back stories to
them as opposed to the COBRA Unit from Snake Eater. Thing is, the back story is
essentially the same and while it ties up to the theme of the game, it has little
to do with the plot aside from the fact that war fucked them up. Don't get me wrong,
I enjoyed fighting the bosses and to this day I find some of the COBRA members to
be the worst characters ever in a Metal Gear game, so this is a grand improvement.
It's just that, aside from their desire to kill Snake, you really aren't sure why
you're fighting them aside from the boorish "they are the bad guys" mentality. Once
you defeat the last one, all that changes is the fact that you know you have one,
maybe two, boss fights left. It doesn't feel like a big deal at all. At least they
are fun to fight, though, especially for the first time.
game still have a consistent theme, discusses issues such as technology, war, economic
control, and eventually wraps up everything. You will realize that there is absolutely
no need for a sequel to this series, aside from the obvious fact that some people
like to milk certain things to make money. Of course, if you're already expecting
the game to end a certain way then, well, fuck off and go write fanfiction that
nobody cares about. If you have not paid any attention to previous stories, then
you probably won't like this one either, but it's excusable because this game's
plot is devoted to answering questions you've never had, and wrapping up a story
you know little about. At least play Sons of Liberty before jumping into this one.
One thing that's interesting is that this is one of the few games in general that's
a constant downer. There will be some "up" parts but it's pretty much Snake being
old, ridiculed, coughing, nearing his death... a huge difference from the "saving
the world" Snake from the past. Yes, Snake Eater's ending was a downer, but that
was the ending. That was the twist; the mission was all bullshit. In this one, it's
not even the ending. Fuck, the game's main menu is burned onto a clip of Snake walking
to a grave and putting a gun in his mouth. I honestly can't think of a video game
that gets sadder and sadder as you get deeper into it. This might be the most emotional
Metal Gear ever, which in itself is tied to the theme. Of course, the game still
retains its sense of humor to lighten the mood. I recall one scene where Snake is
practically dying while somebody jumps for joy because they've just cooked the perfect
game nudges Snake Eater with its incentive to replay. As per usual, there are little
things people call "Easter eggs" that allow for laughs. Certain events trigger a
humorous codec calls. As I mentioned, you can find weapons and items and collect
Drebin points to unlock them and purchase ammo. You can also use said points to
purchase brand new weapons and items. Some weapons and items can only be unlocked
by finishing the game and getting a certain ranking. Since Integral, there has not
been a Metal Gear game that has numerous awards for rankings. This is the first
time I have heard of a lot of people trying to get the highest ranking (which is,
as usual, Big Boss) but thanks to the incentives to do so, people are willing to
do it. Of course, the famous Bandanna and Stealth Camouflage make a return as well...
In addition to all of that, Guns of the Patriots comes with Metal Gear Online. You
can go ahead and read my Metal Gear Online
hands-on preview because the end result is exactly the same with two new maps.
By same, I also am talking about the lag and, yes, this is region-locked as well.
Shockingly enough Konami actually had the audacity to tell players to buy import
versions of Guns of the Patriots in order to play with their friends around the
world. This is a huge shame (not to mention a sham) and a major step-down from Metal
Gear Solid 3: Subsistence, which allowed one to play with others around the world.
Now more so than ever, you'll be face-to-face with Konami's cheapness. You can play
online for free, but you can only register one character for free. Those of you
sharing a PlayStation 3 with relatives or roommates will obviously have a problem
as expected, the userbase is filled with people you'd rather not deal with. I'm
not talking about people new to the game either. There are always some cool people,
but sometimes you'll deal with some absurdity. Some people will assume that if you
are doing pretty good you are actually cheating and so they must kick you. Sometimes
you might accidentally kill a team mate. Of course, in reality, this is a conspiracy
and you actually did it on purpose so you'll get kicked. The exclusivity of the
beta might have been a god send at the time because the only people playing were
those with a genuine interest. Playing a game and having to hear some kid yelling
at his mom while wearing his Bluetooth headset his mom got him is not fun. It's
still the most fun I've ever had from a Metal Gear Online title and at least some
improvements from previous MGO games have been made that should be noted. I have
also noticed more cooperation between the players who control the Metal Gear Mk.II
and Snake in Sneaking mode. While I did not have to deal with the process of getting
a KONAMI ID again, I've heard it's a lot easier now than before with the beta.
Of course, any expansions, new maps, weapons, and maybe hats will cost you to the
point that you hardly can claim Metal Gear Online as a free part of Guns of the
Patriots. The starter pack, though, is still free for one player and still adds
a good bit of replay value for those with a broadband internet connection. This
nearly puts Guns of the Patriots' replay value close to that of Snake Eater's re-release,
Subsistence. Except whereas the replay value died when the servers went down, hopefully
all the downloadable content for-pay that should be coming up for MGO might keep
the servers up for a lot longer. I still believe that MGO does not satisfy Guns
of the Patriot's gameplay, and that an offline expansion would be greatly appreciated.
comparing what you are getting with Guns of the Patriots to Subsistence, you might
notice a lack of Boss Survival and Demo Theater. The in-game encyclopedia that was
announced became a downloadable "MGS4 Database" so hopefully these features end
up that way as well. Considering how well-done the cutscenes are in the game, it's
actually a shame that there is no Demo Theater. Another feature that is missing
is the ability to choose which chapter one wishes to play. This game is cut into
five chapters, or "Acts." While Sons of Liberty allowed one to choose which chapter
one wanted to play upon completion, Guns of the Patriots forces one to play through
the entire game from Act I to Act V every time the player wants to replay the game.
Perhaps, though, the lack of these three features is chalked up to one of the most
annoying aspects of the game--installation.
Those who have not played the game often will not understand my gripe. Let me explain.
I have no quips with installing games. I bought a 60GB PlayStation 3 and despite
downloading some videos, demos, my PlayStation One and 2 saves, and even the MGS4
installation itself, I have around 45GB left. I can easily lose some of those demos,
too, considering that a lot of them are shitty. I also have no problem with the
time it takes to install a game. The initial installation is around ten minutes.
This is more than enough time to prepare a sandwich. I even don't have a problem,
in theory, with the concept of installing-as-you-go, especially considering that
each installation after the initial takes, at most, three minutes.
do have a problem with installing the same fucking thing again and again. This was
most likely done to make sure that the installation file stays less than 5GB, but
there should still be an option to allow the game to install all it wants and never
have to install again. This is especially annoying for those want to solve the lack
of a proper "chapter selection" by saving before the start of each act in that if
you want to play an act that is not the same act you installed for, you will have
to do an installation--and then do another installation if you want to go back to
another act. The loading times only open these installation wounds as it almost
feels like the installation does absolutely nothing.
Guns of the Patriots is still a Metal Gear game. Despite adding some new features,
some even replacing the old, the formula is not drastically changed (ala Portable
Ops) in which you hardly even feel like you're playing a Metal Gear title. I simply
would not recommend having any expectations for this game upon playing it and I
would ask newcomers to try to at least go over the Sons of Liberty story. The Metal
Gear Solid story would also help, but only to make one part of the game feel extra
Best gameplay of any Metal Gear title. You can play the game however you'd like
to for the most part. Amazing production quality, possibly the best I've seen for
a video game. Great visuals. Story wraps up everything and leaves very little room
for the continuation of the story. Voice acting is great and very little of the
dialogue seems out-of-place. Hardest difficulty provides excellent challenge.
Only a couple of people can be called upon via Codec. Some lame moments in story
are cringe worthy. Solid-Eye must be equipped to use it despite it being over Snake's
fucking eye anyways. Weapon customizations are not as amazing as it was claimed
to be and they don't even save. Few weapons are forced into your equipment. Metal
Gear Online will be a fucking money leech. No worldwide play for Metal Gear Online.
Installation. Installation. Installation. Installation...
Despite the ridiculous installations, Otacon has the audacity to mock the disc
swap in Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation. Even that old piece of hardware could
This one's tricky. Newcomers will enjoy the gameplay but probably will be pissed
at how many cutscenes there are. It is still a great game and manages to improve
a lot of things from the previous titles. Fans should enjoy it but will probably
end up critiquing the story based on how they personally felt the story should have
ended. The only way to make a sequel to Sons of Liberty, which created tons of questions
was to answer them; the mystery behind Sons of Liberty, which made the game stand
out, is thus shattered. Still, this does effectively wrap up everything. Is Guns
of the Patriots worth the price of purchasing a PlayStation 3? That's your investment
and I'm not going to have any say in that. I do think that if you love the Metal
Gear series, you should still find a way to play this game... twice.
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