|System: PS3||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Kojima||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Konami||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 12, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 (1-16 online)||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Another feature that's new to the series is the Metal Gear Mk. II. Initially, I was opposed and offput by the little Otacon contraption, mainly because of the influence the motion controls were going to have. But, since they're not required for the Scout Machine, it's no longer a problem. After all, I enjoyed using the Mk. II to run up behind opposing forces and shock the crap out of them. It brought a sense of joy.
Talking about new features to the series, the OctoCamo works better than I had anticipated it would. It's simple to use if set on automatic, and is a great expansion of the system introduced in MGS3. You can change around the camouflage settings of the OctoCamo almost the same way you did in MGS3, and there are just as many options. Snake's CQC is also more advanced. The various combinations, and even how hard you push the beginning CQC button, make it almost feel like performing combos in a fighting game. These interesting new features will leave you wanting more of this installment of Snake's life. And with graphics like these, who could blame you!
People have been saying it for years, Hideo Kojima is a visionary comparable to a movie producer. He is capable of capturing depth and emotion in his characters like few others have been able to master. This time around, he's had the help of amazing graphics to tell his story. The environments, character models, and even the little intricacies of each weapon Snake holds bring a sense of realism to the title. The background action that goes on also aides in bringing it to life. Instead of all of the characters doing the same repetitive things, NPCs seemed to be fighting a gruesome battle and have life of their own.
While the character movements in the cutscenes are great, there is a problem that I found. Several times I noticed the lip-synching to be out of whack. Although this is usually the last thing to bother me, the experience was a little cheapened because it happened too often. Aside from the poor synchronization in a few scenes, the voice acting is some of the best I have heard in the series or video games. Of course, there are a few dry, overacted, and even downright awkward moments in the dialogue, but most fans will take it with a grain of salt because we have experienced it before.
The soundtrack does exactly what I expected in setting the stage for the cutscenes and the gameplay. There is a new feature in the sound department in addition to the cutting-edge surround sounds - your Ipod MP3 player. I know, it sounds really stupid. I thought so too at first, but then I started finding songs for it throughout the game, and I played through certain areas with classic music from other Metal Gear titles in the series instead of the standard MGS4 soundtrack. Those few out there that might not want to listen to the score of the game will have other options.
With so many new things introduced to the series by this entry, it is easy to see how you can get wrapped up for days. Trust me; it will be days and maybe even months. The inclusion of the Metal Gear Online starter pack increases replayability. You can get your buddies together to control the battlefield in small doses until the official title arrives. Five maps to play through is more than enough to hold you over while you wait to receive the full product.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a title I have been anxiously waiting for. Several things that happen in the game will give hardcore fans brain meltdowns, but even newcomers will be gradually eased into the story with flashbacks from previous games, so everyone can really understand what is happening. The control modifications especially make this entry more accessible to newcomers, by leveling the playing field. While some will have issues with given parts of the game, they are so small and trivial they don't even matter. Whether this is Solid Snake's final hoorah is something you will have to find out for yourself, and trust me, you will not be disappointed. MGS4 is the reason you bought your PS3!
CCC Project Coordinator