Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

aka: MGS4
Moby ID: 34773
PlayStation 3 Specs
Buy on PlayStation 3
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Description official descriptions

Metal Gear Solid 4 is the fourth major game in the Metal Gear Solid series developed by Hideo Kojima. It ties up all of the loose plot points of the previous games while bringing back a number of characters from the earlier games in the series such as Colonel Campbell, Naomi Hunter, Otacon, Meryl Silverburgh, Mei Ling, and many more. The game's main antagonist is Liquid Ocelot. Most of the story and the relationship are explained through cut-scenes with a considerable length. Due to the series extensive history, knowledge of the prior games is recommended to fully understand the story.

As the story begins Solid Snake, now looking like an old man due to accelerated aging, is being deployed in the Middle East on a mission to stop Liquid Ocelot. The game is set in 2014, five years after the Big Shell Incident of Metal Gear Solid 2. Liquid aims to take control of the Sons of the Patriots, the nanomachine system used to enhance the capabilities of the mercenaries of different factions. By this, he plans to assemble an army. The game is divided into five acts followed by an epilogue and a briefing. The various missions bring Old Snake to more than one location, including the Middle East, South America, Eastern Europe, and a few more that can surprise the players familiar with the franchise.

In this game, all of the actions of the previous game have been included along with some new ones such as the ability to roll on your back and fire and the ability to hide in bins scattered around the environment. Similar to the Subsistence re-release of MGS3, the player has full control of the camera rotation on one analogue stick while walking with the other. Shooting is now enhanced to support a new shoulder camera not seen in the franchise before, much similar to that of Resident Evil 4 which will help you to easily counter-attack the enemy without having to fire randomly or switching to 1st-person perspective. The Close Quarters Combat system has been redesigned and players are now able to interrogate guards for information or supplies. The earlier camouflage system has been replaced with Octocamo that allows Snake to blend into the environment. The stamina meter from Snake Eater has been replaced by a stress meter. Based on the fighting and the climate conditions it can offer additional accuracy and reduce sustained damage. The other meter, Psyche, reduces accuracy and can be replenished by reading an adult magazine, eating, or drinking.

Snake has access to the largest arsenal of weapons ever made available in a Metal Gear game, with a large array of pistols, rifles, and explosives, along with the ability to mod the weapons adding scopes, suppressors, lights, and other equipment to create custom weapons.

Other gadgets in the game include the Solid Eye, which is an electronic eye patch that can be used as binoculars, night vision goggles, or just a device for displaying information about enemies and items scattered around the levels. There is also the Metal Gear Mk. II, which is a small robot that can be used to scout levels and electrocute enemies knocking them out for a period of time.

The game also features a complex multiplayer mode, simply entitled Metal Gear Online. Aside from the usual suspects of multiplayer shooter modes, such as "deathmatch" and "capture the flag", there are some original modes that are based on the stealth aspects of the single-player games. "Sneaking Mission" mostly plays out like a standard team deathmatch, with the exception that one player is assigned to control Snake, who is equipped with his radar and Octocamo. Snake's goal is to tranquilize his enemies in order to acquire their dog tags, without getting spotted. If there are enough players in the game, one player will also control Metal Gear Mk.II to assist Snake. "Team Sneaking" is basically "Capture the flag", in which the attacking team is equipped with stealth camouflage and non-lethal weapons. The defending team can only see the attacking team's shadows and weapons.

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Credits (PlayStation 3 version)

983 People (928 developers, 55 thanks) · View all

Old Snake
Hal "Otacon" Emmerich
Roy Campbell / Drebin / Zero
Meryl Silverburgh / Crying Wolf
Johnny (Akiba)
Ed
Jonathan
Vamp
Naomi Hunter / Rosemary / Laughing Octopus
Sunny
Raiden (Drama)
Raiden (Action) / Little Grey
Little John
Big Mama / Screaming Mantis
Liquid Ocelot
Mei Ling / Raging Raven
Big Boss
Missouri Crewman
Soldiers
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 93% (based on 104 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 80 ratings with 5 reviews)

Konami does another masterpiece

The Good
It's been over 2 years since the game was released. Since I have managed to beat it multiple times, I can confidently say that Metal Gear Solid 4 is one of the best games ever. The first you notice when you play the game are the graphics. They are truely breathtaking. The cutscenes are amazing, and it constantly feels as if you are playing through a movie instead of a game. Moving on to the story, this is where all the Metal Gear Solid game are the best at. This game is divided into various chapters, where each chapter explains more of the storyline. The story is presented in cutscenes, which makes it very addicting to watch, and makes want to know more about it. Looking at the gameplay, Metal Gear Solid has always been a stealth game, and there are many different ways to play it. You can play it as stealth, or as an third person shooter. Unlike Metal Gear Solid 3, where you have to match your environment with your clothes to avoid being seen, here you get something called octo camo, which will change your camo to the surrounding. All in all, I can say that the gameplay is better than it's predecessor.



The Bad
The only thing that let me down, where the install times. Between the acts, there will be install times, which is pretty annoying, even if you can watch snake smoking.

The Bottom Line
I can say that Metal Gear solid 4 is as close to perfection as any game could ever be. From its amazing interaction between the story and gameplay, to the amazingly deep characters and plot, to the much improved stealth and mechanics, to its improvement in graphics and sound. This is a game that I deeply recommend to any PS3 owner.

PlayStation 3 · by Deleted (381) · 2010

Where the series went wrong...

The Good
First things first: I'm a Metal Gear Solid fan. I can handle long-winded cutscenes and ridiculous dialogue, in fact, I expect them. But too much of anything is bad for you.

The plot of MGS4 ties everything up from the previous games pretty neatly, I can say that much. The game has many moments that even Hollywood hasn't been able to replicate - epic, touching, funny and very memorable. The plot also touches on some themes rarely explored in video games, so kudos for that, Kojima. I very much appreciate the fact that we can pause the game during cutscenes - my bladder thanks the person who came up with this idea.

Also, the gameplay has taken huge steps forward. For the first time in the series, the shooting segments don't feel awkward at all thanks to a better camera and a huge collection of powerful weapons and useful gadgets.

The graphics are out of this world and the new, moody musical tracks, especially "Father and Son", blend in seamlessly with some of the more classic tunes, and every MGS fan will tear up when they hear "The Best is Yet to Come" during a very nostalgic moment.

The Bad
But no amount of continuity gags, flashbacks and callbacks will hide the fact that the plot makes absolutely no sense. I don't mean to say that the story isn't "realistic", it's MGS after all, but the internal logic of the series has been ruined. There's an incredible amount of retcons, pointless new characters, old characters brought back just to die a melodramatic and pointless death and just plain bad writing. Even the central premise of a "war economy" makes no sense and is never explained properly, we're just meant to roll with it.

The length of the cutscenes is ridiculous, especially because it's absolutely unnecessary most of the time. There's too much pretentious pondering and staring around as well as redundant dialogue. There's even more unnecessary words in this game than there are in this review. With some light editing and a few rewrites, this game could be the best in the series. Now, it's easily one of the worst.

Many stylistic decisions seem to be there just for the sake of it. Why does Snake have to be an exaggeratedly old man? Why is Raiden a cyborg ninja? What part, if any, is Naomi supposed to play? Why is Vamp working for Liquid Ocelot? There's plenty more where that came from, but I want to avoid spoilers.

Though the gameplay is good, when the cutscenes are taken out, there's very little of it. The stealth segments feel more boring in this game and are rarely even needed, as the game seems to have shifted its focus from "tactical espionage action" to "shoot s'more!". And when stealth actually is mandatory, in the third act, we are forced to endure one of the most repetitive, dull and frustrating parts of the game. The controls seem worse than in the previous installments, however.

The iconic boss battles have been turned into jokes, the only good fight in the game is the battle of the Metal Gears in act four. The new bosses, the "Beauty and the Beast corps" are absolutely one of the worst characters in gaming and their "edgy" and "touching" back stories make no sense whatsoever.

Lastly, the Codec feature has been remodeled... badly. There are only two characters we can actually call: Otacon and (ugh) Rosemary. The latter's advice is mostly useless while Otacon has a habit of giving you obvious advice even in normal gameplay, meaning that there's hardly any need to think for ourselves.

The Bottom Line
MGS4 is a very polished product that, thanks to abundant fanservice, will definitely please most fans of the series, as the absurd cutscene length, terrible dialogue and logical inconsistencies won't bother them. Anyone else should think twice before getting the game and be prepared to be annoyed by several little things that eat away the experience little by little.

PlayStation 3 · by Zokolov (49) · 2012

Goes out with a bang (a pretty loud one too)

The Good
I know what some people are going to say. "I loved everything!". Unfortunately, that is not the case for me. For now, let's concentrate on the good. To start things off, the presentation is typical Metal Gear Solid (referred to as MGS from here on) fare. In other words, the presentation is great. You know it's the last MGS game, and it makes no attempt to cover this up even from the incredible intro and title screen. The whole package just feels right.

The menus are easy to navigate, options are pretty self-explanatory, getting online is a piece of cake (if you have your PS3 set up to go online), and so on. With all of the me-too 3rd party games being ported from one system to another, it seems that companies are just churning out games that are half-created for the masses to buy them and throw them away a day later. So it's nice to see a game like this where the production values are top-notch all the way.

The game really makes you feel like you're just another soldier in a war you aren't putting too much stock in from the beginning... and as you play through it, you begin to care about the characters as you find yourself getting more and more involved in the situation. And boy what a story it is. Political intrigue, treachery, backstabbing, social commentary, romance... you name it. It's all here. And it's all believably done through narrative and an astonishing plot that will leave your mouth hanging open by the end.

Moving on to the visuals, they're... what is the word? Breathtaking. This is the reason why I bought a PS3. So I could see games with graphics like these. Everything from the smoke that comes off of Snake's cigarettes to the emotions that are portrayed in the characters' faces to the amazingly accurate mouth movements when they speak... everything looks incredible. The environments are fantastically rendered, character models look and behave the way you would expect, and even the various enemies look great (although I wouldn't stop to admire their beauty while playing, unless you happen to enjoy the 'game over' screen). Truly, this game is a work of art from every perspective. And for those of you that haven't bought a flat screen high definition TV yet, this could very well be the perfect reason to go out and do so.

Moving on to sound, we have another winner. Music can be changed with an in-game iPOD and by collecting hidden music tracks strewn throughout the game, but more often than not you'll find yourself listening to the track that the developers have chosen as a default for certain areas. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is blockbuster movie quality. The voice acting makes you feel like those are the character's real voices. Nothing sounds "phoned in" or forced. Emotions, ranging from anger to sadness, are all realistically portrayed. Even the score is appropriate from scene to scene, whether you are on a stealth mission or fighting for your survival... it all fits the mood to a T. Even the sound of the guns firing, reloading, and the spent shells dropping: it all feels just right. Game developers with voice acting in their games take notice: this is how it should be done.

Gameplay is also good. I say good, because while it isn't great, it does fit the MGS style. It takes the 3rd person / 1st person change-up from previous games and improves it dramatically. Switching from modes is a breeze, thanks to a button press... and thankfully, it is much easier to move around while in 1st person and still fire. Controlling the movements of snake, while not on par with games such as the Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher, is easy and you never feel frustrated that the character isn't doing what you wanted him to do. The enemy AI, depending on the difficulty, is very intelligent.

If you are caught, enemies will take cover, call for backup, and do everything they can to take you down while trying to stay out of the path of your bullets. And depending on the difficulty you've chosen, the enemy can be absolutely relentless in their search for you if you are found and try to hide. One thing that I loved was the fact that you can crouch and walk or if you hold the crouch button down, crawl. This option was unfortunately missing from MGS 2 (not sure about 3), and I'm glad the developers put it in, as it adds a whole new level to the stealth sections of the game.

And what would a MGS game be without the selection of weaponry. Well, no need to fear. The selection is ENORMOUS. From grenades to rocket launchers to dolls that can manipulate your enemies... tons and tons and TONS of gadgets to find, unlock, and buy. Believe me, you'll be spending a lot of time on this game if you want to get all the unlockable stuff.

Which brings me to the length. On average, if you just slog through it, you'll beat this game (cutscenes included) in about 12 - 15 hours which is par for the course for action games nowadays. If you want to unlock everything, expect to spend quite a bit more time. And believe me when I say it never gets dull, and never feels repetitive. And for the especially masochistic, try beating it on extreme and getting the no-kills award.

Also, I can't help but mention the humor. What would a MGS game be without easter eggs and the 4th wall humor that made this series unforgettable. It's still here. Even Snake's dry (and often sarcastic) sense of wit is alive and kicking. There is even a point where Otacon jokes to Snake to switch to disc 2, then realizes the game is on a PS3. Also worth of note, there are a TON of (often hysterical) easter eggs to find if you have the time to look for them.

The Bad
Now for the bad. This should be considerably shorter than the above "good" section, and for "good" reason (Heh, pardon the pun). Well, the only thing I can't seem to get past is the CQC (Close Quarter Combat) in MGS 4. While it was never good to begin with, it is also exceptionally bad in this one as well. Granted, you won't be getting into melee fights often with enemy soldiers (if at all), but the times when they are too close to shoot and are beating you down, you can't help but feel frustrated that in all his years as a mercenary, Snake NEVER learned anything more complex than the punch punch kick combo.

And yet, in some of the cutscenes you see him pulling off these fantastic maneuvers with enemy soldiers that you can not, for the life of you, recreate. As I said, this isn't a melee game, so I didn't expect much in the CQC area. But there is one place where you are FORCED to fight hand to hand (I won't spoil it for you), and it just makes you realize how limited the fighting engine is. In fact, you almost wish they had left that section out if only it weren't integral to the story. Even grappling with an enemy from behind (the infamous choke-hold maneuver) can be difficult to accomplish and I found myself getting frustrated when trying to pull it off and doing the all-too-familiar punch, punch, kick combo instead and getting caught off guard by the enemy.

While I'm on the topic of gameplay problems, I have to bring up the stealth part of the game. While not terrible, it is definitely not great. Or even good. Sorry. There it is. I said it. The stealth part of this game is not that good. After being spoiled by Splinter Cell and the amount of ways you can take out a guard... playing a game like MGS where stealth was made mainstream made me feel disappointed. How you take out (or just slip by) the enemy sentries is extremely limited and feels a bit too linear for my tastes.

Also, there are very few places to hide in a game where being invisible is a top priority. While the octo-camo suit that takes on the appearance of whatever texture you're up against was nice... I rarely used it as it took up precious time, and chances were you'd be going to an environment with a completely different texture style soon anyway.

Another thing that may turn off first-timers into the metal gear solid series (which will be very few if any) is the length of the cutscenes. Wooooo boy, are some of them long. Anyone who has played a MGS game knows that the cutscenes in a MGS game can be long and dramatic, but be ready to have to pause so you can take bathroom breaks for some of the cinematics in this one. And the ending, while more than an appropriate ending (and should get an award, honestly) to the series, is quite possibly the LONGEST, and most drawn-out cutscene I have EVER seen in my life.

The developers did include some opportunities to break up the monotony through flashbacks by hitting the x button or changing to snake's point of view during certain parts (the ones around the various ladies' are especially humorous), however it doesn't take away from the fact that you are sitting through one cutscene just to... possibly sit through another one. And right when you thought you were going to get to play... oh, one more cutscene. Or even two. Sometimes, you're getting ready to play only to find you have to sit through another 10 - 15 minutes of story telling. And while the story is never dull, sometimes you just want to PLAY THE GAME.

The Bottom Line
Anyone who owns a PS3 should play this game. If you are even remotely interested in adventure espionage type games, you should play this game. If you wondered how they would end the Metal Gear saga, you should play this game. It ends the story with an epic BANG (no pun intended), and what a story it is. It's emotional, thought-provoking, modern, and perfect for all that's going on in today's "information age". It is THE best game to come out for the PS3 so far, and one of the best games to come out this year period.

PlayStation 3 · by Daemion Blackfire (14) · 2008

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

References

A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 4 PlayStation 3 can be seen next to the kitchen radio during the briefing missions on Snake and Otacon's aerial transport.

Soundtrack

Metal Gear Solid's main musical theme is not present in the game because of legal issues. Russian composers had found it too similar to music written by Georgy Sviridov from the 1970s. Konami was too sensitive about the situation and just decided not to use the music in the game.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2006 – #3 Best Trailer of the Year
    • 2007 – #2 Best Trailer of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2008 – #9 Game of the Year
    • 2008 – #3 PS3 Game of the Year
    • 2008 – PS3 Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2008 – PS3 Action Game of the Year
  • Golden Joystick Awards
    • 2008 - PlayStation Game of the Year

Information also contributed by piltdown man and Sciere.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Paul Johnson.

PlayStation Now added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Sciere, MegaMegaMan, Solid Flamingo, β€”-, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger.

Game added June 26, 2008. Last modified December 5, 2023.