Metal Gear Solid 4
Solid Snake returns one final time for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Armed with new gadgets and abilities, an aging Solid Snake must overcome all obstacles whilst using the chaos of the battlefield to infiltrate deep into enemy territory. His mission is to stop his nemeses from world domination…
This is the game that the Playstaion 3 has been waiting for, apparently, the first defining game for the console.
The real problem for this die hard Xbox fan however is the waiting that the game forces you to do.
I took the review copy of MGS4 round to a friends place to play it on his PS3 and large HiDef TV, then mocked him mercilessly when the game required an 8 minute installation before we could start playing! During the entire 8 minute interlude we were treated to an animation of Snake chain smoking with such helpful warnings such as; ‘Smoking is bad for your health,’ ‘Don’t play video games when you are tired,’ “..or sick’ and ‘Sit as far away from the TV screen as possible.
But then all too soon, the 8 minutes was up and it was time start playing the game. The game kicks off with the obligatory cut scene to set the scene for the first mission and the game as a whole. The cut scene however was somewhat of an ego trip for the graphical capabilities of the PS3 and the animators skills as it was full of nice sweeping cinematic scenes and not a lot of substance – it was eye candy for people who really want to just play the game already.
When the game finally kicks off proper you’re permitted to walk a round a little before you figure out that the only way forward in what was to become a very linear game is to crawl under a truck and into the first of many game interrupting cut scenes.
Wether these cut scenes are an attempt to take the game genre and immerse it into a Hollywood blockbuster movie experience – or a way to get the most out of the PS3’s graphical power by having the levels small and tight I don’t know. But as an average gamer, the cut scenes were nothing but an annoyance that interrupted the flow, killed the excitement and disrupted the ability to immerse myself in the game world.
As far as stealth games go, MGS4 has some impressive features, and drop-dead gorgeous graphics. Gameplay however seems somewhat hamstrung by clunky controls and camera issues – though to be honest, this comes from someone who has been addicted to Call of Duty 4 and is more comfortable with a First Person Shooter.
The final straw came however, when we finished yet another long and convoluted cut scene where Snake ponders the possible uses for an empty 44-gallon drum he has found. Figuring out that he can use it to hide in and be more stealth he pops it into his Tardis like gear bag and implores you to use it for some stealth movies.
I can resist the temptation so I rummage around my gear bag, find the 44-gallon drum and enable it. Standing still I now look like a rusty 44-gallon drum. Move forward however and my feet pop out the bottom and I walk around looking like a character straight out of Dad’s Army. This forces a stop in game play and my friend and myself erupt into uncontrollable fits of laughter.
Pros: Awesome graphics.
Cons: Possibly only for fans for the series.