Thursday, June 26, 2008

Review: Metal Gear Solid 4

Snake ... Snaaaake!

The fourth installment of my favourite video game series delivers, and delivers big. This shit is sick! How sick, you ask?

Things I loved:
- The graphics are the best I've ever seen. The cut scenes deliver the same attention to detail as a Hollywood CG flick. Facial features, hair blowing in the wind, lighting up a cigarette, all of these things look real. It almost makes me want to get a PS3 ... except I just finished the only game I ever wanted to play! Fuck you, Sony!
- The little things make this game so good. When Snake is crouching in the dirt, and quickly stands up, dust starts to kick up in the air. When you walk too close to a bird, it flies off. Cans and bottles litter the streets, and running by them too quickly creates a loud commotion that might tip off your position.
- There's a monkey, drinking pop and smoking cigarettes. What else could you ask for?

Things I really liked:
- Otacon uses Apple product! He even has a Macbook Pro, just like yours truly!
- This game's storyline ties in every other game, from the original Metal Gear on the NES, to MGS 1, 2, 3, to MGS Portable Ops.
- The hilarious back-references to MGS1 rock. This by itself was worth the price of admission. I don't want to spoil anything, but if you ever played Metal Gear Solid on the Playstation, you must play this game!
- First-person shooter gameplay that was lacking in the other games makes you want to say, "to hell with sneaking, let's just shoot all these guys!"
- M4 Custom, with a Master Key on the bottom mount, suppressor, and laser sighting? Oh, they didn't have a chance!

Things that they could have done better:
- The boss battles were blahzay.
- The cut scene / gameplay ratio is unbalanced, like MGS2. I was surely sitting and watching more than I was playing.
- Chris asked if this game was better than Metal Gear Solid 3. I had to think about it for a while, and I would say that MGS3 is still the better game. They added so many cool gameplay elements on top of MGS2 (hunting for food, healing injuries, camouflage). For MGS4, they removed a lot of those elements, and the replacements weren't revolutionary.

Things that sucked:
- The story became more and more convoluted as the game went on. What's going on now? Is that character working with us, or working against us? Ugh.
- So much melodrama! Stop crying, bitches, this is Metal Gear, not The Young and the Restless!
- A lot of the cool gameplay from the previews didn't seem to make it into the final release.

The final verdict: Play this game. It pwns.

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